McKenzie friends—private law
McKenzie friends—private law

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • McKenzie friends—private law
  • What is a McKenzie friend?
  • Rights of audience
  • Procedure
  • Matters to consider
  • Best practice
  • Communication of information—financial remedy proceedings

The primary guidance in relation to McKenzie friends is that issued on 12 July 2010 by the President of the Family Division (jointly with the Master of the Rolls). The guidance replaced the earlier practice direction issued on 14 October 2008. In addition, guidance issued by the Bar Council, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) and the Law Society regarding litigants in person was issued in June 2015, and includes generic guidance regarding McKenzie friends (at paras 54 to 74). The Judicial Executive Board issued a consultation paper in February 2016 proposing reforms to the existing guidance in relation to McKenzie friends, and the Judicial Executive Board (JEB) established a judicial working group to review the proposals in light of the responses to the consultation, which reported to the JEB in the first instance. See News Analysis: Consultation recommends codified rules for McKenzie friends and fee ban. The consultation response was published in February 2019, with the limited recommendations including that the 2010 guidance be updated and reissued to properly reflect current case law, and no recommendation for a fee ban, see: LNB News 25/02/2019 100.

Where a client is content for their lawyer to deal with a lay adviser, clear instructions should be obtained as to what issues may be discussed and what documents disclosed to the lay adviser. In