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McKenzie Friends

This project is exploring the work that fee-charging McKenzie Friends do to support litigants through cases involving disputes over childcare arrangements and post-divorce finances.

If you have used a McKenzie Friend to help you with a family law case and you might be willing to participate in an interview about your experiences, please scroll down to the 'How to participate’ section below.

Project details

There are suggestions that since restrictions on the availability of legal aid were introduced in 2013, more people are using fee-charging McKenzie Friends to help them with their family law cases. The Bar Council has provided funding for an independent research team, led by Cardiff University, to explore what fee-charging McKenzie Friends do and what difference their support makes to people who deal with a family dispute without a lawyer and to family court proceedings.

The project comprises three strands:

  • Strand one involves in-depth interviews with fee-charging McKenzie Friends
  • Strand two involves in-depth interviews with clients of McKenzie Friends
  • Strand three involves observation of a number of court hearings involving fee-charging McKenzie Friends and linked interviews with those involved in the case (litigant, McKenzie Friend, lawyer, judge)

How to participate

Thank you for your interest in our research project. We would very much like to talk to you if you have ever paid a fee for a McKenzie Friend to help you with:

  • A dispute about post-divorce financial arrangements, or
  • A dispute with a former partner about childcare arrangements

We would like to conduct a short, confidential telephone interview with you to find out about your experience of using a McKenzie Friend. We are able to offer a £10 gift voucher as a thank you for your time.

If you are interested in taking part, please let us know by sending an email to McKenzieFriends@cardiff.ac.uk. Alternatively, you can telephone Leanne Smith on +44 (0)29 2087 4913.

You can read more information about what by downloading the information sheet from the link on the right of this screen. Please feel free to ask any questions.


The project team

Project lead


Support

This research is being funded by the Bar Council. The research team is independent.