Nicholas Francis QC

Year of Call 1981 Silk 2002

Professional Practice

I have specialised in matrimonial finance for more than 20 years and have appeared in numerous reported decisions.

I specialise in high net worth divorce, separation and pre and post-nuptial agreements.  Many of my cases deal with trusts and have an international element and I often advise offshore trust corporations as well as divorcing spouses.

I have a reputation for being firm but fair, for getting to the heart of a problem and exercising the judgment needed to carry the matter through to settlement or, where needed, final hearing.
Since appearing in a landmark case in 2002, I have had a particular interest in pre and post-nuptial agreements.
I have sat as a deputy judge for many years and this experience is invaluable in my practice as a barrister.

I regularly chair Early Neutral Evaluation sessions and private FDRs, either at my Chambers or a venue of the clients’ choosing. My many years of experience as a family lawyer and as a deputy judge have enabled me skilfully to direct parties towards early resolution of apparently intractable disputes. I am certain that this is a process which benefits most couples engaged in financial remedy proceedings, whether acrimonious or co-operative. Although there is a cost involved, what you get is a tailor made service where there is as much time, space and comfort as you need, rather than an often rushed or underprepared District Judge or Judge, whose busy lists may prevent them from giving the case the time that it deserves. The cost of the private FDR process is dwarfed by the costs that are incurred by taking a case beyond the FDR towards final hearing.

  • Recommendations

    A superb advocate; approachable and user-friendly with the most wonderful bedside manner
    The Legal 500
    Nicholas won "Family Silk" at the 2014 Bar Awards he is also recommended in band 1 for silks in both Chambers & Partners directory and the Legal 500
    Garners exceptional praise for his skill at handling complex matrimonial finance disputes. He is strong on handling cases pertaining to the distribution of substantial premarital and postmarital assets, and those with significant multi-jurisdictional considerations. Expertise: "He's got terrific attention to detail and is deadly in cross-examination. He doesn't miss anything." "He is approachable, highly knowledgeable and astonishingly good with even the most difficult of business clients."
    Chambers & Partners 2015
    Nicholas Francis QC is "superb with clients and supremely effective in court," say sources. He covers a broad range of family law matters, and is rated amongst the nation's top silks for matrimonial finance disputes. He is "skilled at reading what a judge wants" and "open to creative solutions, as evidenced by his qualification as an arbitrator."
    Chambers & Partners 2014
    ‘He has immense competence, not only from an academic point of view, but also in his people skills.’
    Legal 500 2015
    Nicholas Francis QC is ‘the smoothest family law silk at the Bar; he is extremely knowledgeable and a great advocate’.
    Legal 500 2014
  • Notable Cases

    • Sharland v Sharland
      [2015] UKSC 60
    • Sharland v Sharland
      [2014] 2FLR 89 CA
    • SK v TK
      [2013] EWHC 834 (Fam)
    • S v S (Non-Disclosure)
      [2013] 2 FLR 1598 FD
    • PG v TW (No 2) (Child: Financial Provision)
      [2013] Fam Law 1123
    • PG v TW (No 1) (Child: Financial Provision: Legal Funding)
      [2013] Fam Law 1122
    • Murphy v Murphy
      [2011] 1 FLR 537
    • Walkden v Walkden
      [2010] 1 FLR 174
    • M-T v T
      [2007] 2 FLR 925
    • Re C (Financial Provision)
      [2007] 2 FLR 13
    • C v C (Maintenance Pending Suit: Legal Costs)
      [2006] 2 FLR 1207
    • Martin-Dye v Martin-Dye
      [2006] 2 FLR 901
    • A v B (Financial Relief: Agreements)
      [2005] 2 FLR 730
    • Currey v Currey
      [2005] 1 FLR 952
    • Charalambous v Charalambous
      [2004] 2 FLR 1093
    • McFarlane v McFarlane; Parlour v Parlour
      [2004] 2 FLR 893
    • Oxley v Hiscock
      [2004] 2 FLR 669
    • C v C (Costs: Ancillary Relief)
      [2004] 1 FLR 291
    • K v K (Ancillary Relief: Prenuptial Agreement)
      [2003] 1 FLR 120
    • H v H (Financial Relief: Costs)
      [1997] 2 FLR 57
    • B v Miller & Co
      [1996] 2 FLR 23
    • S v S (Reserved Costs Order)
      [1995] 1 FLR 739
    • C v C (Wasted Costs Order)
      [1994] 2 FLR 34
    • Re D (Minors) (Conciliation: Privilege)
      [1993] 1 FLR 932
    • Re P (A Minor) (Education)
      [1992] 1 FLR 316
  • Publications and Lecturing

    • Editor of and contributing author to International pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements (2011)

    • Co-author of Ancillary relief after Miller & McFarlane (2006)

    • Regular author of articles in Jordans Family Law

    • I have chaired the Jordans Family Law summer conference on numerous occasions and have spoken at the Jordans Family Law October conference for most of the past 15 years.

  • Personal Information

    Educated at Radley College and Downing College, Cambridge. Married with three children.

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