Virtual Arbitration – Dealing with legal issues swiftly during lockdown

Published: 1st May 2020

What is Arbitration and why could it be the right option for me?

Family arbitration is a form of dispute resolution which is quick, versatile and can be tailored to your particular circumstances. It can be used to resolve financial disputes and issues concerning children.

One of the key benefits of arbitration is that you are not required to attend court, which makes the process agile and streamlined. The arbitration process starts with both parties appointing a legal professional, known as an Arbitrator, to adjudicate on their dispute and make a final decision which is legally binding.

You can find more information on Family Arbitration here.

How is Virtual Arbitration different and how could it benefit me during the coronavirus lockdown?

With many of the UK’s regional Family Courts experiencing 8-9 month backlogs due to the Coronavirus pandemic, timescales for reaching conclusion across all family law matters will, in all likelihood, be significantly impacted.

We anticipate that even after the lockdown restrictions are lifted, the capacity of the Family Court will be greatly reduced for some time and this will have a negative impact on clients who are seeking finality as swiftly and cost efficiently as possible.

Since the coronavirus lockdown came into place, many Arbitrators have been looking for alternative ways of providing their service without the need for parties to be together in the same room.

We work with some extremely able Arbitrators, all of whom are equipped to offer their services remotely through video conferencing software.

During virtual arbitration, the Arbitrator will use video-conferencing to facilitate the arbitration process from start to finish, negating the requirement for parties to attend a physical setting.

The entire process can be dealt with remotely so you can be sure that any further lockdown or travel restrictions will not impact the timescales of your case.

What issues can be dealt with during Virtual Arbitration?

Almost all family law issues can be dealt with through arbitration, including:

Financial matters arising from divorce and separation.

  • Child arrangement disputes and other matters relating to children in the event of a breakdown in a relationship, whether you are married or not.
  • Civil Partnership breakdown and the associated financial matters.
  • Claims for financial provision for children where the parties are not married.
  • Issues involving ownership of property where the parties are unmarried and cohabiting.

Is Virtual Arbitration the right option for me?

Virtual Arbitration has many benefits, such as:

  • The entire process can be dealt with remotely so you can be sure that further lockdown or travel restrictions will not impact the timescales of your case.
  • You are able to select the Arbitrator with a professional background most relevant to your matter, from a panel of accredited professionals.
  • You can be sure that your chosen Arbitrator will deal with your matter from start to finish; this differs from court proceedings, where multiple Judges may be involved throughout the process.
  • You can be confident that the process will lead to a conclusion in considerably less time than via the court.
  • You will have a final, written decision which will be legally binding, enabling you to move forward with your life.

Who will represent me during the Virtual Arbitration process?

Chris Sutton (thumb)Chris Sutton studied law at Reading University before being called as a barrister in 2010. Chris is a Chartered member of the Institute of Legal Executives and was a finalist for the national award of Chartered Legal Executive of the Year in Family Law for 2018 and was listed as a “next generation leading lawyer” for the Berkshire/Oxfordshire region by the Legal 500 in 2017.

Having been called to the Bar, Chris is a skilled advocate and undertakes a significant amount of his own advocacy in court, making him the ideal lawyer to guide you through the arbitration process from outset to conclusion.

He has a practical approach to children matters relating to residence and arrangements to spend time with children and has also had recent success with cases concerning grandparent’s time with children and cases concerning child abduction under the Hague Convention in the High Court, London.

Chris is also astute at financial remedy matters upon divorce and separation and works on cases with a broad range of assets, including multi-million-pound international cases.

To get more information on Virtual Arbitration, or to arrange your free initial telephone consultation with Chris, please contact 01635 785100 or email chris.sutton@kjsmith.co.uk.

Free, no obligation consultation

We offer a free initial 45 minute consultation to give you the opportunity to meet us and find out more about Family Arbitration before deciding if you wish to proceed in instructing us to act on your behalf.

Please contact our divorce lawyers today on 01491 630000 (Henley on Thames), 0118 418 1000 (Reading Head Office), 0118 418 1200 (Reading Central), 01256 584000 (Basingstoke), 01483 370100 (Guildford), 01494 629000 (Beaconsfield), 01344 513000 (Ascot), (01635 785 100) Newbury or email info@kjsmith.co.uk.

We also serve a wide range of other areas including Abingdon, Bracknell, Gerrards Cross, Maidenhead, Marlow, Oxford, Slough, Wokingham, and High Wycombe.

Our Office Locations

All our offices are easily accessible by road, rail or bus and we are open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 6:00pm. With today's busy schedules, we offer telephone appointments outside normal office hours until 9pm on Thursdays and between 10am and 3pm on Saturdays.

Not sure which office is closest to you? Try our Office Finder.

If you would like to visit our team of family solicitors, we have offices in Henley-on-Thames, Woodley, Reading (Head Office), Reading (Central), Basingstoke, Guildford, Beaconsfield, Ascot & Newbury. We serve a wide range of other areas including Abingdon, Bracknell, Gerrards Cross, Maidenhead, Marlow, Oxford, Slough, High Wycombe and Wokingham.

Why not contact our team of divorce solicitors for a free initial consultation today? We offer a free initial consultation that can take place in any one of our offices or over the telephone.

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