Francis is a commercial chancery practitioner. His practice covers the following areas:

General Chancery:

Including real property, trusts, mortgages, charges, probate, commercial leases, the Inheritance Act and property-related torts. He advises on civil fraud and asset tracing and recovery. Francis advises on the administrations of trusts and Court of Protection work, including dealing with the assets of patients and their attorneys/deputies.
Testimonials in legal directories note that Francis is ‘much appreciated by clients for his user friendly approach and commercial advice’.

Commercial Law:

Including companies, partnerships, commercial agreements, and sale of goods, misrepresentation, and mistake. He has advised on ISDA agreements.


Both corporate and personal, though he principally acts for office holders. He was Counsel instructed in the first administration of a firm of Solicitors and in the first successful administration of an underwriting agency. He is listed in the Legal 500 as a leading junior in insolvency.

Equitable Doctrines and Remedies:

Including tracing, resulting and constructive trusts, freezing and seizure orders and injunctions

Professional Negligence:

Auditors and Accountants, Lawyers and Surveyors


Francis accepts instructions via the Direct Professional Access/Licensed Accessed procedure and he is a member of the Pro Bono Unit. In August 2004, he was granted a temporary advocate’s licence to act on the Isle of Man.

Cases of interest

  • The Rutherford Group [ongoing 2024](Francis has and is advising on novel issues concerning (i) contractual and statutory implications arising in respect of the radioactive material used in Proton Beam Machines; (ii) the enforceability of security over bona vacantia assets; (iii) the risks of contempt of court when seeking recovery of assets deemed to be in the possession of an officer of the court; and (iv) retention of title in the context of fixtures, complicated by foreign law issues). 
  • RE: Marathon House [2023] (A novel and unusual dispute on enfranchisement concerning the grant of an option agreement for the grant of a lease of airspace above the iconic Marathon House. The case raised multifaceted issues  concerning; the lawfulness and/or enforceability of the option agreement, amongst other matters on the basis that it was contrary to the policy of the 1993 Act, or whether the same could be set aside pursuant to s423 of the Insolvency Act 1986).
  • Bailey Ahmad Holdings Ltd v Bells Holdings Ltd [2023] EWHC 2829 (Comm) (Complex shareholders dispute concerning extremely aggressive litigious parties involving: (i) an oppressive campaign to oust a joint venturer from her directorship; and (ii) difficult issues on the construction of (a) the dispute resolutions mechanisms in the shareholders agreement, and  (b) the provisions in the Articles concerning the limitations on the removal of directors. Francis ensured the summary dismissal of the first round of litigation at the initial hearing, placing the client in a tremendously advantageous tactical position).
  • Marston Properties Limited v Goldsand Hotels Limited [2022] (This claim concerned the iconic India Club on the Strand London. It raised novel points on Assets of Community Value and whether the separate use of the distinct and isolated parts of building resulted in its planning use being distinct from the planning use of the associated hotel in the building, creating two distinct planning ‘units’ in the building which would have torpedoed the development plans of the freehold owners).
  • Cadwallader & Duncan -v- Premium Big Continental Inc & others [6/9/2022] – Francis successful achieved a speedy resolution of a complex enforcement, via receivership, of facility agreements secured over the assets of a BVI company whose UBO was a member of the Suadi Royal family. The case involved complex issues concerning abuse of process, the validity and effectiveness of demands and the triggering event for the appointment of receivers).
  • Best Commercial Holdings Limited v Edmund Hargreaves Ogden and others [July 2022] (This case raised complex issues of collateral contracts, contractual estoppel and exclusion of liability clauses (which involved a novel point on construction arising from the effect of an express standard term concerning pre-contract statements)).
  • In Re Pramod Mittal (In bankruptcy) [2022] (Francis represented and advised the Joint Nominees/Supervisors in an IVA concerning the debts owed by Pramod Mittal of £1.9 billion and successfully extricated the Joint Supervisors from an IVA challenge. Chief ICC Judge Briggs gave new guidance on the joinder of challenged creditors to any IVA challenge – [2022] EWHC 3009).
