Meaning of McKenzie friend in English:

McKenzie friend

Pronunciation /məˈkɛnzi frɛnd/


British Law
  • A person who attends a trial as a non-professional helper or adviser to a litigant who does not have legal representation in court.

    ‘clients must know what their options are, including McKenzie friends, mediation, barristers, and solicitors’
    • ‘Certainly neither Mr Boyle nor his "McKenzie friend" made any attempt to address the formidable difficulties presented by s.285.’
    • ‘Provided that the McKenzie friend acts with restraint, he is often a useful assistant to the conduct of litigation.’
    • ‘The second issue, your Honour, is as to whether he is properly a person who may assist the Court either by way of McKenzie friend or amicus.’
    • ‘Must a litigant in person seek the permission of a judge or district judge before disclosing the case papers to his McKenzie friend?’
    • ‘She told him that Judge Goldstein was willing to hear his application, but would not let Dr. Pelling into court to assist as a McKenzie friend.’


1970s from the names of Leveine McKenzie and Maizie McKenzie, litigants in the case of McKenzie v. McKenzie (1970), in which the Court of Appeal ruled that any party in a trial is entitled to non-professional assistance in court.