Arbitration.

Family Law Arbitration Lawyers.

The most cost-effective, efficient, and stress-free way to resolve almost all divorce or relationship breakdown situations is for the former partners to amicably agree on the terms of separation themselves.

When this is not possible, arbitration usually represents a cheaper and easier alternative to court proceedings.

An arbitrator will manage the evidence that needs to be gathered by the parties then review that evidence and, after a hearing, make a legally binding decision. The arbitrator, as an independent expert in family law, will have the knowledge and experience to unravel even the most complex situations, and will provide the certainty and closure of a court decision, but with significant advantages.

Arbitration proceedings can deal with the full range of issues which may arise on separation, including how your assets should be distributed and arrangements for any children of the relationship.

We have a wealth of experience supporting people through the arbitration process. Contact us today to discuss your options.

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is one type of alternative dispute resolution, which can be used instead of going to Court to settle a disagreement.  It is also possible to adjourn existing court proceedings, either by agreement or by the court ordering it, to go to arbitration.  An independent arbitrator takes on the role of the judge, reviewing the evidence, hearing arguments from each side, and making a legally binding decision. Decisions on some child-related issues, financial and property disputes can be determined through arbitration.

Both parties need to agree to the arbitration process (unless the court orders it on the request of one party in existing proceedings), and formally commit to abide by the arbitrator’s decisions. If one party fails to follow the terms of the decision, legal proceedings can be taken to enforce it.

Our Family Arbitration Expertise

We are proud of our reputation as one of the leading family law teams in England and Wales. Our team understands the complexity and sensitivity of divorce proceedings, and we approach our work with compassion and emotional intelligence, as well as a deep knowledge of the law and a rigorous determination to achieve the best result for our clients.

Chambers UK & Legal 500 Recommendations

Rated in Band 1 in the 2024 edition of Chambers UK, and referenced in the 2024 edition of The Legal 500, we have the experience and understanding to find the right solution to any issues that arise. We are well-connected across the industry and can advise you on the best choice of arbitrator for your circumstances.

NFU & Armed Forces Covenant Partnerships

As collaborative law specialists, we know how powerful alternative dispute resolution solutions can be, especially in emotionally charged situations. We always take the time to fully understand your circumstances and provide bespoke tailored advice. This commitment is clear from appointment to the NFU’s legal panel and our role in the Armed Forces Covenant partnership. Our team will be by your side throughout the process, providing sensitive, pro-active advice to ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

Your Family Arbitration questions answered

What are the advantages of the arbitration process?

Cost

Although there is a cost to appointing an arbitrator, that is almost always outweighed by the savings you make in legal costs due to the shorter overall process. Arbitration is usually quicker than the court system, making it more cost-effective.

Not only that, but you are also free to only use an arbitrator for certain specific elements of the process. By limiting the scope of the proceedings, you can save a great deal of time and money.

Control

Unlike going to court, where you must abide by the location and timescales mandated by the court, you retain much more control of the arbitration process. You will be involved in choosing the location of the meetings, and even whether you need to meet in person or remotely. Some arbitration proceedings are conducted in writing, in circumstances where the parties do not wish to meet.

By using arbitration, you also have control over the person presiding over proceedings. Not all judges who hear family law cases are family law experts. When you choose an arbitrator, you can select someone with extensive experience in family law matters. Typically, senior solicitors and barristers who work as family law arbitrators are passionate about this area of law and the arbitration process, so will be committed to achieving a successful outcome.

Confidentiality

The parties in arbitration proceedings can agree to keep the details of the negotiations confidential, unlike a public Court process. This can be beneficial in circumstances where you would prefer that your family and financial circumstances were not disclosed.

Continuity

Court proceedings cannot guarantee that you will be before the same judge throughout the process; you may well find that a different judge presides over different hearings. When you appoint an arbitrator, you ensure that you will have continuity throughout the process – the same person will deal with each stage of negotiations, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of the circumstances.

Time

Such is the current pressure on court time, family cases are taking up to 6 months to reach the initial hearing stage – final hearings, requiring a full day in court, are taking longer. Arbitration offers a much quicker means of resolving your dispute and finalising the situation.

Certainty

The pressure the courts are under is such that all financial final hearings are “at risk”, meaning the hearing can be delayed if a public law case involving a child requires court time. This can happen as close to 48 hours before the scheduled hearing. At such an emotional and stressful time, the certainty of an arbitration process you control can be hugely beneficial.

Is arbitration the right choice for everyone?

There may be circumstances where an arbitrator might not have sufficient powers to achieve your goals – in cases where evidence from third parties is required, or when you suspect your partner is trying to hide or dispose of assets. In such cases, the additional powers available to the court may be required.
In the majority of cases, however, we would advise parties to at least consider arbitration as an alternative to court proceedings, for all the reasons set out above.

Are there alternatives to arbitration?

A less formal, and even more flexible alternative to arbitration is mediation. Mediation involves an impartial third party assisting you in negotiations with your former partner. The mediator is trained in supporting people in conflict to resolve their differences, but, unlike an arbitrator, they will not make any decisions for you. The agreement you reach through mediation will be signed by both parties, but it is not legally binding.
More information on mediation is available here, or you can contact our expert family law mediation solicitors to discuss your options.

How are arbitration proceedings arranged?

We have extensive experience in arbitration proceedings and can manage the process from start to finish. From an initial discussion about your particular circumstances, where we can advise whether arbitration is a suitable option, to selecting the right arbitrator and agreeing fees, we have the contacts and understanding of the system to guide the way.
We will handle all the procedural and administrative elements of the process and will be side your side during proceedings to help safeguard your interests. Contact us today to discuss whether arbitrator is a suitable process for you.

Testimonials

What our clients say.