  • Green Planet Limited (In Liquidation) and Capital Alternatives Sales and Marketing Limited (In Liquidation) [2022] (This was a multi-million pound claim in respect of a highly complex multi-jurisdictional scheme which involved selling development plots of land in Brazil prior to the World Cup and Brazil Olympics to private investors and SIPPs).
  • Ingram v Ahmed [2020] (Novel and complex issue concerning the nature of the remedy available in respect of a void transaction under s284 of the Insolvency Act 1986. Quantum involved complex expert evidence involving determination of values that could be attributed to IP assets and the risk of insolvency of the companies in which the debtor was a shareholder. Francis’ advice resulted in substantial return to the bankrupts estate).
  • London & Quadrant Housing Trust v Harris [2020] (This claim concerned a novel and complex issue concerning the beneficial interest in a shared ownership scheme and the recovery of a premium as a proprietary right. Mr Justice Birss concluded that although the legal titles of freehold and leasehold estates were held by separate proprietors, the parties shared a beneficial interest in the property as a whole.
  • Ingram v Orchard [6 March 2020) (Noteworthy decision concerning an application under s236 of the IA 1986 and a counter application to remove the liquidators on the grounds of a conflict of interest. ICC Judge Mullen granted the liquidators’ application providing guidance on the impact of potential conflicts on the duties of liquidators. Further, Judge Mullen ordered disclosure of company emails held on a generic domain which had been used by the directors. In a subsequent hearing guidance was provided on steps to be taken where the subject of a s236 examination is vulnerable.
  • Glenside Holdings Limited v Ben Tobin, Paul Joseph and Blue Shield Capital [2020] (Recovery of a multi-million pound development property involving complex issues concerning the impact of stigma on valuation and the specific duties of receivers in respect to the marketing price. Francis succeeded in showing on a summary basis that the other side’s case had no realistic chance of success, achieving the client’s requirement for a speedy resolution and realisation).
  • Menon v Pask [2019] EWHC 2611 (Ch) [2020] Ch 66 (Francis succeeded is showing that a fixed charge receiver with the benefit of a power to take possession in the usual modern form of mortgage was entitled to obtain possession as against an individual (non-corporate) mortgagor-occupier as the agents of the mortgagor. In the alternative the court held that the receivers were entitled to possession pursuant to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999).
  • Hood, Re [2019] EWHC 2236 (Ch) (In an application for a validation order under the Insolvency Act 1986 s.284, the owners of a disputed debt were not “creditors” for the purposes of the Practice Direction: Insolvency Proceedings [2018] Bus. L.R. 2358, para.12.8.8. It was inappropriate for the court to adjudicate whether they were a “creditor” unless the Act expressly provided).
  • Brothers Enterprises Ltd v New World Hospitality UK Ltd [2019] EWHC 2146 (Ch) (Concerned with the cost consequence of a compromise concerning a claim for noise and vibration nuisance interim injunction).
  • First City Monument Bank Plc v Zumax Nigeria Ltd [2019] EWCA Civ 294 (The Court of Appeal determined that international money transfers between bank accounts, executed by a correspondent bank, were not impressed with an express or Quistclose trust in favour of the customer who had given the transfer instruction).
  • In Capital Alternatives Sales and Marketing Ltd (In Liquidation) v Nabas [2018] EWHC 3345 (Comm) (The court refused to validate a non-compliant service of a professional negligence claim using its discretion under CPR r.6.15 where the claimants, when sending claim forms to two defendants, had mistakenly addressed them both to the firm rather than addressing one to the solicitors firm and the second to the individual solicitor).
  • Ingram v Ahmed [2018] EWCA Civ 519 (Novel and complex issue concerning the nature of the remedy available in respect of a void transaction under s284 of the Insolvency Act 1986. Court confirmed that assets held on trust and determined the date upon which a breach of trust occurred and the date when loss occurred. Court confirmed that the assets should be valued on the basis of a fair value).
  • White v PSM Residential Finance Ltd [2017] EWHC 3500 (TCC) (Successfully obtained an award for indemnity costs against claimants who reneged on a settlement agreement and subsequently pursued allegations of fraud against defendants before discontinuing their claim days before trial).
