Specialist divorce and family lawyer, Tony Roe, has become the first family law arbitrator in Reading and West Berkshire.
Roe, who heads the Theale-based niche practice, Tony Roe Solicitors, is one of only the first 60 in England and Wales to have qualified under the new scheme, introduced this year.
He said: “Arbitration as a form of dispute resolution has a long history in commercial disputes but is only now available in family law. The parties enter into an agreement under which they appoint a suitably qualified person (an ‘arbitrator’) to adjudicate a dispute and make an award.
“The new family law scheme can deal with financial and property disputes arising from family relationships, for example in divorce and separation. Its advantages include speed, flexibility and confidentiality. The parties can pick their arbitrator, how the arbitration proceeds and when. There is no court-imposed timetable: the parties avoid any delays within the court process. There is even potential flexibility about the procedure followed, and the scope of the arbitration itself. As a result, family law arbitration can have significant costs advantages.
“Whilst media representatives can attend family court proceedings, arbitration hearings are barred to them, so the whole process is wholly confidential. Arbitration is therefore likely to appeal to high-profile individuals, and those in the public eye, with family law issues.
“Family law arbitrators are experienced family lawyers who have, not only, satisfied the application criteria but also completed the rigorous training requirements and assessment.”
Resources: Tony Roe Solicitors website