Guest Post: Simon Walland – Preserving the Quality of McKenzie Friends

Guest Post: Simon Walland – Preserving the Quality of McKenzie Friends

McKenzie Friends have been permitted to attend hearings since the early 1970’s and are becoming more and more accepted as an alternative to professional legal representation, but what of the standards and quality of McKenzies?  Only in the last week or so the Court of Appeal upheld a refusal to allow a McKenzie Friend ‘who had been found to have behaved in an intimidating manner towards the mother’.

No regulatory body governs McKenzie Friends
The use of a McKenzie Friend can be a life saver, but if done badly, can also be a life wrecker.  While there is no regulatory body governing their use, the situation can only become more uncertain.  The fact is that anyone can become a McKenzie Friend, and prey on the vulnerable, and let’s face it, the majority of people going through a relationship break-up, loss of house, children and dignity, can be at their most vulnerable.

Most McKenzie Friends have had no training whatsoever, and rely on their own experiences when attending court in their own case as representative of how the courts operate, and however well, or badly they may have done is disregarded as they lead the unwitting litigant into the same mess that they created for themselves.  Being well meaning is not the same as being worthwhile.

Scarcity of McKenzie Friend Training
There is a scarcity of training, and a shortage of McKenzie Friends who are capable and knowledgeable about what is necessary to properly assist a litigant with the court process.
Being a good McKenzie Friend involves being able to provide a variety of skills, from counsellor, mediator, lawyer, teacher, friend, providing moral, emotional and legal support.
Most litigants have startlingly similar stories to tell, often falling into two camps, those that have relied on common sense and a feeling that justice will prevail, and those that believe that standing up and fighting back is the only way forward.  Both usually find themselves in the same position, apart from their children and relying on the courts, and/or CAFCASS to resolve their problems, and realise that they need to deal with things differently, as the typical delays of three months between hearing quickly results in not seeing their children for six months.

How a McKenzie Friend Can Help
A McKenzie Friend is forced to work at a disadvantage professionally to both Solicitor and Barrister, as they do not represent their client, and cannot speak for them in a hearing.  Assisting with paperwork, letter writing, and establishing a strategy which will be effective in countering the problems they are experiencing is essential, and a large part of the assistance is to explain the legal process, what to expect and effectively managing their prospects.  Preparation for a hearing will generally involve writing a Position Statement setting out their case, as relying on the litigant to remember say the right thing in a hearing is tempting trouble.  On the negative side, setting everything down on paper fixes their position, and prevents the fluidity and alternative proposals which can occur once the other party’s case is known.

Negotiation before the hearing and at breaks during the proceedings is often one of the areas in which the McKenzie can bring the greatest advantage.  Counsel will usually appreciate speaking to a McKenzie that is knowledgeable and has reasonable expectations.  Better that then arguing with a litigant that doesn’t understand what is happening to them.

During the hearing, the charm and eloquence of many Barristers, as well as a familiarity with a Judge is an unbeatable obstacle to many litigants, tongue tied, nervous and emotional.  It is no wonder they feel let down and beaten up by the system.  Being able to say the right thing at the right time is the key to a hearing, and although the McKenzie is able to talk quietly to his litigant and encourage them to make responses, by the time the litigant understands what to say the moment has often passed.

Nevertheless, it is clear that Judges in the majority of cases appreciate the benefits of a good McKenzie Friend.  It assists them to conduct the hearing efficiently and avoids irrelevant issues being argued repeatedly and focuses the hearing on what is necessary.  The Judiciary, with few exceptions, do as much as they can to ensure that the litigant is not disadvantaged, and will make suggestions and proposals which will assist.

McKenzie Friend Training
Whilst there is no regulation or governance over McKenzie Friends, Simon Walland has organised a training course to teach aspiring McKenzies how to work with litigants.  The first course will be held in London in September and is almost fully booked.  It is hoped to get together a network of McKenzies that will work together, have a level of understanding and knowledge that will benefit the litigant, and hopefully gain a reputation for being a good McKenzie.

To book or for more information, visit: McKenzie Friend Training Courses

Simon Walland is a Professional McKenzie Friend, as well as being a qualified Lawyer. Simon has been a McKenzie for ten years, and being heavily involved with several charities assisting parents apart from their children.

20 thoughts on “Guest Post: Simon Walland – Preserving the Quality of McKenzie Friends

  1. There is no doubt at all that McKenzie friends can offer a good deal of support to litigants in person and help them get through the often traumatic experience of court proceedings.

    Excellent work is done by e.g. the Personal Support Unit at the RCJ and elsewhere and Z2K.

    That said, I am slighty alarmed at the prospect of ‘professional’ McKenzie friends charging fees for services which appear to be unregulated and so offer no guarantee of competence, no clarity about redress if things go wrong and appear to blur the distinction between support and advocacy.

  2. Nick, I couldnt agree more that it is alarming that there is no regulation of Mckenzie Friends, and to my knowledge there are many that immediately they finish their own case set themselves up charging in excess of £40 per hour to provide dubious advice.

    The President of the Family Division has issued a Practice Guidance on McKenzie Friends, and it recognises the existance of Professional McKenzie Friends, so it is a fact of life, and a fact which partly through despair at picking up the pieces from bad advice given to Litigants led me to undertake legal training, culminating with the BVC, and also partly led to me providing training to potential McKenzies so at the very least there is a base of knowledge they can work from.

    I would welcome regulation with open arms, and I am sure the LIP’s as well as the courts would appreciate it.

    Simon

  3. The PSU cannot give legal advice or information on pursuing an appeal etc other than basic procedure.

    Anyone who takes legal advice whether lay advice or from the legal profession takes a risk and has to make their own decision on the advice given.

    The practice guidance by LJ Wall on McKenzie friends is inconsistent with the Statute which leaves a completely unfettered discretion on right of audience for McKenzie friends not one with restrictions which have been introduced to keep the State controlled monopoly.

    Regulation does not offer guarnatee of competence as many know to their cost.

    I am a professional McKenzie friend myself and am well aware of the pitfalls litigants find themselves in and the dirty tricks used by underhand legal firms or the individuals within firms. I have found barristers cleaner than Solicitors but not all and certainly not all the time…..I seriously worry about any State control of McKenzie friends.

    Just check my website…..

  4. thanks for the insight. I’ve definitely learned some valuable information today.

    ***

    Mr Wade P. Luther – your attempt to get google juice by leaving a barely literate comment is laughable. That line is the one most often used by spammers… I am only surprised that you did not add…”Gee…. darn if I am not a hillbilly .. this post is so awesome!!” – or some other modern rubric to give the illusion that you are actually interested in the blog post. I have removed the URL of your website.

    As you are an attorney – clearly not a very busy one – I would have thought you would have had better things to do than spam other people’s blogs in an attempt to shore up your practice?

    Do NOT spam my blog again – capische?

    Charon QC

  5. I tend to agree with Shaun about regulation in general. Far from guaranteeing standards it tends to be captured by the industry, and to be used as a shield rather than to protect the consumer.

    Not that I’m in any way comparing the two industries, but the licensing of wheelclampers had the sole effect of worsening their behaviour as the police will not prosecute ‘licensed’ clampers even if they clearly break the law.

  6. The President’s Guidance is unhelpful in as much as the more experienced and proficient the McKenzie, the less ‘official’ chance there is to be granted rights of audience, which can only be in place to prevent a Mckenzie Friend effectively working as a Barrister without having the training or experience.

    ‘The grant of a right of audience or a right to conduct litigation to lay persons who hold themselves out as professional advocates or professional MFs or who seek to exercise such rights on a regular basis, whether for reward or not, will however only be granted in exceptional circumstances. To do otherwise would tend to subvert the will of Parliament.’

    From my experience, the courts are willing to permit rights of audience when it will assist the process, and all Judges I have been in front of are aware of the situation and will be helpful to the Litigant. (Magistrates are a different kettle of fish though). If the restriction was introduced to ‘maintain the state monopoly’, then I must be missing something because it makes sense to me, even if I do find it frustrating.

    If there is to be any regulation of McKenzie Friends, there is no reason why the state should be involved.

    Litigants would be in a better position to know that their chosen McKenzie is capable, accredited and that there is some comeback if they are incompetent. At present, there is none, and therefore the standard of their McKenzie is an unknown quantity, and the litigant has nothing to gauge them against because they dont know what the McKenzie Friend should be doing for them. After the hearing, and the damage is done, it is too late to learn they chose the wrong person.

