A private FDR is held on the same principles as a court-based FDR and carries the same value but also has several advantages, as there are drawbacks with the court experience.
Even when an effective FDR takes place in court, there is limited hearing and judicial reading time, as it will be one of several cases in a busy list. Court FDRs are usually listed for only an hour.
Since Covid, the courts have had to adjourn some FDRs which can mean loss of momentum and opportunity for settlement, also long delays as it may be months before the case is re-scheduled. This in turn delays trial and therefore closure. It also adds to costs. Parties generally have to wait a long time for their case to be finalised if they do not reach an agreement. The wait is just longer now.
Adjournment by the court may happen because historically, FDRs were bloc-listed at the same time (e.g. 3x1 hour FDRs at 10am) but telephone and video hearings post Covid, are set up at specific times and generally take longer because of technical arrangements, so usually less of them can take place in a day. When listed in the court building at the same time, there is delay while parties wait for their case to be heard and hearings tend to run over in time. Even where FDRs are taking place in court buildings again, there are less of them whilst social distancing practices require gaps between cases.