A jailed McKenzie friend could be released from prison for the day to represent himself in a claim lodged by an aggrieved former client.
David Bright is facing a recovery claim from Andrew Hart, who claims he is due £12,000 from Bright and his organisation The Parents Voice. Bright contests the claim.
Hart used Bright as a McKenzie friend last year in a family dispute.
Hart’s lawyer, Lawrence Stephens partner Adrian Ring alleged that his client did not get what was expected and that there was ‘nothing substantial that showed what was being done’ while Bright was representing him.
There was no record of any submission of documents or letters of advice.
Hart dismissed Bright in July last year.
According to the recovery claim, Hart agreed to pay Bright and TPV £500 per month, plus disbursements, expenses and any additional amounts for specific pieces of work.
However, Bright and TPV have since claimed that Hart agreed to pay £150 per hour + VAT. Ring alleged there was no written evidence for this figure and that all the invoices sent to Hart were for a specific period (usually monthly).
The case is due to take place on December 8 at Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court but Ring said it was possible that Bright could be granted leave to represent himself. The Gazette understands that Bright’s former representatives, Rooks Rider Solicitors are no longer representing him after his conviction – though the firm declined to comment on the matter.
Earlier this month Bright and his partner and fellow TPV worker Claire Mann were jailed for one and three years respectively.
Bright submitted a psychology report during a dispute earlier this year that had been compiled by Mann.
Mann, using her maiden name Silverstone, falsely claimed to be a clinical psychologist.
She was handed a nine-month sentence but was also jailed for three years for running a harassment campaign against a mother at her daughter’s school and for communicating a false bomb hoax.
The nine month sentence will run concurrently with that sentence.
A consultation by HM Judiciary on the controversial issue of paid McKenzie friends closed in June.
It proposed a ban on fee-charging McKenzie friends and recommended that all McKenzie friends sign up to a code of conduct, and that rules governing the courts’ approach to McKenzie friends be legally codified.