What is the Financial Remedy Transparency Reporting Pilot?

The Transparency Reporting Pilot is a new scheme which permits accredited journalists and legal bloggers to attend financial remedy family court cases and report on them. It will be piloted in 3 courts from 29 January 2024: the Central Family Court, Birmingham and Leeds. It's expected to be further expanded to the Royal Courts of Justice in November 2024.

The pilot comes off the back of a Transparency Reporting Pilot in respect of children cases that ran from January 2023 in Leeds, Cardiff and Carlisle, and is now being rolled out to a further 16 courts.

In the words of the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, the aim of the Transparency Pilots is to ‘increase transparency and improve public confidence and understanding of the family justice system’.

What cases will it affect?

The Financial Remedies Transparency Reporting Pilot will incorporate the three main types of financial claims that arise at the end of a relationship:

  1. Applications for financial remedy proceedings upon divorce these are the standard proceedings regarding the division of finances after divorce;
  2. Applications under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 - this permits the court to make financial provision for children, usually where their parents are unmarried; and
  3. Applications under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 - this is used where there is financial relief sought in England and Wales after a foreign divorce.

What are the changes?

Those courts under the pilot schemes will allow reports to attend and report on the hearings they attend. The only hearing that reporters will not be allowed to attend is the second hearing in a case, the Financial Dispute Resolution hearing (FDR). The FDR is a without prejudice negotiation hearing led by the judge; if reporters were allowed into this hearing, it may be detrimental to settlement of the case.

When a reporter wants to attend a hearing, a Transparency Order should be made which sets out what documentation the reporter is entitled to and the limits of their reporting. Generally speaking, the reporter will be entitled to a copy of the parties’ position statements and Form ES1 (which summarises the case for the court). It's unlikely that these documents will be redacted substantially, and the reporter will be able to quote from the documents as long as such publication is otherwise allowed under the Transparency Order.

The court still retains a lot of during the pilot. For example, it will still have discretion to exclude a reporter from a hearing or even to permit a non-reporter to attend a hearing. It can also depart from the standard Transparency Order and its accompanying guidance if it considers it appropriate.

There are also some changes that will affect all courts, not just those within the Transparency Pilot. Primarily, this is that all courts that deal with Financial Remedies will now list the names of parties in the cause lists. These are the lists that are publicly displayed in the courthouse each day to show what cases are being held that day and in which court.

What does this mean for those going through court?

To all those going through financial remedy proceedings, it will mean that your names will be on the public cause list within courts.

For those whose proceedings are taking place in the three pilot courts, then it may mean a reporter or legal blogger could attend their hearings. This possibility should be discussed pre-hearing between the party and their solicitor, as well as with the other party in the case. Parties and their representations should also be prepared to address the court on transparency if they wish to challenge the presence of a reporter or legal blogger.

If you are going through financial remedy proceedings and would like to understand more about how the new transparency pilot may impact your case, get in touch with one of our specialist lawyers.

Our content explained

Every piece of content we create is correct on the date it’s published but please don’t rely on it as legal advice. If you’d like to speak to us about your own legal requirements, please contact one of our expert lawyers.

Posted by

Mills & Reeve Sites navigation
A tabbed collection of Mills & Reeve sites.
My Mills & Reeve navigation
Subscribe to, or manage your My Mills & Reeve account.
My M&R


Register for My M&R to stay up-to-date with legal news and events, create brochures and bookmark pages.

Existing clients

Log in to your client extranet for free matter information, know-how and documents.


Mills & Reeve system for employees.