    Simon

    • If you read this article on Mckenzie friends, the role of the advocate at the left of the article and then read the argument below, you will see that the issue of McKenzie friend is not being followed as per the Statute; see

      http://www.southernfamilyaid.com/mcKenzie-friend.htm

      This highlights the fact that lay representation is guaranteed in criminal proceedings and other Tribunals but not in the Family Court. Yes, there maybe some idiots or those of less experience/ knowledge etc but simple qualification in law (most of which is irrelevant to family court procedure) and registration with official bodies is no guarantee.

      As far as State control Bar Council and Law Society are State actors. The role of McKenzie friends can be easily controlled by the Judge sitting and the whereabouts, cases they have been involved in and future cases are all registered on the Family management database as are all representatives, parties, Solicitors and McKenzie friends with or without right of audience.

      You state you don’t see any monopoly, when being legally qualified it would appear you are better treated than other Mckenzie friends.

      This extract below amended is on the very issue….(which LJ Thorpe sent back to the Lower court and right of audience was granted in public law case where legal aid was freely available but client chose not to have formal legal representation).

      1. Right of audience is sought on the basis that having removed his solicitors and being content with his McKenzie friend, the Court cannot refuse a McKenzie friend simply because a litigant chooses to have one (para 12 of the practice direction).

      2. If granted right of audience the Court will assist Mr. xxx in having equality of arms (article 6.1 Human Rights Act 1998) and reference is made to Buchberger v Austria para 50 attached.

      3. It is clear that he would be handicapped if forced to represent himself without an advocate and would not have equality of arms, the trial would be slower since he would have to seek advice from Mr. O’Connell and his presentation would not be what the Court would expect. Counsel for the LA relied on this and the need for the five day trial date not to be lost.

      4. The other parties have no objections to Mr. O’Connell representing Mr. xxx His CV is set out at xxxx. He is well versed in family law and knowledgeable on issues of ///////////////////

      5. The test is whether there is good reason taking into account all the circumstances of the case. Mr. xxx’s solicitors were sacked because they had not even provide a draft statement, failed to follow instructions, refused to chase disclosure and Mr. xxxx has lost faith in them. He does not have to choose solicitors [para 12(3) of practice direction 2010]. Mr. O’Connell assisted him previously in attending a hearing as his ‘companion,’ is familiar with the case….

      6. The right to conduct litigation is sought largely on the basis that given the short time limit, the wealth of disclosure (which was ordered and agreed by consent) on xxxxx, it would assist Mr. O’Connell in preparation for a five day trial enabling Mr. xxxx adequate assistance on matters which are largely forensic, on issues of complex law – xxxxxxxxx. This is not in the knowledge of lay persons and requires sufficient time to prepare. Direct receipt of documents would greatly speed matters along.

      7. Had it been a criminal hearing ironically, there would be no issue with right of audience since a litigant has the right to legal assistance of their own choosing (article 6.3 Human Rights Act 1998), and in a tribunal hearing e.g. Employment Tribunal there is right to advocate on the person’s behalf without needing any permission.

      8. The Court may regard myself as a professional McKenzie friend but not as a professional advocate. I do not advertise advocacy rights. In this particular case it is deemed to be fit for right of audience and right to conduct the litigation given the circumstances – poor health, limited time to prepare, and the particular knowledge of the law in this area. It would not be right to determine that circumstances must be exceptional to grant right of audience since it is incumbent in a case like this that experience and in-depth knowledge is needed along with an ability to marshal and analyse facts quickly. To deem that someone with more experience should face a higher test on behalf of their client is disproportionate and discriminatory; it undermines the very basis of equality of arms. Surely the Court would find assistance from an experienced McKenzie more helpful than from an inexperienced one, a husband or wife of the litigant, or a lay friend?

      9. In N (A Child) [2008] EWHC 2042 (Fam). It was concluded that the views set out in Clarkson v Gilbert apply so that i) there is no right of audience as such for McKenzie Friends; ii) the judge has a wide discretion to allow a McKenzie Friend rights of audience and iii) the circumstances in allowing rights of audience do not have to be exceptional. He added that “the grant of rights of audience to a McKenzie friend will, to adopt the President’s words, be of advantage to the court in ensuring the litigant in person receives a fair hearing. Sometimes, indeed, it will be essential if justice is to be done and, equally importantly, perceived by the litigant in person as having been done.”

      10. Article 6.1 Human Rights Act 1998 and equality of arms is one of levelling up not down as if so then a litigant–in-person acting with McKenzie friend would be able to object to someone having legal representation. The respondents are fully represented with Solicitor and barrister. The Guardian solicitor and Barrister also.

      11. It is also a fundamental principle of European law required by ECHR Article 6.1 (“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations …, everyone is entitled to a fair … hearing”). The right to equal treatment; “ equality of arms.’’ This general principle is clearly expressed by Article 20 of the Charter in the time-honoured words “Everyone is equal before the Law”.

      12. Dombo Beheer BV v The Netherlands (1994) 18 EHRR 213 at p 229 (para [33]) the Court said that: “certain principles concerning the notion of a “fair hearing” in cases concerning civil rights and obligations emerge from the Court’s case law. Most significantly for the present case, it is clear that the requirement of “equality of arms”, in the sense of a “fair balance” between the parties, applies in principle to such cases as well as to criminal cases. The Court agrees with the Commission that as regards litigation involving opposing private interests, “equality of arms” implies that each party must be afforded a reasonable opportunity to present his case including his evidence under conditions that do not place him at a substantial disadvantage vis a vis his opponent.”

      13. It is well recognised that the right of access to the courts contemplated by article 6.1 is not an absolute right but may be subject to limitations: see Ashingdane v United Kingdom, 1985 7 EHRR 528 at para 57. That case makes it clear that the extent of such limitation is a matter for regulation by the State concerned, in which a margin of appreciation is enjoyed. The limitations applied to the right of access to a court must not be such that the very essence of the right is impaired and must pursue a legitimate aim complying with the principle of proportionality.

      14. A fair trial is an adversarial trial in which there is `equality of arms’. In Ruiz-Mateos v Spain (1993) 16 EHRR 505 at p 542 (para [63]) the Court said that: “the principle of equality of arms is only one feature of the wider concept of a fair trial, which also includes the fundamental right that proceedings should be adversarial.”

  7. Shaun, leaving aside that I cant see your point in posting that in relation to the topic being discussed, as a McKenzie Friend for ten years, and a Lawyer for the last two, I have not experienced any difference in how I am treated now, with the exception that from time to time I am now granted Rights of Audience based on my cv without even asking.

    Your one experience doesnt relate to the quality of McKenzie Friends or their training, unless I am missing something.

    Simon

  8. Simon – perhaps the point being missed by all is the lack of adequate representation in family courts by those charged to do right by adequate representation. To often the cosy every day relationships of the closetted solicitors and Barristers have failed to do justice by mercy and right, often self interested by the family court paymasters, be it legal services or the Local authorities. To many Family Solicitors rely on the gift of network for business, one day working for the LA, representing cafacss or acting for respondents. When the need to challenge the cosy relationships or a prejudgemental judicary or a LA or the rubber stamping Cafcass officer. Are they going to risk the companies position they serve in a commercial world or are they likely to pay lip service or risk careers. What guarantee does a solictor give or a Barrister, regulated solicitors with a complaints proceedure that is stacked for the establishment self serving and self administering. How many solicitors have the time needed to truely give adequate representation, how many Barristers are truely briefed and give the true time forensic needed. Like all matters those with a good track record or good recommendation is all that any one can rely on – regulated or not. Sadly in courts and certainly in family courts you get only one chance – not many.
    Experience is a gift that is lessons learnt – not gained by qualification alone. A RAW ill briefed Barrister and one who fears for his commercial interest is likely the most dangerous to an ill informed client.
    Its said you go to court at your mercy – even a good case has no more than a 50% chance – can rely on what the judge has had for breakfast. the case before or if the faces fit – to many imponderables, a gambler would not risk it by choice. Even on the balance of probabilites you will never know if its 51% or 94%. Hope for the best, but fear the worst. sadly British Justice maybe the worst on a balance of any probability. That sadly applies to many Lawyers, these days afflicted by commercial practice rather than a calling.

  9. Simon, the post relates to the regulation of McKenzie friends, and who is to monitor it, the State doesn’t work and Judicial decision making process sometimes leaves much to be desired. If right of representation is without any regulation in Tribunal hearings, Employment Tribunal and Criminal Courts why the fuss in civil and family courts? Indeed if the practice guidance is not in accordance with the Statute there is a serious problem.

    The Judge can control his own procedure. Degrees in law are meaningless to the practice in Court and who trains the McKenzie? is it someone trained by the system? If u had read the role of the advocate it is very clear yet many judges do not follow this. As far as right of audience is concerned it has been granted many times and since 2005 never refused in the Court of Appeal yet the Lower Court is variable.

