Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution, where disputes are resolved away from the court room. It has a long association with settling disputes in certain areas such as commercial and construction contracts and employers and employees through arbitration services provided by unions.
The family law arbitration scheme enables family disputes to be resolved by arbitration, offering a radical alternative to the traditional court system of dispute resolution. The scheme covers financial and property disputes – including divorce settlements, child maintenance claims, property ownership disputes and inheritance disputes.
Under the scheme, arbitrators help to resolve a range of financial family law issues by providing legally binding outcomes, or ‘awards’, which offer an alternative to the court system.
Commenting on the launch of the family law arbitration scheme, Lisa Boileau said: “For couples who are separating, arbitration can take away the stress of lengthy court battles and be a much more cost effective solution. It is a relatively swift, fair and flexible procedure, with each couple agreeing to appoint their own arbitrator to help guide them through the process.
“One of the main advantages with using arbitration is that it can relieve some of the pressures on the current court system. Judges don’t always have the time to prepare for hearings in advance, and due to the number of hearings taking place couples may come to court not knowing whether their case will start on time, or be heard at all.
“However, when an arbitrator is appointed he, or she, will have had the time to prepare thoroughly and be able to deal promptly with any issues that may arise from the process and arrive at a swift and legally binding decision.”
Chief executive of Wilkin Chapman LLP, Julia Whittaker, said: “Lisa’s qualification and achievement on becoming a trained family law arbitrator is a great addition to the firm’s family law services. Family disputes, such as divorce, can be a stressful time and particularly distressing for the parties involved. However, with the new arbitration scheme we can help lessen some of this strain, ensuring a fast, fair and cost effective resolution.”
To find out more about family law arbitration visit: http://www.ifla.org.uk and http://www.wilkinchapman.co.uk
Notes to editors
1. Lisa Boileau
Lisa is a partner of Wilkin Chapman LLP and is also the head of the family law department. She has 20 years' experience dealing with all areas of family law, specialising in complex financial matters and private children proceedings. She has dealt with a number of divorces involving substantial farming assets and business / trust assets and has experience in dealing with military divorces for senior members of HM Armed Forces.
A firm believer in taking a proactive approach to matters, Lisa supports and assists clients preparing pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements and also acts as a Mediator for separating couples who seek to resolve matters without costly or acrimonious court proceedings.
Lisa is a member of the Law Society’s Family Accreditation Scheme and is an Accredited Specialist of Resolution. She trained and qualified as a Mediator in 2005, and became a Law Society Accredited Mediator in 2009. She is also a member of the Family Mediators Association.
Lisa is also a regular newspaper reviewer on BBC Radio Lincolnshire.
2. Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA)
IFLA is a not for profit organisation, created by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), the Family Law Bar Association, and the family lawyers’ group Resolution, in association with the Centre for Child and Family Law Reform. http://www.ifla.org.uk
3. The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)
CIArb is the world’s leading professional membership body for arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. A not-for-profit organisation, CIArb promotes the use of alternative dispute resolution internationally through a membership of 12,000 professionally qualified members in more than 110 countries. In addition to providing education and training for arbitrators, mediators and adjudicators, CIArb acts as an international resource centre for practitioners, policy makers, academics and those in business concerned with the cost-effective and early settlement of disputes.