Coram is dedicated to achieving positive outcomes for our clients when it matters most.
Our Private Financial Dispute Resolution and Early Neutral Evaluation offers an alternative to court resolution for complex and contentious family finance law cases. The process can achieve a settlement, saving the costs of contested litigation, avoiding delay, and allowing more time to consider the case. Our Private Financial Dispute Resolution team has considerable experience in dispute resolution, early neutral evaluation, arbitration, adjudication, dispute resolution boards, expert determination, and mediation. The team is made up of specialists, skilled at guiding clients in a range of legal matters.
For more information on our members or to discuss a particular case, please contact our clerking team.
The Private FDR team comprises financial remedies specialists with some members also sitting as part-time judges and/or arbitrators. A barrister acts as a Private FDR ‘judge’ – an independent third party assisting the parties to reach agreement in the same way as the judge would in a court-based FDR. The selected ‘judge’/evaluator will read the papers and hear the parties’ positions. Just as in a court FDR, the evaluator will then encourage the parties towards settlement and express a clear view on the likely outcome if the dispute were to go to court. There is no power to impose a settlement, however Private FDR has a higher success rate than court FDR.
The advantages of Private FDR include:
- The ability to select the ‘judge’ with proven expertise in whom the parties and their representatives have confidence.
- A full day is available to conduct the Private FDR ‘hearing’, including discussions and negotiations, instead of the one-hour slot often allocated by courts.
- The dedicated ‘judge’ has time in advance of the meeting to read and prepare thoroughly and continues to assist the parties throughout the day, until an agreement is reached.
- Without delay the parties can each hear from a wholly independent expert what the probable outcome of their case would be at a final hearing.
- A Private FDR can be arranged at any stage including prior to court proceedings being issued, whereas Court FDRs can only take place at an appointed stage in proceedings.
- More than one issue can be considered, for example, children and money, whereas a court-based FDR can only cover the parties’ finances.
- The private FDR can be arranged flexibly to suit the parties’ needs. It can be done remotely, by video conferencing such as zoom, which allows for private breakout rooms. If conducted ‘face to face’, the selected venue can offer guaranteed privacy, comfortable conference facilities and refreshments making it a less formal process, which can reduce stress.
Arbitration (Children & Finance)
The Arbitration team comprises of members of Chambers who are qualified family arbitrators and members of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration. They are available to act as arbitrators to determine family law disputes where both parties agree that their dispute should be submitted to arbitration.
The benefits of arbitration include:
- You can select who decides your dispute – you can pick your own arbitrator;
- You can choose the procedure to be flexible to suit your needs and circumstances: you might want a written determination on the papers, a determination on one issue only, or a full hearing with evidence as in court;
- You can choose when the hearings will be, to suit your needs;
- Speed: you don’t have to wait until the court can find you a date;
- Privacy: arbitration is completely confidential and there is no right for the media to be present
Within the Coram mediation team we aim to provide the best outcomes for our clients whilst avoiding the expense and time consuming nature of standard legal proceedings. Our qualified family law mediators take on cases in civil, commercial, employment and family disputes and have undertaken Bar Council approved training and are on the Bar Council list of approved mediators. Several members within the mediation team also hold part time-judicial appointments.
We are able to offer our mediation suite for sessions requiring anything from one to five private rooms. We have five state of the art conference rooms that vary in capacity from four to twenty, comprising our seminar and mediation suites. The facilities within Chambers provide a comfortable setting for our clients.