litigation friend a representative in court proceedings for children who have yet to reach their majority (i.e. aged 18) who require special protection in respect of legal claims brought by or against them. The main purpose is to ensure that settlements are fair and in their interests. Normally the office will be held by a parent but not in cases where, for example, the child is a passenger in the parent's car. The person must be able to act ‘fairly and competently’ and have no interest that could be considered adverse to that of the child. If necessary, the court can make an appointment.