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Resolution concerned that Financial Remedies Working Group report focuses on high net worth cases

Failure to reintroduce Calderbank offers is ‘a missed opportunity’

Resolution has welcomed the majority of the recommendations in the final report of the Financial Remedies Working Group (FRWG), but remains concerned that the report and its recommendations focus largely on the needs of high net worth families, rather than the average family court user.

The report, which can be downloaded here, is divided into four chapters:

Jo Edwards, chair of Resolution, commented:

"We welcome any move to make the family court more user-friendly, quicker to pass through and less expensive for court users, so we're pleased that the FRWG has taken on board some of our recommendations about appropriate streamlining. However, we still fear that the report's recommendations are most useful for cases involving wealthy litigants in contested proceedings. With more litigants in person coming before the courts than ever before, we would have liked to have seen the Working Group to delve more deeply into the issues facing the average court user.

"In our consultation response we raised the need for the judiciary and others in a position to help litigants navigating the family courts alone to help these litigants understand the value of good, independent legal advice and the role it plays in resolving disputes and settling cases. I feel that the report of the Working Group does not fully address this issue, which will continue to grow, placing more strain on the overburdened court system. We do feel that the Working Group's reticence to reintroduce the "Calderbank" without prejudice offer is a missed opportunity to encourage incentives to settle. We welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues further with the Working Group and other family justice stakeholders."

The Financial Remedies Working Group report is here. Read Resolution's response to the consultation here.