The near-total collapse in numbers of solicitors providing legal advice and assistance to publicly-funded clients attempting to settle private family law issues through mediation since the legal aid reforms implemented in 2013 raises important questions about how, if at all, clients in mediation can receive legal information and advice other than from lawyers in financial cases following divorce. This article explores, in a preliminary way, this aspect of mediation practice, drawing on small-scale qualitative data from a study conducted shortly prior to the legal aid reforms concerning the settlement of such cases. It explores how mediators then approached their (permissible) function of providing clients with legal information and how they dealt with cases where they felt that the proposed outcome was particularly unfair to one party or unlikely to be endorsed by a court, and asks how mediation practice – and legal practice – may come under pressure to change in this brave new world.
- family law reform
- financial remedies on divorce
- legal advice
- Legal aid
- legal information