No doubt some will suggest there may be something of the straw man about the warning concerning McKenzie friends contained in the recently-published Rivlin report. Since (as the report itself touches upon) conducting litigation and advocacy are both reserved legal activities, it is slightly difficult to see how McKenzie friends could lawfully become more involved in court hearings without some form of authorisation (which would imply the requisite training, regulatory obligations etc, the lack of which would otherwise constitute the danger highlighted).

Without such regulation, it would be certainly be awkward to justify how a prosecution for contempt of court or under s.14 of the Legal Services Act might be brought against a solicitor without her Higher Rights qualification who conducted advocacy in the Crown Court for a client but not against a McKenzie friend who did the same.

However, as suggested in my previous Passle, there is a real question about where the boundaries of the legal "professions" begin and end, which is unlikely to stop with the McKenzie friend issue highlighted here.