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Private Financial Dispute Resolution Hearings (Private FDRs)

Offices in Leeds, Harrogate and London. Working with clients across the UK and overseas.

Private FDRs are a form of dispute resolution available to parties trying to reach a financial settlement.

How does a private FDR work?

Both parties will agree on a time and date for the private FDR to take place and appoint a barrister or retired judge to act as the FDR judge.

What is the purpose of a private FDR?

Similar to an in-court FDR hearing, a private FDR is where the appointed judge will give an indication as to the merits of each party’s case and the likely outcome if the case were to be determined by the court at a final contested hearing. Essentially, the judge provides both parties with a neutral evaluation which will assist them in determining whether it is cost proportionate to proceed with a trial, taking into consideration the merits of their case. The aim is that following the judge’s indication, the parties will attempt to negotiate a financial settlement.

What are the advantages of a private FDR?

During the court process, the judge’s time can be restricted depending on how many cases they have to deal with that day. This can leave parties aggrieved if they do not feel they have been listened to or granted a reasonable period of time to make decisions. Sometimes rushed, the parties find themselves proceeding with a costly trial without having the opportunity to reflect properly on the judge’s comments or advice given. However, in private FDRs, the parties can be assured that all the preparation has been undertaken by the FDR judge and costs are transparent. Overall, the parties will find their legal bill is significantly reduced because there are no waiting times and all parties are dedicated to the case for a full day.

Parties can choose the venue for the FDR to take place. They may feel more comfortable in their solicitors’ office or barristers chambers. This provides for a more relaxed atmosphere as opposed to finding themselves in a Court Building causing stress and anxiety.

Laura Clapton

Laura Clapton
Family Solicitor & Family Mediator

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How expensive is a private FDR?

Although there is a financial outlay to appoint a solicitor, barrister and judge, when compared to several months of solicitor’s fees and dealing with any parties acting as litigants in person, the process can be much more cost-effective.

Free Initial Discussion

At Consilia Legal our Family Law team are highly experienced in dealing with all family legal matters including Private Financial Dispute Resolution Hearings. If you would like to have a confidential free initial discussion surrounding this family matter please contact our family law team on 0113 322 9222 or

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