There is a great deal of frustration among our members that publicly-funded mediation numbers have plummeted since LASPO, and there is a welcome recognition in the report that the loss of the referral route from solicitors has created a barrier to people accessing mediation.
It’s therefore important that government recognises the crucial role that family lawyers play – particularly those who sign up to the Resolution Code of Practice – in helping separating couples reach agreement.
We’d like to have seen this addressed more directly in the recommendations, and we do have concerns that this represents a missed opportunity to address some of the problems that LASPO has caused.
This isn’t simply about mediation, of course, and we’d like to see more emphasis on other methods which can help people manage separation whether it’s through mediation, the collaborative process, arbitration or solicitor negotiation. No two couples are the same, and we want to see a system where separating couples are given as much information as possible to help them find a solution that is right for them.'
The full report is available to download