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
- Appointed Recorder: September 2019.
- 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 been instructed in a number of high profile fraud trials, and has also undertaken a secondment with a leading white-collar criminal firm in London to assist them in the preparation of a complex fraud and kidnap case.
Preliminary legal arguments have been met with success while Francesca has argued alongside leading silks. In one particularly high profile case, Francesca’s representations contributed to the staying of all charges whilst the prosecution were publicly condemned for their ‘scandalous and contumelious conduct’.
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.