Financial Remedies Courts Coming to Chelmsford
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In the 18th View from the President’s Chambers, the President of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales, Sir James Munby, has set out in some detail his plans for the new Financial Remedies Courts (‘FRCs’), including plans to pilot the scheme in the South-East as early as Easter 2018.
On 1st December 2017, the President announced plans to introduce specialist courts to deal with financial remedies, which will include claims under:
- The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973
- Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989
- Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984
- The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
- The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996
We now know that the first three pilots of these new Financial Remedies Courts, in London, the West Midlands, and South-East Wales, are expected to launch in February 2018. Various other regions, including parts of the South-East, will follow after Easter.
The key points of the scheme will be:
- The appointment of a national Lead Judge and a deputy (Mostyn J and HHJ Hess respectively);
- Regional hubs, with a Lead Judge for each region;
- Cases to be heard by ‘ticketed’ Judges only with expertise in financial remedies;
- Cases to be heard at the regional hub and Financial Remedies Hearing Centres, with other courts being used only occasionally;
- A revised Form A, intended for use in all financial remedy proceedings, a draft of which has already been published;
- A revised Form E and practice directions (still being drafted at the time of writing);
Early allocation of cases to judges of appropriate levels.
At the time of writing, it is understood that the identification and appointment of Lead Judges is ongoing. Any Judge with experience of handling financial remedies cases will be eligible to sit in the FRC, but the President has indicated that those who take up the role can expect the majority of their work to be in the FRC.
Chelmsford County Court is provisionally intended to be a ‘hub’ for the South-East, with two further ‘hubs’ on the South-East circuit yet to be identified. Trinity Chambers may well, therefore, find itself at the centre of an early pilot, the results of which we are awaiting with interest.
Financial Remedy Advice in Chelmsford
While we will not know the results of the FRC pilots for several months, our barristers can offer you clear advice and representation in financial remedies cases immediately. Whether it is in relation to cases of divorce, child maintenance, inheritance, or another area of law, our trusted team in Chelmsford provide a dedicated service to reach your expected result.