Inquests & Inquiries
“Frances is assertive but not aggressive; she reads the court room well and takes an appropriate approach with both coroner and witnesses.”
Lisa O’Dwyer, Director Medico-Legal Services at AvMA
experience & expertise
Frances has extensive inquest experience, which includes:
- representing two GPs at a 5-day, Article 2 jury inquest. Frances persuaded the Coroner not to leave neglect to the jury as the evidence did not satisfy the Galbraith plus principle.
- acting for a police force at a two-day inquest conducted remotely. Through the effective use of technology (Microsoft Teams and Whatsapp), Frances facilitated the participation of force solicitor, client, and four witnesses.
- appearing on behalf of a care home, whose resident died of infection of the legs, due to self-neglect. This is a complex case involving ten Interested Persons (including CCGs, Trusts and individual clinicians).
- representing a Mental Health Trust in an inquest concerning the death of a young girl due to anorexia nervosa. Issues included the transition from child to adult mental health services.
- representing the family at an inquest where neglect was found on the basis of systemic failings by mental health services to provide support and accommodation to a vulnerable young adult. She is instructed in the civil claim which is ongoing. Click here for news coverage.
- representing the Metropolitan Police in the Tanya Morahan inquest which concerns the death of a voluntary patient on unauthorised leave. The Coroner has agreed with her that Article 2 is not engaged. This decision was recently challenged unsuccessfully (see R (Morahan) v Her Majesty’s Assistant Coroner For West London  EWHC 1603 (Admin) and the related blog post).
Public Access Accredited
Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland
Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law, third edition, Bloomsbury Professional
‘Probably unlawful killing: a new inquest conclusion’, UK Inquest Law Blog
‘No PFD – what about a Paragraph 37 Letter?’, UK Inquest Law Blog
- Coroners court practice and how to manage cases from the legal practitioner’s perspective
- Post-Montgomery case law: where are we now?
- Material contribution case law update
- Court of Appeal Pro Bono Scheme participant
- Represented families through the Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA) Pro Bono Inquest Service
- Sir Walter Wigglesworth Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn Pupillage Scholarship
- College of Law Negotiation Competition Prize
- College of Law Civil Procedure Prize
- LLB (Hons) – University of Durham, (2006)
- BVC – College of Law, London (2008)
- Personal Injuries Bar Association
- Professional Negligence Bar Association