    Training in basic Court procedure is required for many McKenzie friends and especially litigants in person – they never get to hear of house-keeping points, Court room strategy or even what the definition of evidence is etc etc. But regulation – no way.

    I do recall one judge who before granting right of audience told me ‘you do realise you will be under my control.’ I just rebutted him by reading out what an advocate should do – including defending their client fearlessly even before a hostile court. I was then told that that is what I was expected to do.

    The judges can control their own Court provided they are not protecting the cosy local system whereby everyone knows each other, meet at meetings and protect their own interests and those with greater power ie the LA. In public law cases the hapless parent is dragged throught the mire and hung out to dry; with automatic legal aid it is a mealticket, yet so often the LA employees are running a false case.

    The best of luck with the training but you need to teach the Rottweiler as well as the try to get the best out of the situation….softly approaches in public law don’t work. Once findings are made the rest is an uphill slope.

    Shaun

  10. Shaun

    Putting aside your complaints about the current system which I haven’t commented on, its good to see that you at least agree about the training.

    ‘Training in basic Court procedure is required for many McKenzie friends and especially litigants in person – they never get to hear of house-keeping points, Court room strategy or even what the definition of evidence is etc etc. But regulation – no way.’

    And we can agree to disagree about the regulation of them.

    There are to my knowledge bad McKenzies who are refused admittance due to being in court to stamp their feet and complain about the system which the Presidents Guidance deals with in para 13(iv) The MF is using the litigant as a puppet.

    They are of no use to the unaware Litigant, and regulation or accreditation would allow a Litigant to be at least informed about their chosen McKenzie.

    Simon

    • so if there are bad McKenzies refused fair enough….why need more control…can prove many lazy/ incompetent others who are legally ”approved”…NO way any State control…..that can be done by the Court…we all take our children’s lives in hand acting on any advice or placing faith in others when English law is 99% discretionary….why not the same procedure as in Tribunals and Criminal Courts?

  11. The idea of a LIP using the equality of arms argument to object to the other party having legal representation is one that I’d like to see tested.
    Has anyone tried it?

  12. This article appears to be merely an advertisement for Simon Walland MF training classes and the rest of it is an attack on McKenzie Friends who don’t happen to be Mr Simon Walland, plus perhaps a worrying state of admiration by him of the grace and dignity of barristers.

    If a person has gone to the expense and time to complete the academic training as a barrister or solicitor then the only reason one would become a ‘lawyer’ McKenzie Friend is because a pupillage is not offered or a training contract with a law firm has not materialised.

    So clients may miss out when they get a ‘lawyer’ McKenzie Friend as all they are getting is someone who has failed at getting their first choice career. To then put forward some kind of regulation to make these lawyer McKenzie Friends feel better misses the point of what a Mckenzie Friend is.

    It seems to be a way for ‘lawyer’ McKenzie Friends for mere commercial purposes to try and exclude LIPs from taking who they choose into court as a MF.

    As Shaun says, legal training is no guarantee whatsoever of competence in handling parents cases in or out of court which is why the top McKenzie Friends are in demand. Regulation is just another barrier to LIPs accessing the help they may need however limited it is.

  13. Rus,

    Its a shame you feel that way about this blog post.

    There are McKenzie Friends with no knowledge or experience other than having dealt with their own case. I am offering training so that anyone, McKenzie or non McKenzie can gain a wider breadth of knowledge and learn a bit more about the process covering areas which they may not have met in their own travels.

    If they dont want to learn more, and bearing in mind that the majority of professions require Continuing Professional Development, then they should carry on regardless, and buyer beware.

    Nothing is going to make perfect McKenzies, any more than all the best training in the land will make perfect Lawyers, but maybe it will help a little.

    And incidentally, a large number of law graduates dont work in law, and dont do the training for that sole purpose.

    Simon

  14. Without wishing to get into the debate about how evil barristers and solicitors are (very, clearly), and whilst recognising that a Mckenzie friend can be vital support to an unprepresented party, can I offer two observations?

    1 Whether or not it is paid for or offered for free as a guest post, this IS an advert for the services of a particular McKenzie friend. I don’t take exception to that (although I would not host the same on my own blog), but let’s call it what it is.

    2 There has been much discussion above about the risks associated with duff McKenzies and whether or not they need regulating. I do not doubt that Shaun O’Connell and Simon Walland are far more competent than some McKenzie friends and that they offer a service of value that could not be afforded elsewhere. But the fact remains that they (along with other less helpful McKenzies) are unregulated – and the public unprotected if the services they offer are damaging to a case. This must be so even if we accept that the regulation of the legal profession itself leaves something to be desired.

