top of page
  • How can you help during the Covid-19 pandemic?
    We are continuing to provide our services as normal during lockdown with our staff working from home. Virtual appointments are available although our face to face services are not currently possible. Please contact us through our phoneline on 01283 362213 or book an appointment using our online services see here.
  • What is a Mckenzie Friend?
    The term 'McKenzie Friend', is a formally accepted legal term, incorporated in statutory instruments and official judicial guidance. A McKenzie Friend is lay Legal Advocate who helps Litigants in Person, people representing themselves in legal proceedings, through the court process. The Mackenzie Friend supports and empowers the Litigant in person to represent themselves in court. They can help with completing application forms, offering advice, preparing statements, preparation of court bundles and much more. The role of a McKenzie Friend was set up in the case of McKenzie vs McKenzie in 1970.
  • Who Can I have as a McKenzie Friend?
    Your McKenzie Friend does not have to be an actual friend, and most judges may not appreciate a friend acting as your McKenzie Friend. A witness in the proceedings cannot be a McKenzie Friend and family members's should be avoided. Ultimately, who is or is not allowed is up to the judge's discretion. Our McKenzie Friend has never turned down by a judge and have been praised by judges for the work we do with our clients.
  • Can a McKenzie Friend represent me in court?
    A McKenzie Friend has no right to act on behalf of a litigant in person (LIP), however in exceptional circumstances, a judge may grant a McKenzie Friend who is termed "rights of audience" in a particular case. The McKenzie Friend would then be allowed to address the court and conduct the litigant in persons case for them.
  • Do I need a solicitor to go to court?
    There is no need for most people to engage a solicitor in family law cases. All you require is good, sensible advice from someone who has experience of the system and knows how to get the results you want. Court proceedings are adversarial, and provoke hostility between parties, our aim is to settle matters without the need of attending court. Many people also prefer to represent them self with the help of a McKenzie Friend as it gives them complete control of their own case. If you are represented by a solicitor you cannot be sure they will always fully understand your case and may inadvertently present your case in a less than optimal manner. However, if we feel your case/situation will benefit from a solicitor or barrister we will help guide you in the right direction of the services you need.
  • Whats the difference between a McKenzie Friend and a solicitor?
    The biggest difference is a McKenzie Friend is more affordable and on average 75% cheaper then a solicitor. Unlike solicitors, McKenzie Friends are able to offer a flexible service, be involved as much or as little as you need. Whilst McKenzie Friends are not required to have a legal qualification like a solicitor, our McKenzie Friend is legally qualified, she holds a Bachelor of Laws degree and are experienced McKenzie Friend.
  • Who are Cafcass?
    Cafcass stands for Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. Cafcass represents the children in family court cases in England. Cafcass put the children's needs, wishes and feelings first and ensure the children's voices are heard at the heart of all family court proceedings. Cafcass operate within the law set out by Parliament (Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000) and under the rules and directions of the family courts. Cafcass are independent of the courts, social services, education, health authorities and all similar agencies.
  • Will I be able to bring a friend or relative to accompany me?
    Yes, if you think that would be helpful. Sometimes it is useful to have another person listening to the same conversation. Your friend or relative may not be allowed into a hearing.
  • Can you look after my children while I’m in my hearing?
    No, neither does the court encourage bringing children to hearings so please make alternative arrangements for them for when you have a hearing.
  • What kinds of services do McKenzie Friends provide?
    McKenzie friends are able to assist you with just about everything in the legal process, minus actually representing you in person. It differs by area of law, but we at the Court Support and Legal Services, where we specifically focus on Family Law, we generally assist you with: Strategic advice on your child dispute; Advise on the mediation, collaborative law, arbitration and court processes; Communicate with your ex-partner/spouse to try and reach agreement; Refer you and your opponent to a skilled family law mediator; Prepare court application where an ex-spouse will not sign the acknowledgement of service; Explain the purpose of contact centres, process servers and other agencies; Explain the role and remit of the CAFCASS officer and the judge; Prepare the necessary court application forms; Accompany you to court to offer moral support and advice; Prepare a letter of instruction for an expert; Help you to draft a witness statement in accordance with court protocol; Advise on and prepare trial bundles for use in court; Research case law and prepare a skeleton argument/position statement on your behalf; Help you to instruct a competent barrister if appropriate; Draft consent orders, and associated court forms, in financial proceedings; Prepare a Will on your behalf; Advise on and issue enforcement proceedings if appropriate; Domestic violence. For a more in-depth understanding of the services we offer please visit the “Services” section of our website for all the important details of the services we are here to help you with. Also, as always, do not hesitate to contact us with any questions and reach out for the free 30 minute consultation.
  • How much does a McKenzie Friend cost?
    Since McKenzie Friends essentially act as a lay independent advocate and assist you with the processes and paperwork of law, rather than appearing before the courts, they are able to set their own rates, which differ by each individual or firm. As a general rule of thumb, McKenzie friends are still significantly cheaper than going through a solicitor. For more information on our rates, which are flat “fixed fee” rates, or at an hourly rate. Please consult the “pricing transparency” page on Court Support & Legal Services website here. We offer extremely affordable rates compared to standard solicitors and may, in fact, increase your chances of winning because we actually take the time to understand the client’s situation on an individual basis and are able to construct a strong, compelling argument.
  • What are your opening times?
    Initially, we are open from 9:00am to 5:00pm, but there are exceptions if you need emergency care.
  • I have a specific question that I do not see covered on here, how can I contact you?"
    Always feel welcomed to reach out to us at Court Support & Legal Services with any questions here. Also, keep in mind we offer a free 30 minutes consultation, so please get in touch and we will assess what service we can provide you with and whether or not it would be in your interest to move forward or not with a McKenzie friend.


The Ins And Outs of How We Provide Our Services

bottom of page