According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McKenzie_friend):
A McKenzie Friend assists a litigant in person in a common law court. This person does not need to be legally qualified. The crucial point is that litigants in person are entitled to have assistance, lay or professional, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Their role was set out most clearly in the eponymous 1970 case McKenzie v. McKenzie. Although this role applies in the jurisdiction of England and Wales, it is regarded as having its origins in common law and hence has been adopted in practice in other common law jurisdictions such as Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States. Although in many cases a McKenzie friend may be an actual friend, it is often somebody with knowledge of the area. He or she may be liable for any misleading advice given to the litigant in person but are not covered by professional indemnity insurance.
In Leeds we have seen the use of McKenzie friend(s) (McKF) in the case of Norman Scarth. Now, McKFs have rallied together.
The following is from (with thanks): https://mckenzies4fairness.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/hello-world/
This blog became necessary because too many victims of white collar crimes encountered too many problems and their helpers and supporters as well.
When victims are hit emotionally and financially, they are in front of a labyrinth of procedures and proceedings of professionals, organisations and authorities where friends can help and often become McKenzie Friends: lay legal advisors.
Helpers and supporters are ‘learning by doing’:
- to share what they’re learning about
- to advocate changes that are necessary
- to lobby for change via Parliamentary routes.
There have been others before us: