Francis Payne

Barrister

Date of Call: 2014

  • Barrister profile

Francis joined Chambers in September 2018. Prior to joining Chambers, Francis was an Employed Barrister within the Strategic Tax Litigation Team at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), dealing with high-profile litigation in respect of complex tax avoidance schemes. Prior to joining HMRC, Francis enjoyed a successful practice in the areas of Crime and Personal Injury.

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, Francis’ background makes him an instant hit with clients, who are reassured by his ability to provide comprehensive legal advice in a straightforward digestible form. Despite only qualifying at the start of last year, his persuasive advocacy has enabled Francis to impress clients across the country and secure fantastic results.

At No 18, Francis has a busy practice in court and on paper across the whole spectrum of chambers’ core areas but with a particular interest in general civil litigation and personal injury.

Crime

Francis’ started his legal career as a Criminal Defence Barrister (First with a Legal 500 Firm and then with a Leading Criminal Chambers in London). Conducting trials on a daily basis in the Magistrates and Crown Court, Francis developed excellent advocacy skills. Francis’ most notable success came when he secured the acquittal of a Defendant in a ‘Third Strike Burglary’ Trial at The Old Bailey, in circumstances where the Defendant’s 60 previous convictions for Burglary were known to the jury.

Francis is on the CPS Panel of Advocates (Level 1) and is happy to receive instructions from the Crown Prosecution Service.

Expertise

Family: Care & 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 experience of dealing with allegations of serious domestic abuse.

Francis has successfully represented parents seeking to obtain and resist child arrangements orders, determine parental responsibility, and in applications for prohibited steps orders.


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 heairng.


Chancery and Commercial

As a result of Francis’ time spent with HMRC, Francis is able to represent clients in a wide range of public law matters. Francis has particular experience of Judicial Review claims and is able to advise clients in relation to all aspects of judicial review and prides himself on being able to give realistic, straightforward advice on the merits of any challenge (Francis has a particular interest in cases with a Human Rights element).

He is a member of the Young Legal Aid Lawyers Association and the Human Rights Lawyers Association.

Tax & MTIC Fraud

Francis has spent considerable time working for HMRC in the MTIC/VAT Litigation and Strategic Litigation Teams. During this time, Francis appeared in the County Court, High Court and First-Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) on a variety of issues.

HMRC v B – Successfully opposed an appeal made out of time (£100,000) in the First-Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber).

During Francis’ time spent with HMRC, he has developed a good knowledge of direct and indirect tax matters and is well versed on issues relating to the Finance Act 2014. Whilst part of the Strategic Litigation Team, he assisted in defending over £30 million of revenue and the Follower Notice provisions as part of the R (Broomfield and others) v HMRC [2018] EWHC 1967 (Admin) and R (Alasdair Locke) v HMRC [2018] EWHC 1966 (Admin) Judicial Review Claims.

Francis is currently a Junior Junior Barrister for the Crown and takes suitable instructions from all government departments (including Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs). Francis is also open to receiving suitable instructions from Appellants.


Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence

Francis specialises in advising and representing clients in general civil litigation and personal injury matters, bringing robust criminal Crown Court advocacy experience where needed. He undertakes a broad spectrum of personal injury work acting on behalf of both claimants and defendants at trials, interim hearings and approval hearings. Francis also has experience of drafting pleadings, skeleton arguments and written opinions on liability and quantum. Francis’ personal injury experience includes:

  • Road Traffic Accidents

JG – v – SG (Guildford County Court)

Francis was successful in obtaining judgment for the Claimant, a motorcyclists who was thrown from his bike after the Defendant pulled in to a side street. Francis was able to avoid a finding of contributory negligence for his client despite the Claimant overtaking the Defendant’s vehicle at a junction (contrary to the Highway Code).

TR – v – EO (Clerkenwell County Court)

Francis represented a Bulgarian Claimant who, on the day of trial, disputed the length of his injury (which had previously been approved/confirmed by the claimant in a signed witness statement). When asked how the Claimant could play basketball with a soft tissue injury to his shoulder, the Claimant stated that in Bulgaria, a ‘proper injury’ would involve a broken bone or amputation. Despite Francis’ client being subject to 1.5 hours of cross examination, Francis was able to put this persuasive advocacy skills to good use in his closing speech, persuading the judge that this client was merely demonstrating particular cultural differences (between Bulgarian and the UK) and a certain “Bulgarian bravado”. Francis also submitted that credibility was the most important consideration for the court; The Claimant was not prepared to give evidence and maintain that his injury lasted longer than it did. Francis was successful in obtaining judgment for the Claimant. The judge agreed, in giving judgment, that the Claimant was demonstrating a “Bulgarian Bravado” in relation to his post-injury activity.

Francis has successfully represented other clients in RTA claims.

 

  • Occupiers’ Liability

TR – v – (1) BSC, (2) MSS Ltd (Swansea County Court)

Francis represented a Clamant who fell and suffered significant injuries whilst walking through a shopping centre. The 1st Defendant (the shopping centre) and 2nd Defendant (a security firm that was contracted by the 1st Defendant to provide security services but who had taken it upon themselves to clear up earlier spillages), both represented by Counsel of 15+ years call, disputed primary liability. The Defendants jointly argued that the Claimant was responsible for her own injuries in allegedly walking directly through the cordoned off area, ignoring clear warnings signs (“bright coloured” cones etc). Alternatively, each Defendant argued that should primary liability be established, the other Defendant was to be held responsible for the Claimant’s injuries. In addition to attacking the credibility of the 2nd Defendant’s evidence that the Claimant had ignored warning signs and walked through a cordoned off area, Francis was able to elicit in cross examination that (1) The 2nd Defendant knew there was CCTV of the cordoned off area and (2) The 2nd Defendant did not feel it ‘necessary’ to watch the CCTV or provide a copy to the court. Primary liability was established and Francis was successful in obtaining judgment against the 1st Defendant. No finding of contributory negligence.


Employment & Discrimination

Francis’ has a particular interest in this area and is open to receiving suitable instructions.


Qualifications

  • 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)

Membership

  • 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

Awards

  • 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)

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. Keen to promote diversity at the Independent Bar, Francis regularly gives talks to Secondary School and University students about entry into the legal profession.