Users' questions

Can McKenzie friends give legal advice?

Can McKenzie friends give legal advice?

For those who are not eligible for legal aid and who cannot afford a solicitor, a McKenzie friend can provide a valuable service. McKenzie friends provide important emotional support to unrepresented parties and if they have experience of the Family Court, may be able to help guide them through the court process.

Can a McKenzie friend represent me in court?

The Guidance also provides that the Court may refuse to allow a party to be represented by a McKenzie Friend: The Guidance emphasises that a McKenzie Friend does not have the right to conduct the litigation or, unless specifically granted by the court, rights of audience (the right to present the case orally in court):

Can a McKenzie friend charge a fee?

As a McKenzie friend you can charge your client for your assistance. However, any costs claimed from the opposing party, if the claim is successful, are limited by the Civil Procedure Rules, to litigant in person costs.

Can a judge refuse a McKenzie friend?

Will permission for a McKenzie Friend always be granted? A judge will not usually refuse permission unless it’s believed that allowing the McKenzie Friend would interfere with the administration of justice (such as if the McKenzie Friend constantly interrupts proceedings).

Can a social worker be a McKenzie friend?

Who are professional McKenzie Friends? There seem to be two “branches” of McKenzie Friends: Professionals with experience of the legal system, such as former social workers, and police officers. Those with personal experience of the legal system having dealt with similar cases of their own.

What is the difference between a McKenzie friend and a litigation friend?

At the start of the hearing, the judge explained that a “litigation friend” is a person who acts for a child or a protected party, whereas a “McKenzie friend” is a lay person who provides assistance to an unrepresented party. As a litigant in person, that was something the claimant should do herself.

When to use a McKenzie friend in family law?

Where a litigant in person wishes to have the assistance of a McKenzie friend in private family law proceedings relating to children, the sooner that intention is made known to the court and the sooner the court’s agreement for the use of the particular McKenzie friend is obtained, the better.

Why was the McKenzie case not made new law?

The McKenzie case was a defended divorce case. The judge had refused to permit Mr McKenzie to be accompanied by a friend who wished to sit beside him in court. In holding that the judge should not have refused the Court of Appeal was not making new law.

Why are McKenzie friends banned in the UK?

The Bar Council, Law Society and head of the Commons Justice Committee are alarmed by cases where unregulated and uninsured advocates – known as McKenzie Friends – have left “vulnerable” clients out of pocket or even led them into breaking the law through their poor advice.

What was the Court of Appeal decision in the McKenzie friend case?

In Re H (Chambers Proceedings: McKenzie Friend) [1997] 2 FLR 423 the Court of Appeal held that a Recorder should not have refused to allow a father to have a McKenzie friend in an application for contact to his daughter heard in chambers.