Family Law Hub

New Research: Understanding the views and experiences of professionals taking part in the settlement conferences pilot

Report presents the findings from 33 qualitative interviews with a range of professional participants including family judges, legal representatives, Cafcass guardians and social workers

  • Settlement conferences originated in Canada and are used to complement traditional litigation proceedings in both public and private family law.

    To understand whether this approach could be valuable in the family courts of England and Wales, the judiciary and the Ministry of Justice implemented a small-scale pilot of settlement conferences in June 2016, following a judicially-led trial in the Liverpool Designated Family Judge (DFJ) area that started in June 2015

    In pilot areas outside of Liverpool, 36% of public law settlement conferences led to resolution of the case (where a final hearing was no longer required), and up to 76% narrowed at least some of the issues. In private law, 45% of settlement conferences led to the resolution of the case, and up to 85% narrowed at least some issues. The proportion of cases that were resolved during settlement conferences in Liverpool was higher; 52% in public law and 56% in private law cases. 

    Read the full report on the Government website.

News, published: 16/04/2019


Published: 16/04/2019


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