Definition of McKenzie friend in English:

McKenzie friend


  • 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’
    • ‘Provided that the McKenzie friend acts with restraint, he is often a useful assistant to the conduct of litigation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Certainly neither Mr Boyle nor his "McKenzie friend" made any attempt to address the formidable difficulties presented by s.285.’
    • ‘Must a litigant in person seek the permission of a judge or district judge before disclosing the case papers to his McKenzie friend?’
    • ‘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.’


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.


McKenzie friend

/məˈkɛnzi frɛnd/