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Successful roll out of Financial Remedies Court project

21 June 2019

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Eight new Financial Remedies Court (FRC) zones are now successfully operational, Mr Justice Mostyn has confirmed – with further zones to be announced as expansion of the FRC project continues.

Lead judges are already in post and FRC ticketed judges have been identified in each zone; and plans to digitalise all financial remedies court work are already underway.

The new zones have been rolled out in addition to the original Birmingham pilot zone, which covers part of the West Midlands and has been operational since 2018.

Announcing the extension, Mostyn J acknowledged it is early days, but added: “The project has been greeted enthusiastically by financial remedies practitioners and presents many exciting opportunities for the efficient and effective delivery by the court system of this area of work.”

He stressed the importance of the allocation of cases to the right level of judge in the right place to ensure they are conducted by knowledgeable judges experienced in financial remedies. He said: “We think it important to ensure that judges of all levels, including Circuit Judges and Recorders, are involved with first instance cases.”

Work is also underway to move the approval of financial remedies consent orders away from regional divorce centres to the FRC. Plans for virtual courts is also ongoing.

Stowe Family Law partner Graham Coy commented: “Anything which improves the current way in which courts deal with financial matters on divorce or upon the dissolution of civil partnerships has to be good news. 

“But very much more is needed – in the way of central government resources – to avoid the terrible delays which clients are currently faced with every day, up and down the country.

“Family arbitration is a really viable alternative which is not sufficiently used at present. It has none of the disadvantages of the court system which is simply not coping; and is quick, cheaper and just as effective.”

The new zones are London; West Midlands; East Midlands; Mid and West Wales; South East Wales; Liverpool & Cheshire; Humberside & South Yorkshire; Cleveland, Newcastle & Durham; and North and West Yorkshire.

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Technical legal practice Divorce

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family court