    As to the risks associated with a lack of regulation and the use of a non-lawyer as advocate or mckenzie: the fact that in the course of this comment thread one of the McKenzie friends has published an extract from a judgment arising from family proceedings illustrates the risk associated with the use of McKenzie friends, even experienced ones. Unless the judgment that has been quoted is one that has been is one in respect of which the court has given permission for it to be so published in whole or in part (and I have looked unsuccessfully for it on BAILII) it should not be published on the internet (in whole or in part, anonymous or not). Perhaps Mr O’Connell can publish the link to the BAILII version of the full judgment?

    I have recently noticed other Mckenzies publishing details of cases they have worked on via the internet, seemingly oblivious to the fact that anonymising the details does not prevent a breach of the rules in respect of the privacy of family proceedings, and without realising that perhaps that their client might be a little affronted to find their very personal stories being published (they may be anonymous to you or I but possibly not to the individual unless great care is taken). Of course a breach of court rules by a McKenzie friend is unlikely to assist the self represented person. My point is not that it is only Mckenzies who might get this wrong (I have published details on my blog of other organisations who have got it wrong, and I can think of lawyers who have got it wrong). My point is that there may be ramifications for the “client” of a Mckenzie, who has no redress and no protection. And self evidently, inappropriate publication of information is but one example of something that can be messed up by those who dabble and do not know their own limitations. For the avoidance of doubt, I’m not saying that in this instance Mr O’Connell has published inappropriately, I am simply using it as an illustration of the kind of things that can go wrong.

    Incidentally, I did come across these two judgments on Bailii whilst searching for the one quoted above : http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2006/1199.html and http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2005/759.html in the course of my search – is this the same Shaun O’Connell?

    • The legal argument published above referred to is an open court case and has no relevance to the parties, children etc.

      The judgements quoted at the end of your piece are mine…..LJ Wall cojoined two cases without anyones knowledge and ignored any argument he heard in court…it was the ‘wrath of the Court’ for my involvement with fathers4justice…and protesting outside judges houses.Further Portsmouth City Council tried to close this down but failed to do so…

      http://www.southernfamilyaid.com/portsmouth.htm

      I have not had any complaint except that article on Portsmouth and regularly publish a snippet without naming parties, children and identifying details….I would love to be properly sued for doing so as then the issues will get a public hearing.

      We need fully open Courts. In fact you can read the names of my children and all identifying details here…http://www.elc.org.uk/pages/eu_petition_appendices.htm

      Sometimes behind closed doors all manner of sins occur……and has anyone tried getting redress on the regulated system? Few can succeed….I have no faith in the regulators whether of the finance/ banking system, MPs expenses, legal bodies, IPCC etc etc…

  15. My point was not about whether or not courts should be more open (in fact I think they should be) but was I was merely attempting to demonstrate the risks that those without legal qualification may take steps as mckenzies which are unwittingly – or knowingly – in breach of the rules or otherwise strategically unwise, and that such action could get them, their “client” into difficulty (such as in the contempt of court proceedings in one notorious case last year, that resulted in imprisonment of both client and supporter).

  16. If we are talking about notorious cases.

    How about family law Barrister Bruce Hyman who was jailed for forging evidence against his client’s ex husband and was jailed and left his client penniless.

    Hyman was then unbelievably given a glowing character reference by the President of the Family Division whose son had been given job experience work by the disgraceful Hyman.

    Legal qualifications mean squat in these hopefully few cases (that come to light), it’s a red herring.

    Your example Lucy has ‘nothing’ to do with McKenzie Friends – It was simply just another despicable parent who the court decided to make an example of (rare indeed), plus her supporter who ran a website in contempt of court……

    There are appalling lawyers and similarly appalling McKenzie Friends and regulation does nothing presently and if extended will continue to do zilch to change this.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/nov/16/law-judicial-complaints

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-480798/How-barrister-forged-evidence-husband–faces-jail.html

  17. Hi im in england no mackenzie friend or solicitor will help in my case my scottish solictor has been slow and not doing a lot.

    i have a child issues the children are in scotland aged 15 for the boy and 13 for the girl.

    they are in care of highland council with parental rights taken away from us.

    The more time goes by the more help we need please put us in touch with help as we are desperate.

    Andy

    andrewpeacher2013@gmail.com 07827731060

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