We offer family arbitration under the Children’s and Family Arbitration Scheme for any children, financial and property dispute arising from a family relationship.

Family arbitration is a highly flexible and effective method dealing with family disputes, whether this is for the whole case or just one part of it. It is entirely confidential, saves time (there is no need to wait for a court date) and is tailor made to suit all parties. 

Arbitration can be used at any point in family litigation, whether that is before proceedings have begun or after. It is a very effective way to resolve negotiations if they have stalled. It can take place at an agreed location although we have facilities to hold hearings at our Central London and South West London offices. 

Our arbitrator, Fiona Read is able to arbitrate in the following types of cases:

  • internal relocation
  • child arrangement orders, covering where children live and who they spend time with
  • holiday arrangements
  • change of name issues
  • education disputes
  • prohibited steps and specific issue orders
  • financial relief in divorce and dissolution cases (under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004)
  • financial relief following an overseas divorce (under Part lll of the Matrimonial f Family Proceedings Act 1984)
  • claims for financial provision for children covering both capital and income (Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989)
  • claims relating to interest in property, (Trust of Land & Trustee Act of 1996 and the Married Women's Property Act 1882)
  • claims for financial provision following death (the Inheritance Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975)

Our arbitrator

Our arbitrator Fiona Read, Partner in the family team, has extensive experience in family work for over 25 years. She is highly regarded in her field and sits as a part time District Judge. She is also a mediator and has a good understanding of the dynamics of the court room setting and face to face negotiation. Fiona has been trained as one of the first IFLA credited Family Law Arbitrators.

Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA)

IFLA is a not for profit organisation, created by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), the Family Law Bar Association, and the family lawyers’ group Resolution, in association with the Centre for Child and Family Law Reform.


The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)

CIArb is the world’s leading professional membership body for arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. A not-for-profit organisation, CIArb promotes the use of alternative dispute resolution internationally through a membership of 12,000 professionally qualified members in more than 110 countries. In addition to providing education and training for arbitrators, mediators and adjudicators, CIArb acts as an international resource centre for practitioners, policy makers, academics and those in business concerned with the cost-effective and early settlement of disputes.


Russell-Cooke ranked as Top 25 family law firm in UK

Russell-Cooke has been recognised as one of the Top 25 Family Law Firms in the UK by eprivateclient, a leading news service for private client practitioners. 


Fees for family arbitration are usually charged on a fixed fee basis, with a fee for preparation for the arbitration hearing and then a fixed fee per day that the arbitration hearing continues. Rooms in which to hold arbitration hearings are available at both our Putney and Bedford Row offices.

Alternatively fees can be charged on an hourly basis depending on the case, which is likely to be more suitable for paper applications and discrete issues.