The McKenzie Friend Issue


Last weekend I spoke at a charity event on common failings in intractable contact disputes. Inevitably, the question arose about thoughts on the judicial led consultation on McKenzie Friends. What were my thoughts?

For those unaware, there is a consultation underway to look at whether McKenzie Friends should be regulated, insured and paid. Continue reading The McKenzie Friend Issue


Knowledge gaps among Legal Advisers in the Magistrates Court


Legal Advisers are responsible for giving legal advice to Magistrates in Magistrates’ Courts throughout England and Wales. They are employed by Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service. They help Magistrates to make decisions and state the legal reasons that underpin the decisions. They may also make judicial decisions to progress a case. In essence, for the Magistrate, they’re their technical legal adviser… or should be.

It appears, there are some startling knowledge gaps among the profession, as made apparent by a couple of recent experiences which I felt important to share. Continue reading Knowledge gaps among Legal Advisers in the Magistrates Court


Court Bundles – A warning from the President


Some remain surprised at what should or should not be included within the bundle, when they should be prepared, and the format they should be provided in.

In Re L (A Child) [2015] EWFC, Sir James Munby expresses his annoyance at legal practitioners not following guidance in relation to the preparation of court bundles (PD27A refers to Practice Direction 27A – Family Proceedings: Court Bundles (Universal Practice to be applied in the High Court and Family Court)). Continue reading Court Bundles – A warning from the President