A paid McKenzie friend who was last year jailed for perverting the course of justice in a family court will be featured on a BBC2 current affairs programme on Monday.
David Bright, who ran The Parents Voice, an organisation that offers help in family cases, was jailed for 12 months at Wood Green Crown Court last October.
He will be the subject of the Victoria Derbyshire show on Monday at 9am. The programme, according to a BBC journalist, will hear from a 'flood of people' who had dealt with Bright and will call into question the issue of paid McKenzie friends.
Bright submitted an expert report during a dispute last year that he knew to be false. It had been compiled by his colleague and partner Claire Mann. Mann, who used her maiden name Silverstone, falsely claimed to be a clinical psychologist.
The court heard that one of the parents involved in the dispute, who later told the Gazette his story, had been ‘emotionally and financially’ affected by the case and lost contact with his children as a result.
The programme on Monday will feature testimonies from ‘numerous victims’ of Bright and The Parents Voice – many of whom claim to have lost large amounts of money.
When Bright was sentenced the court heard he had previously received a five-year probation order after being found guilty of money laundering in the US in 1996. That case would not be taken into account as little information was available.
Shortly after Bright was jailed, the Gazette revealed he was facing a debt recovery claim from another former client, Andrew Hart.
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.
Monday’s broadcast will also raise the issue of paid McKenzie friends and how they are able to operate in the court system with no regulation.
A consultation by HM Judiciary on the controversial issue of paid McKenzie friends closed in June last year.
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.
Despite repeated requests asking when the consultation responses will be published the judiciary has yet to confirm a specific date.