Private FDR and Early Neutral Evaluation

The problem

Delay in awaiting hearings is a regrettable feature of the current court system, inevitably leading to increased cost and stress.

The solution

Private Financial Dispute Resolution appointments (in finance cases) and Early Neutral Evaluations (in both children and finance cases) address this head-on.  The basic idea of each is that the parties engage a barrister (or solicitor) of their choosing to read the papers and hear the legal arguments each wishes to present.  Then the barrister will express a view as to the court’s likely approach were the case to proceed further.  The parties then negotiate, informed by the barrister’s view.  They will usually settle.

In finance cases, an additional benefit of a private FDR is that it replaces the court-based FDR which the parties would otherwise be obliged to attend. The great advantage of the private FDR is that it takes place at a time of your choosing, in comfortable surroundings and with your appointed barrister’s undivided attention.  Settlement rates are widely considered to be much higher than following a court-based FDR.

Private FDRs and ENEs are a suitable and cost-effective option in the great majority of cases, indeed might be thought particularly apt where the costs of continuing litigation are becoming unaffordable or disproportionate.

How 4PB can help

Unusually, 4PB has market-leading expertise in both money and children work and our large team of barristers – which includes a large number of part-time judges – means there will always be an appropriate option whatever the issues and whatever level of seniority is required.

Private FDRs and ENEs can be held at any stage of ongoing proceedings. 4PB barristers are also increasingly instructed pre-proceedings, to see if litigation can be avoided altogether.


Early Neutral Evaluators


Charles Hale KC – (Finance / Children / International Children / Court of Protection)

Barbara Mills KC – (Children / International Children)

Alex Verdan KC – (Children / International Children)

Alison Grief KC – (Children)

Piers Pressdee KC – (Children)

Catherine Wood KC – (Children / International Children)

Rex Howling KC – (Finance / Children / International Children)

Christopher Hames KC – (Finance / Children / International Children)

Ruth Kirby KC – (Children / International Children)

Joy Brereton KC – (Children)

Judith Murray KC – (Finance / Children / International Children)

Dorothea Gartland KC – (Children)

Sally Bradley – (Court of Protection)

Katharine Bundell – (Finance / Children)

Nicholas Fairbank – (Finance)

Harry Gates – (Finance / Children)

Katie Wood – (Finance / Children)

Rebecca Foulkes – (Children / International Children)

Kate Van Rol – (Finance / Children)

Francesca Dowse – (Finance / Children)

Samantha Woodham – (Finance / Children)

Henry Clayton – (Finance)

Michael Edwards – (Children / International Children)

Harry Nosworthy – (Finance)

Specialist Private FDR and Early Neutral Evaluation Barristers