James Pirrie

James was among the first arbitrators trained in the scheme and has used arbitration in two of his cases (including in Gavin’s case of S v S [2014] EWHC 7 (Fam) and he has been appointed (as at June 2015) in three more.

Incredulous that the model is not more widely employed, James is an enthusiast for arbitration and its capacity to deliver cost-effective solutions for families unable to reach agreement. The process is tailored to the separating couple’s needs, avoiding many of the restrictions that exist at court that create delay, anxiety and larger bills. The process is built around what is useful and realistic for the parties and their advisors so as to ensure that the issues are identified and addressed and each side has the chance of putting their case and knowing and answering the case of the other. It will therefore advance in a way that is more convenient (and in our experience less abrasive) than what clients will experience working their way through the 15 month process that is common at court.

James is a director at ‘FLiP’, which was established in 1995 to advance informed choice and expert service for clients: choice should be wide; other services should be available. Information must be appropriate and cost-efficient and clients should be properly supported. James was awarded Resolution’s inaugural John Cornwell prize in 2014 and also gave the Henry Brown lecture the same year.

James brings a variety of skills and backgrounds to his work:

    • He is experienced in other forms of dispute resolution (having been trained as a mediator in the 1980s and championing the introduction of collaborative law in 2003. He thinks that he was responsible for the first private FDR in November 2007);
    • He lectures widely and has written/ contributed to a number of publications, including:
      • “Safe Routes to Child Support” a guide to the CSA/ MS
      • “Claims under Schedule 1 to the Children Act”, financial provision for children
      • The Sweet and Maxwell’s “Cohabitation”
      • “Emergency Financial Procedures”
      • “The Family Law Protocol”
      • “Family Disputes Handbook”
      • “Family Law Handbook”
      • The Resolution “Orders” precedents
      • The upcoming Resolution guide to enforcement procedures
    • He was responsible for Resolution’s Parenting after Parting initiative and is a Resolution accredited specialist, setting the child-financial exam and has the Financial Planning Certificate and G10 qualifications of the Chartered Insurance Institute. He is an accredited mediator with civil-commercial and direct child consultation tickets.
    • He litigates effectively where required. Reported successes include:
      • McFarlane v McFarlane [2009] (no 2)
      • Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Boyle [2008] (Court of Appeal)
      • Smith v Secretary of State for Work & Pensions [2006] House of Lords
      • Miller v Miller; McFarlane v McFarlane [2006] (House of Lords)
      • McFarlane v McFarlane; Parlour v Parlour [2004] (Court of Appeal)

James Pirrie, Family Law in Partnership Ltd, London WC2
jp@flip.co.uk tel (+ 44) (0) 207 420 5007