Family Law Hub

Dispute Resolution

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  • A challenge to an arbitration award regarding financial arrangements after a divorce. The parties were married from 2005 to 2018. The former husband sought for the arbitration award to be set aside under section 68 or section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996, and for the court to exercise its discretion under section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 not to approve a consent order in the terms of the award. Ms Clare Ambrose, sitting as a deputy High Court judge, found that the various criticisms of the arbitrator were unfounded and the points raised were inappropriate attempts to re-open the facts. She declined permission to appeal under section 69, and the application under section 68 also failed. She was satisfied that the award was not wrong. It reflected a fair allocation of assets and was firmly within the range of right outcomes. She approved the order attached to the award. Judgment, 08/06/2020, free
  • The wife's judgment summons alleged the accrual of significant arrears. The husband claimed that he was subject to cashflow difficulties. Mostyn J was satisfied that there had been a sufficient change of circumstances and a sufficiency of evidential proof to justify a suspension, rather than a variation. The judgment summons would be adjourned while a private FDR took place. Judgment, 18/12/2019, free
  • Whether a judge who conducted an FDR appointment in protracted financial remedy proceedings could later hear applications in relation to the substantive order made in those same proceedings. The hearing was well under way when the husband reminded Holman J of the earlier FDR appointment. Both parties urged the judge to waive the rule, making reference to the overriding objective. He held that any waiver would run totally contrary to the absolute prohibition that the rule currently provides, and brought the hearing to a complete halt. It would have to be heard from scratch before another judge. Judgment, 05/08/2019, free
  • An arbitration had taken place to resolve pension division, spousal maintenance, and the division of assets pertaining to shares and a redundancy. The husband felt that there had been a miscalculation of the wife's income, affecting the amount of spousal maintenance due. Ms Clare Ambrose, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge, dismissed the application. The arbitrator's conduct fell far short of making this a case which required court intervention. Judgment, 22/07/2019, free
  • Report presents the findings from 33 qualitative interviews with a range of professional participants including family judges, legal representatives, Cafcass guardians and social workers News, 16/04/2019, free

Latest know-how

Latest training

  • Nigel Shepherd and Charles Hale QC bring you up to date with the evolving best practice in family arbitration including the use of arbitration in children cases, an option available since July 2016. Webcast, 25/01/2017, members only
  • David Walden-Smith from 29 Bedford Row and Nigel Shepherd from Mills & Reeve discuss the implications of the recent judgment of the President, S v S, on arbitration as an alternative to court. Webcast, 21/02/2014, registration required
  • Listen to this recorded webcast on Arbitration presented by David Walden-Smith of 29 Bedford Row Webcast, 05/07/2013, members only
  • Listen to the recording of our live webinar broadcast on 13 February 2013. Webcast, 15/02/2013, registration required

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