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.

McKenzie v. McKenzie was a divorce case in England.Levine McKenzie, who was petitioning for divorce, had been legally aided but the legal aid had been withdrawn before the case went to court. Unable to fund legal representation, McKenzie had broken off contact from his solicitors, Geoffrey Gordon & Co. However, one day before the hearing, Geoffrey Gordon & Co. sent the case to an Australian barrister in London, Ian Hanger, whose qualifications in law in Australia did not allow him to practise as a barrister in London. Hanger hoped to sit with his client to prompt him, take notes, and suggest questions in cross-examination, thereby providing what quiet assistance he could from the bar table to a man representing himself. The trial judge ordered Hanger not to take any active part in the case (except to advise McKenzie during adjournments) and to sit in the public gallery of the court. Hanger assumed his limited role was futile and did not return for the second day of the trial. The case went against McKenzie, who then appealed to the Court of Appeal on the basis that he had been denied representation. On 12 June 1970, the Court of Appeal ruled that the judge's intervention had deprived McKenzie of assistance to which he was entitled, and ordered a retrial. Ian Hanger AM QC, the original McKenzie friend, is now a Queen's Counsel at the Queensland. SOURCE: Wikipedia.
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