Chambers at 5SAH want to take this opportunity to wish all of professional and lay clients, their family and loved ones the very best of health and safety in these unprecedented times. We also wish to let you know that we are all thankfully healthy and well, now socially isolated at home following the Prime Minister’s announcement at 8:30PM on Monday the 23rd March 2020.

5SAH continues to operate, embracing video and telephone meetings and hearings and are therefore open for business as usual.

The Family Court is now operating remotely and all of our team are well versed with the following:

  • The President’s Guidance of the 19th March 2020 on the closure of the family court buildings to the public and the move of the family court to remote operation with immediate effect (as of Friday the 20th March 2020),
  • The guidance of Mr. Justice Munby in the Financial Remedies Court (“FRC”) adopting the move to a remote FRC with immediate effect.
  • The rules of operation of the remote family court, as per Version 1 of the guidance of Mr Justice MacDonald dated the 23rd March 2020,
  • All of our family team are well versed in the technical know-how of operating remotely and have access to/ experience in:
  1. Skype for Business, Zoom and other software platforms used by the court and required to remotely access the family court,
  2. Adobe and Adobe Pro for collating and using e-bundles and receiving of documents
  3. Our clerking team is able to manage/ co-ordinate remote hearings, moving listed hearings to remote hearings, liaising with Counsel in all of the “usual” ways regarding fees, diary bookings, papers, etc and
  4. Our accounts are able to deal with any and all fee “issues” including providing invoices and receiving payments.

In the last few days since the President and Mr. Justice Munby’s guidance members of the Team have been involved with remote hearings, moved from listed fixtures. Hilary Lennox was involved in a complex international children case in the High Court, which was conducted remotely using Skype for Business as well as a private FDR conducted remotely using Zoom. Sarah Wood has dealt with an application within ongoing financial proceedings in a public access case by remote telephone attendance. Gemma Lindfield attended a DRA in a Children Act matter where parties attended by telephone, as did CAFCASS. Finally, Maria Scotland has undertaken a remote hearing in a final hearing of an application to enforce a financial order by telephone where the other side Counsel was heavily pregnant and her solicitor isolated due to COVID. The take-home message is that the court is operating remotely to ensure that all persons are protected but the cases get heard “in the usual way”.

We are open in normal business hours and additionally provide an out-of-hours telephone line. Important contact details are as follows:

Chambers Director: 

Dave Scothern: dscothern@5sah.co.uk Mobile: 07931776630

Family Clerks:

Dean Farlam: deanfarlam@5sah.co.uk Mobile: 07595598889

Adam Murray: adam@5sah.co.uk Mobile: 07515555407

Fee Enquiries:

Theresa Kavanagh: theresa@5sah.co.uk Mobile: 07861710010