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Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2848
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I have made a complaint to my solicitor in that she did

Customer Question

Hello I have made a complaint to my solicitor in that she did not tell me that mediation became mandatory 22nd April 2014 right after this a large bill was racked up on what I feel was unnecessary work , should she have told me of this change in the law.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your question. I am a qualified family law solicitor.
Just a bit more information required. What is the issue about? Financial matters or children matters, and has there been a conclusion to the issues?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have been divorced for five years this was to sort out consent form without the need to go to court ,and it has been signed off by the judge so all is complete between my ex wife and I .This issue is something that came to light recently .
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would it be easier to talk over the telephone? ***********
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the confirmation. Mediation itself did not become compulsory in April 2014, only the requirement for the applicant to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment (MIAM) meeting with an independent mediator to see if mediation is suitable. However, the MIAM requirement is only compulsory were you to pursue an application to court for financial relief.
As you were negotiating and reaching an agreement through a solicitor, your solicitor had no obligation to refer you to a mediator, however as part of good practice they should have informed you that mediation is an option.
I see that you have stated it would have saved you £1280 in legal costs, however, this is assuming that your ex-wife would have agreed to mediation and mediation would have been successful. Even if mediation was successful, the mediator would not be providing you with legal advice about any of the agreements you would reach, and would only be there to facilitate negotiations, therefore you would have still needed the services of a solicitor to advise you about the agreement, draw up the consent order, submit it to court and assist with implementing the order once approved by the court.
Harris and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As it was my ex-wife and I that reached an agreement outside of mediation and solicitors , they were used to draw up and submit the consent form to the court , therefore I say that I should have been told of this development because we did go to mediation three times !
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
I think you should continue with the internal complaint, and if you are not satisfied about the outcome you are entitled to pursue it with the Legal Ombudsman. However, as previously stated the solicitor had no obligation to advise about a referral to mediation as you were not pursuing court proceedings and you had attended mediation in any event.
You may wish to check the fees of the solicitors, as if they were all incurred only for advice on the agreement and drafting of the consent order then I feel that the fees have been incurred rightfully, as there would have been no need to advise regarding making a referral to mediation given that issues had been agreed amicably between you and your ex-wife and there was no intention to pursue a court application.