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Turning over pebbles: when to stop seeking disclosure and make an offer instead

There comes a point when there has to be clear advice to the client that absent any soundly based dispute of fact, the FDR should be the final hearing, urges District Judge Howard Kemp

6 June 2017

As someone who was in practice when the then ancillary relief procedure became more structured with the introduction of the Form E and the defined nature of the first appointment and financial dispute resolution hearing, I feel qualified to say categorically that for once, in relation to substantive financial applications, it was not better in the old days.

It was not unusual for ancillary relief applications to drag on for years as arguments persisted between parties on issues around disclosure and ultimately the filing of a certificate of readiness for trial.

The idea was that at some given point when everything was finally ‘on the table’ both parties would file their certificate and a hearing would be listed. You can imagine the problems when parties who could not agree on even the most simple of issues would have to agree when the time was right to hand over to...

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