Francis has a commercial Chancery practice with an emphasis on litigation specialising in company law, contentious property, insolvency, partnerships and professional negligence.
Francis is an experienced insolvency litigator in both the corporate and personal field, though he principally acts for liquidators and trustees. He was counsel instructed in the first administration of a firm of solicitors and in the first successful administration of an underwriting agency.
He has extensive experience in the field of real property disputes, resulting and constructive trusts, mortgages, boundary disputes, commercial leases, contentious and the Inheritance Act 1975. He has expertise in handling professional negligence cases arising from property and commercial transactions.
A significant part of his practice includes advising in the fields of partnerships; commercial agreements; and directors’ duties, company and shareholder issues.
Francis accepts instructions via the Direct Professional Access/Licensed Accessed procedure and he is a member of the Pro Bono Unit.
- What the directories say
- Francis is listed in the Legal 500 in the category of property litigation, which notes that he is "much appreciated by clients for his user-friendly approach and commercial advice". He is listed in the Legal 500 as a leading junior in insolvency.Legal 500
- Cases of interest
- White v PSM Residential Finance Ltd  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  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  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  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  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  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  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  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  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  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  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  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  EWHC 1849 (Ch) (Rescission of a contract for the sale of land)
- Whittaker v Kinnear  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  EWCA Civ 1038 (New point raised in the Court of Appeal)
- Bangla Television Limited (In Liquidation)  EWHC 1632 (Ch) (Whether liquidator was precluded from pursuing a claim for wrongful trading)
- Bangla Television Limited (In Liquidation)  EWHC 2530 (Ch) (Application to require a liquidator to attend for cross-examination)
- Sharma v Farlam Limited  EWHC 1622 (Ch) (Construction of pre-emption provisions in shareholders’ agreement and whether shareholder had acted in breach of trust)
- Qualifications & appointments
Deputy 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
- 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
- Personal interests
Francis is a F1 fanatic and claims to play the tenor saxophone