Private FDR/ENE

The Financial Dispute Resolution hearing (or FDR) is an important type of court hearing of relatively recent creation. The FDR was at first only used in disputes about the financial consequences of divorce but is now used in other areas of family financial dispute such as maintenance for children. The basis of the FDR is early neutral evaluation: that is to say, the Judge expresses a view about the likely outcome of the dispute in order to assist the parties towards settlement, but does not have the power to make an order if they cannot agree. FDR hearings are more informal than normal court hearings.

FDRs have a high success rate – many cases settle at the hearing or shortly afterwards on the basis of the indication the court has given. However, they have their limitations:

  • Because court lists are congested, there is usually a considerable delay before the FDR takes place.
  • As with other court hearings, the parties have no power to choose who the Judge will be. Experience shows that, through no fault of their own, the Judges assigned to deal with FDRs have not always had the chance to read the papers and prepare fully for the hearing.
  • The FDR can only take place at a specified time in the progress of a case.
  • Family disputes are often about more than one area: for instance, children and money. An FDR will normally only be able to deal with one area.

A number of members of 29 Bedford Row, Many of which are experienced part-time Judges or Arbitrators (or both), now offer private early neutral evaluation,  sometimes known as a private FDR. As in a court FDR, the evaluator encourages the parties towards settlement and (unlike mediation) expresses a clear view on the likely outcome if the dispute were to go to court. However, there is no power to impose a settlement. Private FDRs offer great advantages: 

  • They can happen before court proceedings are started or at any stage during the court process.
  • There is very little delay.
  • The parties have the power to choose an evaluator in whom they and their lawyers have confidence.
  • The evaluator will have had the opportunity to read the papers and prepare for the occasion.
  • The FDR can deal with all or any aspects of the dispute which the parties wish.
  • The FDR can take place either at 29 Bedford Row or wherever else the parties wish. Our evaluators are happy to travel.

The table below sets out the standard fees charged by members of chambers for a 1-day private FDR and where the hearing bundle is limited to approximately 350 pages. The fee also includes all preparation and reading time. Please contact the Senior Clerk, James Shortall, if you consider the standard fee is unlikely to be appropriate or if you would like any further information.

Select a Barrister

Barrister Fee (£)
Alexis Campbell QC JHOC 7,500 + VAT
Nicholas Allen QC JHOC 7,500 + VAT
Timothy Scott QC 7,500 + VAT
Philip Cayford QC 7,500 + VAT
Patrick Chamberlayne QC 7,500 + VAT
Howard Shaw QC 7,500 + VAT
Christopher Wagstaffe QC 7,500 + VAT
Brent Molyneux QC 7,500 + VAT
Peter Mitchell QC 7,500 + VAT
Peter Duckworth 4,000 + VAT
Clare Renton 4,000 + VAT
David Walden-Smith 3,000 + VAT
Mark Emanuel 4,000 + VAT
Nicholas Chapman 4,000 + VAT
Lee Arnot 4,000 + VAT
Jonathan Tod 4,000 + VAT
Sally Max 4,000 + VAT
Richard Bates 4,000 + VAT
Victoria Domenge 3,500 + VAT
Barrister Fee (£)
Judith Butler 3,500 + VAT
Ken Collins 4,000 + VAT
Sassa-Ann Amaouche 4,000 + VAT
Lucy Owens 4,000 + VAT
Laura Heaton 4,000 + VAT
Simon Calhaem 4,000 + VAT
Anthony Geadah 3,500 + VAT
Victoria Francis 3,500 + VAT
Ben Fearnley 3,000 + VAT
Max Lewis 3,000 + VAT
Christopher Butterfield 3,000 + VAT
Lynsey Cade Davies 3,000 + VAT
Richard Tambling 3,000 + VAT
Petra Teacher 3,000 + VAT
Conor Fee 3,000 + VAT
Helen Williams (ACA) 3,000 + VAT
Amber Sheridan 3,000 + VAT
Anton J. Eriera 3,000 + VAT
James Finch 2,750 + VAT

"The clerks' room, headed by senior clerk James Shortall, is exceptionally well managed.... an excellent, friendly bunch"

Chambers & Partners

Alexa Storey-Rea

  • Call 1990

Areas of Expertise

Children Law
Family law (general)

Dafydd Griffiths

  • Call 1997

Areas of Expertise

Family Finance
Children Law
Family law (general)

Paul Storey QC

  • Call 1982 Silk 2001

Areas of Expertise

Children Law