Rafton Family Lawyers Arbitration Update [Important Notice To Litigants And Family Lawyers]

Over the last several months there has been a significant increase in extensive delays and difficulties with judicial availability in various Family Courts across Australia.

We are of the view that the current lockdowns and restrictions in place, particularly across Sydney and Melbourne, is presenting unique challenges for both the people trying to achieve an outcome in their litigation as well as the lawyers representing them.

The Honourable Chief Justice, Justice Alstergren, who is the Chief Justice of the Federal Circuit and Family Court is fully supportive of arbitration initiatives that have been headed by a special national arbitration list run by the Honourable Justice Wilson. The purpose of this list is to refer suitable property only matters that need expeditious and efficient settlement to arbitration.

This means that matters can now be dealt with under three months to a final property settlement before an Arbitrator instead of one to two year delay in the usual Family Court system. This is because of the flexibility of the parties to shape and structure the Arbitration to suit their particular case as well as the quick availability of Arbitrators who are particularly qualified.

An important point to be mindful of is that unless a practitioner proposed to be an Arbitrator is on the AIFLAM Regulation 67B list of Arbitrators, that person is not qualified to conduct an Arbitration in the Family Court system. An invalid appointment of a lawyer to conduct the Arbitration carries with it significant issues of invalidity of process, lack of indemnify of the Arbitrator, the refusal of the court to register the award as well as a failure to utilise roll over duty and other exemptions, all of which would need to have the matter in dispute re-heard at a later date which can be incredibly expensive.

The Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators is an association to which three of our accredited specialist lawyers at Rafton Family Lawyers are members and full accredited arbitrators registered on the national list. We refer to our specialist Rafton Arbitration and Mediation Practice “RAMP” details on our website which provides a full overview of the services available in this area. Our arbitration fee starts from just $3,000.00 plus GST per day which includes room hire at one of our specific suitable locations, free break out rooms for litigants, the Arbitrator and the recording of the proceedings when requested by the parties. Contact us at our offices at Penrith, Parramatta, Richmond for our Hawkesbury clients on our number 1300 4 FAMILY.

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These fact sheets are designed to provide an overview of the relevant issues and systems so that you have a better understanding of the process.

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