5 Essex Court

Francesca Whitelaw

Call 2003

Professional Discipline & Regulatory

Francesca regularly advises and acts for police forces at misconduct hearings, including the Police Appeals Tribunal and deals with judicial review relating to misconduct issues. Cases have included the discharge of firearms and taser, deaths in custody, corruption, computer misuse, rape, sexual harassment and assault.

Significant cases include:

Gross Misconduct Proceedings concerning Inspector Mackaill (Plebgate) (2015-2016) - Acted as independent legal advisor to the Panel in gross misconduct proceedings against a police inspector which arose out of his involvement in, and statements to the press following, a meeting with Andrew Mitchell MP on 12th October 2012. The meeting arose out of incident which became known as ‘Plebgate’.

In the matter of Olaseni (Seni) Lewis deceased [2015-2017] - Junior Counsel advising the Independent Police Complaints Commission on matters concerning the death of 23-year old Seni Lewis, who died following police restraint at the Bethlem psychiatric hospital.

Gross Misconduct Proceedings against an Officer (2015) - Presenting Counsel for the Chief Constable of a Police Force in gross misconduct proceedings against an officer who had discharged a Taser against a suspect during the course of an arrest.

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.