What is Legal Aid
Legal aid is made available by the government to help those of limited means to pay for mediation. You therefore receive free mediation if you qualify for legal aid.
Most of our clients assume that they would not qualify for legal aid or free mediation but lots of our clients are pleasantly surprised at their mediation information and assessment meeting when they are told that they do qualify and will therefore not have to pay a penny back in order to resolve their matter effectively through mediation.
If you are unsure whether you qualify for legal aid you can visit http://civil-eligibility-calculator.justice.gov.uk/.
The calculation is done on your disposable income at the end of each month along with capital means test. A proportion of your mortgage or rent is also deducted and any dependant children living in your house. It is therefore important you bring the relevant documentation to your assessment meeting to be sure whether you qualify.
Evidence of eligibility for Legal Aid
At your assessment meeting you will need to provide the following in order for mediation to proceed:
- Where you receive a welfare benefit, a letter which must be dated within the last six months. We may also need your most recent bank statement showing your benefit credited into your account
- Where you are in paid employment, your last month's pay slips showing your gross monthly income.
- Where you are self employed, your most recent accounts and business or personal bank statements for the preceding month.
The above is not an exhaustive list and you may be required to provide other evidence of income and outgoings.
As from 01 April 2013 we now need to assess your capital assets including any savings or equity in any property that you own. If you have £8000 in savings or equity in a property after certain disregards have been applied, you may not qualify for legal aid. However please contact us to discuss your situation as the formula that is applied to these calculations is not straight forward.
Paying privately for Mediation
If you are not eligible for public funding you will normally be charged privately at a rate of £125 plus VAT per hour per person (or £150 plus VAT per hour if your case is co-mediated two mediators).
Charges for complex cases or where gross income exceeds £80,000 or joint assets £2 million are assessed on a case by case basis. If you wish us to quote for a particular job, particularly where it is a different form of mediation, such as one relating to pre-nuptial or cohabitation arrangements, please email or ring for a discussion.
Costs of Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAM)
- If you qualify for legal aid your assessment meeting will be free of charge only if relevant and valid evidence of income is supplied as described above.
- If neither client qualifies or supplies evidence of income, a charge of £100 will be required when the assessment meeting takes place.
- If you are both prepared to attend a joint assessment meeting and neither qualifies the charge is £150 (usually shared equally, so £75 each)
- It is always advisable to bring proof of your income to your assessment meeting to allow the mediator to assess properly your eligibility as you may be entitled to legal aid.
Cost Advantages to Family Mediation
- There are no hidden charges e.g letters or telephone calls
- You pay as you go at the end of each session
- Our Mediators constantly check whether mediation is the most cost effective process for your dispute.
- Depending on the issues the majority of our mediations resolve themselves within two to three sessions
- You make payment at the end of each session.
Civil and Commercial Mediation
|Value of Dispute||Half Day||Full Day|
|Less than £15,000||£500 plus VAT||£1,000 plus VAT|
|Between £15,000-£30,000||£800 plus VAT||£1,200 plus VAT|
|Over £30,000||Contact Us||Contact Us|