5 Essex Court

Francesca Whitelaw

Call 2003

 "A fantastic junior who is completely reliable, overlooks nothing, is extremely personable and has a very nice manner in court."
Chambers UK 2020

Francesca is a leading junior specialising in government and police law.  Described by Chambers UK as “a highly likeable advocate”, she has many years of experience of advising and representing public and private bodies across the country in all areas of civil law including judicial review, civil actions, professional discipline, human rights claims, inquests and public inquiries.  She was appointed as Junior Counsel to the Crown (Attorney General's B Panel) in 2016.

Francesca is currently instructed with Jason Beer QC to represent South Wales Police in the appeal to the Court of Appeal in the case of Bridges v South Wales Police, the first case in the world to consider the use of Automated Facial Recognition by Police.  She is also acting for the Secretary of State for the Home Department and the Secretary of State for Justice for the inquests into the deaths arising out of the terror attack at Fishmongers Hall in 2019, having acted in the same role for the inquests into the deaths arising out of the London Bridge and Borough Market Terror Attacks and the Westminster Terror Attack.  Francesca is also presently instructed in the Infected Blood Inquiry.  She was previously instructed by the Ministry of Defence to represent former soldiers for the inquest into the death of Sean Benton, and the inquest into the death of Cheryl James, both of whom died at the Deepcut Barracks in 1995.