Practice Profile

Frances was called to the Bar in 1984. She took silk in 2006 and was appointed a Recorder in 2002 and a Deputy High Court Judge in 2011. She was  Head of Harcourt Chambers from 2009  to March 2018 and became the Chair of the Family Law Bar Association in 2018.
 
She is recommended in the Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession, described in the 2017 edition; 'She has a phenomenal reputation; she is so calm and composed and carries an authority with her in court’ and in the Legal 500; ‘She orchestrates a courtroom with such ease and charm’ (2017) Frances has specialised in children’s law for 25 years, in both public and private law work.

 

PUBLIC LAW

Frances has extensive experience in public law cases, being regularly briefed by local authorities, parents and guardians, both with and without a junior.  She has particular expertise in the following areas, regularly appearing in the High Court to deal with the following:-

 

  • cases of alleged child sexual abuse, historic and recent;
  • cases involving vulnerable witnesses and the evidence of children;
  • cases of severe physical injury or death, where the medical evidence is complex, in particular so called ‘shaken baby syndrome’, factitious or induced illness, fractures;
  • allegations of smothering; sudden infant death;
  • allegations of domestic abuse, intimidation, forced marriage; child trafficking;
  • allegations of witchcraft/ritual abuse 

 

She has a strong interest in all aspects of the law of adoption, having appeared in several leading cases.  

 

She has an interest in the role of the media in family cases, and regularly advises on the merits of applying to restrict or allow reporting of matters concerning children and their parents.

 

PRIVATE LAW

Frances has a strong private law practice dealing with international and domestic relocation cases,  surrogacy,  parental responsibility,  contact and residence.   She is the co-author of a book on Relocation published in 2013 and 2016 by Jordans.


APPEALS

Frances is always happy to advise on the merits of appeal. She regularly appears in the Court of Appeal and in two cases in the Supreme Court.

 

WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT HER

 

Chambers and Partners

2019

Highly experienced silk focusing on children matters, whose practice has an emphasis on complex public law cases involving non-accidental injury, sex abuse, forced marriage and child trafficking. Commentators further note her expertise in international abduction, relocation and surrogacy matters. She appears in courtrooms across London, the South East and beyond.

 

"She commands enormous respect from judges, and has an attractive and easy style of advocacy. When she stands her ground, everyone listens."

 

An expert in private and public children law, Frances Judd QC handles cases relating to a wide range of matters including surrogacy, parental responsibility, sudden infant death and sexual abuse. She is much admired for her knowledge of international and domestic relocation law, and is regularly instructed by guardians, parents and local authorities.

 

"She is easy to get along with and builds strong working relationships with everyone in her case. She commands enormous respect from judges and that is enhanced by her attractive advocacy style. She is at the top of the children advocacy pyramid." "Her knowledge is phenomenal and her ability to relate to clients has always impressed me."

 

2018

Highly experienced silk focusing on children matters, whose practice has an emphasis on complex public law cases involving non-accidental injury, sex abuse, forced marriage and child trafficking. Commentators further note her expertise in international abduction, relocation and surrogacy matters. She appears in courtrooms across London, the South East and beyond.

Strengths: "Really hard-working and always well prepared." "She deals with very difficult clients in a highly sensitive way."

 

An expert in private and public children law, Frances Judd QC handles cases relating to a wide range of matters including surrogacy, parental responsibility, sudden infant death and sexual abuse. She is much admired for her knowledge of international and domestic relocation law, and is regularly instructed by guardians, parents and local authorities.

Strengths: "She has a phenomenal reputation." "She is so calm and composed, and carries an authority with her in court."

 

2017

Highly experienced silk focusing on children matters, whose practice has an emphasis on complex public law cases involving non-accidental injury, sex abuse, forced marriage and child trafficking. Commentators note her expertise in international abduction, relocation and surrogacy matters.

Strengths: "She is a popular advocate with a strong nationwide following."

 

An expert in private and public children law matters, Frances Judd QC handles cases relating to surrogacy and parental responsibility, sudden infant death and child sexual abuse. She is much admired for her knowledge of international and domestic relocation law, and is regularly briefed by guardians, parents and local authorities.

 

Strengths: "Frances remains our first-choice children silk. She addresses subjects with finesse and sensitivity, but is calm and reassuring with clients." "She sees the long-term, not the short-term, gain for a client and is a voice of wisdom and experience."

