Our McKenzie Friends


Jeff Botterill

F.Inst.Pa - Family Law McKenzie Friend & 'Fellow' Paralegal

Jeff has assisted families at court since 2004 as a family law McKenzie Friend. He has a wide experience and a thorough knowledge of children proceedings in all manner of issues from child caring arrangements to child abduction, at Family Proceedings Courts up to the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

He has been involved successfully in hundreds of cases throughout England & Wales, including many highly complex cases. Jeff assists with drafting position statements, skeleton arguments and written submissions on behalf of clients that have been described as "excellent" and "beautifully crafted" by senior judges and his conduct in court as "exemplary" and "impeccable" by Lord Justices' of the Court of Appeal.

Many of Jeff's cases are by way of recommendation of satisfied clients and he endeavours to make sure parents and indirectly their children have as short and as successful a time in the family law system as circumstances allow. Plenty of his clients are of means but choose to use his services because of his expertise and straightforward manner. Jeff has a strong shared parenting ethos and brings this to his work as a family law Mckenzie Friend.

Jeff also assists in financial remedy cases offering a knowledgeable and practical approach to financial matters, he is a 'Fellow' of the Institute of Paralegals. Jeff has completed the Family Law & Child Law LLB modules.

Colin Brealey

F.Inst.Pa - Family Law McKenzie Friend & 'Fellow' Paralegal

Colin Brealey has helped families throughout England & Wales at all levels of Court, since 2008. This amounts to hundreds of cases, heard at Family Proceedings Courts, County Courts, the Central Family Court and Royal Courts of Justice.

His objective is to help families gain positive outcomes for their children and the family as a whole, to reduce the time, stress and cost of lengthy court proceedings in family law. His advice is practical and informed, and gained from considerable experience.

He has been involved in many cases where, with common sense and a child focused approach, he has helped parents reach a settlement and avoid unnecessary conflict by assisting them agree 'Consent Orders' which makes a return to court less likely. Where agreement isn't possible, he help parents put forward child focused and reasonable arguments.

Colin Brealey possesses in-depth knowledge and experience of children matters including post separation living arrangements, contact disputes, domestic violence, cases where false allegations persist, those including disputed paternity, and disagreements over day-to-day matters which affect children's lives.

He also has experience in public family law and have been successful in helping grandparents and other kinship carers obtain Special Guardianship Orders to avoid children of the family being placed in care.

He regularly receives recognition from the judiciary for his assistance at Court in achieving child focused outcomes. He works closely with a national shared parenting charity and attends regular training courses provided by a regional Family Justice Board. Colin is a 'Fellow' of the Institute of Paralegals.

Please take a moment to look at the page of testimonials from a few of the many success stories.


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Affordable high quality support Family Law Decisions McKenzie Friend

As your McKenzie Friend we will ensure before and at Court you are fully prepared for proceedings whether in children matters or finances. Most often we will provide a Position Statement which will help you put your argument forward in the most effective way for your case. With our assistance a well drafted Position Statement that is succinct and relevant will usually greatly assist you to make progress in your case.

We can meet you before you make final decisions about how you wish to proceed and give you information and family law advice that will help you make the best decision in the circumstances for you and your children. It is far better to start on the right path based on good advice and experience than make mistakes large and small along the way.

When you are at Court as your McKenzie Friend we will provide support and advice, perhaps assisting with negotiations outside of the Court as you require. In Court we will sit next to you and will have briefed you thoroughly regarding what to expect. We will remind you of important points you wish to inform the Court and provide advice on queries which may arise in Court. We will provide information on Points of law and provide questions you may wish to ask witnesses, assist with Submissions and consider Orders that may be drawn up by the parties themselves.

The moral support, taking notes and helping with Court documents are some of the other matters we can assist you with. With the court's permission (rights of audience (ROA)) we may act as your lay advocate, representing you in court. This may be allowed by the court in cases (but not confined to) where a party has difficulty representing themselves due to a disability or there are serious allegations.

Undoubtedly we will make the whole process far easier for you and crucially help you to achieve the best result you can bearing in mind the circumstances.

Dear Jeff. Thank you for writing such a good position statement. I was really pleased at how thorough you were in highlighting all the important points that needed to be brought to the court's attention.
– Mrs K. (Manchester)
Jeff Botterill is a highly experienced and technically skilled McKenzie Friend with experience at all levels of court, including appeal. Jeff's knowledge of case law and court procedure is impressive. Such knowledge is essential in more complex cases, as is an ability to help construct effective, fact based and child centered arguments. In technical areas of law such as leave to remove, Jeff's name readily comes to mind as someone I can recommend with confidence. I am often asked if I can recommend a McKenzie Friend to assist a parent or grandparent in court, and Jeff Botterill is someone whose name I have no hesitation in putting forward.
– Author and Creator of The Custody Minefield
Result! Jeff helped me to win my Final Hearing so my daughter can now come and stay at my house. Straight talking and knowledgable he was better than my previous barrister and around a quarter of the price. I wish I had known about McKenzie Friends a year ago and would recommend Jeff to any father going through the slow pain that is the UK family court system.
– Mr S. (Bristol)
Colin has been of great support over recent months, offering excellent advice and helping me to stay focussed. His assistance at court was exemplary (certainly gave the opposition many things to think about), kept the objectives on track, both the District Judge and oppositions barrister commended him for his contribution. Oh and ultimately with his help all my objectives were met and indeed surpassed!
– Mr M. (Warwickshire)
Dear Jeff, Thank you very much for the notes and assisting me today. I'm very grateful to you for your support and advice. I am so glad that you were with me. You helped me get the result I hoped for.
– Mrs M. (Hampshire)