- James Roberts KC joins St John’s Buildings as a Door Tenant
- He joins Sally Harrison KC and Samantha Hillas KC as leading Silks offering ADR services in Financial Remedy cases from St John’s Buildings
- Our three Silks are outstanding Financial Remedy specialists, highly ranked in the legal directories, and trained and experienced in Arbitration
St John’s Buildings is delighted to announced that James Roberts KC, who practises from 1KBW in London, has joined Chambers as a Door Tenant. James is the Vice-Chair of the Family Law Bar Association and a founding Board member of the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators. He has been at the forefront of developing ADR approaches in Financial Remedy cases. He sits as a part-time Judge authorised to hear complex cases in the Financial Remedy Court.
As a Door Tenant at St John’s Buildings, James will act as an arbitrator as well as offering Private FDRs/early neutral evaluations. He joins Sally Harrison KC and Samantha Hillas KC, both nationally renowned and respected matrimonial finance experts, to enhance the team of nationally recognised Silks offering Financial Remedy ADR services from St John’s Buildings.
In Chambers UK Bar 2023, James Roberts KC is praised as “a phenomenal lawyer, clear-sighted, straightforward and tactically astute”. Sally Harrison KC is “without a shadow of a doubt one of the leading family law silks in the country.” Samantha Hillas KC is “the Duchess of Divorce who dominates the world of financial remedy proceedings on circuit.” The three Silks will provide a first-class Arbitration solution for clients.
The use of ADR in family cases is rapidly growing throughout the country. The courts are under immense strain and suffering from huge backlogs. Judges are increasingly encouraging parties to consider ADR to resolve their differences consensually.
In March 2023 two significant consultations were published about the use of ADR to resolve private family law arrangements. The consultation published by the Ministry of Justice contains key proposals to make ADR compulsory. The theme common to both consultation papers is to expand the use of ADR, to keep cases out of courts.
Sally Harrison KC commented: “We are delighted that James Roberts KC is joining us as a Door Tenant. We have already seen significant growth in the use of Private FDRs, and this is certain to continue with Arbitration cases in future. James’ first-class experience ensures he will be an outstanding and invaluable addition to our existing team.”
Arbitration has numerous advantages over court litigation. These include:
- The parties are able to choose their arbitrator, in advance, if they wish to do so. IFLA will nominate, or choose from a shortlist, or based upon the parties’ agreed criteria, if the parties do not wish to choose or cannot agree
- Continuity of tribunal is assured from start to finish of the arbitral proceedings
- The time allotted by the arbitrator to hear the arbitration or deal with interim disputes or directions is pre-agreed and will not change
- Speed – the parties and the arbitrator are not constrained by a court timetable. He/she will set aside his/her own time for pre-reading and subsequent award writing. Perhaps more importantly, the timetable for the proceedings need only take account of the parties’ (and the arbitrator’s) diaries, so that an arbitration, even of the whole of an application, is usually concluded much more quickly than would be the case in court.
- The arbitrator is accessible between hearings to deal, often on paper, with unforeseen difficulties
- Confidentiality of the proceedings, which is important to many parties
- An arbitration hearing can take place in much more comfortable surroundings than can be provided in many court buildings
- Availability, often at the last moment, when the current court resources become suddenly unavailable. A number of arbitrations take place because the court case was ready, the evidence was ready, the solicitors and advocates are ready, but the court takes the case from the court list – often a matter of days, or even hours, before it is due to be heard.
Depending on how it is used, arbitration can be cheaper than court and mediation. Almost all (if not all) arbitrators offer a fixed fee, and many will also provide administrative support and guidance for litigants in person using their service. This can include preparing disclosure bundles and letters of instruction for experts.
For further information about Financial Remedy, Arbitration and Private FDRs/ENEs, please visit our website:
For further information about our three silks offering Financial Dispute Resolution services: