News Brief: Fighting for a slice of the pie

The Observer reports today that: "Solicitors have warned couples planning to use low-cost websites to get a "quickie" divorce that they could risk making catastrophic errors through lack of legal advice." With the likely abolition of legal aid, this could be the first salvo in a war of words between those offering 'traditional' divorce services and cheaper online alternatives, as the two sides fight for a slice of the pie.

Law Society president Linda Lee is quoted as saying: "Divorce can be a highly complex issue and it would be difficult for any case to receive a full and thorough analysis without a client having had the benefit of at least one face-to-face meeting with a family law solicitor."

On the other hand, Mark Keenan, managing director of Divorce-Online claims that solicitors misunderstand the role his company plays: "We're the end of the process, not the beginning. We recommend that people seek advice from solicitors, then once they've decided how to deal with their finances, children and other issues, come to us for the uncontested divorce. We can't give advice, and if someone comes to us still needing advice we will try to find somewhere suitable to provide it."

This, though, does not entirely satisfy the 'traditionalists'. The report continues: "Roz Bever, a partner specialising in family law with Manchester firm Mace & Jones, accepts Keenan's claim, but adds that the saving achieved by getting an online divorce would be negligible."

Expect more of the same in the months to come...


  1. Trads always say the same thing and have done year in year out but simply provide no proof that doing it online is dangerous or risky. I think we have had two cases that have gone back to court on a consent order because of duress and non disclosure. 2 in ten years and not one claim on our PI insurance.


Post a comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment on this post. Constructive comments are always welcome, even if they do not coincide with my views! Please note, however, that comments will be removed or not published if I consider that:
* They are not relevant to the subject of this post; or
* They are (or are possibly) defamatory; or
* They breach court reporting rules; or
* They contain derogatory, abusive or threatening language; or
* They contain 'spam' advertisements (including links to any commercial websites).
Please also note that I am unable to give advice.