Frances Heaton KC

Frances Heaton KC



  • Children Law (Public and Private law)



  • Called to the Bar: 1985
  • Silk: 2012
  • Vulnerable Witness Advocacy Training



  • Family Law Bar Association (Committee Member)



Frances is regularly instructed in very complex public law children proceedings in which the central issues include exceptionally serious injuries, non-accidental death / murder (child or parent), serious sexual abuse, child sexual exploitation, very serious neglect, torture, learning and mental health difficulties, fabricated or induced illness, reporting restriction orders and the curtailment of parental responsibility. Frances accepts instructions by local authorities, parents, children, grandparents, and interveners. Her skill and expertise is sought after and she is in demand in high profile cases.

Frances regularly appears in the Court of Appeal where the issues have included the revocation of placement orders, and appeals against findings of fact.

In addition to this work, Frances continues to accept instructions in complex private law children cases and she has a particular interest in issues of habitual residence, the international movement of children, relocation and child abduction.

Frances also undertakes surrogacy cases, and particularly those that have a foreign element.


“Frances Heaton is just an extraordinary advocate. She has fantastic cross-examination and people skills.” “Frances is excellent for children law.” Chambers UK Bar 2023

“Recommended Expert.” Legal 500 2023

“Frances is ferociously bright but is also very personable. She can explain complex legal conundrums with ease and humour.” “She is a tough operator and a very good tactician. She’s very thorough and a class act.” Chambers UK Bar 2022