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What happens after the FDR?

If a case does not settle, it will go to a Final Hearing. Once called Ancillary relief, it is now referred to Financial remedies Application.

After the FDR, Bundles must be prepared known as Trial Bundles divided into particular categories of documents.

There should be a short up to date summary of the background to the case. There ought to be a Statement of Issues. There will then be included a position summary of each party. There should be a chronology and skeleton arguments by both parties setting out their arguments in broad terms.

The Final Hearing usually takes place before a District Judge (except in the more complex cases where a more senior Judge can sit). Even if there is an Agreement, it ought to be referred to the Judge for his approval, which is still required. Both parties generally give oral evidence and others may be called to give evidence If a valuation is not, for example, agreed, a valuer may well be called. The Applicant calls evidence, is cross-examined, followed by the Respondent who is then similarly subject to cross-examination too.

Generally closing speeches will be made by or on behalf of the applicant, followed by the Respondent last.

The general rule now is that there will be no order as to costs. Costs orders, however, can be made at any stage and will more likely be made where there has been a failure to comply with the rules or a direction. Conduct might be a factor more generally on the issue of costs. There is a checklist in r.28.3(7). The only offers that can affect costs are totally open offers.

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