Family Law Hub

Local Direction for Electronic Filing at the Central London Family Court (Pilot Scheme)

Guidance on how to file via email to the Central London Family Court. This note relates to a pilot scheme that will be reviewed in April 2017

  • The Financial Remedies Unit at the Central Family Court issues the following Local Direction in relation to all applications for Financial Remedies and Financial Orders (as defined under Rule 2.3 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010).

    The Direction supplements, and does not derogate from, the operation of FPR 5.5 and PD 5B within the Financial Remedies Unit.

    The operation of the Pilot Scheme will be reviewed in April 2017.

    The directions are given under the Court's powers and duty to manage cases actively making use of technology under Rule 1.4 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010.

    No part of this direction applies to:

    (i) The Petition for Divorce, Nullity or Dissolution of Civil Partnership or proceedings thereunder;

    (ii) Any contempt proceedings; or

    (iii) Children Proceedings (save for Financial Remedies or Financial Orders).

    1. All applications for the issue of financial proceedings, or applications made within financial remedy proceedings that were issued since 1 January 2016, may be made by email to the Financial Remedies Unit at the Central Family Court at

    General requirements

    2. The following requirements apply to such applications:

    a. All documents filed in connection with the application should not exceed 10MB in size collectively;

    b. PDF format is memory efficient and should be used wherever possible;

    c. PDF copies of signatures supporting such application will be required at time of the receipt of the application, together with confirmation that the original document with the original signature will be available for inspection at any time if required by the court.


    3. No application will be processed without payment of the court fee. Payment can be made as stated below:

    a. cheque/cash/postal order;

    b. debit or credit card at the public counter;

    c. debit or credit card over the telephone on 020 7421 8606*;

    d. fee remission, see

    *you must state in your email that you wish to pay over the telephone and the court will advise accordingly.


    4. Upon issuing the application the court will return the sealed application in duplicate, one of which the applicant or their solicitors must serve on the respondent. The applicant must serve the application on the respondent in accordance with Part 6 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 unless the respondent agrees to accept service of proceedings by email to a specified email address or the court directs such service.

    Filing of documents with the court.

    5. Each party may file their Form E (but not the attached documents) with the court by email provided that:

    a. The Form E does not exceed 10MB in size;

    b. The Form E and the required supporting documents have been exchanged between the parties (whether in hard copy or, if agreed between the parties, electronically);

    c. There is confirmation to the court that:

    i. the Form E and the supporting documents have been supplied to the other party; and

    ii. all the required supporting documentation is held by the party for inspection by the court if required.

    6. The documents required to be served and filed under Rule 9.14(5) and 9.14(6) may be filed with the court and, if both parties agree, served on the other party by email.

    7. At the First Appointment the court will make a direction for the filing and serving of all documents (save for the court bundle) by email if reasonably possible. Such a direction may also be made at any urgent hearing before the First Appointment.

    8. Currently the court bundle needs to be lodged in hard copy for every hearing in the Financial Remedies Unit in strict compliance with PD 27A of the Family Procedure Rules 2010. This provision may be revised once secure cloud facilities are available.


    9. From 31 October 2016 all draft orders from the outcome of a hearing within the Financial Remedies Unit should be emailed to the court at

    Issued by

    HHJ Tolson QC Designated Family Judge for Central London HHJ Martin O'Dwyer Judicial Head of FRU

    This Local Practice Direction is approved as a Pilot Scheme by Mostyn J, Family Division Judge with responsibility for the Money List Moor J, Family Division Liaison Judge for the Financial Remedies Unit

    All queries regarding this e-filing protocol should be sent to

Practice note, published: 01/11/2016



Items referring to this

  • In October 2016, a new local direction was released setting out how documents can be eFiled in the Financial Remedies Unit of the Central Family Court Practice note, 22/11/2016, members only

Published: 01/11/2016


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