First Directions Appointment (FDA)

    First directions appointment

    The First Directions Appointment, also known as FDA or just First Appointment, is the first hearing in financial proceedings. It is generally used as a “house-keeping”  hearing, where the court sets the timetable and directions for resolving the evidential issues between the parties. Ahead of the hearing, the parties produce a number of documents which are examined by the court.


    The questionnaire is the response to the Form E. In preparing the questionnaire, each party produces a list of questions they want answered and information or documents they want the other side to produce. The other party is required to produce full and frank answers to each of these questions.

    During the first appointment, the court will examine each questionnaire and ensure each question is relevant and proportionate to the matters at hand. After that, each party will be given a few weeks to prepare answers to the questionnaire.

    Statement of issues

    A statement of issues is a document setting out the differences between the parties’ cases. This allows the court to focus on the important issues, and set the directions and timetable accordingly.