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With an ounce of knowledge

The LSB is correct in advising caution on recognising McKenzie friends as a legitimate feature of the legal services market, says Nicola Caffery

17 October 2014

On 2 September 2014 the Legal Services Board (LSB) wrote to the Legal Services Consumer Panel in response to their report on fee-charging McKenzie friends. The LSB welcomed the report at a time when the legal services market is entering a period of change and uncertainty, but expressed caution at the reports recommendation that fee-charging McKenzie Friends should be recognised as a legitimate feature of legal services.

The evidence upon which the report is written is a cause for concern. It is based largely on interviews with 28 fee-charging McKenzie friends and a trawl of their websites. Crucially, there is no input from consumers or clients of McKenzie friends. In my opinion, this makes the report biased, which is evident in some of the recommendations made.

The report flags up the following:...

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