General

Litigants in person have the right to “reasonable assistance” from a McKenzie friend. The assistance a McKenzie friend can provide however is limited. The practice of permitting litigants in person the assistance of a McKenzie friend developed in the county courts (as they were called until 22 April 2014). With increasing numbers of litigants in person, it has now spread into the higher courts.

The McKenzie Friend is a “lay person”, however, in principle a practising lawyer who is not on the record could act as a McKenzie friend, subject to observing any relevant professional conduct rules.

The Court of Appeal held that the judge had been wrong to refuse the husband litigant in person in contested divorce proceedings voluntary assistance from an Australian barrister working for the firm of solicitors who had been acting for the husband previously (McKenzie v McKenzie [1970] 3 All ER 1034).

A McKenzie friend has no right to exercise rights of audience and no right to conduct litigation.

McKenzie friends may assist the litigant in person in court by making notes, quietly making suggestions and giving advice, however, they cannot address the court.

A McKenzie friend may assist the litigant with advice or administrative matters out of court, but cannot manage or conduct the case, or sign court documents.

On 25 February 2016, the Judicial Executive Board issued a consultation paper, which proposed reforms to the existing guidance for McKenzie Friends. Possible reforms included:

1. Codifying existing guidance into formal court rules.

2. Introducing a code of conduct for McKenzie Friends which would ensure that they acknowledge a duty to the court and a duty of confidentiality in relation to the litigation.

3. Prohibiting fee recovery by paid McKenzie Friends.

On 15 September 2017, it was reported that the judiciary is set to reassess the proposals. This announcement came as a result of the large number of responses to the consultation from a number of bodies, including the Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

McKenzie Friends

November 14th, 2018

Litigants in person have the right to “reasonable assistance” from a McKenzie friend. The assistance a McKenzie friend can provide however is limited. The practice of permitting litigants in person the assistance of a McKenzie friend developed in the county courts (as they were called until 22 April 2014). With increasing numbers of litigants in person, it has now spread […]

Tax Avoidance Myth

August 25th, 2017

As recently reported Bruce Forsyth left his entire estate to his wife to avoid inheritance tax! To explain, no inheritance tax is payable on assets passing from one spouse to another. This is known as ‘Spouse Relief’. Mrs Forsyth has inherited £17million so the question is what happens after her death? To say that the late Mr Forsyth has avoided […]

DEBT

August 22nd, 2017

WHAT TO DO… You may find yourself in a situation where you owe a person or a company money (creditor). If this happens you must not ignore the reality of the situation. The worse thing to do is bury your head in the sand. The chances are the situation will not go away and will certainly advance (with or without […]

XENFORMATION ON COURT REPRESENTATION

October 28th, 2012

If you do have a court hearing and your solicitor is representing at that hearing you should ask about their experience at court. You need a solicitor with mileage. If your solicitor instructs a Barrister, ask what experience the Barrister has in cases similar to yours. Instructing a Barrister does not necessarily mean he/she will achieve a better outcome in […]

PERSONAL INJURY AND IMMIGRATION

May 30th, 2012

A new department opened at Proctor Moore Solicitors specialising in Personal Injury and Immigration. Here is some information about services we offer and we have provided fixed fees regarding our immigration. PERSONAL INJURY Employer’s liability: These are work related accidents with various types of injuries sustained in the course of your employment. Road Traffic Accidents: We can represent you in […]

HANDAN DEMIR – SOLICITOR

May 23rd, 2012

Handan has joined the firm as a consultant solicitor. Handan speaks fluent Turkish and specialises in Personal Injury and Immigration. Handan graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 2005 and completed the Legal Practice Course at the Inns of Court School of Law. Handan is also does voluntary work for Haringey Victim Support she provides assistance to victims of other […]

BIG QUESTION ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND FORCED MARRIAGES STILL UNANSWERED

April 13th, 2012

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/13/london-mayoral-elections-womens-rights This article from Julie Bindel really does hit home with how out of touch the mayoral candidates are when it comes to women’s legal rights on two issues: 1. Violence against women and 2. Forced marriages. There should be a campaign and I am sure they get enough money to fund this. I have seen some very short adverts […]

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF WILL WRITING

March 6th, 2012

Proctor Moore Solicitors is launching a new campaign with regard to Will writing. It is challenging for most solicitors to put forward an appealing way for people to consider having a Will. Often people think, if they contemplate completing a Will, they will die some time in the near future. People who think like this say “I don’t care what […]

CIVIL HIGH RIGHTS ADVOCATE

December 21st, 2011

Today I qualified as a Civil Higher Rights Advocate. How does this benefit my client? The main benefit is the ability to represent my client throughout the litigation process without the need to instruct Barrister/Counsel. This provides my clients with continuity and assurance that the person dealing with their case has had conduct throughout.