For many people, representing themselves or directly negotiating with their former partner is fraught with difficulty. Even when there is some residual good will or even just realism, it is not easy for people to stand their ground or negotiate freely due to all of the communications and miscommunications that have already taken place.
Simply put, people are often unable to negotiate because the damaged relationship gets in the way. It is not that people suddenly cease to be competent or numerate, but all of the other ‘baggage’ gets in the way.
Full Service Representation creates a buffer and even if only one party has representation, it does offer the chance of misunderstandings and old conflicts to be avoided or reduced.
In transformative mediation, the philosophical background is that once clear communication and understanding has been achieved, the problem or issue shrinks to something easily managed. Whilst we are happy to work alongside mediation, many people want to address the issue at hand and not embark upon a lengthy and often emotionally difficult series of meetings without the focus of a deal. We can assist improve that communication, but we are outcome-focused.
When we represent people, we work alongside them and they remain in control. Years ago, people would pass a legal issue to the lawyer, write a blank cheque as to costs and wait (for ages) for a result. That is not how we work – we listen and then identify the options so that our clients make the major decisions with our guidance. With Full Representation, we can be authorised to make routine decisions based on our understanding of the process, but we do not ‘take over’.
With Full Representation, we still work with you, but we look after the correspondence with the other party, their representatives, experts and the court. A great proportion of the cases we deal with have agreed outcomes which did not need the intervention the court and are the product of discussion and negotiation. For those that need some outside intervention – even if only to bring the other party to the negotiating table – having Full Service Representation makes the process smoother: clients make the big decisions, but we are authorised to take the steps to implement them.
At Major Family Law, we have brought together lawyers and support staff at various levels – so that rather than having the most expensive lawyer do all the work at their charging rate, we will work as a team so that the overall fees charged can be reduced by having some of the work done by less expensive team-members under the supervision of the most senior member. We know that clients do not want to be paying for a senior solicitor to be collating documents and preparing schedules, when that work can be done by a less expensive member of the team, so we use the abilities of the whole team, particularly if there are a lot of assets or a court application. Having worked in that way for some time, there is a lot of mutual understanding between us which starts from your enquiry and continues until the deal or Order is implemented.