Frances Heaton QC

St John’s  Buildings.

Frances is in demand in very complex public law  children proceedings in which the central issues include exceptionally serious  injuries, non-accidental death / murder (child or parent), serious sexual  abuse, child sexual exploitation, very serious neglect, torture, learning and  mental health difficulties, fabricated or induced illness, reporting  restriction orders and the curtailment of parental responsibility. In these she  is instructed by local authorities, parents, children, grandparents, and  interveners. Her skill and expertise is sought after and she is regularly  instructed in high profile cases.

Frances undertakes judicial review, which most  recently has included special guardianship allowances. She regularly appears in  the Court of Appeal where the issues have included the revocation of placement  orders, and appeals against findings of fact.


In addition to this work Frances continues to  accept instructions in complex private law children cases and she has a  particular interest in issues of habitual residence, the international movement  of children, relocation and child abduction. Frances also undertakes surrogacy  cases, and particularly those that have a foreign element.


Colleagues and tribunals recognise Frances’  clear ability to assimilate and grasp the issues of the most complex  cases.  She is particularly noted for the sensitivity with which she  handles these difficult cases and for her sensible, straight-forward advice and  approach.


Frances regularly provides seminars and  lectures to family solicitors, social workers and expert witnesses.