Pump Court Chambers

Private FDR

Private Financial Dispute Resolution (Private FDR) is a service we have designed to meet the growing need for a non-court-based resolution service for family finance cases.

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

Private FDR is a way of capturing the benefits of this approach while avoiding the stress and unpredictability of a court-based FDR. It involves using an independent third party – adopting a quasi-judicial role – to assist both parties to reach an agreement, much in the way that a family judge does at a court-based FDR. The ‘judge’ will read and hear the cases advanced by each party and provide his or her opinion as to the likely outcome of the case should it proceed to a full final hearing or arbitration.

Everyone in our Private FDR team is a financial remedies specialist, some of whom also sit as part-time judges and recorders and/or are qualified as arbitrators or mediators.

The advantages to the parties involved in taking this approach include:

  • The ‘judge’ will be someone with proven expertise in this complex area.
  • The parties will have a full day to conduct the Private FDR ‘hearing’, and to continue their discussions and negotiations, rather than the one-hour slot conventionally allocated at court.
  • The ‘judge’ will have prepared thoroughly for the meeting and will continue to assist the parties throughout the course of the day until an agreement is reached.
  • A suitable venue can be chosen which allows for a less formal process, with refreshments and space for private discussions.
  • There is no delay – the Private FDR can be arranged before court proceedings have been started, at any stage of those proceedings or as part of an arbitration process.
  • If further time is needed on a different day, the parties can elect to continue the Private FDR without being reliant upon court listing.

Our panel of Private FDR specialists adhere to our own Chambers standards of excellence, which contains very specific criteria, i.e. members who show real commitment to dispute resolution (i.e. they are arbitrators or mediators), sit in a Judicial capacity and / or who are Financial Remedy experts. These Chambers standards serve to put clients at ease and reassure them that their case is being dealt with by an appropriately appointed expert.

Edward Boydell KC and Geoffrey Kelly are both ranked as Leading Juniors in the Legal 500’s inaugural Family: Private FDR Judges and Arbitrators section.

The table below represents Counsel’s ‘standard’ fee to hear a Private FDR hearing, with a time estimate of one day, and includes all reading time and preparation. If you would like to discuss a case which you believe falls outside of the ‘standard’ range, our Senior Family Clerk, James Collier (j.collier@pumpcourtchambers.com) +44 (0)20 7353 0711 – would be happy to discuss your individual needs, please just get in touch.



Leslie Samuels KC £5,000.00 + VAT
Edward Boydell KC £4,500.00 + VAT
Imogen Robins £3,500.00 + VAT
Geoffrey Kelly £3,750.00 + VAT
Oliver Peirson £3,500.00 + VAT
Richard Hall £3,500.00 + VAT
Mark Dubbery £3,500.00 + VAT
Annie Ward £3,750.00 + VAT
Andrew Grime £3,000.00 + VAT
Helen Brander £3,000.00 + VAT
John Chapman £3,000.00 + VAT
Tara Lyons £3,000.00 + VAT
Alexandra Gilmore £2,750.00 + VAT
Elizabeth Spence £3,000.00 + VAT
Jennifer Lee £3,000.00 + VAT
Stuart Snow £2,500.00 + VAT
Paul Mertens £2,500.00 + VAT

“I was very relieved to settle that case and as always he cut through the nonsense quickly and getting such a sensible indication was a big help to the parties in successfully reaching a conclusion.”

Managing Partner for one of the parties in a recent Private FDR hearing – (Mr Geoffrey Kelly acting as the Private FDR Judge)


“To consider and, if possible, use ADR is an absolute must in modern family law practice. Pump Court Chambers excels in this area, and has never disappointed me with its immensely strong team of highly ranked barristers available to sit as judge/arbitrator or represent clients in private FDRs, early neutral evaluations and the like. At a recent private FDR, we benefitted from a Pump Court Judge and Counsel. Counsel was impeccably prepared, as always, but particular mention must go to the Judge for her strong grasp of the facts and nuances of the case. Her indication was firm, clear and well-reasoned, laying down the path for the parties to have further negotiations. She was available all day, as and when required by the parties and their legal teams, and I have no doubt that this flexible approach was key to settlement being achieved on the day. This is about much more than replicating a Court FDR in more pleasant surroundings. It’s about a neutral expert having the time to deal with a case fully and properly, and giving the parties the benefit of a high quality indication about the outcome of their case. Worth its weight in gold”

Jennifer Williamson, Partner Blake Morgan

Instructing Us

Would you like to know more?

If you require help or advice please contact our clerking team.

Call +44 (0)20 7353 0711 or email clerks@pumpcourtchambers.com.

Clerk: James Collier
Telephone: +44(0)20 7427 7082
Email: Click here


Shortlist Builder


Select the legal services that you would like to download or add to the shortlist

Download Add to shortlist
Shortlist close
Title Type CV Email

Remove All


Click here to email this list.