What Is A McKenzie Friend?

Most people who are bringing or defending a legal action through the Courts either instruct solicitors to act and represent them and look after their best interests or sometimes they do it themselves and act as Litigants in Person.

People who choose to deal with the matter themselves and act as Litigants in Person are entitled to have assistance whether it be from a lay person or a professional unless there are exceptional circumstances.

A McKenzie Friend is a person who assists somebody who is involved in a Court case.  The role of a McKenzie Friend was set up in the case of McKenzie v. McKenzie in 1970.  A McKenzie Friend does not have the right to address the Court.

A McKenzie Friend is sort of a lawyer but with crucial key differences from what the normal understanding is of what a lawyer should be.

Lawyers are usually defined as including solicitors, barristers, legal executives or other people who practice the law and have legal experience and legal qualifications.

Sadly a McKenzie Friend does not need to have any sort of professional or legal qualifications such as a law degree.  Indeed a McKenzie Friend doesn’t need to have any qualifications at all nor is there any requirement for a McKenzie Friend to have any legal skills or legal proficiency or any experience or expertise in the law.

NO LEGAL QUALIFICATIONS

If you are thinking of using a McKenzie Friend then you need to consider some key issues such as do you want to entrust your case to somebody who might not have the right levels of experience and expertise and also doesn’t have any professional or legal qualifications compared with say a barrister or a solicitor who has studied law for four years and undertaken a training contract for a further two years.

NO INDEMNITY INSURANCE

Further, a McKenzie Friend need not have any money or other assets and is not obliged to take out any professional indemnity insurance in case things go wrong.  This means that if a McKenzie Friend makes a mistake and gives bad advice then the McKenzie Friend’s client would have no redress.  All solicitors and business must have professional indemnity insurance in place to protect you if things go wrong.  A McKenzie Friend often does not have any insurance.

WHO CAN YOU REALLY TRUST

If you have a Court case that you are either bringing or defending then you should be very careful about who you trust.  Are you prepared to let any old Tom, Dick or Harry attempt to represent and look after your best interests or do you instead seek help from a firm of solicitors who have high levels of experience and expertise of the law and practice and of Court system and crucially also an understanding of the importance of honesty and integrity and who carries professional indemnity insurance to protect you if things go wrong.

USE LEGAL SPECIALISTS

If you are bringing a Court case or defending a Court case and need legal help then in our opinion don't go to a McKenzie Friend, seek advice from a specialist firm of solicitors such as ourselves who know what they are doing.  Please call us on Corby 01536 276300 or Kettering 01536 311690.

WHAT IS A McKENZIE FRIEND?

Most people who are bringing or defending a legal action through the Courts either instruct solicitors to act and represent them and look after their best interests or sometimes they do it themselves and act as Litigants in Person.

People who choose to deal with the matter themselves and act as Litigants in Person are entitled to have assistance whether it be from a lay person or a professional unless there are exceptional circumstances.

A McKenzie Friend is a person who assists somebody who is involved in a Court case.  The role of a McKenzie Friend was set up in the case of McKenzie v. McKenzie in 1970.  A McKenzie Friend does not have the right to address the Court.

A McKenzie Friend is sort of a lawyer but with crucial key differences from what the normal understanding is of what a lawyer should be.

Lawyers are usually defined as including solicitors, barristers, legal executives or other people who practice the law and have legal experience and legal qualifications.

Sadly a McKenzie Friend does not need to have any sort of professional or legal qualifications such as a law degree.  Indeed a McKenzie Friend doesn’t need to have any qualifications at all nor is there any requirement for a McKenzie Friend to have any legal skills or legal proficiency or any experience or expertise in the law.

NO LEGAL QUALIFICATIONS

If you are thinking of using a McKenzie Friend then you need to consider some key issues such as do you want to entrust your case to somebody who might not have the right levels of experience and expertise and also doesn’t have any professional or legal qualifications compared with say a barrister or a solicitor who has studied law for four years and undertaken a training contract for a further two years.

NO INDEMNITY INSURANCE

Further, a McKenzie Friend need not have any money or other assets and is not obliged to take out any professional indemnity insurance in case things go wrong.  This means that if a McKenzie Friend makes a mistake and gives bad advice then the McKenzie Friend’s client would have no redress.  All solicitors and business must have professional indemnity insurance in place to protect you if things go wrong.  A McKenzie Friend often does not have any insurance.

WHO CAN YOU REALLY TRUST

If you have a Court case that you are either bringing or defending then you should be very careful about who you trust.  Are you prepared to let any old Tom, Dick or Harry attempt to represent and look after your best interests or do you instead seek help from a firm of solicitors who have high levels of experience and expertise of the law and practice and of Court system and crucially also an understanding of the importance of honesty and integrity and who carries professional indemnity insurance to protect you if things go wrong.

USE LEGAL SPECIALISTS

If you are bringing a Court case or defending a Court case and need legal help then in our opinion don't go to a McKenzie Friend, seek advice from a specialist firm of solicitors such as ourselves who know what they are doing.  Please call us on Corby 01536 276300 or Kettering 01536 311690.