The Legal Services Act 2007 determines what are “reserved legal services” (i.e. those that can only be conducted by a solicitor) and “non-reserved legal services” (i.e. those that are not protected in this way, so can be done less expensively by a business such as Lifeline Legal™).
In addition, the document “Practice Guidance: McKenzie Friends (Civil and Family Courts), 2010”, written by Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury (Master of the Rolls) and Sir Nicholas Wall (President of the Family Division) set out what McKenzie Friends can and cannot do.
Firstly, it is important that we state expressly that we do not offer the "reserved legal services" of solicitors. We offer an alternative provision of "non-reserved legal services", including less-expensive legal advice by lawyers. Working within the legal services community, we respect fully the valuable reserved legal services provided by law firms and we would always instruct solicitors, whenever required by law for specific tasks.
As a non-reserved legal services law firm, we are not regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, but we always cooperate fully and properly, and work within the scope of the Legal Services Act.
We cannot issue documents to the court – although we can work with you to draft these; we cannot cross-examine witnesses in court – although we can prepare questions for you to use in court; we cannot address the court ourselves – although we can work with you to prepare your speech in advance, and quietly advise as necessary.
McKenzie Friend services are regarded favourably by the court, as they increase access to justice. As we remain on the correct side of the legislation, the law is respected and we provide much-needed help to people who need it.