  • Zumax Nigeria Ltd v First City Monument Bank Plc [2017] EWHC 2804 (Barling J granted summary judgment after a nine day hearing dealing with numerous issues including abuse of process; consent orders; debentures; express trusts; fraud; fraudulent misrepresentation; and limitation periods).
  • Zumax Nigeria Ltd v First City Monument Bank plc [2016] EWCA Civ 567 (Ch) (Challenge of the jurisdiction of the court, submitting to the jurisdiction of the court by conduct and the equitable gateway. The deeming effect of CPR11.4(5) and retrospective extension of time).
  • Ingram v Ahmed [2016] EWHC 1536 (Ch) (Section 284 of the Insolvency Act 1986, the loss suffered by the bankruptcy estate for breach of trust and valuation of shares).
  • Habib Bank AG Zurich v Utocroft 2 Ltd [2015] EWHC 3481 (Ch) (Validity of a lease and the requisites for obtaining the prior written consent of a mortgagee. The extent of the leasing powers of a mortgagor conferred by section 99 of the Law of Property Act 1925).
  • Prowting 1968 Trustee One Ltd v Amos-Yeo [2015] EWHC 2480 (Ch) (Rectification for common mistake in relation to share purchase agreements. Leaving the mechanics of the transaction to trustees did not stop the parties from having the necessary specific common intention required for rectification).
  • National Westminster Bank Plc v Tummond [2015] EWHC 1431 (Ch) (Priority of an option to purchase over a registered charge. A devastating finding of dishonesty to defraud the bank).
  • Durley House Ltd v Firmdale Hotels plc [2014] EWHC 2608 (Ch) (The liability of the indemnifier to the creditor of the indemnified where the indemnified had not paid the creditor. Whether a settlement agreement between the indemnified and the creditor was an act of mitigation).
  • Zumax Nigeria Ltd v First City Monument Bank plc [2014] EWHC 2075 (Ch) (Challenge of the jurisdiction of the court and submitting to the jurisdiction of the court by conduct. The deeming effect of CPR11.4(5)).
  • JL Homes Ltd v Mortgage Express [2014] EWHC 190 (Ch) (Extended civil restraint orders and the ability to refer to and rely on legal advice to resist an application).
  • JL Homes Ltd v Mortgage Express [2013] EWHC 3928 (Ch) (The obligations of mortgagees and fixed charge receivers. Strike out and summary judgment in respect of possession claims).
  • Benesco Charity Limited v Kanj [2012] EWHC 20 January 2012 (Ch) (Vesting orders under the Insolvency Act 1986 and the existence of a sub-lease).
  • Fitzroy Developments Limited v Fitzrovia Properties Limited [2011] EWHC 1849 (Ch) (Rescission of a contract for the sale of land).
  • Whittaker v Kinnear [2011] EWCH 1479 (QB) (Whether proprietary estoppel can result in an oral contract overriding the effect of a written contract for the sale of land).
  • Manx Auto Rescue Club Limited & others v Mann and Partners CLA 2003 107. (The principles governing a strike out application for delay, under the New High Court Rules of the Isle of Man. This was the first decision on such an application under the new Rules).
  • Devon & Cornwall Securities v Littler [2010] EWCA Civ 1038 (New point raised in the Court of Appeal).
  • Bangla Television Limited (In Liquidation) [2009] EWHC 1632 (Ch) (Whether liquidator was precluded from pursuing a claim for wrongful trading).
  • Bangla Television Limited (In Liquidation) [2009] EWHC 2530 (Ch) (Application to require a liquidator to attend for cross-examination).
  • Sharma v Farlam Limited [2009] EWHC 1622 (Ch) (Construction of pre-emption provisions in shareholders’ agreement and whether shareholder had acted in breach of trust).

Judicial experience

  • Deputy High Court Master assigned to the Chancery Division


  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association


  • BA (Law) Hons.


Insolvency set-off: “The mutuality of assignment in subordination” Corporate Recovery and Insolvency October 2014.

Past seminars & events

  • Fixed Charge Receivers – the real world
  • The Brave New Costs World (including Cost Budgeting)
  • The Brave New ‘Jackson’ World – the reforms to the CPR
  • The Life of Insolvencies – the pursuit of satisfaction
  • The Companies Act 2006 (Part 2) – ‘Update’
  • The Companies Act 2006 (Part 1) – ‘What’s New’
  • Termination of Tenancies for Tenant Default
  • Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
  • Adverse Possession and the HRA
  • Legal Professional Privilege
  • Renewal of Business Tenancies
  • Enforcement and Insolvency
  • Equitable Interests
  • Solving Insolvency – The new world of CIGA 2020
  • Shining a light on remoteness – remote hearings

Personal interests

Francis is a F1 fanatic and claims to play the tenor saxophone

Directory recommendations

Francis is recommended by Legal 500 for insolvency.