Family

Finance and Property

Our expert family finance practitioners have a long-standing reputation as highly successful advisors and advocates in financial disputes. A number of members of the team are recognised as leaders in their field by successive editions of legal directories. Several are also published authors of legal practitioners’ texts and regularly deliver continuing professional development training on current topics. The team is led by Anthony Hajimitsis who solely practices in financial remedy cases and is described as “first choice counsel in cases involving financial remedies” (Chambers & Partners).

Members are recognised nationally for their expertise in ToLATA and Cohabitation cases. The team have conducted and are familiar with financial remedy and arbitration hearings. A number of our barristers are also trained as collaborative mediators.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Financial remedies (matrimonial and non-matrimonial)

  • Financial provision for children

  • Financial provision after overseas divorce

  • Private FDR's and DRA's

  • Prenuptial, postnuptial and separation agreements

  • Cohabitation Rights

  • ToLATA

  • Divorce and dissolution

  • Forced marriage

  • Inheritance and family provision

  • Injunctions

  • Recognition and enforcement of foreign and English orders

Private FDR's and DRA's

Zenith Chambers is proud to be the first barristers’chambers in Leeds now offering a full private FDR service (Financial Dispute Resolution) for financial remedy cases and a full private DRA (Dispute Resolution Appointment) service for children cases, with a choice of counsel and location. 

We are committed to ensuring that our clients are able to choose the best means of resolution of their family law disputes, and can now offer mediation, collaborative law and private FDRs and DRAs, in addition to our traditional advice and representation services.

A private FDR in matrimonial or other Family Finance disputes will be conducted by specialist financial remedy Counsel.
A private DRA in disputes about children will be conducted by specialist private children law Counsel, including those who sit as judges in these cases.

Private FDRs and DRAs can be held in Zenith’s centrally-located chambers or at a location of the parties’ choice anywhere in the UK, ensuring that the venue is both comfortable and convenient.

Objective of the FDR and the DRA

To assist parties to resolve cases by agreement through an ‘early neutral evaluation’ of the likely outcome should the case progress to a final hearing.

Why consider a private FDR or DRA?

The court service is overstretched, and beset with delay and inefficiency.

This can give rise to an unnecessarily lengthy wait, often many months, between the first appointment and FDR, and between the FHDRA and court DRA.

All too frequently, court FDRs and court DRAs are listed before judges who have had insufficient time to read the papers properly and have little time on the day to assist the parties, or before a deputy district judge who has limited, if any, experience of financial remedy or private children litigation.

The allocation of judge to hear the FDR or DRA is completely unpredictable, even when a judge has listed it before themselves.

Some court centres on circuit continue to list FDRs and DRAs as afternoon appointments, which places substantial additional pressure on the parties through the limited allocation of court time.

Within the court process, it is necessary to be already in proceedings for an FDR or a DRA to take place, and to comply with the standard court timetable, even where full disclosure may have been exchanged many months before.

What are the advantages of a private FDR or DRA?

It will be conducted by Counsel who:

- you and your client have chosen,

- is a specialist in the field in question, whether financial remedies, financial provision for children, TOLATA or private law children disputes,

- has thoroughly read the pre-hearing papers and prepared for the day,

- has sufficient time to consider and reflect upon each party’s position, so as to provide a fair and meaningful neutral evaluation of the case,

- can assist throughout the day as required and as negotiations progress.

Each FDR and DRA will be listed for one day (comparable with hearings before a High Court judge in the Family Court) which provides a more measured timescale for the FDR/DRA and for subsequent negotiations to take place.

We can offer second or subsequent Private FDR hearings where negotiations are continuing.

We can also offer a pre-proceedings private FDR service, particularly important for those considering whether to issue proceedings.

Our facilities

We have spacious meeting rooms available in which to conduct your private FDR, as well as private rooms for discussion with your representatives. If required, these rooms can be available for your use throughout the day until the conclusion of the process. There is no additional charge for use of our chambers’ facilities and refreshments.

The team and fees

All fees are based on max two lever arch files, and are for a full day.

Finance:

Name                                                    Year of Call                                        Fee

Anthony Hajimitsis                                  1984                                    £2500-3000 + VAT

Roger Bickerdike                                     1986                                    £2500-3000 + VAT

Dornier Whittaker                                    1994                                        £2000 + VAT

Marisa Allman                                         1998                                        £2000 + VAT

Children:

Name                                                    Year of Call                                        Fee

Jayne Pye                                                  1995                                        £2000 + VAT

Marisa Allman                                          1998                                        £2000 + VAT

Louise McCallum                                     1999                                        £2000 + VAT

Please contact Rebecca Hartley, Senior Family Clerk for further information about Private FDR's or DRA's.

For more information on any member of the team please contact our clerks:

Rebecca Hartley (Senior Clerk) 0113 245 5438 

email: rhartley@zenithchambers.co.uk

Laura Myers (Junior Clerk) 0113 245 5438 

email: lmyers@zenithchambers.co.uk

Molly Larkin (Family Billing Clerk) 0113 245 5438

email: mlarkin@zenithchambers.co.uk

Current Awareness

By the Family team

Upcoming Events

Testimonials

‘Unflappable, fearless and direct.’

Legal 500 (2017)

‘Quality set Zenith Chambers’

Legal 500 (2017)