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.
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.
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
- 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)
Francis often gives seminars and lectures to solicitors on prevalent issues.
No 18 Chambers Seminars
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 
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 
Representing Wife. Secured 77.5% of the net proceeds from the FMH and costs awarded against the Husband at final hearing.
S v S 
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 
Advising and representing client in relation to making a worldwide freezing order in relation to assets worth approx. £2,000,000.
M v M 
Represented M in 6-day fact finding hearing in relation to CA proceedings involving 7 children where F had made malicious allegations of child abuse in response to M’s allegations of domestic abuse. All of M’s 9 allegations proven. None of F’s allegations proven. No order for contact between F and children.
L v B 
Represented F at a 3-day fact finding hearing. F had gone without contact with his son for 18 months due to M’s significant allegations (9) of child abuse and domestic abuse. None of Ms allegations proven at the fact-finding hearing. F now having contact with child.
M v W 
Represented F in a ‘finely balanced case’ where F had repeatedly failed to comply with indirect contact which was a prerequisite to direct contact with his child. Child had complex additional needs. Direct contact ordered between F and child.
T v T 
Represented M at a 3-day fact finding hearing in relation to 22 separate allegations of domestic abuse including rape, physical, emotional, and psychological harm, controlling and coercive behaviour and child abuse. F denied all allegations (save for one) prior to the commencement of the fact-finding hearing. 21 allegations proven. F’s application for CAO subsequently dismissed.
M v M 
Represented F in 3-day fact finding where cross allegations made. M was relying on significant allegations to prevent any contact between F and his daughter.. F had gone without contact with his daughter for over a year leading up to fact-finding hearing. Serous findings made against M and limited findings made against F. Contact reinstated immediately following fact-finding hearing.
M v M 
Represented F in 3-day fact finding hearing where cross allegations made. Despite repeated allegations to social services by all children of physical harm by F, the court found that M had physically abused one of the children and influenced the children’s views against F. No findings of physical abuse by F.
B v B 
Contempt proceedings where Francis represented the Respondent. Despite overwhelming evidence against his client (HHJ indicating that only a custodial sentence would suffice), Francis was able to have the proceedings dismissed with his client accepting one minor breach. No sanctions imposed.
G v G 
Despite W’s repeated non-compliance with court orders (previous costs order made against W at first hearing), Francis was able to secure W substantially more spousal maintenance than was being offered (an additional 2 years amounting to £30,000), the lions share of the FMH and no adverse costs order against W.
B v B 
Aadvising H in matter involving assets of £4,000,000. The case involves issues of earning capacity, the treatment of post-separation inheritance (including valuable artwork held on trust) and business assets. W’s Counsel leading junior who has appeared in the Supreme Court.