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Family Arbitration: the outlook after Haley

Date:8 JUL 2021

The recent decision of the Court of Appeal in Haley v Haley [2020] EWCA Civ 1369 (case report at [2021] Fam Law 37) settled an important issue for family arbitration. It established that contested awards in the area of financial remedy could be reviewed by the Family Court by a process akin to an appeal against decisions made in court proceedings and on the same basis as such an appeal: that the decision is ‘wrong’.

This article assesses the significance of the decision by looking at its background and context. It sets out our understanding of the procedural implications. Finally it identifies remaining areas of uncertainty and offers some views as to how they might be resolved.


The conjunction of arbitration and the area of family law may at first glance seem incongruous. The essence of arbitration is the principle that disputing parties appoint a trusted third-party well-versed in their area of activity to adjudicate on the basis that they agree to be bound by the outcome. The simplicity of this principle allows for speed and informality suiting the process very well to areas of commercial activity which...

Read the full article here.