The future of family law services in England in Wales is coming into sharp focus as hundreds of millions of pounds of legal aid is withdrawn by the government each year. Thousands of high street solicitors and barristers will need to innovate and work in new ways to survive in their present number.
With this firmly in mind, Rachel Duke, Head of Family Law at Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP has helped devise a new option for separating families that offers both affordability and price certainty where previously there was none.
The approach is called Lawyer-Supported Mediation (LSM) and is being pioneered by a network of solicitors in four regional UK hubs including London. LSM harnesses the demonstrable efficiency of family mediation once underway by fusing it with fixed fee legal advice to meet client demand for partisan support and reassurance. As well as making family mediation a more compelling client choice, participating legal advisers ensure decision making at mediation is informed and that a mediated agreement falls within the parameters of what a court would award.
LSM brings down the cost of deciding child arrangements and/or finances compared to the hourly rate charged by traditional law firms for services such as negotiations and representation at court. It also provides price certainty up front because a fixed fee is offered.
Given that almost half of separating couples do not seek any legal advice about their situation at all, it is hoped LSM will grow the market for family law services by making the legal profession more accessible at a time when separating partners absolutely need to be aware of their legal entitlements.
Our Family Department is committed to providing a high quality, solution focused service which you won’t find in most other Family law teams.
If you are concerned about minimising the effect of relationship breakdown on the productivity of your workforce or if this is already an issue within your organisation; Ronald Fletcher Baker’s Family Department can offer the business owner or HR professional practical advice and guidance on how best to support their valued staff.
For your enquiries contact Rachel Duke on 020 7613 7119 or at email@example.com