Accessible, Affordable and Fairer Justice
The bewildering lack of affordable legal assistance is what motivated Mr Fraser J Matcham, a Law Undergraduate at the University of Westminster, to take the initiative and create McKenzie Friends Marketplace – a platform created to help and aid unrepresented litigants-in-person access practical, moral and legal assistance for pending court proceedings.
To enable unrepresented litigants-in-person to receive guidance and not face court alone, Fraser took the initiative and created a platform to connect litigants with McKenzie Friends. His appeal found resonance with legal professionals and academics who agreed to share their experience and time in supporting the initiative. He further found collaborative support of universities, academics, barristers, solicitors and charities from across the country, which has added to the collective credibility and experience of McKenzie Friends Marketplace.
Since there was a large number of litigants that require legal advice and representation, Fraser felt that the platform also provided an opportunity for law graduates to get in-court experience and enhance client care skills, resulting in the Student Trading Account. The account allows law students to join the website and contribute toward making the legal process more transparent.
In addition to this, the marketplace also created a McKenzie Friend Guidebook which provides the history of McKenzie Friends, what they can and cannot do, recommendations, benefits of McKenzie Friends, regulations and requirements. This brings with it the marketplaces own Code of Conduct that all trading members must follow in order to remain a marketplace member.
To assist those new to acting as a McKenzie Friend, the marketplace aims to provide a training programme with the assistance of one of its supporting universities in London. The program will provide an abundance of information surrounding the courts, McKenzie Friends role and responsibilities as well as highlighting contemporary issues within the legal sector.
McKenzie Friends Marketplace aims to emerge as the first choice for litigants-in-person to reach out and obtain clearer information on McKenzie Friends all of whom are available to contribute their time and experience in providing support and advice, as and when required.