Family

Arbitration and Private FDRs

Arbitration and private FDRs (Financial Dispute Resolution) are forms of alternative dispute resolution which take place outside court.

A private FDR replicates one stage of the court process (a negotiation type hearing) with both parties attending on a voluntary basis. An experienced legal professional with judicial experience is selected by the parties and paid privately to act as their judge and, with their respective advisors, to assist them in reaching a negotiated settlement. The “judge” cannot impose an outcome on the parties but provides guidance as to what the outcome may be at court, which can be extremely helpful for negotiation.

Arbitration is closer to full court proceedings: both sides enter into an agreement under which they appoint an arbitrator to adjudicate between them on their dispute, and they are bound by the decision which the tribunal makes.

There are a number of benefits to using a private FDR or arbitration, as opposed to going to court:

- The process is, in most cases, considerably cheaper than full blown litigation.

- It is much faster than going to court.

- The same person deals with the case from start to finish.

- Unlike court, you can choose who will deal with your case.

- Arbitration is entirely confidential.

The family department offers private FDR and arbitration services.

Kathryn Peat is, an IFLA accredited arbitrator, and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. In addition, Kathryn has almost 30 years of experience as a family lawyer and 17 years’ experience as a part-time judge, sitting in family, civil and crime.

We have facilities for hosting multi-party FDRs and arbitrations.

“Naturally, you look for technical ability and the Sinclair Gibson team have it in spades.”