AREAS OF EXPERTISE:
Francesca is a specialist in all areas of mental capacity and mental health law. Francesca’s practice encompasses all areas of Court of Protection work, including welfare disputes, serious medical treatment, and property and affairs matters. Francesca receives regular instructions from individuals, the Official Solicitor, local authorities, NHS bodies, and care homes. Francesca regularly acts in complex welfare proceedings and has a particular interest and experience in cases involving: cross border placements and disputes (with particular interest in cross border placements from Scotland); children and deprivation of liberty; the international protection of adults (for example, Francesca has recently been instructed to advise on cases involving Japan, Kenya and the United States of America); cases involving both welfare and financial disputes; and safeguarding vulnerable adults within the Inherent Jurisdiction of the High Court.
Francesca's practice is unique in that Francesca specialises in Health & Welfare and Property & Affairs within the Court of Protection. Francesca'a property and affairs practice regularly involves advising on issues relating to: the scope of the role of a financial deputy, lasting powers of attorney; statutory wills and financial abuse.
Francesca also has extensive experience in Mental Health Law, including representing patients before the First- Tier Tribunal and Nearest Relative Displacement Proceedings. Francesca has extensive experience in cases concerning the interface between the Mental Health Act 1983 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Francesca also has a particular interest in and regularly advises on matters of social care charging, with a particular focus on debt recovery.
Z, Re (A Child: Deprivation of Liberty: Transition Plan)  EWHC 3038 (Fam) (12 November 2020)
KC, Re  EWCOP 62 (29 September 2020)
North Yorkshire County Council v Elliott  EWFC 37
B-v-a Local Authority  EWCA Civ 93
Re B (Capacity: Social Media: Care and Contact)  EWCOP 3
SR v A Local Authority &Anor  EWCOP 36
The Hospital Trust v V & Ors  EWCOP 20
AG, Re  EWCOP 37 (6 July 2016)
SAD & Anor v SED  EWCOP 3
LCC v J K  EWCOP 59
NCC v TP (Capacity of TP)  EWCOP B3
NCC v TP  EWCOP B4
NCC v TP (Best Interests)  EWCOP 61
IH (Observance of Muslim Practice)  EWCOP 9 (12 June 2017)
Year of Call: 2009
Francesca practices in all areas of Court oF Protection, including welfare disputes, serious medical treatment and property and affairs matters. Francesca receives regular instructions from public bodies (including local authorities, health trusts and CCGs), private individuals and the Official Solicitor.
Francesca was appointed as an Accredited Mental Health Tribunal Panel Member in 2013 and has experience in all Mental Health Act matters including complex restricted matters and those that inevitably overlap with the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Francesca has experience of representing the protected party before concurrent proceedings before the First- Tier Tribunal and the Court of Protection and Nearest Relative Displacement Proceedings.
Francesca has extensive experience in cases concerning the interface between the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act.
Children and Mental Health, Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty
Francesca has extensive experience involving the complex area of children and mental health and mental capacity law. Francesca has experience of representing children, public bodies and family members in cases involving children detained under the Mental Health, cases under the Inherent Jurisdiction of the High court seeking the court's authorisation for the deprivation of a child's liberty and claims under the Human Rights Act 1998 for unlawful deprivation of a child's liberty and breaches of Article 8 of the ECHR as a result of the failings of public authorities in care proceedings.
Francesca regularly provides advice to local authorities and children's Guardians in relation to the complex area of consent and deprivation of liberty in children's cases.
Significant Reported Cases
Francesca is a specialist in all areas of Court Protection work. Francesca’s practice is unique as she specialises in Property & Affairs work and Health and Welfare. Francesca routinely advises on complex financial cases, including cases flowing from or overlapping with personal injury or clinical negligence claims.
Francesca regularly receives instructions from a broad range of clients in property and affairs work including: the Official Solicitor; professional and lay deputies; family members and public bodies.
Francesca has particular interest and expertise in cases involving the following: statutory wills; the appointment of deputies; the scope of the authority of a deputy; financial abuse; lasting powers of attorney and gifts. Below are some examples of cases Francesca has been instructed in:
Francesca provides regular training in this area and has experience of providing training events and seminars to practitioners, including public bodies and professional deputies.
