A new scheme is being launched this month offering a more affordable legal advice service to people who are “just about managing” financially – or “Jams.” The hourly rate under this scheme is set at around £125 per hour (plus VAT), and is available to people with income of less than £20,000 per annum and under £20,000 of accessible savings. The scheme is accessible through the OnlyMums & OnlyDads’ Family Law Panel and operated and delivered by family solicitors who are members of Resolution, the national family law organisation. OnlyMums & OnlyDads is a registered not-for-profit Community Interest Company and has been running their Family Law Panel for 3 years. The Panel consists entirely of members of Resolution, who sign up to a service level agreement. This offers individuals coming through OnlyMums & OnlyDads an initial free conversation, with the aim of outlining the options available to best overcome particular legal issues and problems.
Bob Greig, Co-Director of OnlyMums & OnlyDads said:
“The reduced fees scheme is timely; a number of people – the so-called “Jams” – often struggle to pay full commercial rates. We know that many parents are looking to perhaps use professional advisors to take on particular bits of work on their individual cases and a figure in the region of £125 an hour is clearly more manageable than £250 (or more) an hour. We will be encouraging organisations nationwide to signpost to this scheme.”
OnlyMums & OnlyDads CIC was founded nine years ago by Rebecca Giraud and Bob Greig. As the name suggests, it helps and supports both mothers and fathers through the divorce and separation. Rebecca said:
“Getting away from talk of rights and instead providing people with information that is both professional and objective is central to our work. Most people coming through our websites have legal concerns – both before and during court proceedings – and the Family Law Panel is doing a great job in listening and offering suggestions on the options available to people.
“Giving people options and choices to make is, above all, empowering”
Solicitor Lucy Mead, Partner and Head of Family at David Gray and a member of the Family Law Panel said: “we have signed up to this scheme as we want to make it easier for everyone to be able to access expert advice when they need it. we are delighted to be working with Only Mums and Only Dads to deliver more affordable legal help.”
Nigel Shepherd, Chair of Resolution, said: “We fully support this important initiative and are delighted that the Family Law Panel has chosen to work exclusively with Resolution members, who are all signed up to our Code of Practice. This commits them to working with separating families in a constructive, non-confrontational way.
“In an environment where legal aid is very limited for independent legal advice and representation in family cases, Resolution members across the country have been looking for innovative solutions to help families with limited means. This new scheme is a great way to bring some of these members together and make them easier to find for separating couples.”