Our Ethics – What if Something Goes Wrong?
Given the well-publicised delays, costs and the overall ‘workload crisis’ in the Family Law Courts, Alliance Family Law is committed to keeping clients out of court wherever possible. In particular, we will give client advice on their prospects in Court that they do not like, e.g. where we assess a client may be at risk of adverse findings under cross-examination, or facing a negative judicial decision. We are very careful not to give clients the advice they want to hear, or to give them false hopes about potential outcomes. Sometimes we have to give clients frank advice about their past actions, the potential implications of those actions, and both our and their obligations. This kind of advice is often not received well, and clients very occasionally choose to seek the advice they want to hear from another firm. This happens to all law firms.
If a former client has a genuine grievance about our conduct we suggest they use the appropriate channels to mediate their concerns. We never respond to cheap shots on social media.
Alliance Family Law provides legal services to a wide ranging clientele in various stages after separation. Some of our clients are in a state of shock, grief or great anger. Others are very amicable, feeling ok about things, and wanting to sort matters out with the minimum fuss and cost. Others are experiencing trauma, or mental health issues. We treat all our clients in an ethical and respectful way and help them to maintain their dignity whilst navigating the family law system in a professional partnership. We use well known dispute resolution methods such as mediation, arbitration or round table settlement conferences. We also use newer, more creative methods of resolving disputes using ‘collaborative practice’.
All our clients receive total confidentiality in their dealings with this firm. For that reason, we do not comment directly on the detail of any claims about our advice made on social media website reviews, whether positive or negative, regardless of how incorrect, defamatory or misleading such reviews may be. We consider this to be in the client’s best interests, even if not in ours.
We do not comment directly on the detail of any claims about our advice made on social media website reviews.
We aim to keep clients informed about why we give the advice that we do, and what their legal fees are, so they can assess at each stage whether to continue with a course of action in light of the potential ongoing costs and potential delays. We value our expertise and our commitment to ongoing training: your family lawyers are either Accredited Specialists, have a Masters Degree in family law or are working towards one. For this reason, we do not discount our bills. Sometimes it is difficult for clients to assess the work being done in their matters because they cannot see it being done (calls with lawyers out of sight, drafting documents or letters, researching the latest relevant case, reading court documents, letters or evidence) so we encourage all our clients to review their bills, read and check itemised entries, and to promptly contact your lawyer if they have any queries. We charge fairly. If a client owes us money and does not pay in accordance with our agreement then as a last resort we use a debt recovery agency. We stress, this is always a last resort, we have never sought debt recovery if a client has kept us informed of their financial situation.