Why Separated Parents Need McKenzie Friends

Providing McKenzie Friend Support For People Attending Court As Litigant In Person

In recent years there have been a number of changes in family law and how proceedings are handled in and out of court. As a result of these changes, the courts have seen a significant rise in the number of applicants who have had no choice but to apply to the court and attend without a Solicitor as a litigant in person. When Simon Walland separated from his ex-wife, he was faced with the same problem, and had to deal with the challenge of fighting to see his children.  With no prior knowledge of the court system, he did not know where to turn, or who to listen to for advice.  Noticing a waiting room full of people in a similar position, and has his knowledge grew, he identified a need for support for others facing difficult times. He became a McKenzie Friend (someone permitted to attend court and be admitted into hearings to assist their client), and although Mckenzie Friends have recently made the news with stories of rogue, untrained individuals crossing the boundaries of proper conduct, bringing a level of disrepute to those who have dedicated their time to provide genuine assistance, Simon Walland has raised the bar, delivering an exceptional standard of McKenzie Friend support in all courts across England and Wales.

Support In And Out Of The Courtroom

The withdrawal of public funding for cases involving children in April 2013 and the rise in legal costs in a difficult and uncertain economy post Brexit, where parents face increasing day to day living costs has led to a situation where there are now more and more applicants to the court appearing as a litigant in person. As you can imagine, presenting a complex case with considered points of law can be a difficult task even for a barrister with considerable experience in the court. Therefore, for a litigant in person, this can be an extremely daunting task, particularly if facing legal representation from the other party.  When it comes to family law, cases involve either children or the breakdown of a relationship, which are incredibly emotive topics for applicants and respondents making it difficult to think clearly and logically with so much at stake.

Simon Walland has been a McKenzie Friend since 2002. He wanted to be able to provide the best assistance possible to people who found themselves in the regrettable position he found himself in when his marriage broke up and he was prevented from seeing his children. He knew that the support was not limited to the courtroom, but those making a court application often needed a reassuring ear.  Having successfully dealt with the courts himself and obtained access to his own children, he became interested in law, undertook a Law Degree at De Montfort University, and then completed the Bar Vocational Course at The College of Law.

Many McKenzie Friends claim to be experts in law. They predominantly have no legal training, no legal qualifications, and do not possess the skills that can only be learned at Simon’s level. Simon said “Applying to court can be exceptionally daunting and when dealing with an issue close to their hearts, it can be difficult to separate emotion from fact. When a barrister isn’t an option, a reputable, trained McKenzie Friend can be that supportive shoulder that helps get them through the hearing.” He went on “If you are looking for a McKenzie Friend, it is important to ensure that they have both expertise and experience.”

Located in the South of England, Simon continues to expand the business travelling throughout the UK to provide the reassurance needed for his clients and taking on four additional McKenzie Friends who he has personally trained and specialise in different areas such as finances and child contact.  He is able to assist with all areas of family law, including preparing applications, statements and bundles, and attending as a McKenzie Friend.  Unlike many other McKenzie Friends, Simon has the extensive legal expertise and experience from almost 15 years courtroom experience.

If you are experiencing a family law issue, you cannot afford not to contact Simon Walland Family Law.

For further information contact Alison on 07891 787600 or email admin@simon-walland-family-law.co.uk


Simon Walland