Mediators remain impartial in mediation. They cannot give legal advice to either person, although they are well informed about how the law works and they can provide useful legal information during mediation sessions.

You can seek advice from a solicitor at any point, and people tend to do this at the start of mediation; once all the financial information has been disclosed; or once proposals have been put forward. This helps you to be fully informed about your position and can sometimes help people to be more realistic during mediation negotiations. 

People are understandably anxious about the cost of paying for legal advice as well as mediation. Statistically however, costs for those who use mediation with legal advice alongside are less than half the costs of dealing with matters through solicitors alone. (Source: National Audit Office).

Remember, some solicitors offer free initial consultations (FI) or fixed fee packages (FF). Otherwise, their charges for advising or assisting you are calculated according to an hourly charging rate, plus VAT.

People who are eligible for Legal Aid and who are actively seeking financial solutions in mediation are entitled to a limited amount of free legal advice to support the mediation process, from solicitors who can offer Legal Aid (LA). This is called Help with Family Mediation (HM).

If you’re unable to mediate, Collaborative Law (CL) may be something to consider. A solicitor who offers collaborative law would sit with you, your ex-partner and their solicitor to try to resolve matters. There are various protocols to ensure this is used for the purpose of reaching agreement.

Solicitors who can support your work in mediation

OfferingFirmSolicitorsLocation
FIAplinsAnn Barker,
Amanda Stopps
Banbury
FF
CL
Blake Morgan LLP Christine Plews,
James Davies,
Catherine Morgan,
Laura Bennett,
Harriet Shaw,
Gemma Daley
 Oxford
HM
LA
FF
Boardman Hawkins & Osborne LLP (BH&O LLP)Ruth Hawkins,
Emily Boardman,
Irena Osborne,
Helen Bishop,
Nel Grimbleby,
Claire Hardy 
 Abingdon
FFFamily First SolicitorsJenny Warriner,
Henrietta Pote,
Terri Anson-Dean,
Hannah Mugleston
Woodstock Road, Oxford
FI (30 min)
FF
CL
Freeths LLPRachael Oakes,
Claire Colbert,
Joanne Thomas,
Tom Burgess,
Gemma Nicholls-Webber
Oxford Business Park, OX4 2BH
FFHMG Law LLPChristina Cree,
Alexandra Smith
Bicester & Oxford
FIJohn Welch and StammersKerry JoelsWitney
FI
FF
CL
Lightfoots LLP Gill Wright,
Petrova Caldecourt,
Madeleine Harrington
 Thame
FI (phone)
FF
Orange Tree SolicitorsMohammad RanaCowley, Oxford
CLPenningtonsJane Mitchell,
Ruth James,
Stuart Webber,
Eleanor Moodey
Oxford Business Park, OX4 2HN
FI
FF
CL
Royds Withy KingSimon Bassett,
Mark Phillips,
Andrew Nellist,
Georgina Nelson &
Monicka Rai
Oxford & Thame  
FFSlade LegalHelen Duthie, 
Katherine Semlyen, 
Elizabeth Stocker
Wallingford, Abingdon, Didcot
FI (options only),
FF
Spratt EndicottPatrick Mulcare,
Gemma Davison,
Harry White
Banbury & Bicester
Stacey and Mason LLPMartyn Stacey,
William Mason
Witney