 

2016

Head of chambers and highly respected as a children law specialist for her work in both public and private law matters. She also sits as a deputy High Court judge.

 

Strengths: "She is astute, measured, assured and has a wonderful manner with clients." "She is brilliant. She is extremely personable, very good with the client, very articulate and an engaging advocate."

 

Focuses on public and private children law matters, especially those involving physical and sexual abuse. She is particularly recognised for her expertise in cases concerning international adoption, surrogacy and domestic and cross-border relocation.

 

Strengths: "Frances Judd QC has a calm assurance and a measured style that is much valued by judges and clients alike." "She addresses difficult subjects with finesse and sensitivity, and remains calm and reassuring with clients."

 

Legal 500

2018

"A children’s lawyer par excellence who is dogged yet extremely realistic."

"She has an incisive and forensic mind which is deployed in a very personable manner."

 

2017

‘She orchestrates a courtroom with such ease and charm.’

 

2016

‘She always has the ear of the court in care cases.’

‘A thoroughly well-prepared and persuasive silk, who is just as at home in the Supreme Court as in the High Court.’

 

2015

Her analysis in complex cases is spot on, and she is a pleasure to work with.’


PUBLICATIONS

Frances is co-author (with Damain Garrido and Rob George of these chambers, and Anna Worwood of Penningtons Manches) of 'Relocation: A Practical Guide' published by Jordans in 2013 and 2016, with a foreword by Lady Justice Black. She regularly gives lectures on a range of topics on children and family law.

 

MEMBERSHIPS

Frances is Chair of the Family Law Bar Association (FLBA) and a former national committee member of both the FLBA and the Association of Lawyers for Children.

 

RECENT CASES

In the last year Frances has appeared in numerous cases in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.  
 
Examples of recent cases include representing a dying child who wished her body to be cryogenically preserved after her death, successfully defending a father against allegations of multiple rape and assault, representing a mother accused of poisoning a child, representing parents in several cases where where they were alleged to have caused death or serious injury by shaking, representing a mother accused of inducing seizures in her child, representing the children in a multi-party case involving allegations of inter-generational sexual abuse, representing the local authority in a case where a mother was alleged to have tried to suffocate her child, and representing the local authority in a case involving a young person wishing to change gender.

 

Frances has also represented parents in numerous international     relocation applications, applications for parental orders, adoption and child arrangements.

 

REPORTED CASES

  • Re A (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 1718
  • Re JS (Disposal of Body) [2016] EWHC 2859 (Fam)
  • Re W (A Child)(Secure Accommodation Order) [2016] EWCA Civ 804
  • Re S (Children) [2016] EWCA Civ 1090Re A and B (Findings against social worker) [2016] EWFC 68
  • Re L and M (Children) [2015] EWHC 3969 (Fam)
  • Re S (A Child)(Care Proceedings:Surrogacy) [2015] EWFC 99
  • Re A-C (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ 1321 (Appeal against fact-finding decision)
  • In the matter of L-R (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 1129  (Contempt of court in public law proceedings)
  • Re E (A Child) [2013] EWHC 2413  (Application for leave to withdraw care proceedings after lengthy fact finding hearing, and consideration given to circumstances of emergency removal)
  • Re L (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ  489   (Interim Care Order: Removal) 
  • In the matter of L & B (Children) [2013] UKSC 9  (Circumstances in which a judge who has announced her decision can change her mind).
  • Re AA (A Child) 2012 EWHC 2647 (High Court) 
  • Re M (Children) 2012 EWCA Civ 1710
  • Re N (Religion: Jehovah's Witness) 2012 2 FLR 917 (High Court)
  • Re R (Care Proceedings: Causation) 2011 2 FLR 1384
  • Re A (Application for Reporting Restriction Order) 2011  1 FLR 239
  • O v Coventry City Council (Adoption) 2012 1 FLR 302
  • Re N (Recognition of Foreign Adoption Order) 2010 1 FLR 1102
  • B (Children) [2011] EWCA Civ 729 (Court of Appeal)
  • Re S-B (Children) [2009] UKSC 17, 2010 1 FLR 1161 (Supreme Court)
  • Re L-A (Care: Chronic Neglect) [2009] EWCA Civ 822, 2010 1 FLR 80
  • Re L (Shared Residence Order) [2009] EWCA Civ 20, [2009] 2 FLR 1157
  • Re A; Coventry City Council v CC and A [2007] EWCA Civ 1383, [2008] 1 FLR 959 (Court of Appeal)






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