Francis Payne


Date of Call: 2014

BSB Number: 62616

Francis is a courageous advocate who strives to secure the best possible results for his clients. Commended for his “valiant submissions” (HHJ) in Court, Francis often demonstrates advocacy skills beyond his year of call. Coupled with this, his background makes him an instant hit with clients, who are reassured by his ability to provide comprehensive legal advice in a straightforward digestible form.

He has a wealth of experience conducting trials in all jurisdictions.

Francis has a varied practice across many of No 18’s areas of expertise, with a particular focus in private law children and matrimonial finance matters. Public access accredited, Francis is able to take instructions directly from members of the public.

Francis has also been appointed to the Government Legal Department’s Junior Panel of Counsel and takes suitable instructions from the government.

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Family: Care & Children

Private Law Children: Contact and Residence disputes under the Children Act 1989

Francis is frequently instructed in Children Act 1989 matters and regularly represents parents and other family members at all stages of private children law disputes, from first hearing to final hearing. This includes representing clients in factual as well as welfare disputes, and he has a wealth of experience in dealing with allegations of serious domestic abuse (including sexual abuse), non-accidental injuries and child abuse, drug misuse, parental alienation, applications for removal from jurisdiction/relocation within jurisdiction and human rights issues. Francis often appears in cases where a Guardian has been appointed for the children.

Francis has successfully represented parents seeking to obtain and resist child arrangements orders, determine parental responsibility, and in applications for prohibited steps orders. Francis represents each client with care and skill. Outside of court, Francis is a confident negotiator and is often able to settle child arrangements (including interim arrangements) in favourable terms for his clients. Despite his youthful looks, Francis is a parent and is able to emphasise with his clients and ensure that their case is skilfully presented in court.

Francis’ results and testimonials are a clear indicator of his ability in this area.

Domestic violence & injunctions

Francis has represented many clients in cases involving Domestic Abuse, dealing with applications for injunctions under the Family Law Act 1996 (non-molestation orders and occupation orders) both on an ex parte and on-notice basis through to final hearing.

Francis’ background in criminal law enables him to prepare cases diligently, pinpointing crucial evidence in order to succeed in a case.

Family: Finance

Divorce & Separation

Francis appears in and advises upon financial remedy proceedings from first appointment to contested final hearing.

In cases where there are limited assets, Francis will look to achieve acceptable and sustainable solutions, saving his clients significant costs. As a result of Francis’ time spent with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (working within the MTIC Fraud and Strategic Litigation teams), he has a solid grasp of taxation (in particular direct and indirect tax matters and issues relating to the Finance Act 2014) and insolvency issues and has a keen eye for contrived financial activity and the dissipation of assets.

Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence

Francis has a successful practice in personal injury law, including road traffic accidents, clinical negligence, highway claims and employers’ and occupiers’ liability claims.

Francis enjoys a substantial court practice, appearing in trials (small claims, fast track and multi-track), CCMCs, approval hearings (including Stage 3) and application hearings. He is regularly instructed in matters involving allegations of fundamental dishonesty including low-velocity RTAs, crash for cash and phantom passenger claims. Francis also advises on liability and quantum.

With significant experience representing both claimants and defendants in small claims and fast track trials, Francis is also well versed in credit hire matters and the usual issues that arise.


  • LL.B (Hons) Law with Criminology, University of Portsmouth (Upper Second Class Honours)
  • Bar Vocational Course, City University (Very Competent, graded Outstanding for Civil Advocacy)


  • The Honourable Society of Middle Temple (Major Scholar, 2013)
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • CPS Panel of Advocates (Level 1)
  • Young Legal Aid Lawyers Association
  • Human Rights Lawyers Association


  • Queen Mother Scholarship – The Honourable Society of Middle Temple (2013/14)

Publications / Seminars

  • Contributor - Tools for changing banking culture: FCA are you listening? (Reported in Capital Markets Law Journal and Financial Times)
No 18 Chambers Seminars

Personal Info

Outside chambers, Francis’ main interests are football (watching his team Leyton Orient lose every weekend), boxing and spending time with his young family. Prior to attending University, Francis was a competitive boxer and competed at County and District Level. Francis received a Sporting Excellence Scholarship from the University of Portsmouth as a result of his achievements within the sport.

Francis is passionate about the provision of legal services to all who require it. His dedication is such that he is the Co-Founder of a Legal Advice Clinic for a London charity, Shelter from the Storm. Coming from a ‘non-traditional’ background and keen to promote diversity at the Independent Bar, Francis regularly gives talks to Secondary School and University students about entry into the legal profession.

Cases of note

C v C [2022]

Representing Wife. One limited asset case. FDR indication was for a 50/50 split of the net proceeds. Francis secured 67.5% for his client at final hearing. 

S v S [2022]

Representing Wife. Secured 77.5% of the net proceeds from the FMH and costs awarded against the Husband at final hearing.   

S v S [2022]

Represented a client in matrimonial finance proceedings worth an estimated £2.5million. This case involved numerous international properties and issues relating to legal and beneficial ownership. Francis strategic advice on evidence following the FDA secured a concession from the other side as to his client’s beneficial ownership of a Spanish property worth 1,000,000 euros. 

M v H [2022]

Advising and representing client in relation to making a worldwide freezing order in relation to assets worth approx. £2,000,000. 

What others say

When I was covering for my colleague Francis was very responsive and helpful, as well as proactive and determined to achieve the best outcome for our client.

(Sarah French Moore Blatch)

Francis conduct his cases with great detail and care and is very reliable. He is well prepared and his work is of an exceptional quality and provides a good service for the client

(Oi-Yuyn Wong AWD)

Confident with expertise beyond his call

(Sarah French Moore Blatch)

Best client feedback on counsel I have ever seen

(Tim Melville-Walker – Macdonald Oates )

We have instructed Francis to represent our client many times at hearings. He has always been punctual and never failed to provide us with an attendance note updating us of hearing with next steps within a few hours! Francis is very passionate and knowledgeable in his work and the area of Family Law - our client’s have requested to have Francis represent them at subsequent hearings.

(Nikki Ruparelia -Bookers & Bolton)

Francis conducts every case with meticulous preparation and sees cases through with a thorough and efficient approach. Francis makes clients feel at ease with his attentive approach, as well as clearly explaining the options available to clients. Francis is a rising legal star with his professionalism, knowledge and skill.

(Alyciette Edwards - AWD)

I have found Francis to be unreservedly tenacious and pragmatic in court. He has proven on numerous occasions that he will consistently get results. He is conscientious and his courtroom manner, particularly with litigants in person, is excellent

(Daniel Norris - Churchers)

Francis represented a nervous client in matrimonial finance proceedings. Francis was able to put the client at ease and gave him a sense of confidence going into court and achieved a positive outcome.

(Michelle Noy – Bates Solicitors)

I was so assured Francis had my best interests at heart and he immediately put me at ease. He explained things in a clear, honest way and really took the time to understand my case. His expertise and skill, meant he wasted no time in navigating things to a conclusion that I was really happy with. Thank you.

(Mr H)