Price of success: the hidden costs of financial dispute resolution hearings

FDRs were going to make divorce proceedings fairer and faster but instead they have led to mechanical lawyering; divorce lawyers must now offer better solutions for clients, says James Pirrie

02 Feb 2019

The current family court scheme first saw the light of day in 1996 with the launch of the pilot procedure. Part of the genius of the architects of the scheme is seen in the nancial dispute resolution (FDR) stage. The aim was to provide direction for clients before all the costs are incurred and to ensure most of the relevant information would be before the court, with judges able to give clear direction and provide a compelling opportunity for clients to settle at a lower cost than if they pursued further litigation. 

In its July 2014 report, the Financial Remedies Working Group’s interim report recorded that save where the court has deliberately ordered otherwise in truly exceptional circumstances, “the FDR hearin...

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