What is a McKenzie Friend

McKenzie friend assists a party in person in a court in England and Wales. The person does not need to be legally qualified. The important point is that a party in person are entitled to have support, lay or professional, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

A simpler explanation is that is someone who understands the court process and is able to assist when you may find yourself in a court process that you do not fully understand and have not engaged a solicitor. In this case the law describes you as a Litigant in person, which is someone who is on their own in the court process.

A McKenzie friend then becomes your guide through the court process, they will have knowledge of the court process, which will include the completion and the filing of the initial application.

  • They will have knowledge of the language used by the legal system, they will be able to assist you in writing a statement, and analysing statements that other people have written.
  • They will give you advice on responses to give and what to say and more importantly what not to say.
  • They will, if needed attend court with you and advise and assist you throughout the hearing
  • They will also assist when dealing with solicitors or any other professional parry outside the court room
  • They cannot speak directly to the court unless permission is given, but they can advise you on the responses you give to the court.

A professional McKenzie Friend will charge a fee, but normally it will be a significantly lower sum than those charged by qualified solicitors, whose normal charge would be in excess of £120.

 

The legal guidance to McKenzie Friend explained by following the link below

https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/JCO/Documents/Guidance/pfd-guidance-mckenzie-friends.pdf