Richard Randall speaks to Chelmsford Weekly News about legal aid change

The Chelmsford Weekly News published an article this week titled “Solicitor wants rethink over legal aid change” in which Richard Randall of Leonard Gray urged the Government to rethink changes to legal aid for families and divorcing couples.

The article explained that as part of the restructure which took hold on April 1, only those who have been affected by domestic violence or forced marriage will be eligible for legal aid.

However Mr. Randall feels the new system could cause more heartache for couples seeking a divorce. He said “There will be more unhappy couples in abusive relationships forced to stay together and more deserted mothers and fathers denied contact to their children. What needs to happen is the Government needs to put more real money into legal aid for mediation, rather than making eligibility even tighter.”

There are quicker, cheaper and less stressful options available

Lord McNally. The Justice Minister said “At £2billion a year we have one of the most expensive legal aid systems in the world, and it’s now costing taxpayers too much at a time when resources are not limitless. We must make sure taxpayers’ money is not spent resolving too many disputes in court, when there are quicker, cheaper and less stressful options available, like mediation which we know often works well in divorce cases.”

What is mediation?

Mediation helps you to reach agreed solutions for you and your family, rather than imposed Court decisions.

Instead of negotiating with your partner at arm’s length through your own separate solicitors, or battling it out through the courts, you and your partner work together with the help of a trained family mediator to resolve the issues yourselves.

You retain control at all times.  Most people prefer to reach their own agreements than have these imposed upon them by a third party such as a Judge.

If you’re new to mediation…

Try our FAQs and our Case examples. These are very popular areas of our web site and offer answers to all the questions we’re asked by our clients. 

Alternatively, you’re very welcome to have an informal discussion with Jo or Sharon on 01245 264764.

Richard Randall, Senior Partner at Leonard Gray.
Richard Randall is an ADR accredited civil and commercial mediator and a member of the Law Society Mediation and Law Society Family Specialist Panels. Richard specialises in high conflict mediations of all descriptions and is able to turn that very conflict into a positive force.

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