I would not hesitate to recommend LB Solicitors to anyone needing guidance and representation for family law or divorce proceedings. My solicitor was thorough and diligent, balancing professional rigour with fairness, reasonableness and sensitivity. I feel this approach helped me to obtain a satisfactory settlement avoiding costly and unnecessary conflict.

Jon
via ReviewSolicitors

Since dealing with Lanyon Bowdler they have been diligent, efficient and at all times very helpful along with being structured in dealing with matters, fees and clarity on all levels. Thank you.

Michael
via ReviewSolicitors

I was clearly informed of progress step by step. The service you provided was very good.

Peter Weston
Shrewsbury

All work carried out effectively and efficiently.

Hubert Jones
via ReviewSolicitors

An excellent service with solicitors that you can talk to and who give you a clear understanding of all necessary legal implications and interpretations.

Eric
via ReviewSolicitors

From start to finish we had excellent service. Friendly, approachable and professional.

Carl Gittins
via ReviewSolicitors

Used Lanyon Bowdler for conveyancing and for legal advice – both solicitors I worked with were effective and professional. Law firm was fast and responsive to queries and clear pricing.

Samantha
via ReviewSolicitors

Very clear, concise advice and guidance, easy to understand.

Ian Jamieson
Telford

Good service provided throughout with clear communication throughout with all options explored.

Lee

I was impressed with the forensic approach to identifying, securing, assessing and presenting evidence over the two years that it took to finally resolve the issue.

Timothy
via ReviewSolicitors

I can thoroughly recommend the highly professional and supportive service received over the last few months.

Heather
via ReviewSolicitors

Responsive, supportive, approachable, clear and empathetic.

Lisa Thacker

Professional and prompt communication. Supportive and client focused.

Lisa Thacker
Jennifer M Whittall Ltd

Whenever I have had need to contact Lanyon Bowdler I have always received a fast, concise and friendly response.

Lee Mortimer
UK Case Management

Definitely would use Lanyon Bowdler again if I need the use of a solicitor.

Mark Bowkett
via ReviewSolicitors

Smooth and efficient service from very professional firm.

Tim
via ReviewSolicitors

We were particularly impressed with the quality of work, the speed and excellent communication.

Allenby Douglas Ltd
Oswestry

Very friendly and approachable. Very good advice

Ivor Brown
via ReviewSolicitors

Great Service; Lanyon Bowdler were excellent from the outset. Straightforward and easy process. I just sat back and waited.

Paul Rowe
via ReviewSolicitors

Everything has been professional, efficient and courteous throughout and we are very pleased, both with the service and with the eventual outcome of our case. Everything was first class and exceeded our expectations. Thank you again for providing such splendid service. It is really appreciated.

Mr N J & Dr S J Browne
Llanfyllin

Contact Lanyon Bowdler

Our solicitors specialising in family law can help you reach a favourable outcome for your case through expert arbitration techniques. From our offices in Shrewsbury, Bromyard, Conwy, Hereford, Ludlow, Oswestry and Telford, we support individuals in family arbitration cases all over Shropshire, Herefordshire, Mid and North Wales and across the Midlands.

With Lanyon Bowdler by your side, you are always guaranteed tailored and expert legal advice, in any circumstance. Our solicitors have decades of experience in all matters related to family law, and build long-standing relationships with clients thanks to our outstanding standard of service. We always aim for the best possible outcome for all parties, while keeping your interests our priority.

Our full-service law firm helps clients across England and Wales. Contact Lanyon Bowdler today to find out how we can help you.

Our people

Meet the team.

Sue Hodgson
Sue Hodgson
Partner
Family Law
Jon Moriarty
Jon Moriarty
Partner
Family Law
Philippa Pearson
Philippa Pearson
Partner
Family Law
Georgia Rowney
Georgia Rowney
Legal Assistant
Family Law
Lizzie Cross
Lizzie Cross
Trainee Solicitor
Family
Mia Williams
Mia Williams
Trainee Solicitor
Family Law
Anne Lewis
Anne Lewis
Associate Legal Executive (FCILEX)
Family Law
Lisa Grimmett
Lisa Grimmett
Associate Solicitor
Family Law
Caroline Yorke
Caroline Yorke
Associate Solicitor
Family Law
Fiona Cooper
Fiona Cooper
Legal Assistant
Family Law
Rachel Tomley
Rachel Tomley
Solicitor
Family Law
Erin Payne
Erin Payne
Paralegal Apprentice
Family Law
Staci Robinson
Staci Robinson
Associate Solicitor
Family Law
Laura Jones
Laura Jones
Solicitor
Family Law
Knowledge

Case studies.

Knowledge

Latest knowledge.

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Appointing Guardians for Children in the Event of your Death – Sioned Williams and Caroline Yorke

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Pitfalls and Problems in Family Law Cases – Jon Moriarty and Caroline Yorke

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Published • 13 Nov 2023
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Divorce and Pensions – Caroline Yorke and Ian Conlon

Caroline speaks with Ian Conlon from IWC Actuarial; an actuary specialising in providing expert reports in relation to f...
Published • 23 Oct 2023
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How to Help your Solicitor – Jon Moriarty and Caroline Yorke

Caroline and Jon explain how being prepared with key information and having relevant documents to hand may ultimately re...
Published • 09 Oct 2023
Blog

DIY Divorce and Pensions

Frequently, we are approached by a spouse who has already started a divorce application themselves and/or reached a...
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Blog

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Following the introduction of “no-fault” divorce in England and Wales on 6 April 2022, spouses who are separating m...
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We have seen a number of cases where, following a final order being made by the court, the relevant documentation h...
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It is important, where the parents are separated or there are court orders in place, to check the position since, i...
Caroline Yorke • 14 Jul 2023
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