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Professional McKenzie Friend

Our Professional McKenzie Friend (PMF)

Who is a McKenzie Friend:  

A Mckenzie Friend (MF) is a person whether legally trained or not, who accompanies a Litigant in Person (LiP) to a court hearing for the purpose of assisting the LiP in matters such as taking notes, helping with documents/paperwork and, quietly making suggestions and giving advice, for example, as to questions to put to a witness however MF cannot address the court as solicitors or Barrister do. The term "McKenzie Friend" has been formally accepted as a legal term which has been incorporated in statutory instruments and in an official judicial guidance.

A McKenzie Friend is somebody who can sit with the LiP during a court hearing, not as a representative but to offer advice and assistance. A MF can accompany the LiP in courts hearing but the court's or judge's permission must be sought first. Currently, MFs covers people who are generally assisting LiP throughout the live of the case, maybe helping with completing application forms, correspondence, with negotiations, the preparation of statements, as well as accompanying the litigant to the court hearing.

The term MF comes from a defended divorce case, McKenzie v McKenzie (1970), where the husband was representing himself and wanted the help of a non-legally qualified person aat court. The judge has refused to permit Mr McKenzie to be accompanied by a friend who wished to sit beside him in court. It was held by Court of Appeal that the judge should not have refused.

What MF can do:  

Can give quiet advice on a point of law

Advice on issues that the LiP would like to raise in court

Suggest questions to ask the other side or witnesses

Quietly take notes.


What MF cannot do:

Is to address the court or examine a witness unless the judge decides that justice can more expediently be carried out by speaking directly to the MF.

Is to attend a closed court unless the court has given permission

Is to sign court documents or act as your agent or manage cases outside court unless permission is given by the court.


The Purpose of our MF: 

We work with Access Barristers who are highly skilled in their practice areas. We may be able to instruct Licensed Access Barristers and self employed Solicitors to accompany you to court if you have a hearing listed. However, if for one reason or another, you cannot afford the fees, we will be able to arrange for one of our experienced and skilled McKenzie Friends to accompany you to the court for support. Depending on the amount of work required and the experience of the MF, a fee is payable ranging from £50 to £75 per hour. 

Our McKenzie Friends are either Licensed Paralegals, legally trained to a certain level, have legal qualifications but have not attained their status as Solicitors or Barristers yet. They have extensive knowledge and understanding in dealing with the family court's process. Our team continuously attends training courses and workshops to update and enhance their skills and knowledge.

If you are a Litigant in Person (LiP) and you feel the need for some moral support or assistance in conducting your case, then turn to us today by clicking on the Contact Us link. 

If you require further information about PMF, please do not hesitate to contact us 


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