What is Milton Keynes Protocol?

The MK Protocol is a system where both parties work towards an agreement with their solicitors' help.  They work to a prearranged timetable for disclosure and negotiation through correspondence and a series of round table meetings.  There is no court involvement in the process at all.  If or when both parties reach an agreement, there will simply be a need to draw up a consent order to make the agreement binding.  This process is only available for coming to an agreement over property and financial issues.  Both parties must agree to use this method.  

Pros?

  • No court hearings/no one goes to court
  • Speed
  • Lowers cost
  • Partners/spouses remain in control of the process
  • Makes it easier for partners/spouses to leave the dispute with agreement and dignity

Cons?

  • No court control over timetable could lead to delays
  • If it fails, another course will have to be followed - probably to court proceedings
  • Round table meetings can be stressful
  • Will add to costs overall if it fails or another process must be taken leading to at least some duplication of costs
  • Cannot be used to discuss arrangements for children
  • A final agreement cannot be guaranteed, as process is voluntary
  • Positional bargaining and therefore not as cooperative as collaborative law

Cost?

Between £2,000 - £10,000 depending on number of round table meetings

Is Legal Aid available?

Not unless there has been significant domestic violence, and the Legal Aid Agency eligibility requirements and threshold criteria are met.

What if it fails?

Most likely court applications for financial orders, possibly incorporating MK fast trackprocedure

Time Scale

Time for the process to complete is between 2 months and 6 months

Who can provide this service

Shakespeares
Hawkins Family Law
Heald Solicitors LLP
Neves Solicitors
Sheddon Family Law
Pictons LLP
Kingsley David Solicitors