From the outside looking in it might be easy to presume that the primary focus of any solicitor is to take a case to court and win a victory for their client. At Higgins Miller, however, we don’t work like that. Our aim is always to do what’s best for each individual client, and in many cases this will mean actively working to avoid an appearance in court. By reaching a solution before court action becomes necessary we can save our clients time, stress and money, and one of the methods we utilise to make this happen is fixed fee mediation. Although we don’t undertake the mediation ourselves, we can either support our clients through the process or offer advice between mediation sessions.
We specialise in areas such as divorce and civil partnerships, family law, children disputes and adoption and special guardianship. In all of these areas we are aware of the emotional impact of the issues being worked through and view lawyer supported mediation as a means of reducing this impact as much as possible. By pointing clients in the direction of an independent mediator we aim to bring both sides of an argument together to try and reach an agreement. Working in this manner can speed the process of resolving problems such as a financial dispute or a disagreement over matters like the residence of or access to children. The advantage of this method is that it combines the legal expertise of our lawyers with the less adversarial approach of an independent mediator, meaning that solutions can be reached more quickly without any drop-off in the quality and accuracy of the legal details of a case.
Another huge advantage is that the cost of mediation is much lower than that of many other forms of dispute resolution. Our fixed costs page lists the kind of price we charge for various services, and an advice meeting lasting up to an hour, which is often the ideal for solution for clients already involved in mediation, currently costs only £90, a fee which includes a summary of the issues discussed during the meeting.
Moving forward, there’s a chance that a client may need more of our help as the mediation process advances. Our lawyer supported mediation costs are calculated on the basis of each client’s individual financial circumstances, and the services offered are tailored to meet specific requirements whilst keeping the cost as low as possible. Throughout, we will use our expertise to ensure that any agreements or solutions arrived at via independent mediation comply fully with all legal requirements.
We’re acutely aware of the emotional impact of cases of this kind and know full well that worries over financing any action can add hugely to the stress involved. When dealing with complicated financial matters and the future well-being of children we don’t think our clients should also have to be worried about things such as the cost of divorce mediation. That’s why we provide each client with a full estimate of costs at the outset, including a provisional fixed legal fee and a guide to the cost of lawyer supported mediation.
Resolving the issues which arise when relationships break down is never going to be easy, but by pointing our clients in the direction of family mediation we like to feel we’re helping to remove as many of the more unpleasant aspects as possible. The lower cost of mediation will allow clients to concentrate on the personal issues involved, and on reaching the best and fairest agreement, without having to worry about prohibitive legal bills mounting as the process moves forward.
If you’d like to know more about how we can support family mediation, the cost of mediation advice or our other services then calls us on 0161 429 7251, or email us at [email protected]. It costs nothing for an initial 20 minute legal aid appraisal, either in person or over the phone. If you decide to proceed, a Fixed Fee first appointment costs just £50 (Plus VAT).