I was listening to BBC Radio 5 live on my way into work recently when the presenters began discussing the recent report published by the Legal Ombudsman, “The Price of Separation”. The report reveals that one in five (18%) of the 7,500 complaints resolved last year where divorce or family law related cases making it the most complained about area of law.
The Legal Ombudsman’s report also comes at a time when the Legal Watchdog has revealed that an unemployed mother, Miss A, was sent a bill for a whooping £4,000 by her divorce solicitor for ….wait for it… photocopying!
27% of divorce-related complaints concerned poor cost information and one in five complainants said they were not given an estimate of fees when they consulted the lawyer.
The Ombudsman said it found some cases where bills exceeded divorcees' expectations by more than £30,000.
At Stephensons we fully understand the stress and uncertainty many clients feel when separating from their spouse. We are renowned for prioritising the needs of our clients and our fixed fee divorce packages give clients the comfort of knowing that their costs are not going to spiral out of control. We provide accurate costs information and operate an efficient system so that divorces are finalised ASAP. We certainly do not drag matters out.
We provide regular costs updates to all our clients and regular estimates of the future costs for work to avoid the horror situation of an invoice for £30,000 more than what they expected. If the costs are more than what have been budgeted for we will tell them. If you want us to stop any work we will.
By family law solicitor Donna Leigh