Settlement Conferences and Family Law Arbitration

How to resolve family law matters using non-court dispute resolution

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Course Overview

Practitioners are under increasing pressure to resolve matters using non-court dispute resolution. Settlement conferences are one such option.

Intended to help parties resolve their issues without the needs for a full trial, a settlement conference is overseen by a trained family judge who will ‘adopt an inquisitorial approach in order to encourage cooperation between parties with a view to reaching an agreement’ (Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, 5th July 2017).

During this bite-size session lecturer and family law solicitor Safda Mahmood will consider the family court’s shift towards a more problem-solving approach, illustrated by their supporting the use of settlement conferences where appropriate.

Safda will also discuss the following:
Key benefits of family arbitration including avoiding the confrontational court-room set-up
The powers of the arbitrator
Guidance issued by the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators including the forms to use depending on the type of case

In addition, the effectiveness of settlement conferences when used in children cases will also be examined.

What are the requirements?

  • Watch the recorded webinar and complete the short quiz to test your legal knowledge
  • This course provides 0.5 CPD points

Learning Outcomes

  • On completion of this course you will:
  • • Understand why the courts are encouraging arbitration in family law matters
  • • Have considered the advantages of a settlement conferences versus attending court for a full trial
  • • Have reviewed the effectiveness of settlement conferences when used in children cases
  • • Feel more confident when participating in settlement conferences

What is the target audience?

  • Family law practitioners including qualified solicitors and trainees


About Instructor - Safda Mahmood

Safda is a senior solicitor, with a public authority, having had practiced in both Private Practice and Local Government. Safda is on the Law Society Children Panel and specialises in Children Law and Adoption. He delivers training across the country and writes regularly for various journals including Family Law Journal, Legal Executives Journal and Law Society Bulletin.

Course Curriculum

Recorded Webinars

  • Webinar

Supporting Documentation

  • Notes
    3 Page


  • Quiz


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