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Frances started practice at the Bar in Manchester. During her practice she specialised in planning, environmental and public law. She took silk in 1998. She became Head of Kings Chambers, in Manchester and Leeds in 2004. She was also Head of their Public Law Department. She was made a Bencher of Middle Temple in 2005. In the same year she was appointed to chair an Independent Inquiry into the killing of a 5 year old girl by her mentally disturbed mother. She sits as a Recorder of the Crown Court and as a Deputy High Court Judge. She is Consultant Editor and contributor to Judicial Review: Law and Practice published by Jordans. She was appointed Public Law Commissioner at the Law Commission for a 5 year term from 1 January 2010 where she is leading law reform projects on electoral law, wildlife, taxis and private hire vehicles, the regulation of health care professionals, level crossings and data sharing. She has been responsible for the completed projects on adult social care and ombudsmen.