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Call for McKenzie code of conduct

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October 22, 2021

Courtroom advisors known as McKenzie Friends should be subject to a code of conduct if they wish to charge fees, a society has claimed.

McKenzie Friends act as unqualified courtroom advisors to people lacking full legal representation, most frequently with family law cases. Many charge fees for their services.

In November 2014, the then newly established Society of Professional McKenzie Friends announced a set of professional standards for its members, including professional indemnity insurance, and a legal qualification equivalent to an A level or higher. The code was based on recommendations issued by the Judiciary in 2011.

The Society has now claimed that these standards should apply to all fee-charging McKenzie Friends, not just to members of the Society.

Speaking to the Law Society Gazette, Chair Ray Barry said:

“Many courts now require McKenzie friends to complete a form prior to a hearing. That form could ask whether the McKenzie friend is fee-charging or not. If yes, the McKenzie friend should be expected to be familiar with and required to comply with the code.”

Non-charging friends could simply be advised that they may not address the court during proceedings, he continued.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Tony Grubb says:

    As long as it is as vacuous and meaningless and abused as the Law Society Family Law Protocol is by solicitors of the “vanguard” of dirty tricks, what Mackenzie Friend could have any objection?

    It looks as it it could prove to be another case of an “entity with the objective to exclude competition” furthering that objective by feigning the high ground in matters of self-regulation.

  2. Wistilia says:

    Practice Direction.
    FNF Code of Conduct.
    Institute of Paralegals (IOP).
    Professional Paralegal Register (PPR).

    Far better than this new group by a long chalk.

  3. Amber Hartman says:

    I am dubious of a Paralegal with IOP.
    My view is for Cilex to be involved, possibly working with this group but with CILEX in control.

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