Private financial dispute resolution appointments and early neutral evaluation
Produced in partnership with Rhys Taylor MCIArb of The 36 Group and 30 Park Place
Private financial dispute resolution appointments and early neutral evaluation

The following Family guidance note Produced in partnership with Rhys Taylor MCIArb of The 36 Group and 30 Park Place provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Private financial dispute resolution appointments and early neutral evaluation
  • What is private early neutral evaluation?
  • Origins of ENE as a dispute resolution technique
  • Guidance and support for private ENEs
  • Relationship between the ENE and the court process
  • Agreement for an ENE
  • Selecting a tribunal
  • Impartiality of the tribunal
  • Conduct of the ENE
  • Factual disputes in ENE
  • more

The financial dispute resolution appointment (FDR) process, as provided for in Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, 9.17 and FPR 2010, PD 9A is well known to anyone who practices in the field of financial remedies. See Practice Notes: Preparation for the financial dispute resolution appointment and Conduct of the financial dispute resolution appointment.

An FDR is a cross between a judge-led early neutral evaluation and a joint settlement/negotiation meeting. It is designed to assist the parties to a dispute to narrow or resolve absolutely their differences. It is not mediation, but dispute resolution techniques deployed in mediation are sometimes used at an FDR.

Practice points for FDRs have been issued by the Family Justice Council, see: Financial Dispute Resolution Appointments: Best Practice Guidance (December 2012).

It is a fundamental principle that FDR discussions are protected by without prejudice privilege. FPR 2010, PD 9A, para 6.2 states:

‘In order for the FDR to be effective, parties must approach the occasion openly and without reserve. Non-disclosure of the content of such meetings is vital and is an essential prerequisite for fruitful discussion directed to the settlement of the dispute between the parties. The FDR appointment is an important part of the settlement process. As a consequence of Re D (Minors) (Conciliation: Disclosure of Information) [[1993] 1 FLR 932], evidence of anything said or any