Upcoming Webinar: Family Law Act Injunctions – Best Practice

Fenners Chambers is pleased to announce our second webinar of the 2024 series, “Family Law Act Injunctions – Best Practice”, taking place on the 15th of February 2024 at 4:30 pm (1 hour, 1 CPD)

In the realm of family law, understanding the practicalities of obtaining protection against domestic abuse is crucial. This webinar aims to provide valuable insights into making clear applications supported by the best evidence.


Judge Gordon-Saker: Cambridgeshire DFJ

Sally Gore and Lisa Hannant: Fenners Chambers

An update from Domestic Abuse Alliance and the Police

This webinar is a collaborative effort with the Local Family Justice Boards of Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, and Hertfordshire; a must-attend for legal practitioners, social workers, and professionals involved in family law.

To secure your spot, register here via Zoom. 

Upcoming Webinar:  Assessing and Supporting Parents with Learning Difficulties in Care Proceedings

Join us for the inaugural webinar of our 2024 series, focusing on the critical topic of “Assessing and Supporting Parents with Learning Difficulties in Care Proceedings”, taking place on the 1st of February 2024, starting at 4:30 pm (1 Hour, 1CPD credit).

In this informative webinar, our expert speakers will delve into the complexities of providing support to parents with learning difficulties within the context of care proceedings. Key themes to be addressed include the role of adult social care for parents with learning disabilities when a child is no longer in their care, and best practices for assessing parents with learning disabilities, featuring valuable insights on the PAMS and Parent Assess models.


HHJ Liza Gordon-Saker: Cambridge and Peterborough DFJ

Sarah Seekins: Independent Social Worker

Mary Baginsky: Researcher, Kings College, London

In collaboration with the Cambridgeshire Local Family Justice Board, this webinar promises to be an invaluable resource for legal professionals, social workers, and anyone involved in care proceedings.

To secure your spot, register here via Zoom.

Webinar – Planning Together For Children

Here you will find the video and presentations from the Fenners and LFJB Webinar, ‘Planning Together for Children’.

Thank-you for your attendance, and thanks to our brilliant speakers for their support in this event:

Planning Together for Children, Jude Edwards from CAFCASS

Fact Finding Hearings –Current Guidance, HHJ Gordon-Saker DFJ

Moving Towards Mediation, Jane Bridge from The Family Mediation Trust

Please find the documents below:

Planning Together for Children Presentation

Planning Together for Children Factsheet

Mediation Update

Advisory Notice by Mr Justice Peel, Judge in Charge of the Standard Orders

Following the commitment to review Standard Family Orders (“SFOs”) made in January 2022, Mr Justice Peel announces the results of this review in the below statement, which highlights the changes made to SFOs, along with guidance as to how such orders should be drafted.

“I make this announcement with the authority of the President (of the Family Division).

On 18 January 2022, Mostyn J, the judge then in charge of Standard Family Orders (“SFOs”), announced a wide ranging review of the SFOs. I continued the review after succeeding him on 26 April 2022. HHJ Hess was appointed to lead the review of the financial remedy SFOs, with the assistance of Amy Kisser and Nicholas Allen KC. HHJ Moradifar was appointed to lead the review of the children SFOs, with the assistance of Steven Howard, Nastassia Hylton, Edward Bennett and Alexander Laing. I am enormously grateful to them all for their immense work in undertaking this exercise.

I am also grateful to Melissa Chapman of Class Legal who carried out a complete overview of formatting and layout. Class Legal produce an online package of the SFOs, which is free to access for any member of the judiciary (full time or part time) with an ejudiciary account; they can be contacted on info@classlegal.com

As part of the review process, Mostyn J announced a consultation period. A full list of those who responded is attached at Appendix A. It includes judges, barristers, solicitors and various organisations.

The significant volume of responses, combined with the detailed consideration given to the SFOs by the Standard Orders Group, has led to a number of revisions. In part, they reflect changes in law, practice and procedure. In part, they have been amended to achieve internal consistency and clarity of phraseology. Formatting and stylistic improvements have also been made.

As before, the SFOs do not have the status of “forms” under FPR Part 5. The default position is that they should be used, but parties and the court are permitted to adapt them to such extent as may be appropriate.

