Friday, 2 January 2009

Red File - A new choice for separating couples

I have posted, below, a draft press release for the Red File system that I have been creating for Mogers Solicitors in Bath.

Please do pitch in with comments or suggestions. If you would like more details on how the scheme is comprised then let me know with a request in the comments, or by messaging at

New Choice for Separating Couples

Many married couples, having made the difficult decision to separate, are finding that they are unable to do so. For some this will be because of the lack of lending or reducing equity in their homes.

For others it is because of the cost of legal fees themselves.

Either way this can result in couples having to remain locked in a marriage which neither of them wants, leading to frustration and resentment.

One Bath firm have created a new legal service to help such couples.

“We are providing a service to enable people to file and complete their own divorces and financial matters while still offering support and guidance.” explains Neil Denny, family solicitor with Mogers on Queen Square, Bath.

“By working alongside people instead of taking over the full conduct of their case, we can help people to move matters forward in a way which is affordable and easier to manage.”

Neil Denny believes that new services such as these are the future for the legal profession. “The market will increasingly expect solicitors to be more flexible in how they work for their clients. They will want to see solicitors recognising the fact that clients are often willing and able to do some of the work themselves.”

The Red File assisted legal services model works on the basis that clients will choose and only pay a small fixed fee for the sections of their divorce and financial case that they want help with.

“The benefit is that people can budget not only for how much their case will cost, but they can also timetable for when each part needs to be paid.”

“We are excited to be leading the debate on the future of providing legal services with this product. We look forward to making the system available in other areas of law to include probate, children law matters and small claims litigation.”

Contact Neil Denny for more information on 01225 750000.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

The problem with dispute resolution...

It is easy, within dispute resolution, to imagine that the movement is beyond criticism.

This is one of the topics addressed in the excellent book "Beyond Neutrality" by Bernard Mayer.

Here is another reminder reported in the Law Society Gazette a couple of weeks ago. Dame Hazel Genn, professor of socio-legal studies at University College London, is quoted as saying that mediation "Is not about just settlement" Instead, she asserts, "It is just about settlement."

There are various schools of socio-political criticism of dispute resolution suggesting that ADR processes perpetuate power imbalances and abuses, keep resolved issues out of the body of publicly decided cases and precedents, and the critique levied here that mediation and ADR processes somehow sidestep or marginalise this thing called Justice.

The article, written by Joshua Rozenburg is stridently put and does not seem to hold too much sympathy with Dame Hazel Genn's position. It is worth noting however that the lectures in which her critique was presented are to be published later in Spring.

It will be interesting to read the whole speech to ensure that her reported comments are in context and also to hear more about the objections to dispute resolution. As Bill Gates is reported to have once said; "Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."