5 Essex Court
Temple, London, EC4Y 9AH
Phone: 020 7410 2000
YEAR OF CALL 2003
Francesca Whitelaw is an advocate with “commendable charm and good humour” Court of Appeal in Pryor v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester  EWCA Civ 749
Francesca read English Literature at St John’s College, Cambridge. She converted to law and took the BVC at ICSL before undertaking an MA in Law at City University. She was called to the Bar by Inner Temple in July 2003 and accepted tenancy at 5 Essex Court in 2005. Francesca was appointed to the Attorney-General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown in 2012.
Francesca advises and represents police forces across the country in all areas of police civil law including judicial review, inquests, civil actions for false imprisonment, assault, malicious prosecution, misfeasance, and negligence. She advises forces on all aspects of operational and policy matters, including matters of disclosure, and on sensitive issues involving covert operations and the use of surveillance under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. Francesca also has considerable experience of advising the Police in matters concerning the compatibility of police officers’ business interests with membership of a police force.
Francesca has extensive experience of police disciplinary matters. She delivered NPIA-approved training to police forces on all aspects of the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008 and the Police (Performance) Regulations 2008 between 2008 and 2010, and has recently advised upon the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2012 and accompanying Home Office Guidance. Francesca regularly advises and represents police forces at misconduct hearings, including the Police Appeals Tribunal. Recent cases have included those involving the discharge of firearms, death in custody, corruption, computer misuse, sexual harassment and assault.
Recent Police Law cases:
Laurance v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (2013)
Counsel to the Commissioner in a claim, tried by judge and jury, for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment, assault and malicious prosecution, brought by a protestor following his arrest at a Stop the War demonstration in Hackney.
Inquest touching the death of Barry deceased (2013)
Counsel to the Chief Constable of Kent Police in the three-week jury inquest into the death of a 14 year-old boy who died after drinking methadone (see R (on the application of Kent County Council) v HM Coroner for Kent (North-West District)  EWHC 2768 (Admin)).
Re police disciplinary proceedings (2013)
Counsel to the Commissioner in disciplinary proceedings, recommended by the IPCC, against a Hackney police officer who it was found used excessive force against a member of the public during the course of an arrest, leading to serious facial injury. The officer was dismissed following a week’s hearing (see http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/news for 11th February 2013).
Re Prus (Deceased) (2012)
Counsel for the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis in the inquest into the death of a man who killed himself whilst the balance of his mind was impaired.
Re Fernandes (Deceased) (2012)
Counsel to the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis in the Inquest into the death of a man following a police pursuit.
Shorthall v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (2011)
Counsel to the Commissioner in a claim for damages including aggravated and exemplary damages for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment.
Pryor v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester  EWCA Civ 749
Appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning the meaning of ‘relevant certificate of insurance’ within s.165 (2)(a) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the circumstances in which police may seize a vehicle pursuant to s.165A of the that Act.
Re police disciplinary proceedings (2011): disciplinary proceedings against an officer who had discharged a firearm.
Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis v Waheed Zaman and Abdul Patel (2011)
Civil proceedings under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 brought against the Respondents who were convicted of terrorism offences following the foiled transatlantic bomb plot in 2006, in which a terrorist cell plotted to blow up transatlantic air flights using liquid explosives concealed in fizzy drinks bottles.
Public / Administrative Law:
Francesca undertakes all aspects of public / administrative law work including judicial review, prison law, police law and human rights. She is experienced in drafting summary and detailed grounds resisting judicial review and in representing public bodies in claims for judicial review both at the permission and substantive stages.
As C-Panel Counsel to the Crown, Francesca regularly advises and represents the Treasury Solicitor in false imprisonment, misfeasance, personal injury and other claims brought against the Home Office and other government bodies, and at Inquests.
Recent Public/Administrative Law cases:
R (on the application of Driver) v Independent Police Complaints Commission
Counsel to the IPCC in the substantive hearing of a claim for judicial review brought by a man challenging his treatment in police custody and the subsequent review of his complaints. The case particularly involved complaints concerning the removal of his clothing, following his attempts to harm himself with it.
E, T and Morris v Chief Constable of Kent Police  EWHC 2264 (Admin)
Junior Counsel for the Respondent in Judicial Review proceedings brought by three claimants, including two children aged 11, who challenged the lawfulness of stop and searches which took place at a Climate Camp protest at a power station in Kent.
Francesca has extensive experience is in the area of deaths in prison and police custody, and deaths involving police contact including following police pursuits.
Recent Inquests (also see police law cases above):
Re Kang (Deceased) (2012)
Counsel for the Ministry of Defence in the inquest into the death of an inmate at Belmarsh prison who hanged himself.
Re Martin (Deceased) (2012)
Counsel for the Marine Society and Sea Cadets and the Ministry of Defence at the inquest into the death of a 14 year-old sea cadet who died in May 2010 when he fell from a training ship, the TS Royalist.
Re Carter (Deceased) (2011)
Counsel for Westminster City Council in the Inquest into the death of a woman who was at the time of her death on escorted leave from a psychiatric hospital.
Re Mundawarara (Deceased) (2011)
Counsel for the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis in the Inquest into the death of a man who had recently been released from police custody.
Francesca represents and advises claimants and defendants in all aspects of personal injury work, including road traffic accidents, employer’s liability, occupier’s liability, Highways Act claims, and fatal accident claims. Her experience has particularly included advising and representing police forces, local authorities, and government departments.
Francesca provides CPD lectures to solicitors on all aspects of her practice. Previous lectures include: NPIA-approved training and lectures on the 2008 Police Performance and Conduct Regulations; positive duties of the police under Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights; and Police Disclosure of Information to the Media.
City University, 2003-2004 and 2001-2002 (Inner Temple Exhibition)
ICSL (Duke of Edinburgh Entrance Scholarship, Inner Temple), 2002-2003
St John’s College, Cambridge University (McMahon Scholarship), 1998-2001
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, June-August 1998
Benenden School (Scholar), 1995-1997
Travel, scuba-diving, wakeboarding, skiing