I have lived in Exeter for 20 years and spent 18 years working as a litigation solicitor, having qualified in 1996, before leaving the legal profession in 2014. In that time, I gained significant experience of the court environment, negotiating settlements and advising clients on the best course of action.
Since 2014, I have worked in data protection and gained considerable experience in the public sector.
I am trained in mediation and registered with the Civil Mediation Council as a certified mediator with experience in resolving a wide range of arguments and disputes.
This includes, for example, commercial mediations, property disputes and neighbourhood disputes.
I am a full member of the Society of Professional McKenzie Friends Limited and an associate member of Resolution, the family lawyers’ organisation, and I work to their standards of conduct and their non-confrontational approach.
I am here to help you and to utilise my long and varied experience in the legal profession and as a mediator to your benefit and to find the best result for you.
Get a Free First Consultation
A McKenzie Friend?
A professional McKenzie Friend assists in preparing the case beforehand and to sit alongside you in court making an appearance a far less daunting task.
If you are representing yourself, the court will allow you to be accompanied by a friend; the name “McKenzie Friend” comes from a case in 1970, when the right was discussed. It was allowed and it gave rise to the phrase “McKenzie Friend.”
More and more people are representing themselves in court, without a solicitor or barrister, often because they cannot afford lawyers’ fees. Legal Aid to pay these fees has become harder to obtain, adding to the stress of an appearance.
Therefore, having a McKenzie Friend to guide you through a court action can save thousands of pounds in legal fees whilst at the same time providing you with confidence and reassurance in the steps you are taking to protect yourself and your family.
How can a McKenzie Friend help?
What a McKenzie Friend Can Do:
• Provide moral support for you
• Take notes
• Help with case papers
• Quietly give advice on:
– Points of law or procedure
– Issues that you may wish to raise in court
– Questions you may wish to ask witnesses.
What a McKenzie Friend Can’t Do:
• A McKenzie Friend has no right to represent or act on your behalf in court. However, a McKenzie Friend can advise you and assist in what to say in court.
They cannot act as your agent in relation to the proceedings nor manage the case outside court, for example, by signing court documents. You will still have to do this for yourself but a McKenzie friend will be able to assist you in planning the approach to a court hearing.
• A McKenzie Friend not usually entitled to address the court on your behalf, nor ask questions of any witnesses. However, occasionally, a judge may grant a McKenzie Friend what is called “rights of audience” in a particular case. Only in these rare circumstance would they then be allowed to address the court for you, as a solicitor or barrister would normally do.