A McKenzie Friend assists a litigant in person in a court of law in England and Wales. (Family or County Court) This person does not need to be legally qualified. The crucial point is that 'litigants in person' are entitled to have assistance, lay or professional, unless there are exceptional circumstances. A 'lay person' is one who is not a member of the regulated legal profession.
Going to Court can be a very stressful and daunting experience. This could be made easier by using regulated lawyers, but not everyone can afford to hire a solicitor or barrister. Sometimes the only option might be to represent yourself. McKenzie Friends can play a valuable role for those who are unable to afford access to formal legal advice and representation.
If you do decide to represent yourself in a legal process or at court then having someone to accompany you who can support, encourage and guide you, can make a big difference. People who offer this kind of support are known as McKenzie Friends.
Every party has the right to have a friend present in court beside him/her to assist by prompting, taking notes and quietly giving advice. With the curtailment of Legal Aid, McKenzie Friends are becoming more common place in our courts.
An Employment Tribunal operates slightly differently, and you can appoint a representative to deal with all matters for you. With McKenzie Friend Law Support working by your side, you can look forward to comprehensive legal assistance that will not put a strain your finances.
What Can A McKenzie Friend Do?
McKenzie Friends can help with Family and County Court proceedings by:
advising clients on legal positions
drafting of documents and applications
assistance with case papers and court document bundles
taking notes of proceedings
provide advice and support throughout the court process
providing moral support
help to reduce conflict and acrimony
McKenzie Friends cannot:
conduct litigation or run a case as an agent
generally speak in court (i.e. question witnesses or talk to the judge) unless given express permission by the judge on a case-by-case basis This is known as 'Rights of Audience'.
Employment Disputes are delegated to a Tribunal, not Court of Law, and you may appoint a representative to act as an agent in such matters. In these circumstances with McKenzie Friend Law Support working by your side, you can look forward to comprehensive legal assistance that will not put a strain your finances.
Guidance From Courts and Tribunals Judiciary about McKenzie Friends
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. 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. It is issued in light of the increase in litigants-in-person (litigants) in all levels of the civil and family courts.
Ed Johnson Your McKenzie Friend
Ed is a leading McKenzie Friend, having firmly established himself at the top of the McKenzie tree. A retired Police Officer, having served 32 years in a busy metropolitan environment, he has turned his vast experience of dealing with courts, court processes, presentation of evidence and documents to the advantage of the Litigant in Person. During his Police service, he undertook many diverse duties, which has further provided an excellent balance in work and life skills.
Described as a highly organised, confident person, with a sharp analytical mind and meticulous eye for detail. Tenacious when investigating or conducting case research. His excellent interpersonal skills allow him to communicate effectively bringing a calm methodical approach to any adversarial or conflict situation.
Following retirement, Ed identified a need for individuals to be better supported and helped in legal situations. Many people find the processes complex and daunting. He believes that more affordable access to legal help should be available, especially since cutbacks to the Legal Aid system.
Since 2012, Ed has assisted numerous clients in Family Law, Employment and Civil Claim matters, often saving many thousands of pounds in fees. He can assist with completion of Court application forms, position and evidential statements, as well as full document bundles. His wide ranging experience of courts, at all levels, assists clients with preparation, should court attendance be required.
He is also a family man with two grown up children and four grandchildren. Having experienced divorce himself he understands the trauma and issues surrounding a break-up and children. Ed supports families to try and work together to resolve issues and reach amicable solutions, and if possible out of court. His thorough attention to detail ensures his clients are always well prepared.
Ed has undertaken further Employment and Family Law training, and as a Mackenzie Friend now offers a wide range of knowledge and skills to support clients. His patience, understanding and empathy for situations helps provide the best opportunity for achieving the right outcomes.
Ed's background and ability to grasp complex matters and provide the highest level of support and assistance, places him among the leading McKenzie Friend's, and should be you FIRST CHOICE to help and assist you.