Harmony Mediation news

1st January 2013

Happy New Year to all our clients and professional contacts!

Three months to the great legal aid change....

2013 will prove to be an interesting year for family law as the government redirects legal aid for those separating or divorcing (or with a child contact matter) away from solicitors and towards family mediation, with effect from 1st April. 

Clients will be able to access legal advice but only in the form of 'Help with Mediation' meaning that they will need to be going through mediation in order to obtain a legal view from a solicitor.

Harmony Mediation are gearing up for this change and will be working with solicitors to provide a seamless service for our mediation clients. 

6th December 2012

New Kentish Town office now open.

Harmony Mediation's Practice Manager, Kate Moffatt, visited the new office on Tuesday 4th December to make sure all the arrangements are in place for the service's new London clients. 

Says Kate: "I'm so pleased we've been able to open our London office in such an easily accessible location.  The warm and welcoming staff should make all our clients feel at ease. It is good to be opening a seventh office and to be able to extend our services to reach clients living in north and central London."

27th November 2012

Harmony Mediation to open new London office in NW5.

Harmony Mediation has been given approval by the Legal Services Commission to offer legal aid family mediation in north London.  The new office, to open on the 1st December 2012, will be located in London NW5 is ideally positioned to serve clients living in the London Boroughs of Camden, Islington and Haringey.  The new office is easily accessed from Kentish Town and Gospel Oak stations.

Enquiries to 0845 500 6255.

1st October 2012

Harmony Mediation repositions as a social enterprise...'a company with a social purpose where the profits are reinvested in the business....'

Harmony Mediation announces that the company's Board of Directors has taken a decision to reposition as a social enterprise.  This means that the company will continue to operate along commercial lines, using business efficiencies to make profits, but these will be subsequently re-invested to help promote and expand the service's work.

Rather than maximising profit for shareholders or owners, profits are reinvested into the community or back into the business. It’s this which makes social enterprise the most exciting and inspiring business movement in the world. (Social Enterprise London- SEL)

The official definition of a social enterprise to which SEL subscribes is:

'a social enterprise is a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners'(Department of Trade and Industry, 2002).

22nd September 2012

'Lets hear it for jaw-jaw not war-war'  Bel Mooney, Daily Mail 'Agony Aunt'.

"...Truly I don't understand why every couple who've decided to separate shouldn't be obliged to have at least one mediation session......But most of all I beg you to find out about mediation if your marriage is in trouble and you're thinking of consuting a solicitor.

It (family mediation) should always be the first stop.  The facts speak for themselves: family mediation is cheaper and quicker than going to court and reduces the conflict in divorce.

You know, I always try to reassure those who write in that there is help 'out there' - if you just seek it.  I passionately believe that the crux of most of our problems as human beings is failure to understand others - and ourselves.  A skillful, caring stranger can help you find the way."

(Extracts from longer article)

August 2012

5,000 cases and going strong.....

Harmony Mediation received the service's 5,000th referral this month, marking a milestone in the service's history. 

Practice Director Mairead McKeever said: "It is satisfying to have reached this important milestone but we are aware that there are changes ahead, particularly with the anticipated increase in demand for family mediation. We won't be resting on our laurels and will of course continue to offer a quality professional service to our clients and their solicitors."

23rd January 2012

Family Mediation - Ministry of Justice Press Release:

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has today urged separating couples to consider family mediation when they separate or divorce, instead of turning to the courts.

Mr Clarke said:

"In the vast majority of cases mediation is a much more sensible way for couples to conduct their separation - it is quicker, cheaper, less confrontational and it encourages people to resolve their issues rather than turning to judges and lawyers."

3rd November 2011 Final Report of the Family Justice Review published

David Norgrove, chair of the Family Justice Review, said:


"Our package of recommendations to the Government and the judiciary will make the current family justice system more effective.... We also propose better ways for parents to be helped to keep the focus on their children as they separate, with information, education and mediation, and court action only if all that fails.".. ."."...

20th August 2011 in The Independent 'Your Money'

Article: From 'For Richer, for poorer...now economy adds to the pain of divorce'

"The clean break has become a bit more of a myth, particularly where there are children" says Mairead McKeever, St Albans based family mediator at Harmony Mediation "Where there are children it's almost completely impossible to have a clean break unless there are very substantial assets".

Article in The Times (Monday 7th February 2011

Family Mediation can be a cheaper and quicker way to wrangle over assets and child-access issues. Lawyers need to be brought in only to rubber-stamp the mutual agreement. Figures from the National Audit Office indicate it can cost 25% of the price of lawyers’ fees (as little as £1,000) and take 25% of the time (as quick as 110 days) of going to court’.January 2011 - Statement on the Ministry of Justice website.

Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly said:

“Mediation can be quicker, cheaper and provide better outcomes than going to court. We are now actively looking at ways we can make sure everyone who wants to issue family proceedings is aware of mediation and has the opportunity to find out about it and consider it as a way to resolve their disputes.”  

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