An FDR is a stage in financial proceedings where a judge listens to representations on both sides and (where possible) provides guidance/an indication of possible outcome in the hope of resolving matters/avoiding a later contested hearing.
A private FDR is a simple concept. The parties pay for a financial remedy specialist to act as a private FDR judge. That person may be a solicitor, barrister or retired judge. The private FDR takes place at a time convenient to the parties, usually in solicitors’ offices or barristers’ chambers, and a full day is normally set aside to maximise the prospects of settlement. The private FDR judge will have been given all the time needed to prepare fully for the hearing which takes the place of the in-court FDR. At present, demand on court resources has led to instances of over-listing of FDRs. A high settlement success rate is not likely to be achieved if the district judge’s list for the day has more than five FDRs in it.