As a result of the legal aid cut backs, family solicitors are now ‘unbundling’ their legal services to meet the demands of the emerging client base that cannot afford to instruct Solicitors on a traditional retainer basis. Please read the update on the Law Society Website here.
For those of you who are going through the traumatic time of a family break up or are contemplating separation/divorce from your partner, the above news will be of help to you if you are worried about securing legal services that is affordable.
Effectively, unbundling allows you to obtain legal services on a pay as you go basis on areas of your case that you feel it is absolutely necessary for you get legal advice and /or representation without having to instruct your solicitor to have full conduct of your matter on a formal full retainer basis.
There will have to be a clear understanding about what steps your solicitor is instructed to undertake on your behalf e.g. providing initial advice on law and procedure, ad hoc advice to help you represent yourself in Court proceedings or checking and drafting documents. The case will be ‘client-led’ as opposed to ‘solicitor-led’. This allows you to stay in control of your case and limits your legal costs moving forwards. So, your solicitor will offer legal services on what is known as a ‘partial retainer’. If you would like to find out more information about how this works in practice please see the Practice Note issued by the Law Society for Solicitors here.
This kind of service will only be suitable for those of you feel confident and competent to take control and charge of your case with bespoke services and support from your Solicitor.
If you are contemplating separation or divorce from your partner or you have already separated, I would suggest that you consider in the first instance, the services of a family mediator to reach your own informed decisions about property, finance and/or children.
Family mediation will prove to be a less stressful and a more dignified option to resolving your differences. It will limit both the financial and emotional costs of your break up. For more information visit the Family Mediation pages on my website.
- Unbundled Services: The future of legal services for the average person? (reasonabledoubters.net)
- Changes To Civil Legal Aid – No April Fool! (sushmakotechafamilymediation.com)
- Thousands face struggle to afford legal bills (mirror.co.uk)