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Instructing experts in family and children court proceedings

Last updated: 13 April 2015

The Law Society has developed the following templates for practitioners to use when instructing experts in family proceedings. These were originally published at the beginning of 2013 and have been revised and updated to take account of changes made by the Children and Families Act 2014, revisions to the FPR 2010, and practice directions.

We hope that in addition to helping the parties, the templates will assist experts by reducing the length of letters of instruction and keeping the detail specific to the particular instruction, as well as ensuring greater consistency in material which is likely to be common to the majority of instructions. 

The templates

Pro forma for preliminary enquiries

This document contains three pro forma templates that deal with:

  1. the solicitor making enquiries of experts who they are considering instructing;
  2. the answers of the experts who have been approached; and
  3. the solicitor's proposal to the court.

  Download pro forma for preliminary enquiries (Word 266kb)

Guide and sample questions for experts 

This document offers a short guide on the types of expert, with sample questions for each.

Download the guidance document (Word 238kb)

Pre-proceedings letter of instruction

This document is a pre-proceedings template letter of instruction for local authorities' use.

Download the pre-proceedings letter template (Word 236kb)  

Letter of instruction

This document is a template letter for instructing practitioners' use, with optional text for a range of different circumstances.

Download the letter of instruction template (Word 321kb).

Standard terms and conditions to accompany a letter of instruction

This document offers standard terms and conditions for the lead solicitor and other parties to the instruction to use.

Download the terms and conditions template (PDF 718kb)  

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