What we charge
Our mediation costs £400 per hour, whether one or two mediators are involved; this hourly charge is divided equally between the clients unless you ask us to make a different arrangement. Most mediation sessions last for an hour and a half, and therefore cost £600, divided between you. Mediation usually involves three to six sessions. We do not charge for preparing for the sessions, or for writing letters between sessions, but we do charge for the creation of the formal paperwork that may be produced in the course of the mediation – £500 for a Open Statement of Financial Information and £500 for a Memorandum of Understanding or Parenting Plan, again divided equally between the clients. The total cost of mediation is therefore likely to be between about £2,500 and £5,000, shared between you. If the mediation is successful, there are likely to be some additional legal costs, but these should be relatively limited.
In England the current hourly rate for an average High Street solicitor qualified to work with families is about £200 plus VAT, while specialist solicitors in London charge anything up to £700 an hour. How many hours you will be charged for depends entirely on how many hours the solicitors need to spend dealing with your case; each of you will need a separate solicitor, and the legal costs of going to court are rarely less than £20,000, rising to much more in complicated cases.
The cost of divorce in the courts
Judges often refer to the large number of cases that involve ‘disproportionate’ costs, meaning cases in which the legal costs of the argument consume an unacceptably high proportion of the assets in dispute. Whether or not the mediation enables the couple to reach a legally-binding agreement, the legal costs are likely to be lower following mediation than they would be otherwise, because during the mediation the couple will, at the very least, have the opportunity to discuss the issues face to face, identifying the key areas of disagreement and concern.
'Academic research has found that if separating couples are willing to participate, mediation can help them settle disputes more cheaply, more quickly and less acrimoniously than is possible either through the courts or through legal representation.'
National Audit Office report, 2007