There is no justification for banning fee-charging McKenzie Friends, the Legal Services Board (LSB) has claimed.
It claims a total ban on courtroom advisors who charge fees is not justified by the evidence in a newly published response to a proposal by the Judicial Executive Board (JEB). It raises three specific objections to a proposed ban, claiming that:
*The JEB’s consultation paper does not explain why the JEB cannot manage problems caused by McKenzie Friends.
*The paper does not set out clear evidence of detriment to the public caused by the charging of fees.
*The possible impact on the public of ban has not been adequately considered.
LSB Chief Executive Neil Buckley said:
“We recognise that the justice system is currently going through a period of significant change and that this brings challenges for consumers and in particular for the Judiciary…However we are not convinced that the case has been made…”
“We know from our 2016 individual legal needs survey that 64 per cent of consumers with a legal problem do not seek independent assistance in dealing with it. In this context, any moves to restrict consumers’ choices should be targeted and based on evidence of detriment.”
Read more here.
The Legal Services Board oversees the regulation of lawyers in England and Wales. The Judicial Executive Board is, meanwhile, a panel of senior judges who assist the Lord Chief Justice.
Photo by Jean-François Chénier via Flickr