McKenzie Friend

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 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.

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.

Hello Jeff, I have read the witness statement and took on board what you advised.

There are a couple of amendments to make, rest is perfect and to the point. You have really nailed it Jeff by making it flow so well and to the point. Thank you so much for your immense help and for being there with me all the way. I will send you an email when all is done or I need any other advice.
Until then a massive thanks once again.
All the best.
Kindest regards
PS: I told my sister about you liking the different spicy food. She told me to invite you at some point to try ........... food.
– Ms S. (London)
I am writing this to express my sincere delight, happiness and any other fantastic word you could add of the assistance provided by Mr Colin Brealey regarding my family matters in the county court.
 
I had pre Colin paid out over £10,000 in solicitor fees and got no where fast, i contacted Colin after he was recommended by a friend in a similar situation. It was at very late notice but Colin assured me he would assist with all my legal paper work and proposals regarding my two children. Colin contacted me at a suitable time for both of us but then stayed up via phone contact till 02:00AM!!!!!
 
UNBELIEVABLE but yes he did, he managed to complete all my necessary paper work for the court on such late notice due to my late contact but he stayed awake completing this as the next day was the court trial. Colin also attended court in person as my McKenzie friend and assisted me in what i needed to do to get the desired result.
 
I was awarded the children more favourably than my ex partner and i feel, no i know it was down to Colin’s help, i will be ever in his debt as my children are my world and having them taken away by a court and their mother was the single most worst thing i have ever had to experience in my life.
– Mr G. (Leicestershire)
Dear Jeff, Just a quick few lines to thank you again for your support yesterday and the fantastic work you did on our Skeleton Argument. I thought it was exceptional myself but obviously I don’t have legal training. I don’t think you could get a higher accolade than Lord Justice Wood saying that it was a “beautifully crafted" document twice during the hearing.
– Mr B. (London)
My Father left me in Colin’s capable hands when he had to leave me to go abroad for 12 months on business.
After 18 months of sky high legal fees that I could no longer afford, I had no choice but to represent myself and take on my former husbands’ London based legal team with the help of Colin Brealey. This was a hugely daunting task but one that I immediately felt was attainable with the help of Colin. Colin gave me the confidence and support that I needed to stand in Court and fight for myself and my children.
I can only describe my marriage and my divorce as something out of a horror movie. My divorce was a hugely complex case, extending over 3 years with countless files of litigation including 2 Non Molestation Orders and an extensive Police chronology. The litigation included details of the domestic violence I endured, my former husband’s drug and alcohol addiction, children’s care issues, complex financials and extensive Police involvement.
Colin took it all in his stride and took time to read through the extensive history and made sure he was familiar with all the previous orders and applications. Colin assisted me at all times in the preparation of applications on email and over the phone, and in person at all the numerous hearings.
Colin always arrived early prior to the hearings which gave me great comfort as it allowed us time to meet and talk through everything before we went in. I was always terribly nervous and anxious but Colin was great at calming me and preparing me and focusing me for each hearing, particularly when I was facing counsel.
As well as helping me with all the litigation and hearings. Colin would always contact me to hear how any meetings went with the Police as well as when the children spent time with their appointed guardian.
Sadly, my divorce was one of threat and violence. Although I had panic buttons in my home - If I was ever in fear or panic, then I knew I could call Colin for help or advice 24/7.
Colin was, and continued to be, a huge support to me and my family throughout the ongoing proceedings. Colin has a vast knowledge and extensive experience in the legal field. As well as this, Colin has been an emotional support to me through the most painful and traumatic years of my life.
– Ms G. (Berkshire)
I spent approximately 18 months working with Colin as a McKenzie friend.
Before working with Colin I had appointed a solicitor and attended family court on two occasions.  Each of these hearings was confusing and frustrating due to the fact that all communication was done between the solicitors involved. Decisions were made by solicitors based on very little understanding of the facts. The process was aimed more at fighting the other party than it was at achieving anything positive by way of contact with my daughter.
 
I contacted Colin in an attempt to remove the adversarial approach from my case and to help me understand a legal situation that was out of control.
From my initial meeting with Colin it was obvious that he knew more about Family Law than any solicitor I had talked with and that he had a constructive approach to arriving at a workable solution.
Colin explained to me in detail how my case was likely to unfold. He outlined what contact was likely to be agreed and helped me to set workable expectations. At each stage of the court process Colin removed all the unnecessary legal details and simplified what had previously been a confused legal battle in to something that was simple to understand and much less stressful to manage. We worked together, making it possible to clarify things for the court, welfare officers and the other party.
Colin focused on what needed to be done to increase contact with my daughter, he was always available to address any concerns or issues that I had and to provide guidance with any court paperwork.
At each hearing Colin sought to find common ground between both parties rather than continuing the arguments that my previous solicitor had perpetuated. This achieved an increase in contact where previously no progress had been made for almost a year.
The depth of practical experience that Colin has, and his positive, constructive approach helped me to arrive at a situation where the other party agreed to much more contact than I would have achieved if I had continued with a solicitor. At the same time Colin kept me focused on my daughter rather than on the other party.
Colin makes Family Law work for families.
– Mr H. (Leicestershire)