Francesca is a partner in the litigation team and has experience across a broad spectrum of commercial litigation ranging from complex construction disputes and international litigation to straight-forward contractual disputes.
As a result of recent changes to corporate law and the economic climate, she is involved in a significant number of corporate and shareholder disputes, developer joint venture disputes and professional negligence claims mainly related to professionals working in the property sector including solicitors, surveyors, architects.
Described in The Legal 500 (2019) as 'utterly dependable and just a great lawyer', Francesca is focused on seeking to find a resolution for clients that is the best solution for their needs be that negotiation, mediation, arbitration, adjudication, expert determination or litigation. In appropriate cases Russell-Cooke act for clients on a CFA basis, we will discuss methods of funding with clients and be creative where possible.
Additionally, since 1996 Francesca has mediated and represented clients in many claims ranging in value. The subject matter has varied from professional negligence cases including both solicitors negligence and architects negligence to commercial and property disputes.
She has had articles published in the JSB journal, was joint editor of the Civil Practitioners Case Companion (1999 - 2003) and has had various articles published in Resolve, the Solicitors Journal and several Russell-Cooke newsletters.
Examples of Francesca's current work includes the following:
- pursuing estate agents commissions on high value properties
- construction disputes, including defective and remedial works, delay, extensions of time, damages, negligence, construction of contracts, valuation of variations, claims against architects and contract managers including professional negligence
- solicitors and insurance brokers negligence claims;company dispute post judgment - enforcement options and contempt proceedings for failure to comply
- shareholders and directors disputes including claims of unfair prejudice and derivative claims
- complex contractual disputes including loss of chance damages and loss of profit claims, construction of agreements, mistake, unjust enrichment, estoppel, valuation issues
- costs disputes
- multi jurisdictional disputes, one involving property and assets in four jurisdictions with others involving at least 2 jurisdictions
- contentious trust disputes involving offshore trust companies and beneficiaries claims
- complex commercial fraud action seeking to recover substantial sums from defendants involving freezing injunctions and cross examination of non compliant defendants
Examples of successfully mediated cases:
- acting for a joint venturer and project manager in respect of a large development in London. The case involved unjust enrichment, estoppel and restitutionary and quantum meruit claims. Settled at mediation prior to issue of proceedings in 2006
- acting for directors in a complex director shareholder and derivative action claim commenced by way of a freezing injunction in October 2006. Settled after 11 months of litigation after a 3 month rolling mediation before the liability trial in 2007
- acting in a solictors and barristers negligence claim involving issues of collateral challenge and complex loss of chance calculations. Settled at mediation prior to issue of proceedings
- acting for the defendants in a mediation to resolve a large commercial dispute involving a claim and counterclaim in respect of supply and distribution agreements and guarantees. Settled after 21 months of litigation and an initial mediation and subsequent further involvement of the mediator to finalise a settlement just before the trial date
Francesca has advised in several reported cases, for example:
- Merivale Moore plc v Strutt & Parker (a firm)  All ER D 403 - surveyors negligence
- Stephen Treharne v Penelope Brabon & ors  All ER D 448 - transactions at an undervalue
- Aylesford & Co v Al Habtoor  EG - estate agents commission - thereafter enforcement proceedings in Dubai
- Silver (Building & Construction) Ltd v Brabon & ors  - ransom strips
- Bassett v Sears Tooth  costs reports - solicitor client costs
- Anne Kent and M&L v Chapper  EWHC 2546 Ch - application to rejoin a party to proceedings and capacity issues
- Walker International Holdings Ltd v Republic of Congo and Ors  EHC 2813 (Comm) - charging orders, the meaning of beneficial interest and transactions at an undervalue
- Rankine & Marshall v Maggs  EWCA (Civ20) -service, last known residential address
- Rowallan Group Limited v Edgehill Portfolio No1 Limited EWHC(Ch) 32 - construction of an agreement, unilateral mistake, mutual mistake and mediation and costs
- Darlington Borough Council v Secretary for State for Communities and ors  All ER - appeal against planning inspectors decision
- Gypsy Nirvana Limited & anor v Clark  All ER (D) 184 - company dispute
- Recognised as "a very accomplished practitioner", The Legal 500 (2017)
- Francesca is Immediate Past President of the London Solicitors Litigation Association (LSLA), a member of the Property Litigation Association (PLA), the Technology and Construction Solicitors Association (TeCSA) and the Society of Construction Law (SCL).
- She became an ADR Group commercial mediator in 1996, obtained a Diploma in Construction Law Litigation and Regulation in 1997 and became a Deputy District Judge in 2003.
- Francesca is listed in the Thomson Reuters 'London Super Lawyers' list 2015.
Francesca read Jurisprudence at Hertford College Oxford and was admitted as a solicitor in March 1991.