A ‘McKenzie friend’, is a legal word used by the legal services industry to describe a layperson who can help litigants in person. The term covers people who help a Litigant in Person throughout the course of his/her litigation. This may include help with completing application forms, with correspondence, with the preparation of statements, as well as accompanying the litigant to court.
If you can’t afford a Solicitor or Barrister and want to run a court case yourself, you are called a “litigant in person” (LIP). LIPs have the right to use a McKenzie Friend to give you reasonable assistance in preparing for and attending court.
It is essential that if you choose to use a Professional McKenzie Friend you use a professional one who has Professional Indemnity Insurance, Qualifications and is Registered with the Information Commissioners Office. That is why we are registered with the Society of Professional McKenzie Friends and also with the McKenzie Friend Organisation which is a collective of trusted McKenzie Friends and more can be found out here.
What we can do for you:
- Help you draft all legal paperwork including pleadings, court orders, statements and applications.
- Provide Information to you on the legal procedures, rules and processes and help you prepare your case and avoid common mistakes.
- Help draft letters and emails for you to send to the court and to the other side.
- Attend court with you to offer moral support and take notes.
- If the Judge allows it,the court may give me permission to speak on your behalf.
What we can’t do for you:
- Accept papers/letters/emails from all parties (these will instead be sent to you and you will need to forward them to us).
- Send papers/letters/emails to the court or other parties (we will forward the documents/letters to you and you will need to forward them to the court)
- Speak on your behalf in court (unless given permission to do so by the court)
- Advise you on the legal merits of your case – only Solicitors & barristers do this.
Ashley Brooks LLB ( Hons) has completed both a Law Degree at Middlesex University in London and the Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at Nottingham Law School. He worked as a paralegal in both commercial recovery and in historic abuse cases in North and South Wales. He has also been a senior leader in schools and has a wealth of experience in dealing with the problems and anxieties separation and parental alienation can bring to children. He has also been through the process himself and secured a shared care order following a 18 month court case and nearly 2 years departed from his daughter. He is non judgmental and has no gender bias and is willing to support any parent who genuinely wants to be an important role model for their child.
Please see the current practice direction from the Courts on the use of McKenzie Friends. This details the rules in which we can operate as we are not a Solicitor or Barrister. https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/JCO/Documents/Guidance/mckenzie-friends-practice-guidance-july-2010.pdf