Specialist Non Court Dispute Resolution (NCDR)

The specialist children and financial remedy barristers within our Family Team offer a range of services designed to meet the growing need and increased encouragement for Non Court Dispute Resolution (NCDR).

Westgate Chambers’ NCDR services are Private FDR(s), Arbitration (Children), Arbitration (Finance).

Private FDR

What is a Private Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing (PFDR)?

A Private Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing (PFDR) is a voluntary appointment. It is not imposed upon you by the court. As you will be meeting with the shared intention of reaching a resolution, there is a degree of goodwill in a PFDR that is all too often absent from the court process.  The setting is also more conducive in terms of helping the parties reach an agreement.

In terms of the process, the parties meet the PFDR with or without their own legal representatives. They will be guided by one of our specialist Financial Remedies barristers.  They perform the role of the PFDR judge, impartially assessing all the relevant facts of your case and applying them to the law.

At the conclusion of the hearing the specialist barrister sitting as the Judge will give their indication based upon the facts the parties have presented, which if agreed by the parties, can then be submitted by way of a draft consent order (that the Judge will draft) to the court for their approval.

Why choose a PFDR over a traditional court-based FDR?

There are three major reasons for choosing a PFDR over a traditional court based FDR:

1. Cost

The parties can split the cost of the FDR between them, generally this is done on a 50/50 basis.

2. Focus

The PFDR will be the only case the specialist barrister sitting as a PFDR judge will hear on that day. They will have received the papers in advance, be fully prepared and be fully focused on your case alone.

3. Time

We generally allow 1 day for a PFDR. However, should it suit the parties better, we can offer a half-day session instead. The date it takes place is based on the availability of the parties and the Judge which will be much sooner than the availability of a court based FDR.

Westgate Chambers’ Private FDR Judges

Westgate Chambers’ PFDR Judges are:

Arbitration (Children)

Westgate Chambers’ Children Arbitrators are all IFLA trained and accredited.

They are specialist barristers who have many years of experience of Children Act Proceedings and, as such, are qualified to arbitrate in private law children disputes.

Our clerking team can assist you to choose one of our specialists who is best suited to your client’s case, based on complexity and the client’s budget.

What is Children Arbitration?

Children Arbitration is a process designed to enable couples going through family breakdown to resolve any child related disputes arising from their separation confidentially and in a more flexible and less formal setting than Court. Our Family Law team includes independent arbitrators who know how best to resolve disputes involving arrangements for children.

Their job is to make a determination regarding various aspects of child-related disputes that will be final and binding between the parties (although there is a limited recourse to appeal in certain circumstances, as there is in Court decisions).

Examples of child arrangements that a Children Arbitrator can resolve include:

  • Who the child(ren) should live with
  • Who the child(ren) should spend time with
  • How that time should be defined (including holidays)
  • Whether a parent should be permitted to relocate within England and Wales or abroad.

Arbitration not only offers an alternative to the court process, but it is one that often delivers a resolution more quickly and more cost-effectively.

The same Arbitrator will deal with the case from start to finish. The couple concerned will have the final say in how the proceedings run, where the meetings are held and whether the process is conducted in person, by Zoom or in writing.

Most importantly, they also have the Arbitrator of their own choosing.

Westgate Chambers members who are able to accept instructions to act as an Arbitrator (Children) are:
Book an Arbitrator (Children)

Arbitration (Finance)

Our bespoke Financial Remedies Arbitration service is available to parties looking to resolve financial disputes quickly and efficiently.

Once the Arbitrator is agreed upon, parties agree to be bound by the Judges award.

What are the benefits of Financial Remedy Arbitration?

There are many benefits to Financial Remedy Arbitration:

  • It is more versatile as it covers all levels of financial dispute as well as resolving discrete issues in children cases including international relocation.
  • It is more suitable for those who cannot agree or have already reached impasse using other dispute resolution methods.
  • There is greater finality and enforceability similar to the results you’d see from litigation.
  • The parties can split the cost of the Arbitrator between them, generally 50/50.
  • The Arbitration can be fixed within days of receiving the parties’ agreement to arbitrate.
The Westgate Chambers member able to accept instructions to act as an Arbitrator (Finance) is: