That's not what my local LSC has been saying. If a mediation takes place, proceedings are subsequently issued and a financial settlement is achieved, the Statutory Charge applies to the mediation costs too.
The last mediation certificate I saw was had a costs limiation of £350 + VAT but they usually start at £250 + VAT.
I have just checked with the person responsible for mediation at the Legal Services Commission. He confirms that the statutory charge does not apply to mediation costs. The cost of mediation, if you are eligible for legal aid is totally free.
It rather depends who you talk to at the LSC. At best the organisation is 'inconsistent'. My understanding, and that of my colleagues, was that the Stat Charge does not attach to mediation costs yet the last case I came upon did the opposite.
I have been a mediator for 15 years and I have never known the statutory charge attach to mediation costs. If one is eligible for public funding mediation is free. The person I spoke to at the LSC is the person who deals with all mediation related enquiries.
Private mediation costs vary, anything from £50 an hour to a £130 an hour. Generally I would say that if people are willing to mediate because they want to sort out their own arrangements rather than letting a court decide and they are willing to try and co-operate in the intersts of avoiding conflict for their children and themselves, most people can sort out a settlement in 3 to 4 sessions of about an hour to an hour and a half.
Getting muddled now. www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/docs/eia-scope.pdf
Will the plug be pulled on all legal aid -?including for mediation? - except where there's domestic violence and child abduction:
i.e. the recent consultation included:
"Option 9 – Remove family private (excluding ) from scope
Under this option, all family private matters, excluding those matters relating to domestic violence and child abduction, would no longer be retained in scope. These cases cover a range of issues, including:
orders for child contact and / or residence;
parental responsibility orders;
prohibited steps or specific issue orders;
divorce, Ancillary Relief, judicial separation, nullity and dissolution of civil partnership"
It is possible. But not for at least a year and the plan is that legal aid for mediation will still be retained.
The LSC considers mediation to be cost effective. The evidence from those using mediation is that it is possible to achieve a solution that both people can live with at a fraction of the cost and time taken in adversarial court proceedings.So for the people involved mediation is a more constructive way forward. With this in mind, it is unlikely that legal aid for mediation will go.
In fact mediation is being positively encouraged at the moment. Anyone who is planning to issue an application to the court to sort out finances and arrangements for the children from April 6th will first have to attend a meeting with a mediator to consider mediation as an alternative route to court proceedings.
Will applications to vary an order for spousal maintenance require mediation awareness/information sessions?
Can applications to vary an existing order or to capitalise periodical payments to achieve a Clean Break be settled by mediation?