Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Book Review: Financial Remedies under the Family Procedure Rules

Financial Remedies under the Family Procedure Rules

The @eGlance Guide

£95 - Published by Class Legal: 29 April 2011

Financial Remedies under the Family Procedure Rules, The @eGlance Guide is, as the subtitle suggests, by the same authors as the FLBA's At A Glance and the @eGlance software that I reviewed recently: Sir Peter Singer, Mr Justice Mostyn, Lewis Marks QC and Gavin Smith. In fact, so far as I can ascertain, its entire contents are contained within @eGlance, comprising expert commentary and guidance on all of the parts of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 relevant to money cases, the full text of those parts and the associated Practice Directions. As with @eGlance, purchasers of the book also have access to Class Legal's website, more of which later.

The book can be purchased on its own for £95, with @eGlance for £150 + VAT (a saving of £30) or with At A Glance for £120, a saving of £25. It can also be purchased as a Kindle e-book, raising the interesting possibility of it being used (off-line) on mobile devices, including smartphones.

Obviously, the only original parts of the book are the commentaries, of which I calculate there are twenty-nine, ranging from a few paragraphs to several pages each. They can either be read as an introductory text to the new Rules or, more likely I think, as practical guidance for those using the book as a work of reference. The longer commentaries are divided into useful sub-sections, making it easier for the reader to find the subject in which they are interested.

By way of example, the commentary to Part 9: Applications for a Financial Remedy (likely to be the most-used part of the book) includes sub-sections dealing with definitions, details of financial applications not covered by Part 9, a general commentary, details of modifications to the old FPR 1991 procedure, interim relief, costs, the pre-action protocol and applications to set aside. There is also a list of forms and a table of 'Correspondances', setting out the correlation between the old and the new rules. Note that the commentary does not go into detail about new rules that simply repeat old rules, for example the rules concerning consent orders.

Otherwise, the book includes a fairly comprehensive-looking index, but I was slightly surprised to note that it does not include either a table of cases or a table of statutes.

As I mentioned above, the price of the book includes access to Class Legal's website, where the commentary in the book will be updated. The site is in two parts: the commentaries and sources. Presumably, the commentaries will be updated as necessary, although it is not clear whether amendments to the originals in the book will be flagged. 'Sources' includes links to the rules, their practice directions, forms, statutes, statutory instruments and cases (where available on Bailii).

Financial Remedies is undoubtedly a useful handbook for any family lawyer dealing with this kind of work, including as it does so much of what that lawyer will need in one handy (525-page) volume. How useful it would be if one has already (or also) purchased @aGlance is not so clear, although I suppose it would still then be of use if one does not have access to a computer. On the other hand, and perhaps more importantly, whether you would want Financial Remedies if you already possessed The Family Court Practice (the 'Red Book') is another matter...

That point aside, I can certainly recommend Financial Remedies, particularly of course to practitioners specialising in this area.

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