Many thanks to family law McKenzie Friend, Shaun O’Connell for forwarding this very interesting article recently written by Neville Byford, a partner at Eversheds law firm, to us.

The article is entitled “The differences between English litigation and US litigation” and whilst not immediately related to family law, is at its heart a piece on the way both legal systems run, their similarities and their differences and you can see from the points Mr Byford makes, that there’s more than just a passing likeness to how the family justice system works.

The essay is essentially divided up into five areas: pleadings; disclosure; factual evidence; experts and trial preparation. We won’t spoil the read for you by laying it all out in this post, but some points of interest may lie in the following thoughts expressed by Mr Byford:

Of experts, Mr Byford says, “In England the system has developed whereby experts are, quite rightly, often seen as nothing more than “hired guns”.  Experts work closely with the lawyers instructing them and it would be astonishing if a party called an expert that was not supportive of their case.

And on disclosure, Neville also observes that, “A valid criticism of both systems is disclosure is often excessive.”

It’s a short but sweet article that really ends by explaining that one system is not superior to the other and both have their advantages and disadvantages. To us at least, this reinforces the view that when all is said and done, the success of a system is not so much about the process, but the people in it, a point we have made many times, in past articles like this one.