Allocation of financial remedies cases to High Court Judge level

Financial Remedies CourtPractice Guidance

It is necessary to clarify the process of allocation of financial remedies applications to High Court Judge level in the light of the mandatory use of the online portal since January 2023.

Nothing in this Notice affects the principles of allocation set out at paragraph 3 of the Statement on the Efficient Conduct of Financial Remedy hearings allocated to a High Court Judge whether sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice or elsewhere, issued on 1 February 2016.

The process to be adopted for allocation to High Court is as follows:

  1. The financial remedies application in Form A must be filed online, where it will be allocated to the appropriate FRC zone. There is no facility for issuing in the Royal Courts of Justice.
  2. One or both parties, if seeking allocation to High Court Judge level, should in the first instance apply to the local court. Steps are being taken to improve the portal gatekeeping and allocation system so that a request for an allocation to High Court Judge level will be included within the portal process, but until those improvements are in place the application should be accompanied by a  Certificate of Complexity (a copy is attached to the 2016 High Court Efficiency Statement).
  3. The judge considering the application will often be the local lead FRC judge, but if is another judge, then that judge will ordinarily liaise with the local FRC lead judge who will then in turn liaise with the High Court Judge in charge of the financial remedies list (currently Peel J). The application for allocation should not be made directly to the High Court Judge in charge of the financial remedies list.
  4. Any application for allocation must be approved by the High Court Judge in charge of the financial remedies list or, if he/she is unavailable, by another High Court Judge.
  5. The application for allocation to High Court Judge level may be made on or shortly after issue of Form A so as to allow the entire case (if the application is granted) to proceed at that level. Alternatively, it can be considered at the First Appointment or post FDR directions hearing in the local family court. 
  6. It is not acceptable for parties to wait until a short time before the listed First Appointment and then ask for allocation to High Court Judge level and vacation of the forthcoming First Appointment in the local family court; this generates delay and wastes court time.
  7. If approval of allocation is granted, composite lists of suitable dates (not dates to avoid, but dates that both sides can do) should be sent to the clerk to the High Court Judge in charge of the financial remedies list.

Mr Justice Peel
National Lead Judge of the Financial Remedies Court