Sir Robert Francis QC

Associate Member


Call 1973 | Silk 1992

Sir Robert Francis QC | Call 1973 | Silk 1992

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Overview

Robert has a depth of experience shown by his appearance in so many of the leading cases considering capacity and medical treatment such as Re F, Bland, Re MB and Burke. Robert appeared in Rabone in the Court of Appeal considering the application of Article 2 in respect of psychiatric patients. He chaired the Mid Staffordshire public inquiry.

Court of Protection

“He’s cool and unflappable, and has a huge air of authority in court
Chambers & Partners

Robert was instructed in Re NRA and others [2015] EWCOP 59 25/9/15, concerning the practical consequences of requirements for court oversight of care of mentally incapacitated adults following Supreme Court decision in P v Cheshire-West and others

experience & expertise

Robert is instructed in cases involving difficult or controversial ethical dilemmas and problems in relation to treatment decisions for patients unable to make their own decisions, withdrawal or withholding of life prolonging care, socially controversial treatment such as sterilisation of mental patients, treatment of patients refusing consent to treatment etc. He has appeared in many of the leading cases in this field in the Court of Appeal and House of Lords.

Cases & work of Note

Consent to Medical Treatment/Mental Capacity Cases

  • Re NRA and others [2015] EWCOP 59 25/9/15 (practical consequences of requirements for court oversight of care of mentally incapacitated adults following Supreme Court decision in P v Cheshire-West and others)
  • Re L (Medical Treatment: Benefit) [2005] 1 FLR 491 (Fam) (withholding artificial ventilation in spite of parent’s wish it should be given)
  • W Healthcare NHS Trust v KH, H, PH [2004] EWCA Civ 1324 (withholding artificial nutrition from non-PVS patient)
  • R (Burke) v General Medical Council  [2004] Lloyds Rep Med 451 (Fam/Admin) (advance directives, life prolonging treatment)
  • Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust v A & Others QB [2003] Lloyds Rep Med 151; [2003] FLR 109 (IVF error)
  • A Health Care Worker v Associated Newspapers [2002] EWCA Civ 195 (confidentiality of treatment information – freedom of press)
  • B v A NHS Trust (Family Division, 22/3/02) (Refusal of consent to artificial ventilation)
  • In re A [Mental patient: sterilisation] [2000] 1 FCR 193
  • In Re MB (Caesarean Section) (1997) 8 Med LR 217 (Non-consensual Caesarean Section)
  • In Re: T (a minor) (Wardship: medical treatment) [1997] 1 WLR 242
  • In re S (Hospital Patient: Court’s Jurisdiction) [1995] Fam 26 (CA) (custody of incapacitated patient)
  • B v Croydon Health Authority [1995] Fam 26 (CA) (force feeding)
  • Airedale NHS Trust v Bland [1993] AC 789 (HL) (persistent vegetative state)
  • Re J (A minor) (Child in care: medical treatment) [1993] Fam 15 (CA) (withdrawal of treatment)
  • Re A [1992] 3 Med LR 303 (Fam) (definition of ‘death’)
  • F v. Berkshire Health Authority & Another (Mental Health Act Commission intervening)
  • [1990] AC1 (HL) (sterilisation of mentally handicapped adult)

Mental Health

  • Rabone v Pennine Care NHS Trust [2009] EWHC 1827 (QB); [2010] EWCA 698 (ECHR Article 2: suicide of voluntary mental patient)
  • R (Munjaz) v Mersey Care NHS CA [2003] 3 WLR 1505; [2003] Lloyds Rep Med 534 (Seclusion of mental patients)
  • Masterman-Lister v Brutton CA [2003] 1 WLR 511; [2003] Lloyds Rep Med 244 (Capacity to manage property and affairs and to litigate)