Can I Take A McKenzie Friend To Court With Me?
What is a McKenzie Friend?
Anyone involved in a family law case in a United Kingdom court is entitled to represent himself or herself in court (they do not need to employ a solicitor or barrister) and if they choose to do this they are termed a Litigant in Person (LIP).
A LIP may be accompanied by someone to help them and this person is called a McKenzie Friend. This is not an automatic right, but a judge would only refuse to allow a LIP to have the help of a McKenzie Friend for a very good reason.
Representing yourself in court is not as daunting as it may sound, especially if you have the help of a McKenzie Friend to help in preparing the case beforehand and to sit along side you in court. Our McKenzie Friend Team at Simon Walland Family Law follow the practice guidance for McKenzie Friends, are highly professional and strive to ensure our clients recieve support and care from the moment they call us.
What a McKenzie Friend May Do:
• Provide moral support for the LIP
• Take notes
• Help with case papers
• Quietly give advice on:
- points of law or procedure;
- issues that the litigant may wish to raise in court;
- questions the litigant may wish to ask witnesses.
What a McKenzie Friend May Not Do
i) act as the litigant’s agent in relation to the proceedings;
ii) manage litigant’s cases outside court, for example by signing court documents; or
iii) address the court, make oral submissions or examine witnesses.
In some cases, the judge may see fit to give our McKenzie Friends limited Rights of Audience for the purposes of the hearing. This is not a common occurence but our team seek to train to understand family court, and are able to address the judge and the court in an appropriate way. This will only be requested when circumstances dictate.
Simon Walland Family Law offer McKenzie Friend support thoughout the UK, and can help your family law case. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment.