Francis is a partner in our Public Law team and he advises on legal issues arising from the commissioning, planning and delivery of health and social care. He leads the firm’s 24-hour emergency legal helpline as well as our mental health and Court of Protection work, frequently advising on detention and deprivation of liberty as well as best interests, treatment and safeguarding issues. Francis is recognised as an expert in mental health and mental capacity law. His recent MHA cases include ‘Munjaz’, in which the European Court described the seclusion policy he advised on as “exemplary” when allowing a departure from the Code of Practice, and the ‘Haines’ matter in which Francis represented Broadmoor Hospital in the first ever reported public tribunal hearing. His advice on the unlawful delegation of the Secretary of State’s s.12 MHA approval functions to an FT, resulted in emergency legislation in 2013. Francis has worked on secondment with a local authority, and as a member of a Foundation Trust Board’s MHA committee.
Francis is the Course Director for the firm’s Open University accredited Diploma in Clinical Risk and Claims Management. In addition to the support he provides to clients on policy development and decision making, Francis also advises on judicial review challenges, complaints, incident handling and the disclosure of information. Francis is ranked as leading lawyer in independent legal directories. Chambers states “He knows his stuff and is sensible and also pragmatic. A pleasure to work with” and the Legal 500 says Francis “is able to focus on the legal issues without getting bogged down in the emotional issues which are invariably involved”.
- Munjaz v The United Kingdom (European Court – 17 July 2012)
- Haines v WLMHT and SoS (J) (Final) (2011)
- BB (by the Official Solicitor) –v– AM & Others (2010)
- R (AH) v Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire MHP NHST & 2 Others (2007)
- R (ex p B) v Dr A Haddock & Others; Court of Appeal (2006)
Francis advised on the BMA’s book “The Ethics of Caring for Older People”, and has published articles in Community Health & Social Care, the New Law Journal, Solicitors Journal, Medical Law Monitor and the Local Government Chronicle. He contributes to Sweet & Maxwell’s Westlaw UK online encyclopaedia in relation to mental health and mental capacity issues.
LLB (Hons) Soton 1994