Sir Robert Francis QC

Call 1973 | Silk 1992

Sir Robert Francis QC | Call 1973 | Silk 1992

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Overview

Robert has undertaken clinical negligence actions on behalf of claimants (publicly, privately funded or on CFAs) and defendants, including NHS and private bodies, medical defence organisations, and insurers continuously for over 30 years. He is frequently instructed both at first instance and on appeal in high value claims and those involving complex medical and legal issues. He frequently appears in statutory professional disciplinary tribunals such as the GMC. He also acts in the wider field of medical law, including medical treatment decision cases and inquiries, including the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry which he chaired.

Healthcare Regulatory

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

Robert has appeared twice before the House of Commons Health Select Committee and has also given evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Inquiries Act

expertise & experience

Robert undertakes clinical negligence actions on behalf of claimants (publicly or privately funded or on conditional fee arrangements) and defendants, including NHS bodies, private healthcare providers, all the medical defence organisations, and insurers. He is frequently instructed both at first instance and on appeal in high value claims and those involving complex medical and legal issues.

He appears on behalf of practitioners before professional conduct committees of regulatory bodies such as the General Medical Council, the General Dental Council and on appeals from them to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council or the High Court. He has sat as a legal assessor to professional disciplinary committees of the General Optical Council and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists.

Medical negligence

  • Choudhury v S Central Ambulance Service and another [2015] EWHC 1311 (QB)
    Lack of proven causative effect of non-administration of aspirin in case of adult stroke
  • Dowson v Sunderland Hospitals NHS Trust [2004] Lloyds Rep Med 177
    Causation of neonatal stroke
  • D v East Berkshire Community NHS Trust HL [2005] UKHL 23; CA [2003] 4 All ER 796; [2003] Lloyds Rep Med 552
    Duty of care in diagnosis of child abuse
  • AD v East Kent NHS Trust QB [2002] Lloyds Rep Med 424; CA [2003] 3 All ER 1167
    Unwanted birth to mentally ill mother
  • Burke v Leeds Health Authority [2001] EWCA CIV 51 (unreported 29/1/01)
    Causation
  • Brown v Lewisham & North Southwark HA [1999] Lloyds Rep Med 110 (CA)
    Causation
  • Howard v Wessex RHA (1994) 45 Med LR 57 (QB) (proof of negligence)
  • Gascoine v Haringey Health Authority (1992) 3 Med LR 291 (want of prosecution)
  • King v Weston Howell [1989] 1 WLR 579 (CA) (negligence and costs)
  • Roberts v Johnstone [1989] 1 QB 878 (CA) (damages for costs of accommodation)

Disciplinary

  • GMC v Squier, MPTS Fitness to Practice Tribunal, October 2015 – March 2016 (allegations of serious misconduct in misleading evidence given in child abuse cases)
  • R (Squier) v General Medical Council [2015] EWHC 299 (Admin) (admissibility of judicial criticism as evidence against doctor in GMC proceedings)
  • Cheatle v General Medical Council [2009] EWHC 645 (Admin) (meaning of impairment of fitness to practice – effect of suspension on employment)
  • Zygmunt v General Medical Council [2008] EWHC 2643 (Admin) (Appellate jurisdiction – meaning of impairment of fitness to practice)
  • Hutchinson v General Dental Council  [2008] EWHC 2896 (Admin) (Application of standard of proof)
  • R (Dowd) v General Medical Council Admin [2003] All ER(D) 310 (serious professional misconduct – meaning)
  • Pembrey v General Medical Council [2003] All ER(D) 275 (PC) (serious professional misconduct – treatment of mentally incompetent patients)
  • R (Cream) v General Medical Council (Administrative Court, 31/1/02) (serious professional misconduct – meaning
  • R (Nicolaides) v General Medical Council  Admin Ct  [2001] EWHC Admin 625 (Whether evidence untrue – serious professional misconduct)
  • Borges v General Medical Council (Privy Council Appeal No 71 of 2000) (unreported 31/8/01) (serious professional misconduct)
  • Roylance v General Medical Council [1999] Lloyd’s Rep Med 139 Privy Council (serious professional misconduct: chief executive of Trust; alleged bias of Chairman)