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.

Having utilised Colin’s services previously, I had no hesitation in engaging him once again to assist with a new matter. Although I’m now a veteran of over ten court hearings concerning various child-related issues, and was confident of representing myself in court without accompaniment, the assistance Colin gave in advising on the correct application to make to court, drafting the position statements, and helping me focus on how to present the case on the day, helped me achieve the required outcome.
– Mr T. (Merseyside)
Following separation it because impossible for me to secure parenting time with my young son. His mother wouldn’t allow him to spend more than two nights away with me, which made taking holidays impossible.

I met Jeff at my local FNF meeting. I was immediately struck not only by Jeff’s technical expertise but also by the calm, measured and authoritative way in which he gave others help and support.

I didn’t even bother looking for a solicitor, I engaged Jeff as my McKenzie Friend. He helped me file an application to court and draft a position statement. He subsequently helped support me in court.

In court Jeff was a rock-steady mentor, providing pragmatic and clear advice at just the right time. He negotiated with the other side and his clear familiarity with the system filled me with confidence in the waiting before the hearing. Importantly he had the confidence of the judge, who explicitly remarked on Jeff’s CV with obvious admiration.

In the hearing, following a rocky start (the judge thought my suggested residence schedule was too much for a 2 year old...and lots of allegations in mum's position statement - all ignored by Cafcass and the judge) the judge supported an amended schedule Jeff and I proposed; Jeff was then instrumental in hammering out a brief but prescriptive Shared Residence Order by consent.

The mother had applied for sole residence and proposed one Wednesday overnight a fortnight and every other weekend Friday to Sunday 6pm for contact. No holidays, other than alternate Christmas day.

I ended up with an SRO by consent, every Wednesday overnight and every other weekend Friday nursery pick up to Monday nursery drop off. I also got half of all holidays and alternate Christmas and Easter.

I am confident that with Jeff’s help, support and guidance I got the best outcome for my son; the long weekends and holidays in particular will help immensely in his relationship with me, his grandparents and his young cousin. I am sure I wouldn’t have secured such a good outcome for my son without Jeff’s calming influence, help and guidance.
– Mr M. (London)
Colin has helped me regain access to my daughter after nearly two years of not seeing her. Throughout the process, he always responded to my queries quickly and was brilliant about keeping information and advice accurate and to the point. Whilst in the court, Colin had a calming influence and really helped take away not only the fear of the situation but also the emotion in order to get the result I badly needed. Would highly recommend to anyone in a similar position.
– Mr M. (Wales)
Having been given notice that my ex-partner was applying to the Family Courts to relocate our daughter to Australia, I knew I had a serious, potentially life changing, problem on my hands but I was instantly certain I would be defending myself. Previous experience I had garnered in the courts was nothing short of depressing and had left me eminently reluctant to be legally represented. Aware that various historical incidents provided for a strong defence, I simply did not trust any solicitor to care enough to collate and disclose the wealth of information I had at my disposal in the manner which best suited my case, nor did I have the funds it would have cost me to commission them to do so.

Previous experience had also taught me that attending court is an overwhelming and daunting experience so I was conscious that I needed some form of guidance to see me through to the end. Which is when I found Family Law Decisions and in particular, Jeff Botterill, whom I knew straight away was the person I wanted by my side during the whole process. Jeff is extremely calm and reassuring with a knowledge base that is immediately evident. It also helped to learn that once upon a time he had been in my shoes and could recognise the anguish and anxiety I was feeling.

Jeff Botterill is simply a genius and I’m utterly convinced my life would not be so wonderful now if it were not for him. From the moment he agreed to assist me, I knew I was in great hands and a lot of the tension which inevitably builds up seemed to dissipate there and then. Once we got started, Jeff was great at stripping the emotion away and helping you to focus on what is important and ignoring what is irrelevant, as it is very easy to get caught up in the bitterness and unjust nature of everything. He keeps you thinking straight.
He is also a master at drawing up any court documents that will be required along the way and is exceptional at articulating every point of your defence. I was truly blown away when I saw my initial position statement – It summed up perfectly in 10 or 12 sentences what I had been frustratingly screaming about for years. A work of art.

Long story short, my ex-partner dropped her application completely after the first hearing and I was able to amend the existing contact order we had in place to provide for more time with my daughter at weekends and school holidays. The result is my relationship with my daughter is as good now as it’s ever been and I feel that I have been treated fairly by the courts. This is all thanks to Jeff.

I would recommend Jeff in an instant. He really is a godsend.
– Mr P. (London)
Hi Jeff. Thank you for the notes, and for supporting me like you have over the past few months - We really got the outcome we were hoping for. You do a sterling job, really supported and guided me through the most difficult days and time of my life.
Thank you so much again.
– Mr H. (Worcestershire)