Among the main changes to the SFOs are:

  • The orders contain directions supporting the Statement on the Efficient Conduct of Financial Remedy proceedings in the Financial Remedies Court Below High Court Judge level.
  • The orders give a greater steer for the commissioning of SJE experts rather than sole experts, and for their reports to be considered by the court without personal attendance at the hearing.
  • The orders accommodate directions relevant to remote hearings and the guidance on electronic bundles.
  • The financial orders include additional undertakings such as (i) not applying for decree absolute/final decree until 28 days after the making of a financial order (relevant for the making of a pension sharing order); (ii) removal of Land Registry notices; and (iii) obtaining a Get.
  • The orders incorporate the provisions of the Divorce and Dissolution Act 2020, incorporating the new terminology for divorces – conditional order and final order in place of decree nisi and decree absolute – although retaining both options for the time being while this change takes effect.
  • The orders incorporate the provisions of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, including prohibition against cross examination provisions, and the appointment of a Qualified Legal Representative.
  • The financial orders include draft costs orders updated to reflect changes in practice and guidance on costs.
  • The financial orders include draft directions and substantive orders on pensions updated to reflect changes in practice and guidance in this area.
  • The financial orders include a free-standing draft order to accommodate the Accelerated First Appointment procedure.
  • The orders include a Permission to Appeal directions order.
  • The orders incorporate the changes to law and practice brought by the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
  • The orders incorporate the new required forms for cases involving committal applications.
  • The orders incorporate, among other updates, an updated Deprivation of Liberty order, an updated standalone Port Alert order, reference to the “Planning Together for Children Course” instead of the “Separated Parents Information Programme”, and the correct contact details for any disclosure request to NHS England.
  • The orders incorporate bespoke headings for the Family Court and the Family Division.
  • The children orders reduce significantly the use of recitals. In general, recitals now appear at the end of children orders, giving greater prominence to the body and substance of the orders.
  • Warning notices have been updated and made consistent.
  • In the children orders, there are separate orders for different stages of public law and private law proceedings, all of which have been made more streamlined.

I attach the updated House Rules which reflect the changes made.

I anticipate that a further, albeit much more limited, review of the SFOs will be undertaken during 2024 once the orders are bedded in and users have experience of them in practice. The Standard Orders group is conscious that, although the intention has always been to provide a comprehensive set of orders to which any user can reach, some of the orders are lengthy and can be time consuming for a judge to draft in a case where both parties are unrepresented. This particularly applies to private law children cases and Family Law Act injunctions. A judge with a busy list of such hearings may be required to draft several orders during the court day. The Standard Orders Group is investigating ways in which this task can be made more streamlined and quicker for judges.


Respondents to consultation:


Our Family Wizard
Divorce Lifeline
News Media Association
Media Lawyers Association
The Official Solicitor
Association of District Judges
Peterborough City Council
High Court Cafcass
Office of the President of the Family Division
HM Tipstaff Office
Family Justice Council Experts Group
Judicial Office


Chris Wells
Jonathan Briant
Michael Allin
Mark Cooper
Ben Wooldridge
Janine McGuigan
Claire Athis Schofield
Segolene Lapeyre
Matthew Maynard
Catherine Gee
Rebecca Harrington
Gavin Smith
Rhys Taylor
Jane Bacon
Sharin Diegan
Andrew Leong
Emily Driver


Tracy Lambert
Kirstie Gibson
Kadie Bennett
Teena Dhanota-Jones
Carla Ditz
Anna Dunne
Anna Nice
Claire Williams
International Family Law Group
Nadia Tymkiw
Maurice Guyer


DJ Parker
DJ Peter Hatvany
DDJ Tim Melville-Walker
HHJ Eleanor Owens
DDJ Graham Campbell
HHJ Richard Robinson
DDJ Rachael Oakes
DJ (now CJ) Beth Japheth
HHJ Gordon-Saker
HHJ Richard Clarke
DJ Joanna Geddes
DJ Kevin Harper


Carole Gavin ”



HouseRules (May2023)

SFO Volume 1 (Zip)

SFO Volume 2 (Zip)

Webinar – Instructing Experts in Family Cases

Webinar – Instructing Experts in Family Cases

On the 19th of January, we will be hosting a webinar that will take a close look at the best practices when instructing Experts in Family Cases.  

The webinar will be led by our panellists;

Fenners Chambers’ Melanie Benn will cover Part 25 Applications and guidance on the need for experts.  Followed by a discussion on the Instruction of Psychologists in Parental Alienation cases from Gareth Frow of Regency Chambers.  Consultant Paediatrician Dr Susan Zeitlin will discuss the use of Experts in Unexplained Injury cases. Finally, HHJ Liza Gordon-Saker will cover the Approach of the Courts.   

We hope you will join us for this invaluable webinar. 

The webinar will start at 4:30 pm for 90 minutes, equating to 1.5 CPD points.   

To register for your place, please use the following link: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/5816673252167/WN_Iuh2wynKRneR1vCtJJziPg