Francesca is a criminal practitioner who has developed a significant practice in complex fraud, confiscation and regulatory work over the last twenty-one years, whilst maintaining her expertise in cases involving serious sexual, violence and drugs offences. Francesca both defends and prosecutes, and also undertakes work on behalf of a number of local authorities in pursuing the more complex regulatory prosecutions.
Direct Public Access
- Francesca accepts Direct Public Access instructions.
Professional Panel Appointments
- Grade 3 appointed advocate on the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Unified Prosecution List.
- Appointed to the rape panel of approved CPS advocates.
- Appointed to the Specialist lists for Fraud (Grade 3) and POCA (Grade 2).
- Band C (10 years' call and above) appointed advocate for the General Dental Council (GDC).
- Criminal Bar Association.
- Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association.
Francesca has undertaken a considerable amount of forfeiture and confiscation work for the defence and the prosecution. She has assisted local authorities in developing financial investigations and has recently succeeded in achieving the largest confiscation award for a private prosecutor under POCA. Undertaking so many confiscation procedures on behalf of the prosecution has greatly assisted Francesca in offering the best advice to her defence clients, in order to foresee and overcome potential difficulties in a timely fashion, so as to bring about a fair and just conclusion.
Cases of Note
GC v R
Led junior for the Appellant in a CCRC referral that seeks to broaden the defence of duress, so that the immediacy of a threat can be considered on a more subjective footing when dealing with a defendant who is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, a more specifically, the sub-category of battered woman syndrome. R v SH and DL Conspiracy case that seeks to link over 60 substantive offences by reference to cell-site evidence, DNA, fingerprints, ANPR, satellite navigation coordinates and undercover dialogue.
R v JJ (2013)
Defence counsel in a significant fraud and money laundering case at the Central Criminal Court.
R v DK (2013)
Historical sexual abuse by a grandfather against granddaughters.
R v MI & SA (2012-2013)
Conspiracy to convert proceeds of crime, whereby hundreds of cars were stolen to order, then cloned into former insurance write-offs for profit.
LBC v Shanahan  EWCA Crim 98
The applicability of more than one change in circumstances and the effect on entitlement in relation to benefit fraudLondon Borough of Croydon v Pinch a Pound (UK) Ltd  1 WLR 1189Due diligence case relevant to test purchases undertaken by the local authority
R v IN, RH and other
Defending first defendant on a nine-handed mail-dumping fraud that resulted in pleas to reduced charges and a confiscation order representing a fifth of the sum identified as realisable assets.
R v MM, SM, GC, and others
Successful application to stay proceedings in this six handed fraud centring upon fraudulent contracts against the Prudential following persistent non-disclosure on the part of the prosecution
R v A(G) and others
Successful application to quash indictment in this mobile phone ‘carousel’ fraud involving a multi-million pound evasion of VAT following the Bondhouse/Optigen decision.