Frances McClenaghan

Call 2009

Overview

Frances is an experienced inquests advocate. She has represented numerous interested persons: families, medical practitioners, NHS Trusts and police forces. Understanding the variety of approaches adopted by coroners is key to Frances’ inquest practice. Client care is also one of Frances’ strengths. She seeks to put witnesses at ease: understanding their concerns and clearly explaining the process and likely outcome.

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

‘No PFD – what about a Paragraph 37 Letter?’, UK Inquest Law Blog

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 [2021] EWHC 1603 (Admin) and the related blog post). 

Public Access Accredited
Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland

publications

Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law, third edition, Bloomsbury Professional

articles

‘Probably unlawful killing: a new inquest conclusion’, UK Inquest Law Blog

‘No PFD – what about a Paragraph 37 Letter?’, UK Inquest Law Blog

seminars

  • 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

pro bono

  • Court of Appeal Pro Bono Scheme participant
  • Represented families through the Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA) Pro Bono Inquest Service

awards

  • Sir Walter Wigglesworth Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn Pupillage Scholarship
  • College of Law Negotiation Competition Prize
  • College of Law Civil Procedure Prize

qualifications

  • LLB (Hons) – University of Durham, (2006)
  • BVC – College of Law, London (2008)

memberships

  • Personal Injuries Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association