The Role of Solicitors in Fact Finding Hearings

Fact finding hearings play a crucial role in the UK legal system, particularly in resolving disputes where facts are contentious. For law students and legal professionals, understanding the intricacies of these hearings is essential. This blog aims to provide a comprehensive overview of fact finding hearings, focusing on the pivotal role that solicitors play.

Introduction to Fact Finding Hearings

Fact finding hearings are judicial proceedings where the court determines the facts of a case that are in dispute. These hearings are especially prevalent in family law and civil litigation, where the accurate determination of facts can significantly impact the outcome of a case. They are foundational to the justice system, ensuring that decisions are based on verified information rather than assumptions.

The Role of Solicitors in Fact Finding Hearings

Solicitors are indispensable in the preparation and execution of fact finding hearings. Their responsibilities begin well before the hearing itself and extend beyond its conclusion. From gathering evidence to presenting it effectively, solicitors are the linchpin in ensuring that the facts presented are credible and reliable.

Importance of Fact Finding Hearings in Resolving Disputes

Fact finding hearings are essential in disputes where the factual background is contested. They provide a structured environment where evidence is scrutinised and evaluated, allowing for a fair and impartial determination of the truth. This process not only helps in delivering justice but also in maintaining the integrity of the legal system.

Key Responsibilities of Solicitors Before, During, and After a Fact Finding Hearing

Before the Hearing

Before the hearing, solicitors must conduct thorough investigations to gather all relevant evidence. This includes interviewing witnesses, collecting documents, and preparing witness statements. They must also ensure that all procedural requirements are met, such as filing necessary documents and adhering to court deadlines.

During the Hearing

During the hearing, solicitors present the gathered evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make submissions to the court. Their advocacy skills are crucial in persuading the court of the validity of their client’s version of events. Effective presentation of evidence and strategic questioning are key components of a solicitor’s role during this stage.

After the Hearing

Following the hearing, solicitors may need to assist in the implementation of the court’s findings. This could involve advising the client on the next steps, such as appealing the decision or complying with the court’s orders. They might also need to prepare further documentation or liaise with other legal professionals to ensure the smooth execution of the court’s directives.

Strategies and Best Practices for Solicitors

Preparing and Presenting Evidence

The preparation and presentation of evidence are paramount in fact finding hearings. Solicitors must be diligent in gathering comprehensive evidence that supports their client’s case. This involves not only collecting documents and witness statements but also anticipating potential counterarguments and preparing to address them.

Overcoming Common Challenges

Fact finding hearings often present numerous challenges, including uncooperative witnesses, incomplete evidence, and stringent timelines. Solicitors must be adept at navigating these obstacles, employing strategies such as negotiation skills to secure witness cooperation and time management techniques to meet deadlines.

Case Examples

To illustrate effective fact finding hearing strategies, consider a case where a solicitor successfully challenged the credibility of a witness by presenting contradictory documentary evidence. This approach not only discredited the witness’s testimony but also bolstered the client’s position, leading to a favourable outcome.


Fact finding hearings are integral to the fair administration of justice, and solicitors play a vital role in ensuring their effectiveness. By diligently preparing evidence, skilfully presenting it, and overcoming challenges, solicitors contribute to the accurate determination of facts in disputed cases. For law students and legal professionals, mastering these aspects is crucial for a successful career in the legal field.

If you are a solicitor seeking to refine your approach to fact finding hearings or a law student eager to learn more, engaging with experienced professionals and continuous learning is key. Remember, the foundation of a robust legal practice is built on the accurate and effective presentation of facts.