Frances Judd QC


Associate Member
Call 1984 QC 2006
Professional Memberships Chairman of the Thames Valley Family Law Bar Association, Sits on the National Committee of the Family Law Bar Association and on the National Executive of the Association of Lawyers for children.
Judicial Office Recorder on the Midland Circuit in 2002


Frances has specialised in children’s law for 25 years, in both public and private law work.

Public Law

Prances has extensive experience in public law cases, being regularly briefed by local authorities, parents and guardians, both with and without a junior. She has particular expertise in the following arrears, regularly appearing in the High Court to deal with the following:-

  • cases of severe physical injury or death, where the medical evidence is complex, in particular so called ‘shaken baby syndrome’, factitious or induced illness, fractures
  • allegations of smothering; sudden infant death
  • sexual abuse
  • children’s evidence
  • child trafficking
  • allegations of witchcraft/ritual abuse

She has a strong interest in all aspects of law of adoption, having appeared in numerous leading adoption cases in the Court of Appeal.

She has an interest in the role of the media in family cases, and regularly advices on the merits of applying to restrict or allow reporting of matters concerning children and their parents.

Private Law

Frances has a strong private law practice dealing with international and domestic surrogacy, relocation, adoption parental responsibility, contact and residence. She is the co-author of a book on Relocation published in 2013 by Jordans.


Frances is always happy to advise on the merits of appeal. She regularly appears in the Court of Appeal and has acted for the Guardian in two public law cases in the Supreme Court.

Reported Cases

  • S v Oxfordshire County Council [1993] 1 FLR 452 (High Court)
  • Oxfordshire County Council v L and F [1997] 1 FLR 235 (High Court)
  • Re M (Adoption or Residence Order) [1998] 1 FLR 570 (Court of Appeal)
  • Re O (Adoption: Withholding Consent) [1999] 1 FLR 451 (Court of Appeal)
  • Re P (Care Orders: Injunctive Relief) [2000] 2 FLR 385 (High Court)
  • Re H (Care Order: Appropriate Local Authority) [2004] 1 FLR 534 (Court of Appeal)
  • Re N and N [2007] Fam Law 121, [2008] FLR forthcoming (Court of Appeal)
  • Re A; Coventry City Council v CC and A [2007] EWCA Civ 1383, [2008] 1 FLR 959 (Court of Appeal)
  • Re A [2007] EWCA Civ 1383, [2008] 1 FLR 959;
  • Re L (Shared Residence Order) [2009] EWCA Civ 20, [2009] 2 FLR 1157;
  • Re L-A (Care: Chronic Neglect) [2009] EWCA Civ 822 (2010 1 FLR forthcoming);
  • Re S-B (Children) [2009] UKSC 17 (Supreme Court) (2010 1 FLR forthcoming)

Practice Overview

Frances was educated at Cambridge University and was called to the Bar in 1984. She took silk in 2006, was appointed a Recorder in 2002 and a Deputy High Court Judge in 2011.

Frances has specialised in children’s law for 25 years, in both public and private law.


  • ‘The absolutely fantastic Frances Judd QC is measured, hard working, and thoroughly prepared.’ Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession 2014
  • ‘She is patient and client-focused, while maintain the confidence and respect of the judges she appears before.’ ‘Her cross-examination was fantastic and the client was thrilled. She’s very down to earth when dealing with vulnerable clients. She handles sensitive matters well but is straight with her advice.’ Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession 2015
  • ‘calm under pressure, showing great empathy with clients.’ Legal 500,2014
  • ‘Balances, thorough and quick to identify the key issues.’ Legal 500,2015


  • Frances is co-author (with Damain Garrido and Rob George of these chambers, and Anna Worwood of Penningtons Manches) of ‘Relocation: A Practical Guide’ published by Jordans in 2013, with a foreword by Lady Justice Black
  • She has written and lectured extensively on the law of relocation, including an article with Dr. Robert George; ‘International Relocation: Do we stand alone? [2010] Fam Law 63′
  • Co-author (with Pressdee, Vater & Baker QC) of The Public Law Outline: The Court Companion (Family Law, 2008
  • Co-author (with Pressdee, Vater & Baker QC) of Contact: The New Deal (Family Law, 2006)

She regularly give lectures for Butterworth’s, Jordans and the Association of Lawyers for Children, on a range of topics including surrogacy, non-accidental injury and expert evidence, privacy in the family courts, relocation, shared residence and contact.