Francesca practises in both private and public law Children Act and inherent jurisdiction Wardship cases where there are profoundly serious allegations against parents, carers and Local Authorities. She specialised in criminal law for 10 years before joining the family bar. She still accepts instructions in private criminal cases.
Francesca’s practise is particularly focused on cases where a carer is alienating the children from the other parent and defending that parent from serious allegations made by the children or the former partner.
She was recognised in the Legal 500 in 2014 and she took Silk in 2015.
She is ordinarily instructed at High Court level. A large part of her work involves cases where there is a need for fact-finding (or legal argument around the need for fact-finding) and consequential applications between the criminal and family jurisdictions. She accepts instructions via direct access in both private and public law cases.
She is regularly instructed in cases where criminal proceedings are pending or have resulted in acquittals or a lack of final prosecution or where further more wide-ranging findings may be made in the family court.
A large portion of her case-load deals with non-accidental injuries to children. She is very regularly instructed in medico legal cases, with particular expertise in brain injuries including but not limited to shaken baby allegations and non accidental head injury. She regularly deals with children who have suffered skull and bodily fractures and bruising and has a particular interest in underlying bone and blood disorders. (Vitamin D, Rickets, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Von Willebrands, Haemorrahgic disease).
She also undertakes cases where carers are accused of sexual abuse, substance misuse and personality difficulties and is regularly instructed in cases where children are born with significant physical disabilities.
She has a particular interest in Wardship.
She undertakes work for all parties and often appears against QC’s.
Francesca is noted for her sense of humour and friendly down to earth approach to clients. She is particularly noted for her advocacy skills and forensic approach to cross examination as well as an “excellent grasp of complex facts”
It has also been said that she is ‘An extremely bright junior, with excellent cross-examination skills.’ [legal 500 – 2014]
“Francesca Wiley QC – 1 Garden Court Family Law Chambers ‘An outstanding barrister.”
[legal 500 – 2015]
Francesca fully recognises the public need to instruct barristers directly and welcomes this new way of working. In her view it is cost effective, easier than having two separate lawyers dealing with the same case and allows for a better and more in depth working relationship with the client.