Frances trained and qualified as a barrister and was called to the Bar in 1998. Committed to representing those confined within the mental health system and disadvantaged by mental illness, she began exclusively to practice mental health law in 2004. Frances cross-qualified and was admitted as a solicitor in 2007. She has higher rights of audience in all proceedings in England and Wales and is a member of the Law Society's Mental Health Accreditation Scheme.
Frances acts mostly for patients detained or liable to detention (CTO) under the Mental Health Act 1983. She has a particular interest in human rights issues such as deprivation of liberty, right to family life, right to a fair hearing and the right not to be subject to inhumane and degrading treatment. Frances has successfully issued habeas corpus proceedings in respect of those unlawfully detained, and advises and represents clients in judicial review applications arising out of mental health cases.
Frances has represented a number of nearest relatives and patients in nearest relative displacement proceedings initiated by the local authority in the County Court.
Frances has also developed expertise in mental capacity and Court of Protection work, including the drafting of Lasting Powers of Attorney, Deputyship and statutory will applications. She speaks French as a second language.
AM v (1) South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and (2) The Secretary of State for Health  UKUT 0365 (AAC) - landmark case on the interface between the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended) and the Mental Capacity Act 2005)
CV v South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust  EWCH 742 Administration - AMHP's duty to consult the nearest relative and meaning of “reasonably practicable” and “unreasonable delay”
R (ZN) v South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust (2010) CO/9457/2009 (MHLO) - The de facto detention of an informal incapacitous patient, and the series of detentions under s5(2) was unlawful (claim settled by consent).