Click Here To watch our YouTube video on the President of Family Court Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, discuss more transparency in Financial Remedy Hearings, allowing more access to information to the Press and Bloggers reporting on cases.
If you want to watch our video on Sir Geoffrey Vos who was Appointed, Master of the Rolls and Head of Civil Justice discuss Access to Justice Click Here
Representing yourself in court, can you be objective? It is said only a fool acts as their own council, this Alfred Hithcock Hour S01E04 I saw the whole Thing Click here to see provides you a snapshot, not much has changed in a court room, this may be old fashioned but the principles are the same, honesty and respect. If you can keep focused and balanced with assistance from Legal Minded Friends, being litigant in person may be for you.
What is a McKenzie Friend?
In the light of the growth of litigants in person in all levels of family court:the President issues this guidance.
Practice Guidance: McKenzie Friends (Civil and Family Courts)
By : Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, Master of the Rolls
Sir Nicholas Wall, President of the Family Division
12 July 2010
1) This Guidance applies to civil and family proceedings in the Court of Appeal (Civil Division), the High Court of Justice, the County Courts and the Family Proceedings Court in the Magistrates’ Courts.
1 It is issued as guidance (not as a Practice Direction) by the Master of the Rolls, as Head of Civil Justice, and the President of the Family Division, as Head of Family Justice. It is intended to remind courts and litigants of the principles set out in the authorities and supersedes the guidance contained in Practice Note (Family Courts: McKenzie Friends) (No 2)  1 WLR
2757, which is now withdrawn.2 It is issued in light of the increase in litigants-in-person (litigants) in all levels of the civil and family courts.
The Right to Reasonable Assistance
2) Litigants have the right to have reasonable assistance from a layperson, sometimes called a McKenzie Friend (MF). Litigants assisted by MFs remain litigants-in-person. MFs have no independent right to provide
assistance. They have no right to act as advocates or to carry out the conduct of litigation.
What McKenzie Friends may do
3) MFs may: i) provide moral support for litigants; ii) take notes; iii) help with case papers; iii) quietly give advice on any aspect of the conduct of the
What McKenzie Friends may not do
4) MFs may not: i) act as the litigants’ agent in relation to the proceedings; ii) manage litigants’ cases outside court, for example by signing court
documents; or iii) address the court, make oral submissions or examine
Exercising the Right to Reasonable Assistance
5) While litigants ordinarily have a right to receive reasonable assistance
from MFs the court retains the power to refuse to permit such assistance.
If you are attending a magistrate or criminal court acting for yourself, this is known as a litigant in person. A litigant who is not legally represented has the right to have reasonable assistance from a layperson, sometimes called a McKenzie Friend (“MF”). This is the case even where the proceedings relate to a child and are being heard in private.
*For a pdf of the full guidance contact us.
If you would like Legal Minded Friends to attend court with you as a MF, please contact us to discuss details. Fees vary depending on when your review is carried out, and what court your case is held in. You pay for 1/2 day or a full day, plus travelling costs, there is no refund once payment and booking is confirmed. If you pay for a full day up front and your case is adjourned, credit may be given to the next hearing date we attend, (depending on the date we are notified of the adjournment). In special circumstances fees will be lower if you are receiving a government benefit.
Contact us if you need a McKenzie Friend, for all types of legal issues, if your legal issue is regarding family law, find a McKenzie Friend in your area of England, visit (by clicking on the link below)
Legal Minded Friends are based primarily in the Gloucestershire area but may be able to travel to you if required.