Word of warning for McKenzie Friends & Co



I have seen this decision reported in a number of places online and it seems to be both important and interesting, so thought I’d add something brief here.

The High Court has given much needed guidance on the duty of care owed by unqualified advisers such as McKenzie Friends. In essence they are judged by the standard that they have themselves assumed, so where a McKenzie Friend tells their client they can provide the same standard of service as a solicitor or barrister then this is the standard by which they shall be judged if a professional negligence claim is later pursued against them.

In Paul Wright v Troy Lucas (a firm) & George Rusz Mr Wright was left permanently disabled following negligently performed NHS surgery. He sought legal help from George Rusz who described himself as an experienced legal professional, operating through his company Troy Lucas which professed to be able to provide an equivalent or even superior service to any solicitor or barrister.

Mr Rusz proved to be a rather poor adviser, making a number of serious mistakes which left Mr Wright liable for adverse costs orders and caused him to under-settle his claim. Accordingly he sued Mr Rusz and Troy Lucas for professional negligence, who defended the claim on the basis there was no contract and they owed no duty of care.

The High Court dismissed these arguments, and judged the Defendants against the standard of the competent legal advisers they held themselves out to be. The claim succeeded and damages of £263,759 were awarded.

To my mind this is a triumph for unwitting consumers of legal services, and for common sense.

Latest News & Events

Personal Injury Briefing: June 2024

Welcome to the latest edition of the Deka Personal Injury team briefing. In this edition we will be focusing on ‘Witness Statements’ and ‘Fundamental Dishonesty and Indemnity Costs.’ Laura Hibberd provides some very helpful guidance through a series of ‘cautionary tales.’  It may be said…

The Contaminated Blood Scandal: Part 1 – the background

In the 1970’s the NHS had an almost insatiable need for blood. New treatments needed large quantities of “hema” and a scientific discovery gave a group of sick individuals a reprieve (or so they thought) from their suffering.   Haemophiliacs lack a specific protein, factor…

The Dekagram: 10th June 2024

Glover & Anor v Fluid Structural Engineers & Technical Designers Ltd & Ors [2024] EWHC 1257 (TCC) – a case highlighting the dangers of getting involved in the preparation of experts’ joint statements This judgment follows an application by the claimants within proceedings seeking permission to replace…

Subscribe to our mailing list

Deka Chambers: 5 Norwich Street, London EC4A 1DR

© Deka Chambers 2024


Portfolio Builder

Select the expertise that you would like to download or add to the portfolio

Download    Add to portfolio   
Title Type CV Email

Remove All


Click here to share this shortlist.
(It will expire after 30 days.)