Mr Justice Mostyn
His Honour Judge Hess
We issue this Notice with the authority of the President.
In its report The Financial Remedy Court – The Way Forward (September 2021), the Farquhar Committee made an important recommendation at paras 4.14 and 4.15. It proposed that either the existing FRC Good Practice Protocol should be modified in terms of style and content, or it should be replaced with a Statement of Efficient Conduct of Financial Hearings at every level below the High Court, similar to the existing High Court Statement of 1 February 2016.
The report went on to make a number of recommendations for procedural enhancements to be included in a FRC Efficiency Statement or in a revision to the Protocol.
It was decided by the FRC leadership to take forward as soon as possible those proposals which did not require changes to the Family Procedure Rules or Practice Directions. Accordingly, a draft Statement on the Efficient Conduct of Financial Remedy Hearings proceeding in the Financial Remedy Court below High Court Judge level (‘the FRC Efficiency Statement’) was prepared and placed before stakeholders for consultation. A list of the respondents to the consultation is set out below.
The draft FRC Efficiency Statement was modelled in terms of structure, language and content on the existing High Court Statement. That High Court Statement is now nearly six years’ old and is generally considered to have stood the test of time well.
We are grateful for the consultation responses which were plainly the product of much hard work. There were some differences between the views of the Farquhar Committee and those of the consultation respondents.
In devising the final version of the FRC Efficiency Statement we have given full consideration to the views of respondents, while at the same time endeavouring to reflect the recommendations of the Farquhar Committee and the principles in the High Court Statement.
The resultant FRC Efficiency Statement in its approved final form is attached to this Notice.
We are grateful to the FLBA for drafting templates for the composite case summary and the composite schedule of assets and income, both of which have been adopted and incorporated in this FRC Efficiency Statement. Soft copies of those templates are attached to this Notice.
Much material previously in the Good Practice Protocol is now found in the FRC Statement. Therefore, the Protocol has been substantially abridged and renamed the FRC Primary Principles. It is attached to this Notice.
Also attached to this Notice is the revised Lead Judge Job Description.
The FRC Efficiency Statement, the FRC Primary Principles and the revised Lead Judge Job Description take effect forthwith.
List of respondents to the consultation
- Association of District Judges
- James Snelus, barrister
- Lucy Astle-Fletcher, HMCTS
- HHJ Cope
- HHJ Gordon-Saker
- DJ Bennett
- The International Family Law Group LLP
Attachments in accompanying zip file
NB: Since the original issue of this Notice, problems have been encountered by some users in opening the individual attachments. They have therefore been enclosed in a zip file, which should resolve the issue.
- FRC Efficiency Statement dated 11 January 2022 (PDF format)
- Template ES1: Composite Case Summary (Word format)
- Template ES2: Composite asset and income schedule (PDF and Excel Formats)
NB: A very small error in the Excel file of Template ES2 was identified. The sub-total in cell F110 (applicant’s sub-total of husband’s non-pension assets) omitted the addition of cell F83 (applicant’s case of husband’s chattels). This has now been corrected. Practitioners and litigants should ensure that they use the corrected Excel file which is named Template_ES2_(corrected).xlsx. The previous version of the Excel file (Template_ES2.xlsx) should be discarded.
- FRC Primary Principles dated 11 January 2022 (PDF format)
- Revised Lead Judge Job Description dated 11 January 2022 (PDF format)