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Bristol family lawyers stage mock remote FDR

Event watched by almost 200 judges and practitioners

On Thursday 14th May 2020, barristers from 3PB, Albion Chambers and St John's Chambers and Bristol solicitors from Burges Salmon and Clarke Willmott, presented a practical and informative remote (video) FDR, which was watched by almost 200 judges, barristers and solicitors, across the Western Circuit and beyond.

The mock remote FDR was initiated by District Judge Stephanie Cope, who is set to lead the new Financial Remedies Court in Bristol. District Judge Cope first suggested the idea at the open (remote) committee meeting of the Bristol Financial Remedies User Group (FRUG), an initiative led by District Judge Myles Watkins, who has been actively involved in the initiative. The project is wholly supported by the Bristol Designated Family Judge, HHJ Stephen Wildblood QC.

The current Covid-19 situation has caused chaos and disrupted every walk of life; the courts are no exception. Suddenly, lawyers have been thrown into a world of remote hearings, whether by Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams or BT. Hearings that the court would not previously have held remotely are now regularly being listed as such. The FDR appointment is one such type of hearing.

Practitioners have had to adapt swiftly and have dealt with the challenge well but it was recognised that not everyone would be getting the most out of their experience, which is how the mock remote FDR came to be. For a full report on the event, click here.