Pump Court Chambers

Family Team: ADR and Remote Access offerings

News 31st March 2020
Sean Gentleman

Pump Court Chambers is committed to providing clients with high levels of service and support. By investment and use of modern technology and systems, we are fully equipped to deal with the current situation in these trying times.


We offer state of the art technology in the form of the Lifesize system (with integrated Skype for Business) and can liaise with our clients, Courts and the judiciary to ensure the effectiveness of hearings where they are unable to set up a hearing via their integrated systems (BT Meet Me, etc). Lifesize video conferencing facilities are used in many businesses, including a number of sets of chambers. It works seamlessly with Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

Joining a Lifesize hearing, conference or meeting could not be simpler. One of the clerks will make the necessary arrangements and send a link by e-mail. All the recipient has to do to join is to click on the link which will take them into the virtual room. As long as a person has a stable internet connection, they will be able to make use of Lifesize. It can be used via laptop, PC, tablet and even mobile phone.

We also offer this system to complement the varied forms of ADR which we offer (Arbitrations, Private FDRs and Mediations).

Lifesize hearings are fully recordable and completely GDPR compliant. The recordings are automatically shared to all involved in the hearing upon conclusion.

In accordance with the Government’s advice, the clerks are working remotely during this time. Our IT and phone software allows an unbroken service and we are able to meet the needs of our clients as though we were present in the clerks room.

Private FDRs / Early Neutral Evaluation

All financial remedies practitioners will be familiar with the high rate of settlement that can be achieved through the FDR process, but settlement at FDR can be highly dependent on the expertise and experience of the FDR judge and the time available to the judge and parties during the process.

Under our Private FDR / Early Neutral Evaluation service:

  • The parties can select an evaluator with experience and expertise in this area. All at Pump Court Chambers offering this service are specialist practitioners and many sit as part-time judges and / or arbitrators
  • There is no delay – the Private FDR or ENE can be arranged before court proceedings have been started, at any stage of those proceedings, or as part of an arbitration process
  • The evaluator will have read and prepared the case in advance of the meeting
  • Where appropriate and the parties agree, an ENE can be conducted on paper only
  • The parties will have a full day to conduct the FDR ‘hearing’ and then to continue their discussions and negotiations
  • The evaluator will continue to be available throughout the day to provide further guidance and assistance
  • If further time is needed on a different day, the parties can elect to continue the Private FDR without being reliant upon court listing

Arrangements for a Private FDR can be made very quickly. For example, if the court has adjourned or vacated an FDR hearing at short notice, arranging a Private FDR is one way to ensure that all the preparation work and fees already incurred are put to good use. Where the parties desire it, we will do all we can to assist with keeping the momentum of a case going during this unprecedented time.

The barristers within Chambers that offer this service are:

Arbitration is an ADR service developed in conjunction with the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (‘IFLA’) and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (‘CIArb’).

If both parties agree to arbitrate this initiates a process under which the parties agree that an arbitrator chosen by them both will determine the issues between the parties and that they will be bound by that decision. In the vast majority of cases, the parties will simply present the arbitral award (financial) or determination (children) to the court as a consent order, for the court to approve.

Under our Arbitration service:

  • The parties can select an arbitrator with experience and expertise in this area. Barristers at Pump Court Chambers offering this service are specialist, experienced practitioners trained under the IFLA scheme
  • There is no delay – the process can be started and completed very quickly with no need to wait for court time to be available
  • The process is fully confidential
  • There is quick and efficient access to the arbitrator by telephone, video (Zoom) and email to resolve case management issues as they arise
  • The process can run in conjunction with a Private FDR (although the arbitrator and evaluator will need to be different people) so as to provide a complete, alternative, financial remedies solution
  • The process can also run in conjunction with current court proceedings. Arbitration can be used to decide small issues, i.e. interim child arrangements and specific issues where there are no safeguarding issues, chattels disputes, First Appointment directions, identity of an expert to be instructed, form and content of a letter of instruction, etc

As with Private FDRs arrangements for an arbitration can be made very quickly. For example, if the court has adjourned or vacated a final hearing at short notice agreeing to arbitration will ensure that all the preparation work and fees already incurred are put to good use.

The barristers within Chambers that offer this service are:

  • Leslie Samuels QC – (Deputy High Court Judge, IFLA Arbitrator (Financial) and ADR mediator)
  • Annie Ward – (IFLA Arbitrator (Financial), ADR mediator)
  • Helen Brander – (IFLA Arbitrator (Children))

We are happy to offer a fixed fee quotation for all of our ADR services, or indeed can offer bespoke fee structures to our clients. We are willing to display a good amount of flexibility given the current circumstances many of our clients are facing.

For further information, please don’t hesitate contact myself on 07411 970188 or via email: s.gentleman@pumpcourtchambers.com or James Collier on 07747 467933 or j.collier@pumpcourtchambers.com.

Kind regards,

Sean Gentleman
Senior Family Clerk
M. 07411 970188
E. s.gentleman@pumpcourtchambers.com

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