Legal Aid pays mediation costs for those who meet certain conditions relating to income and capital.
We are pleased to say that we have linked up with Compass-Resolution to offer Legal Aid for family mediation to those who need it in Oxfordshire.
What are your options?
If we don’t carry out your mediation via Compass-Resolution, you would pay:
£90 for a MIAM and £120 for a mediation meeting, per person.
If you choose to be assessed and you qualify for Legal Aid, then we would conduct your mediation under the umbrella of Compass-Resolution. They have a contract with the Legal Aid Agency and through them we are able to offer Legally Aided mediation.
What is the impact on you of this decision?
If you are assessed for Legal Aid and your mediation is carried out as a Compass-Resolution case, then both you and the person you are mediating with would become Compass clients. Someone who doesn’t qualify for Legal Aid would pay Compass rates for all of their mediation sessions. Compass rates are slightly higher, as they include VAT. They are:
£110 for a MIAM and £145 for a mediation meeting, per person.
So, what does the person who gets Legal Aid pay?
The person who qualifies for Legal Aid gets mediation free. (If you qualify for Legal Aid, you are also entitled to funding for a small amount of work called ‘Help with Mediation’ from a solicitor who offers this service.)
Are there any benefits to the non-Legally Aided person in becoming a Compass-Resolution client?
Yes! The paying client would have their MIAM paid for by Legal Aid, and their first mediation would also be free. So, for example, here is a fee comparison based on you attending 3 meetings:
|Cost to paying client||Via Compass, with Legal Aid||Without Legal Aid|
Though rates via Compass are higher, even if you attend 6 mediation meetings, which would be very rare, the paying client would pay less via Compass, because Legal Aid covers the first meeting costs. Via Compass, the Legally Aided client would pay nothing.
Can you change your minds later on?
If you start mediation as Compass clients, then we would carry out the whole mediation on that basis – you can’t switch halfway through. So please read through all of this information to understand what it would mean for you.
Please ask your mediator if you have any questions.
How can I be assessed for Legal Aid?
To be assessed for Legal Aid, you’ll need to provide paper copies of the following documents:
- Your bank statement(s) for the 31 days up to the date of your MIAM
- Benefits award letter, including tax credits, dated within last 6 months
- All payslip(s) dated within the same period
- Evidence of any self employed income during the last 31 days, plus your most recent accounts / tax return
- Evidence of expenditure on housing and registered childcare
We can only carry out your Legal Aid assessment when you bring evidence to your MIAM, and can’t guarantee eligibility, so please come prepared to pay for your meeting.
You may be able to check whether you are likely to qualify for Legal Aid here: http://civil-eligibility-calculator.justice.gov.uk/