Duties of the court at the first appointment
9.15.—(1) The first appointment must be conducted with the objective of defining the issues and saving costs.
(2) At the first appointment the court must determine—
(a)the extent to which any questions seeking information under rule 9.14(5)(c) must be answered; and
(b)what documents requested under rule 9.14(5)(c) must be produced,
and give directions for the production of such further documents as may be necessary.
(3) The court must give directions where appropriate about—
(a)the valuation of assets (including the joint instruction of joint experts);
(b)obtaining and exchanging expert evidence, if required;
(c)the evidence to be adduced by each party; and
(d)further chronologies or schedules to be filed by each party.
(4) If the court decides that a referral to a FDR appointment is appropriate it must direct that the case be referred to a FDR appointment.
(5) If the court decides that a referral to a FDR appointment is not appropriate it must direct one or more of the following—
(a)that a further directions appointment be fixed;
(b)that an appointment be fixed for the making of an interim order;
(c)that the case be fixed for a final hearing and, where that direction is given, the court must determine the judicial level at which the case should be heard.
(By rule 3.3 the court may also direct that the case be adjourned if it considers that alternative dispute resolution is appropriate.)
(6) In considering whether to make a costs order under rule 28.3(5), the court must have particular regard to the extent to which each party has complied with the requirement to send documents with the financial statement and the explanation given for any failure to comply.
(7) The court may—
(a)where an application for an interim order has been listed for consideration at the first appointment, make an interim order;
(b)having regard to the contents of the notice filed by the parties under rule 9.14(5)(d), treat the appointment (or part of it) as a FDR appointment to which rule 9.17 applies;
(c)in a case where a pension sharing order or a pension attachment order is requested, direct any party with pension rights to file and serve a Pension Inquiry Form, completed in full or in part as the court may direct; and
(d)in a case where a pension compensation sharing order or a pension compensation attachment order is requested, direct any party with PPF compensation rights to file and serve a Pension Protection Fund Inquiry Form, completed in full or in part as the court may direct.
(8) Both parties must personally attend the first appointment unless the court directs otherwise.