Russell-Cooke welcomes the new Family Law Arbitration Scheme, launched today, 26 March 2012. 

Family arbitration gives separating and divorcing couples a new way of resolving their financial and property disputes. Until now, if a separating couple have not reached agreement on a financial settlement, whether through mediation or negotiation, their only recourse has been to go to court. This process is often expensive, time consuming and stressful.  These problems have been worsened by cutbacks in the public sector, with the likelihood of cases taking longer to be heard. 

Under the new Family Law Arbitration Scheme, couples going through divorce and separation will instead be able to agree to go through an arbitration process, in which their cases will be decided by a qualified family law arbitrator, in a similar way that parties do now in commercial disputes. Amongst other advantages, the separating couple will have more control over the timetable and procedure, which is expected to lead to much faster resolution of disputes at lower overall cost.

Russell-Cooke partner and Head of the Family team, Fiona Read is one of a select few newly qualified family arbitrators in the country. She has been a solicitor specialising in family law for over 25 years and a mediator for 15 years. She also sits as a part time district judge and is now a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. 

Fiona believes that the new arbitration service will prove 'popular' and will 'particularly appeal to people who do not want to spend time and excessive amounts of money on legal argument over their financial affairs'. 

Find out more about our family arbitration services.