McKenzie friend banned from court indefinitely

Family Law|May 26th 2015

The High Court has banned a man who acted as a McKenzie friend in several family law cases after several aggressive outbursts.

Former bouncer Nigel Baggaley was the “moving spirit behind two limited liability companies that provide legal advice and legal services” despite his admission that he had “no relevant professional training or qualifications”.

Last year, Mr Justice Peter Jackson issued an interim order which banned Mr Baggaley from representing anyone else after he swore at opposing lawyers on a number of occasions. He also admitted he had “faced up” to a barrister in court while advising a mother in a family case. The barrister in question “believed that Mr Baggaley was about to headbutt him” during the confrontation.

Sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, President of the Family Division Sir James Munby extended the ban indefinitely.

Sir James said that he was “not dealing here with a single ‘one off’ incident” and that Mr Baggaley’s continuing behaviour was “quite unacceptable” and “disgraceful”. He concluded that Mr Justice Jackson’s order was “not merely proportionate but necessary”.

A ‘McKenzie friend’ provides courtroom assistance to people who do not have legal representation. This can be done informally although some fee-charging McKenzie friends are accessible. The name comes from McKenzie v McKenzie: a 1970 family law case in which one party was assisted by an Australian barrister who was not qualified to practice in this country.

To read Re Baggaley in full, click here.

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  1. Bolchedik says:

    The industry does tend to produce these thugs, whether they are working for it or just caught up within it. This case seems to be a measure of how civil is family law. In fact, Sir James’ words ‘quite inappropriate’ and ‘disgraceful’ sound more like euphemisms when we think of the state of family law in this country.

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