St Ives Chambers was the first set of chambers in Birmingham and the West Midlands to offer this innovative service, through Andrew Day and Matthew Maynard, the region’s first family barristers to qualify under the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators’ scheme. They are now joined by James Tillyard KC and Nicholas Allen KC in offering the service in Financial Remedy cases; Jane Crowley KC offers arbitration in Children Act cases.

Arbitration offers parties the opportunity to opt out of the Court process completely and obtain a final, binding determination from a jointly appointed, family law specialist. Unlike in a private FDR the outcome is decided by the Arbitrator and intended to be final.

Arbitration offers an affordable and reliable alternative to ensure that disputes are resolved quickly, fairly and at proportionate cost. The benefit to the parties of arbitration is that the determination is expected to be final. The parties are also able to agree the level of detail and disclosure they wish to provide. Another advantage of arbitration is that, unlike Court proceedings, it is absolutely confidential with no access to the press.

The parties can choose their arbitrator and even choose to limit the issues to put before the arbitrator at any one stage. They may, for example, ask the arbitrator to rule on a specific point, such as the value of a family business or the treatment of an inheritance, saving the huge expense of litigating the whole case when the treatment of that one asset is likely to determine the outcome.

In summary, arbitration offers numerous significant benefits when compared to traditional litigation, including the opportunity for the parties to:

  • handpick an experienced family law specialist arbitrator to deal with their dispute continuously from beginning to end;
  • choose where, when and on what timetable their dispute should be determined;
  • set their own procedural and evidential parameters, including as to:
    • the nature and extent of the financial disclosure required; and
    • the nature and extent of any hearing;
  • include as much or as little material in the bundle as is appropriate to the case;
  • deal singly with discreet issues, at either an interim or final stage; and
  • agree how any issues regarding costs should be approached by the Arbitrator.

For further information and assistance please contact practice manager David Walters or the Arbitrators directly.  Please copy any case specific correspondence to the other party or their representative.


For an overview of Dispute Resolution please click on the following link:

Dispute Resolution 

For information on alternative forms of Dispute Resolution please click on the following links:

Private FDR and Early Neutral Evaluation in Financial Remedy Proceedings

Private Dispute Resolution and Early Neutral Evaluation in Children Act Proceedings