Estimated revenue in the family law market increased by 4.1% in 2021 driven primarily by a strong increase in financial remedy matters needing legal advice and growth in advice for high net worth individuals plus international cases. Court backlogs were a problem pre-Covid and were exacerbated during the pandemic but these backlogs began to be addressed in 2021 and this led to an increase in family court cases completed in 2021 compared to 2020. However, new cases started declined.
One of the possible benefits of the court backlogs could be a move to more disputes settled by mediation and arbitration without the need for a court appearance. The number of professional mediators has been increasing in recent years and a new public funding initiative using vouchers to encourage more mediation was launched in 2021. Mediation starts increased in 2020/21.