Francesca is regularly instructed in health and social care matters, including community care and healthcare disputes. Francesca regularly advises on Ordinary Residence disputes, including matters with a cross-border issue. Francesca provides regular training in this area, to both professional and lay clients, including speaking at the national Scottish Social Work Conference.
Francesca accepts instructions on inquest matters, particularly those relating to detention under the Mental Health Act or the Mental Capacity Act.
Francesca regularly receives instructions in Judicial Review proceedings, particularly cases involving community care and mental health.
Member of Grays Inn 2009
Member of the North Eastern Circuit
Court of Protection Practitioner’s Association - Chair (Yorkshire & the Humber)
Francesca provides regular training and seminars to: lawyers, medical and social care professionals and other professionals in the field. Recent training topics have included:
Property & Affairs:
1. ‘The Cold Front’- Private Client Advisor
2. ‘ Support Network: litigation friends- Private Client Advisor
Bar Vocational Course - BPP Law School- 2009
Legal 500, 2021:
‘Ms Gardner is undoubtedly considered to be one stalwarts of practitioners in this area. She is extremely bright, hard-working and a formidable opponent in court.’
‘She is able to take a complex case and find a way to navigate through it with what seems like ease. She is methodical in her approach to advocacy, making this barrister a safe pair of hands.’
‘She is extremely knowledgeable and able to explain matters in a way that can be applied in practice.’
‘Francesca is dedicated and committed to achieving outcomes that are beneficial to vulnerable clients and their families. She is not phased by more senior counsel or complex situations and remains collected and professional at all times.’
Chambers UK 2021:
"She is responsive and gets on top of papers early. She works in a collaborative way and is a pleasure to deal with."
"She is kind, approachable and very reliable. She is very thorough and gets to the heart of the issue quickly. While she has a gentle manner with clients, she is a tenacious advocate and holds her own against very experienced juniors and silks."
"She takes a confident and robust approach in court."
Legal 500, 2020:
"Francesca is dedicated and committed to achieving outcomes that are beneficial to vulnerable clients and their families. She is not phased by more senior counsel or complex situations and remains collected and professional at all times."
Chambers UK 2020:
"She is an excellent advocate; she's very easy to listen to and is very sensible and kind." "She is wonderful and you can depend on her to get the job done. She is very thorough, her drafting is superb and she thinks very much outside the box."
Chambers UK 2019:
"She has a tremendous amount of experience and is not afraid of novel or complex issues in a case. She works tirelessly to try to ensure the right result for her client." "Francesca's approach to matters is highly methodical and committed. She puts forward the clients' issues and concerns with great aplomb."
Legal 500 2018:
Shortlisted in the Legal 500 Awards for 'Regional Junior of the Year 2018.'
"Extremely bright and very talented."
Chambers UK 2018:
"She is tenacious, eloquent, caring and incredibly talented, which means that she is in increasingly high demand for the most complex of Court of Protection cases."
Legal 500 2017
Shortlisted in the Legal 500 Awards for 'Regional Junior of the Year 2017."
"An up- and - coming star in the area of Court of Protection, her practice includes a range of mental health and capacity cases involving deprivation of liberty, covert medication and human rights matters."
Chambers UK 2017
"She has a clear grasp of complicated issues and the ability to convey that to clients." "She is very clear, concise and she cuts through all the nonsense."
36 Young Street, Manchester, M3 3FT
DX: 718188 MCH 3
Direct Dial: 0161 832 9082
5 Park Square, Leeds, LS1 2NE
DX: 713113 LEEDS PARK SQ
Direct Dial: 0113 242 1123
Embassy House, 60 Church Street,
Birmingham, B3 2DJ
DX: 13023 BIRMINGHAM
Direct Dial: 0121 200 3570
Francesca Gardner appointed as fee paid First-tier Tribunal judge
Sam Karim QC and Francesca P. Gardner appear on behalf of the Official Solicitor in significant Court of Appeal decision
Sam Karim QC and Francesca P. Gardner were involved in the first reported case in the Court of Protection addressing the test for capacity to make decisions about the use…
Court of Protection Q&A Series: 3. Health & Welfare
Have We Got Planning News for You S3 Ep7 with Jules Pipe CBE, Deputy Mayor of London…
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