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Alternative Dispute Resolution

Tue 14th Apr 2020

Alternative Dispute Resolution – How we can help

The current Covid-19 crisis has presented us all with changes to our day-to-day lives, and our working lives too. These changes affect us and also our clients. Almost overnight the way in which we work has changed, and there is uncertainty about when and how it might go back to ‘normal’, or if it will return to a new kind of ‘normal’. Broadway House Chambers has embraced, and continues to embrace, these changing times. We are here for our clients, both new and old.

We are pleased to provide some further information in relation to how we can help with Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) of suitable cases in these uncertain times, and more generally going forward.

Guidance

Everybody is likely to be getting tired of ‘guidance’, after ‘guidance’ and after more ‘guidance.’ It is, however, important to keep abreast of where we are – and likely on a daily basis. Here is a collection of some key guidance, as at 8 April 2020, in relation to ADR.

  • On 17 March 2020 Mr Justice Mostyn, as the National Lead Judge of the Financial Remedies Court, issued guidance in relation to financial remedy cases. Within that guidance he said this in relation to FDRs: ‘Parties should be encouraged to have their FDRs done privately. Such private FDRs should routinely be done remotely.’
  • Mostyn J’s guidance was given approval by the President of the Family Division on 19 March 2020 which is available if you click here
  • The lead judges for the Financial Remedies Court on this circuit are also making use of standard directions, which includes encouragement of the use of private FDRs, arbitration and other non-court based methods for dispute resolution where it is practical to do so.
  • More recent guidance in relation to financial remedy hearings in the Central Family Court between 6 April 2020 and 1 May 2020 requires all financial remedy cases to be conducted remotely unless personal attendance is absolutely necessary in the interests of fairness and justice. Urgent cases (including but not limited to Maintenance Pending Suit, Interim Maintenance, Legal Services Payment Orders, applications under s37 MCA 1973 and Enforcement by D50K and D11) and those cases involving vulnerable parties are being prioritised. The standard directions, which appear to be made in financial remedy cases, include the following:

‘11. It is the duty of the parties and of the court under Rules 3.3 and 3.4 to consider alternative means of resolving the dispute. The court will need to be satisfied that the parties have properly explored such means. These include but are NOT restricted to:

-Arbitration (Institute of Family Law Arbitrators or Forum of Family Arbitrators);
-Private FDRs where an experienced professional barrister, solicitor or retired judge will assist the parties from a neutral standpoint to reach a settlement;

Mediation (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/family-mediation)

12.Where the court is not satisfied that the parties have appropriately explored ADR, the hearing will be adjourned so that this may be explored.’

  • The up to date publication of ‘Family Business Priorities previously agreed with the President of the Family Division’, as at 8 April 2020, identifies work which ‘must’ be done, work that ‘will’ be done, and work that the Court ‘will do its best to do.’ Financial remedy work (save for urgent applications, presumably those identified above) falls into the latter category, as does most private law children work (save for urgent applications and gatekeeping and allocation referrals).

Financial Cases & Children Cases

At Broadway House we offer services and assistance in relation to a wide spectrum of cases.

In addition to financial remedy cases, ENE is often suitable for disputes in relation to wills, trusts and inheritance disputes. Some children cases, including those with no safeguarding concerns, are also suited to ENE (for example those cases which are at DRA stage).

Advantages of ADR

There are many advantages to private resolution of cases, including:

  • An experienced practitioner who is available for the entire day, or the duration of the arbitration;
  • The ability to choose your presiding practitioner;
  • Choice and freedom of dates and times to suit the parties;
  • Ability to fix a meeting at short notice;
  • Avoidance of delay (which is only likely to increase in relation to those cases which have been issued, or where issue is being considered, given the current health pandemic);
  • Privacy; and
  • Undivided attention from your presiding practitioner, without the pressure of other cases, time estimates or ‘court lists.’

Our Services & Facilities

At Broadway House we are able to offer ‘in person’ private resolution options, in the comfort of chambers (Leeds and Bradford). We have the facilities to conduct the type of ADR which suits you and your client. In the current times, and given the government guidance and need for everyone to stay safe and stay at home, we are fully equipped to undertake all ADR options by remote means. Our practitioners and clerks are fully au fait with the various online platforms. We will take care of setting up the online platform and simply send you a link to remove any stresses of technology to enable the parties to focus upon resolution of the case. The online platforms we use, including zoom, enable meeting rooms to be set up to facilitate private and privileged discussions separate from your ADR judge/early neutral evaluator and your opponents.

Our Team

We have a range of practitioners available to assist in private resolution of your cases. Our team consists of:

  • Anthony Hajimitsis-Private FDRs and ENE.
  • Roger Bickerdike-Private FDRs and ENE.
  • Robert Cole (Head of the Family Law Team)-Private FDRs and ENE; Financial Remedy Arbitration.
  • Matthew Rudd -Private FDRs and ENE
  • Jayne Pye-ENE Children cases; Family Law Recorder (private law and public law).
  • Ian Miller-Private FDRs and ENE.
  • Joanne O’Shea-ENE Children cases.
  • Christopher Brown-Private FDRs and ENE; ENE in Children cases. Chris is a Deputy District Judge and has a private law children ticket. Chris is also a Deputy District Judge of the Financial Remedies Court.
  • Nick Power–Private FDRs and ENE.
  • Kiran Dhillon-ENE Children cases.
  • Emily Ward -Deputy Head of the Family Law Team – Private FDRs and ENE; ENE in Children cases. Emily is a Deputy District Judge. She has a private law children ticket and is a Deputy District Judge of the Financial Remedies Court.
  • Adam Willoughby– Private FDRs and ENE.
  • Jake Ellis-Private FDRs and ENE.
  • Ned Sproston-ENE Children cases. Ned is a qualified commercial and civil mediator.

Fees & Contact Details

Our fees depend on the type of ADR and the complexity of the case. Our ranges are as follows:

  • One day Private FDR, ENE: £1,750 – £3,000
  • One day ENE (Children): £1,500 – £2,500
  • Arbitration: Quotation on request

Some cases may be suitable for a bespoke arrangement. If you would like some further information or wish to discuss a case which is suitable for private resolution or ENE, please contact our clerks on clerks@broadwayhouse.co.uk (so that we may direct to the relevant person, please mark your email with subject ‘ADR’).

 

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