Private Financial Dispute Resolution Hearings

The firm has an excellent reputation and a very high level of professionalism.

Chambers & Partners, 2023

If you’re going through a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, you may find you’re having to negotiate complex financial issues with your ex-partner. Financial disputes can be a major issue when a couple separates, and you might need some expert help to resolve the matter without going to Court.

If you’ve exchanged financial information, but need additional expert help to reach a resolution, a Private Financial Dispute Resolution (pFDR) service may be the answer. You may have had legal advice or be going through mediation but need a neutral evaluation before you can reach an agreement. This process is a faster, cheaper, and less formal way of reaching a financial settlement than going through the courts.

A completely neutral evaluation of the likely result of your case by an independent expert can help you and your ex-partner understand what you could each gain and/or lose. This is often an invaluable process for separating couples, with many settling their entire case at this stage.

We also support other law firms and barristers, by being the impartial expert who can help your clients though the pFDR process.

There are several ways family lawyers can help separating couples stay out of Court. These include mediationcollaborative law, and a pFDR service. We are committed to offering a full range of these services. We’ll be able to help you understand the alternatives available and choose what’s right for you.

Our Private FDR service gives you an informed indication of the likely outcome of your financial remedy claim. This can be arranged at a date and time that's convenient for you. The process is the same as a Financial Dispute Resolution hearing (FDR) at Court, but without the delay and cost of Court proceedings.

Toby Hales, a partner in our family team, has been practicing family law exclusively since 1996. Toby sits as a Deputy District Judge, which means he conducts in-Court FDRs on a regular basis.

At a private FDR, we will be available for an entire day to consider the case. We’ll offer an indication of how a Court is likely to determine the case, help with any negotiations that take place, and hopefully approve a fair and final settlement.

We’ve offices in major cities throughout the UK, where we can hold your private FDR. We can also conduct them remotely if needed or at the offices of your legal representative.

Contact us today to discuss your circumstances.

Although court FDRs have a high level of success, private FDRs bring even more benefits, including a guarantee of privacy and a dedicated private FDR judge. This judge will be with you throughout the day and will have had time to read all the papers involved in your case. This means they can give you a tailored indication on the likely outcomes, and the whole process is less stressful than court appearances often are.

Although the private FDR judge has no power to make an order if an agreement can’t be reached, any settlement achieved at a private FDR is legally binding, so the service represents a quicker and cheaper way of resolving matrimonial disputes. At the very least, a private FDR can go a long way towards reaching agreements through informal discussion with an experienced judge, who can give expert advice on the likely outcome of a divorce in court.

Call today for more information

0370 1500 100

Or we can call you back at a time of your choice

Phone lines are open 24/7, 365 days a year

Our Teams

More information on private financial dispute resolutions

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prepare for a financial dispute resolution hearing?

Before your hearing, you’ll need to have given proof of all your financial assets and liabilities. You’ll also need to have completed a financial statement for a financial order (Form E). This details everything the court will need to consider, such as your financial needs and your children’s needs. Your ex-partner will have to complete their own Form E, which you’ll be able to see.

You must disclose all your assets, as must your ex-partner. If you believe they haven’t disclosed any assets, you can raise this. They can do the same to you. If anything is missing from a Form E, this should be corrected before the hearing.

You or your ex-partner may have already put forward a settlement proposal. The details of any and all offers made will be available to the judge, who can tailor their guidance to each party about the potential outcomes.

FDRs are only successful if both parties are willing to settle. It’s always advisable to think about areas you could be more flexible in ahead of the hearing. You should also enter into the hearing with an open mind about what agreements may be possible.

Awards & Accreditations

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK.

Legal 500 - 2024 Leading Firm
Legal 500 - 2024 Top Tier
Chambers top ranked 2024 logo
Family Law Team Of The Year 2023
Highest calibre
The team has recruited candidates of the highest calibre at all levels and works well as a team”
The solicitors work incredibly hard
They are one of the leading family and matrimonial practices in the UK”

What Our Clients Say

We truly value and appreciate the feedback we receive from our clients, as we look to improve the services we offer on an ongoing basis.

Read More Feedback
Efficient and courteous

Efficient and courteous , did exactly as we requested and provided good advice.

Derek Millichip
Gillian Coverly was outstanding in her …

Gillian Coverly was outstanding in her professionalism, in her knowledge but also in the manner in which she worked with our family as a time of great shock and distress, even out of hours when we needed help. Her sensitivity and empathetic nature helped us worked though what was a time pressing ...

Jackie Freeborn
Top Solicitors

Four and a half year's ago was the most darkest time of my life after my wife died while in the care of the Norfolk & Suffolk Mental Health team. After contacting Irwin Mitchell and told them of my story I was passed on to a solicitor Mr Tom Riis-Bristow who listened to what I had to say, took my ...


Our Offices

Our offices are located in major cities throughout the UK and have excellent transport links.