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Private FDRs - Private Financial Dispute Resolution Solicitors


When trying to agree a financial settlement, court proceedings can often feel overwhelming, stressful and emotionally draining but the lawyers at Lanyon Bowdler can help. We will do everything in our power to help you find a solution away from the courts and can advise you on the different options including a Private Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR), to help you avoid lengthy and prolonged court proceedings and encourage an early and swift conclusion to your dispute.

For specialist legal advice, contact our trusted family lawyers today to find the best way forward for you and your loved ones.

What is a Private FDR?

A Private Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) is a means of reaching an agreement on your financial settlement away from the formality and protraction of the court process, which takes place in three stages:

First Appointment

This is an initial court hearing to identify the information that will be required and to determine a schedule and timescale for further hearings.

Financial Dispute Resolution Appointment (FDRA)

This is the second hearing to allow the evidence from both parties to be heard and considered by the court. An early agreement will be encouraged at this stage to avoid the need for further action.

Final Hearing

If a settlement has not been agreed by the two parties by this point, the judge will make a definitive and legally binding decision at the final hearing, based on all the evidence previously presented.

A Private FDR is a much quicker and more efficient process and is often concluded within a day. If both parties are willing to proceed, they hire a senior family lawyer, such as a judge or barrister, who will consider all the evidence and offer guidance on the likely judgment of a court.

They will have received all the relevant information prior to the appointment and will listen to the reasoning from each side. Negotiations between the opposing parties can then be carried out in a bid to reach a satisfactory settlement. Where an agreement cannot be reached, the judge will advise on the most suitable outcome to once again help the opposing parties reach a decision.

It is important to note that a Private FDR judge can only take an advisory role in these proceedings and will not be able to decide the case but, in the majority of instances, a settlement is reached based on this guidance.

A Private FDR is also known as an Early Neutral Evaluation and can be held before court proceedings have begun or very early on in the legal process. 

The benefits of choosing a Private FDR

By opting for a Private FDR, you can avoid the long and formal court procedure and the frustrating delays that can be characteristic of the process.  

You can choose the time and place of your meeting to keep matters as relaxed and informal as possible, and you are also able to select the person you wish to preside over the proceedings.

Although you and your former partner will have to cover the judge’s fees yourselves, this can often be the most cost-effective way of proceeding, avoiding unnecessary court appointments and delay, to bring about an earlier and more efficient conclusion.

Many of our clients find that a Private FDR is the best way of breaking the stalemate if their negotiations have broken down, and we are happy to advise on whether this is likely to work for you and your own particular circumstances.

How we can help

With a high level of experience in this area, the family law specialists at Lanyon Bowdler can act on your behalf at all stages of your Private FDR. We can help you to achieve the best financial settlement possible through meticulous preparation of the evidence, expert representation of your case in front of the judge and by providing honest and clear advice to you about your legal position and the best approach to the negotiations.

Our contacts right across the industry mean that we are able to advise you about appropriate legal experts who would be well-placed to listen to your case with the fairness and professionalism you should expect.

We are proud to be recognised as one of the region’s leading family law firms having been selected as one of the recommended legal practices The Legal 500 national guide and the most recent edition of Chambers UK.

This level of recognition is testament to the excellent level of service we provide and the outstanding results that we frequently achieve. 

Our legal team also includes accredited specialists of Resolution, the national organisation of family lawyers, as well as members of the Law Society Family Panel to provide you with reassurance that your financial settlement is in safe hands.

Why we care

While our lawyers are recognised as amongst the best family law specialists in the country, we also work on a very personal and human level. Ultimately we are people with families of our own, who understand fully the pressures that come with the breakdown of the family unit and want to utilise our skill and experience in this area to help.

We want to ensure the full legal process is as quick and as amicable as possible to minimise any distress and disruption caused to you and your family, so that you can move forward and create stability and security for the future.

What will it cost?

We are pleased to be able to offer our clients a variety of flexible payment plans from pay as you go arrangements and fixed fee agreements to traditional hourly charging rates, so that our services are accessible to all regardless of financial situation.

Contact us today

Lanyon Bowdler is recognised as one of the leading full-service law firms in the region and as such we can represent you wherever you are located.

With offices in Shrewsbury, Bromyard, Conwy, Hereford, Ludlow, Oswestry and Telford, our family law solicitors regularly see clients from right across Shropshire, Herefordshire, Mid and North Wales and the Midlands. Location is no barrier to being able to enlist our services however and we frequently act on behalf of clients nationally.

If you would like to find out more about how to resolve your family law dispute away from the court please don’t hesitate to contact us. Call now to speak to an experienced non-court resolution lawyer or complete the online enquiry form and one of the team will get back to you to discuss your query in more detail. For honest, helpful and reliable advice contact the family law experts today



I was impressed with the efficiency and welcome of staff. Excellent office layout and service.  

- Mrs S James & Mr W Parkinson, Telford

A warm welcome from the receptionist. Extremely impressed by all that have helped us, peace of mind for our future.

- Mr M Court & Mrs A May, Shrewsbury

Always very efficient in dealing with the workload and advice given in divorce. Would highly recommend the service I received. 

- Mrs Suzanne Purvin

Knowledge and information given was accurate and realistic.

- Mrs Eleanor Margaret Howells, Hereford

Very efficient, pleasant and fully explained. I am well satisfied.

- Mr Stephen Turner, Oswestry

Friendly atmosphere and very professional attitude. 

- Mr Sidney Jolliffe, Oswestry

Advice was sensible and informative. It allowed me to make the decisions with understanding potential concequences. 

- Mr Paul Simon Burgoyne, Hereford

They listened to my worries and my concerns, which put me at ease and made me feel that I completely had someone in my corner fighting for myself and children's best interests. 

- Miss Deborah Lisa Bradley, Shrewsbury & Oswestry

Case Studies

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