Beware of paid McKenzie Friends who offer legal advice by Dominique Seale | The Law House

Beware of paid McKenzie Friends who offer legal advice by Venisha Shah

By in All Blogs, Family Law Category on June 13th, 2014

Are you struggling to afford legal fees?  Do you think that you have found this great alternative by paying a McKenzie Friend to assist you in Court and give you legal advice?No, don’t do it!

Let’s look at what a McKenzie Friend is allowed to do:

  • Provide moral support – going into Court is really daunting and having someone on your side supporting you can be really reassuring.
  • Take notes – when representing yourself in Court it’s very difficult to keep track of what is going on and what has been said.Your McKenzie Friend can be invaluable for this support.
  • Help with case paper – when you’re stressed and under pressure in the Court room it can be difficult to find the right page, having someone to point you in the right direction can help.
  • Give advice on the conduct of the case – having someone else’s view on whether you are creating the right impression by how you are arguing your case can help you realise how you might be coming across to the Judge.The last thing you want to do create an angry and bitter impression of yourself to the Judge who is, in some cases deciding your future!

You will note that nowhere in that list does it say that your McKenzie Friend can offer you legal advice. They are not allowed to, that is not their role.Would you hire an estate agent to fix your car for you?No, they wouldn’t have the expertise to do the job so you wouldn’t trust their ability.It shouldn’t be any different when you’re trusting someone to advise you on the law used to decide your future.

McKenzie Friends can be very helpful.They can be paid or unpaid and the support that they can offer is invaluable.However, if you want legal advice instruct someone who is qualified to give you that advice.If you’re worried about finances then you can speak to a solicitor about ways to keep costs to a minimum, if you don’t ask you don’t get!

At The Law House we can advise you on all aspect of family law.For more information please contact Venisha Shah on 020 8899 6620