Remote Private Financial Dispute Resolution

3PB's team of 27 specialist financial remedies barristers is now offering Remote Access FDR (Financial Dispute Resolution) Court Room service for its solicitors and lay clients so that financial solutions can be found for those going through a divorce.

This four-minute video explains how it works.




3PB's family barristers have long delivered FDRs in person, and are now offering a ‘digital court room’ for family finance disputes with separate conference rooms for the parties and their teams; a separate 'corridor' for counsel only; a 'judge's chamber' where counsel can meet the judge in private; and the 'FDR hearing room' where the hearing can take place with all parties.

It is intended that the Remote Access Family Court Room (RAFCOR) will provide guidance for future conduct of the case and the opportunity to advance or settle matters, in the same manner as happens with “face-to-face” FDR hearings.

The success rate at these FDR hearings in recent months has been good. So much so that 3PB’s 70-strong family team feels that its technology-based remote court could be of real benefit to the Family Court, now closed except for telephone or video-supported solutions like this. Many of these FDR family finance cases are now being cancelled as they are deemed not urgent.

The simple-to-use video technology utilised answers the Family Court’s desire to get early resolution to cases if at all possible in these extraordinary times. For you and your client it delivers a productive and worthwhile hearing without the need for expensive and frustrating adjournments.

3PB’s Michael George, the senior family finance barrister who is leading this new service, said: “We think 3PB’s Remote Access Court Room for family finance disputes will prove hugely popular in the next six months whilst courts remain shut. Using chambers range of technology solutions we are able to replicate the rooms required using video conferencing.”

Remote private financial dispute resolution service

3PB’s Remote Access FDR suite has five meeting rooms including:

•          The Judge’s chambers,

•          The FDR hearing room,

•          Separate conference room for the applicant team

•          Separate conference room for the respondent team

•          The ‘corridor’.

The remote access conference rooms allow for private discussion within a team and the FDR hearing room for hearing of the FDR.

To replicate the face to face FDR dynamic we have added “the judge’s chambers” to allow for advocate-only discussions with the FDR judge. The “corridor” room allows for negotiations between advocates and/or solicitors – these being an essential dynamic of the overall process.

At 3PB we often have members of chambers instructed on different sides of the same case and are well used to maintaining confidentiality between cases.

Security and confidentiality remain essential and we recognise concerns that some systems allow the host to eavesdrop or even join conference rooms uninvited.

To address this concern, in the remote access FDR suite, each room will display who is present in that room at any one time. To further ensure that every participant has confidence, the rooms will not be hosted by either of the legal teams involved in the FDR by and independent specially trained and experienced member of our staff.

In addition, each room will have its own PIN number which will be distributed to the FDR judge, counsel, solicitors, and lay clients prior to the meeting as appropriate so you can be confident that only the host and those with PIN numbers can gain access to your remote meeting room.

We use the Microsoft teams and Lifesize platform which are fully encrypted channels. We realise that not all clients will have this so we have ensured that we can support other platforms as well. No additional software other than an internet browser is needed.

Finally, to enable simple communication across all rooms on the Teams platform, there will be a chat feature to allow messages to be exchanged. By way of example, this could be used to allow the parties to inform the FDR judge that they are ready, or allow one advocate to invite the other to meet them in the corridor room. There is also functionality to upload and share documents and screens.

The court-based FDR process has an excellent track record at bringing disputes to an end quickly and efficiently.  Private FDR’s have an even better track record.

Mr Justice Mostyn, national lead judge of the Financial Remedies Courts in the UK, stated that in these new court-closed days, “parties should be encouraged to have their FDRs done privately. Such private FDRs should routinely be done remotely.”

This new innovative system from 3PB is a step change in bringing tried and tested dispute resolution to the remote working environment.

Outcomes of RAFCOR

Anything discussed during the remote hearing will be without prejudice so cannot be referred to at future hearings.

The judge will give guidance as to the likely range of outcomes, potential strengths and weaknesses of each case as viewed on the day and how the parties can move forward and settle their case. If settlement is achieved, heads of agreement are drawn up for a subsequent consent order which will be binding on both parties.

Full details on Michael GeorgeMichael GeorgeCall: 1990 and his 70-strong team of family law barristers at 3PB  are happy to help.

Please contact family team Practice Directors Ian Charlton or Rob Leonard for more information.

Michael George 3PB e1639491148418


Michael George

Telephone: 0121 289 4333

WEBSITE 2021 11 15 3PB Birmingham 010 of 014 2253 e1639578583784

Practice Director

Ian Charlton

Telephone: 0121 289 4333

Rob Leonard 560x670

Practice Director

Robert Leonard

Telephone: 01202 292 102