Dispute Resolution

For over 35 years, One Pump Court barristers have been specialists in helping individuals resolve legal issues affordably, swiftly and simply.  Our dispute resolution team offers a full range of dispute resolution services. These services are an alternative way of resolving disputes practically and fairly without resorting to court proceedings. We offer:

  • Mediation (including international mediation)
  • Arbitration (available internationally applying English law)
  • Integrated Dispute Resolution (combining the above)
  • Early Neutral Evaluation

For more information on the dispute resolution services we provide or to arrange an appointment please click here or contact our dispute resolution clerk, Scott Haley, on 0207 842 7070.

Mediation is a confidential and methodical process designed to make difficult decisions easier. The mediator will meet with those involved in the dispute. He or she will help to identify all of the issues which need to be resolved, guide the parties through the options available to resolve them, and then work on building a consensus. It is appropriate for any type of family law matter and can be used at any stage of the dispute.

Unlike many mediators, all our mediators are also practicing family barristers who deal with difficult family disputes on a daily basis: they know what problems can arise, how to deal with them once they’ve arisen, and how to protect people from further problems arising in the future.

For more information on mediation or to arrange an appointment please click here or contact our dispute resolution clerk, Scott Haley, on 0207 842 7070.

Arbitration is a process similar to going to Court, but with a number of advantages. Our Arbitrators can give you a fair and legally binding decision. They have the powers of a court without the delay and cost of court proceeding.

A case which would take many months in court proceedings can often be resolved, confidentially, in a matter of weeks before an arbitrator.  The parties, with the guidance of the arbitrator, agree a procedure which meets their needs, or can adopt a fuller court-type process but without the delays and administrative oversights which so often plague court proceedings.

The arbitrator can adapt the process to the needs of your particular case. Any hearings can usually be arranged around your work or childcare commitments at a place convenient to you.

Arbitration is suitable for all financial disputes, and will soon be available for cases dealing with the arrangements for children.  At present, the IFLA scheme includes:

(a)   Financial remedies following divorce (formerly “ancillary relief”);
(b)   Property disputes between cohabitees.
(c)    Property and maintenance disputes between parents.  Child Support Maintenance

Once the arbitrator has made an award, the Court will convert the award into a formal court order through an expedited process.  They will have routes of appeal open to them just they would following court proceedings.  Unless there is something very wrong with the arbitrator’s award (in similar circumstances to where a court judgment could be appealed), a court will uphold the arbitral award and the parties will be bound by it.

Ordinarily, arbitrators (once appointed) have the same powers to make directions and orders as a High Court Judge.  The arbitrator can therefore order disclosure and expert evidence in the same way as a court would, and can make all the final orders available to the court.  The courts and arbitrators co-operate, so that if the parties need access to a power of the court which is not available to the arbitrator (usually injunctions or enforcements orders, such as freezing orders or committal to prison for contempt of court), an urgent application can be made to a judge on that discrete issue.  The final order is enforceable in all the same ways as a normal court order, and in a number of additional ways.

Members of the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators are experienced family lawyers, who following judicial references, training and assessment, have been appointed to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and are regulated by it.  They have to decide the case in the same fair, independent way as a judge would.

One of the great strengths of arbitration is that you can having a binding order in English law anywhere in the world, without ever having to travel to the UK.  If the parties are both in different countries or parts of the same country, the arbitrator can conduct the arbitration using all available forms of technology.

If an oral hearing in the presence of both parties is necessary, the arbitrator can travel to a convenient location for the parties, rather than the parties coming to court.

Wherever in the world the arbitration physically happens, the “seat” of the arbitration (i.e. applicable law) will be in London, UK.

One advantage of an arbitral award over a court order is that it can be registered and enforced in many countries across the world as if it were an order made in that jurisdiction.  This can be a significant advantage over an order made by the English courts.  Thus, arbitration will often be preferable where parties have properties in several jurisdictions.

For more information on arbitration or to arrange an appointment please click here or contact our dispute resolution clerk, Scott Haley, on 0207 842 7070.

Early neutral evaluation is a process in which an experienced barrister with specialist knowledge and skills is invited to evaluate your case or any particular issues in it. The opinion is non-binding but provides an unbiased evaluation on relative positions and guidance as to the likely outcome should the case be heard in court. Usually this is done after seeing the papers, but if the parties wish the barrister to have a meeting with the parties to test their factual accounts, this can be arranged. Early neutral evaluations can be given in cases dealing with the arrangements for children and financial issues.

For more information on early neutral evaluation or to arrange an appointment please click here or contact our dispute resolution clerk, Scott Haley, on 0207 842 7070.

Integrated Dispute Resolution means mediation in combination with our other services. It allows us to offer you a uniquely joined up-service, dealing with all aspects of your dispute from beginning to end. We offer a range of options for every situation and budget.

With IDR you can do one or more of the following:

  • Combine mediation and arbitration
    You may want to give mediation the best possible chances of success but also have the peace of mind of knowing that you won’t have to go to court, even if some issues cannot be agreed. You can achieve this by agreeing to appoint an arbitrator before the mediation begins, but not starting to arbitrate unless the mediation breaks down.
  • Combine mediation and an “early neutral evaluation” from a jointly instructed barrister.
    Although mediators can give you legal information, you will sometimes want an assessment of the evidence and circumstances by a barrister so that you know the range of likely outcomes which might result from court proceedings. If you are not sure whether an early neutral evaluation will be helpful in your case, you can discuss it with the mediator.
  • Combine mediation and independent legal advice
    Although the mediator is also a qualified barrister and can give you neutral legal information, they cannot advise either or you individually on what is the best deal for you. It is therefore advisable to have independent legal advice during the mediation or, at least before finalising any agreement.

For more information on integrated dispute resolution or to arrange an appointment please click here or contact our dispute resolution clerk, Scott Haley, on 0207 842 7070.

Barristers specialising in this area

Key Contacts

Practice Manager Family
Scott Haley

Telephone 020 7842 7070, Out of hours emergency telephone 0777 423 8444 (solicitors only), Email clerks@onepumpcourt.co.uk