Francis was called to the Bar in 2007 at the Inner Temple. He practised first as a solicitor and then as a solicitor-advocate before returning to the Bar in 2013. He has a broad and diverse range of legal practice experience gained through working for several law firms in London, the North East, and the East Midlands as well as a Nationwide Chambers.
Francis practices primarily in the following general and specialist areas:
Court of Protection
Coroner’s Inquests and Coronial Law
Professional Discipline and Regulation
Commercial and Insolvency
Property and Landlord & Tenant
Francis’ diverse and wide-ranging practice makes him extremely versatile, both as an adviser and advocate. He is equally comfortable bringing and defending claims and applications and receives instructions to represent both the Claimant/Applicant and the Defendant/Respondent alike. He employs a forensic approach and frequently brings his expertise in neuroscience and psychology to his instructions. Francis prides himself on being approachable and giving sound, practical advice. He is particularly sought after where sensitivity and understanding is required by solicitors and lay clients alike. Francis is a tenacious advocate who always strives to be clear, concise, and pragmatic in his approach.
Francis is authorised by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) to undertake direct instructions from individuals and organisations. He is also authorised by the BSB to conduct litigation. He has a growing practice in this area and represents individuals and companies in his areas of practice.
Francis also has an active Pro-Bono practice and assists the Bar Pro-Bono Unit in London with their ever-increasing caseload.
Francis acts for Claimants and Defendants at all stages of personal injury claims arising from road traffic accidents, as well as from slipping/tripping and highway accidents (occupiers, public and employer’s liability). He has a specific interest in cases involving Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and brain injury with behavioural and/or cognitive impairment.
Francis advises and acts for parties in disciplinary proceedings across a variety of tribunals. He has previously advised and acted for professional and disciplinary regulatory bodies. He is very happy to discuss cases where advice and/or representation is required by:
• All healthcare professionals (including medical practitioners, nurses, midwives, social workers, dentists, and pharmacists)
• Legal professionals (barristers, solicitors, and members of ILEX)
• Education (teachers and teaching associated employees)
• Police Officers
Francis can provide advice on all aspects of the disciplinary process and provide representation at interim applications, case management hearings, and full public hearings.
Francis is regularly instructed in contractual disputes as well as in bankruptcy and winding up proceedings. He also regularly advises parties on the enforcement of judgments.
Landlord and Tenant, mortgage possession claims, warrants of execution, and orders for sale.
Francis is experienced in representing both Claimants and Defendants in detailed assessment hearings. He has appeared in the Senior Court Costs Office in London and at detailed assessment hearings at other court centres.
Francis is very experienced appearing in the Coroner’s Court. He represents both NHS Hospital Trusts and families at inquests throughout the country. He has an in- depth understanding of the inquest process and the sensitivities that are required. He has considerable experience dealing with witnesses summonsed to give evidence and the challenges they face.
Francis has specific experience with inquests into infant deaths.
His inquest practice also extends to deaths in nursing and residential care homes, fatal road traffic accidents, and deaths from injuries sustained in the workplace.
Francis also has a specific interest in inquests held where Article 2 of the ECHR is engaged and deaths in police or prison custody and deaths of detained patients in psychiatric hospitals are investigated.
Court of Protection
Francis regularly advises and acts in relation to interim application hearings and full hearings relating to welfare, property and affairs, as well as deprivation of liberty. He is particularly interested in the operation of the deprivation of liberty safeguards (DOLS).
Francis accepts instructions to represent patients detained under the provisions of the Mental Health Acts. He is available to attend Mental Health Tribunal Hearings, Hospital Managers’ Hearings and applications in the county court to discharge a patient’s nearest relative.
Prior to coming to the Bar, Francis trained as a clinical neuropsychologist and neuroscientist at several internationally renowned research centres. These include the Institute of Psychiatry (King’s College, London) Mount Sinai Medical Centre (New York), the Robarts Research Institute (London Ontario, Canada) and the ATR Human Information Processing Research Lab (Kyoto Japan). He has been the recipient of many scholarships and fellowships throughout his career. His last faculty appointment to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neuroscience in the medical school at Wayne State University Detroit, Michigan.
In addition to publications in international peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, Francis presented research papers at national and international conferences in London, New York, and Los Angeles.
Before undertaking his career in the neurosciences, Francis was recruited by the London Metropolitan Police Service. He served as an operational police officer and undertook general and specialist work.
Education and Professional Qualifications
Bar Vocational Course (BVC) (Outstanding) Northumbria University
Post-Graduate Diploma in Law Northumbria University
PhD (Neuroscience) University of Western Ontario Canada
PhD (Clinical Neuropsychology) City University of New York
MSc (Neuroscience) King’s College London
MA (Psychology) (First & First in Class) University College Dublin
BA Hons (Psychology) (First) University College Dublin
Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers (ARDL)
Bar Pro-Bono Group
Court of Protection Practitioners Association (CoPPA)
Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
Mental Health Lawyers Association (MHLA)
Scholarships and Awards in Law
Inner Temple BVC Exhibition Award 2006
Inner Temple Poland Prize 2006
Inner Temple CPE Scholarship finalist 2005