Frances McClenaghan

Call 2009


Frances is a knowledgeable and approachable practitioner with expertise in a range of police law matters. Frances is regularly instructed by a number of forces from across the country.


Frances represented the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis in Morahan v Assistant Coroner for West London in the Court of Appeal.

Read judgment here.

‘Very experienced and trusted by coroners. Thorough, charming and very easy to work with.’
The Legal 500

experience & expertise

Frances is ranked by Legal 500 in Tier 2 for her police work.

Frances represents police forces in a variety of proceedings: misfeasance, misconduct and judicial review.

Civil Actions
From pleadings and initial advices, through to interim applications, mediations and trial, Frances has experience of misfeasance claims from beginning to end.

Frances’ police law practice reflects the spectrum of issues with which police forces have to grapple. She is experienced in arguing cases involving the investigative duty under Article 2/3 ECHR. She recently applied to strike out a claim on the basis that the severity threshold for Article 3 was not satisfied.

Judicial review
Frances has experience of successfully defending challenges to search warrants. She was commended by Sir Stephen Silber for the clarity of her skeleton argument. Frances appears in the High Court on appeals from police misconduct panel decisions. She successfully challenged a panel’s decision to issue final written warnings to two dishonest firearms officers in Russell and Strickland [2022] EWHC 2857 (Admin).

Frances has extensive inquest experience. She is currently instructed in several inquests concerning persons suffering mental health problems. She is familiar with the law relating to welfare checks and when persons may be removed to a place of safety under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

She has represented the police in a number of inquests arising from terrorist killings. She appeared for the Metropolitan Police Service in the inquest of a lady shot in the Bardo Museum attack in Tunis: the incident which preceded the Sousse attack. She was also instructed in an inquest concerning the killing of a close protection officer in an explosion in Afghanistan. Frances is careful to make clear the extent to which a force may assist when asked to investigate deaths abroad. In the Bardo inquest, the Coroner expressed his gratitude that these limits were clearly set out in writing in the force’s report.

Information Retention and Disclosure
Frances has appeared on behalf of police forces in family hearings, in which disclosure has been disputed, both in the County Court and in the High Court. She is experienced in resisting disclosure on grounds of public interest immunity.

Frances regularly advises and represents the AA at misconduct hearings.


  • ‘The investigative duty and ‘historic’ allegations – when is the duty engaged’, UK Police Law Blog
  • ‘Probably unlawful killing: a new inquest conclusion’, UK Inquest Law Blog
  • ‘Reducing restrictions, increasing inconsistency? Impact of the Lockdown Amendment Regulations on the Police’s Enforcement Ability’,  UK Police Law Blog
  • ‘Protecting Community Protection Notices’,  UK Police Law Blog 


  • Measures to tackle violence against women and girls

pro bono

  • 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)
  • Public Access Accredited
  • Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland


The Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association