Private FDR Judge


It is important that you read and understand the following terms and conditions. By booking me as a private FDR Judge you are confirming at that point that you have read, understood, accepted and agreed the terms and conditions; and intend and consent to them as the contractual basis on which you instruct me. The agreement between us for me to provide the FDR service comes into effect once I accept your instructions/booking, which I will do by confirming their receipt, the FDR date and your payment .



Fees


The fixed fee for a private FDR is £1,500 (unless a different fee is agreed between us in writing) payable in full upon booking. See the Terms and Conditions for more detail.

If you consider (and I agree) that your case does not require the same time-frame or preparation, or if you would like a private FDR at the weekend or in the evening, this may be possible subject to agreement on fees, format and location. Please contact me to discuss.

Terms & Conditions


1) You book the private FDR as a joint instruction agreed by the parties, your clients. It shall take place by telephone, video or at an in-person conference, format to be agreed and confirmed at the time of booking; booking may be by telephone or email, but shall always be confirmed jointly by email; and you will provide me with any venue address then. I will come to your chosen venue at no extra cost to the parties (unless it is outside Sussex) and shall arrive by 9.30am ready for a 10am start.Any telephone or video FDR shall be set up by you and emailed to me by way of invite link or I will be joined in to any telephone conference call (eg BT Meet Me) at 10am.That telephone or video facility shall be your responsibility and expense (if any) as with any physical venue.

2) An FDR Bundle (not compressed) will be emailed to me no later than 12pm midday the day before the FDR and will include Position Statements, a Schedule of Assets and all Offers. If there are developments and updates between then and the private FDR, they will be emailed to me as soon as possible before the FDR and I will ensure they are read before we start.Depending on when I receive these, it may mean starting later than 10am and my using some of the scheduled FDR window to read updates first. You are encouraged to continue negotiations during this time.

3) You accept that my indication may be limited if I consider there is insufficient or missing information, but I will use my best endeavours to make the FDR as effective as possible.

4) If the FDR takes place in person, an unmarked paper Bundle will also be provided for me on arrival.I will return this to you before I leave the premises.

5) I shall be available between 10am-4pm (unless we agree a different time frame).

6) If you settle or conclude discussions before 4pm, the fixed fee still applies.

7) I cannot and do not give advice, I am not hearing evidence or making any findings or determinations, my view is not binding, nor is it a guarantee of approval by the court,or of the outcome if you proceed through the court for a final order.Any person present at the FDR may disagree with my indication which is not actionable in itself (without prejudice to any statutory rights) as it is a view you and your clients have sought as part of the private FDR process and all present accept the risk of receiving an indication they may not agree with and which you will have prepared your clients for.The indication is given orally at the FDR and not in writing.

8) If you agree terms at the private FDR, I cannot formally approve and make an order, the parties may choose to sign a written agreement, heads of agreement or drafted consent order drawn up by you that day or subsequently and it is your responsibility to submit any order to the court for approval, I have no responsibility for the parties’ paperwork.It is possible the court may not approve the terms or may have questions about the proposed settlement, regardless of my indication, which remains without prejudice and confidential.

9) If no agreement is reached at FDR and proceedings are underway, it is for you to report back to the court.I play no further part in your case after the private FDR.

10) The total fixed cost of the private FDR (please see Fees)  is £1,500 unless we agree a different fee in writing. It is usually shared equally between the parties but that is for you to agree. The fee is payable in full by instructing Solicitors at the time of booking and if it remains unpaid within 7 days of booking, the appointment will be removed from my diary with no obligation for me to provide the proposed FDR.The fee includes pre-reading of papers and any travel to an in-person FDR within Sussex.If I attend a venue outside Sussex, travel expenses at an agreed sum are added to the total fee. A telephone or video FDR will be set up by you and shall take place at no cost to me, the same applies to any physical venue you choose which is your financial responsibility.I will supply bank details (payment is by bank transfer) upon receipt of the booking request.

Cancellation


11.1) If you cancel the private FDR after 12 midday, the day before it is scheduled the fee paid is non-refundable as I may have started reading papers and in any event, it will be too late for me to fill the now vacant FDR day. This includes payment for any travel fares I may have already purchased in advance (eg train tickets) regardless of venue, i.e. inside or outside Sussex, unless a refund can be obtained from the provider.

11.2) Earlier cancellation by you (i.e. prior to midday on the day before FDR) entitles you to a full refund which I will provide within 14 days of cancellation, unless we agree a rescheduled FDR in which case the fee will be retained; but again any advance travel tickets already purchased for a venue inside or outside Sussex, shall be deducted first unless a full travel refund can be obtained from the provider.

11.3) If a party or legal representative does not turn up on the day and you or I decide that an effective FDR cannot take place, the fee paid is non-refundable. Failure by a party or legal representative to attend by 11am without explanation, is a cancellation on the day at that point and there is no obligation for me to wait or to provide the FDR thereafter. A late or delayed FDR may proceed on the day by agreement between all parties including myself, but you accept this may not be fully effective if less time than planned is available.

11.4) If I have to cancel the private FDR for any reason, my only liability to you whatsoever, is a full refund, payable within14 days of cancellation, unless we agree a rescheduled FDR in which case the fee will be retained.

11.5) If any refund is due, you will jointly confirm instructions as to how and where it is payable (i.e. to one firm or in equal or other shares) and supply bank details.


12) If an in-person private FDR is booked, you will forthwith notify me of any Covid related issues that might require us to convert to a remote FDR instead . You will ensure any physical meeting space is Covid-compliant.

13) All discussions (and paperwork) and the indication given at the private FDR, are confidential and without prejudice. .I will treat the information I receive confidentially (see privacy policy) and will delete the e-Bundle as well as any other email communications. I will return any paper Bundle at the end of the FDR and will not retain to any details (save names and booking details for my business records) after conclusion of the FDR.

14) The private FDR shall not be recorded by any person present.

15) You agree to be bound by the privacy policy set out in this website.

Complaints


If you wish to make a complaint please email me.  I will reply within 7 days to let you know how your complaint will be handled and will endeavour to resolve any complaint with you amicably. 

To be clear, you have accepted that disagreement with any indication I give at the private FDR is not actionable, it is a view you have sought as part of the private FDR process and is not a guarantee of the outcome or of approval by the Court. Not being in agreement with my view therefore, is not in itself a valid complaint.