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What is an FDR?

The Financial Dispute Resolution hearing or “FDR” is the second hearing in standard financial remedy proceedings. The purpose of the hearing is to facilitate productive settlement negotiations between the parties, all on a “without prejudice” basis. After hearing from the parties (usually through their respective barristers), a Judge will provide their “indication” as to what order they would make were they hearing this as a Final Hearing. The Judge’s indication does not bind the parties, rather it is intended to help narrow the issues to assist with settlement negotiations.

If settlement proves impossible on the day of the hearing, the FDR Judge will have no further involvement in the case. Instead, a Final Hearing will be listed before a different Judge who has not heard the indication or any of the without prejudice concessions either party may have made.

The aim of the FDR is to promote settlement and to provide the parties with agency over their settlement terms rather than have a judge at Final Hearing force an outcome on them.

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