Francis Hoar

Called 2001 (Lincoln's Inn)

LLB. (Bristol): Law (2:1 (Hons))
John Colston Award for international debating, Bristol University(2000)
Hardwicke Scholar, Lincoln’s  Inn(2000)
Thomas More Bursar, Lincoln’s Inn(2000)
Pupillage Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn(2001)

Main Areas of Practice

Fraud and Asset Recovery

Public Law and Human Rights
Personal Injury

Professional Memberships

South East Circuit


Francis specialises in commercial law (including fraud), employment and public law.  Francis’s commercial practice encompasses the range of contractual and other disputes and, in particular, the areas of fraud and asset preservation and forfeiture.  His public law practice includes the areas of local government, public interest immunity, prison law, mental health and immigration.  Francis acts for employers and employees in cases before the Tribunal, the EAT and the High court and he has a busy advisory practice.

Francis also acts in the areas of personal injury and property.  Up until 2010, Francis had a substantial criminal practice and his extensive advocacy experience (in heavy weight cases including serious fraud and rape) is of great benefit in trials involving the cross-examination of difficult or sensitive witnesses.

Francis is able to accept instructions directly from members of the public.

General Commercial: Francis is instructed in all areas of commercial law, including construction, the sale and carriage of goods, credit hire and professional negligence (see under public law for details of his commercial immigration practice).  Ongoing and recent cases include:

  • A £1.5 million commercial dispute over the restitution of monies paid ancillary to rent, involving applications before the High Court for freezing injunctions.
  • A construction dispute involving a major building project at a university.  Application to strike out on grounds of abuse successfully resisted and claim settled for the full amount.
  • A substantial claim for damages in respect of the establishment and running of a nightclub in central London.
  • Three partnership disputes involving accusations of breach of fiduciary duty and harassment.
  • A professional negligence action by a business against an accountant on the grounds of his failure to advise of their liability for VAT.
  • A number of disputes between recruitment agencies and companies over the payment of commission charges.

Civil/Criminal Fraud:  Francis is well placed to act in cases that cross the civil and criminal divide.  In addition to his commercial experience, he has a background of criminal advocacy in cases including of fraud, rape and serious violence.  Recent cases have included:

  • Currently instructed in a five day High Court trial involving fraud by both agents and employees.
  • Acted for an employment agent in a fraud involving contractors, other agents and employees.
  • R v Manifold & Others: Leading junior against two Queen’s Counsel in a five week criminal fraud trial in which his client was co-accused with a solicitor.

Asset Recovery: Regularly instructed to apply for freezing injunctions and other interlocutory orders in commercial cases.
Since being seconded to the Asset Forfeiture Department of the Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office in 2007, Francis’s asset recovery practice has developed in both civil and criminal cases acting both for the Government and for defendants. His High Court practice has involved post-conviction confiscation orders (including in MTIC frauds and drug conspiracies), pre- and post-conviction applications, including restraint, receivership and third party applications and applications for uplifts and reductions on the grounds of inadequacy.  He also acts in civil recovery actions under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Public Law and Human Rights

Local Authorities and PII: Francis regularly acts for and against local authorities, particularly in housing matters.  He has a particular expertise in applications for injunctions against council tenants under the Housing Act 1996.

Francis is instructed by local authorities in the specialist area of public interest immunity applications in the Crown Court.  Francis is particularly well placed to act in this area having had an extensive criminal prosecution practice in the past, in addition to his specialist public law experience.

Election Law: Francis provides discreet advice to constituency parties in a major political party.  He acts for councillors in actions under the Representation of the People Act and also acts in internal party disciplinary proceedings, most recently acting for a constituency party before the national Board of a major political party.  He is the author of an article in the Modern Law Review on the recent Woolas Election Court decision.

Prison Law: Francis acts for prisoners in cases before the Parole Board, in disciplinary proceedings and in civil claims against the state for miss-treatment in prison.  Recent cases involved a life prisoner 20 years over his tariff and two prisoners convicted of rape on indeterminate sentences.  In December 2012, Francis appeared (led by Jonathan Cowen) in the judicial review of the refusal of Rampton High Security Hospital to permit access by patients to pornographic material.

Commercial Immigration:  Francis is regularly instructed by companies and individuals in cases in the Tribunal and in the High Court and County Court.  These include work permit appeals and County Court appeals against penalties for the employment of illegal workers.  Francis is currently instructed by a college at risk of a penalty in consequence of its alleged failure to abide by controls on its immigrant entrants; and is acting for another college at risk of losing its ability to sponsor Tier 4 students.

Court of Protection: Francis acts for individuals, local authorities and other public bodies.

Other Public Law/Cases involving public bodies:  Francis acts for defendants in civil actions against the police, including wrongful arrest, miss-treatment and malicious prosecution.  He acts in the area of mental health.  With his criminal and human rights background, he is well placed to advise in related cases affecting the liberty of the subject.

Francis is currently acting in a ground breaking case involving the question of whether the when limitation starts to run in claims for damages in cases of wrongfully administered cautions that have subsequently been discharged.  There is currently no common law authority on this question.


Francis acts for both employers and employees.  He regularly advises employers on proposed redundancy settlements, redundancy claims, proposed changes of terms and conditions and associated claims, unfair dismissal, TUPE transfers and associated claims and discrimination claims.  In addition, Francis’s commercial expertise is of great value when he is frequently asked to advise and act in contractual restraint of trade claims.  Employers and employees need to act with particular care before issuing and defending such proceedings, given the high degree of uncertainty in the enforcement of such agreements.

With a considerable practice in public law and human rights, Francis frequently advises and acts in discrimination claims, from before potential actions (eg during the internal disciplinary or grievance process) to the Employment Appeals Tribunal and beyond.  With his extensive litigation and advocacy experience, he is well placed to advise employers and employees before litigation, including on employment contracts, transfers of undertakings, redundancy schemes and disciplinary and grievance procedures, in addition to potential actions.

Francis acts in cases before the Employment Tribunal, the EAT, the County Court and the High Court (in contractual cases).  Recent cases have involved a seven day trial at the Employment Tribunal involving a claim of racially aggravated harassment (acting for the employer) and a five day Employment Tribunal trial by a senior local authority executive alleging a flawed redundancy process and racial discrimination (acting for the employee).

Francis writes and lectures on employment law.  In 2012, he has lectured at three seminars for solicitors and an advocacy training event on redundancy.  He recently produced a webinar on 'Pursuing and Defending Claims under the Equality Act' and his guide to facility time for trade unions was published by the Taxpayers’ Alliance in September 2012.

Personal Injury and Credit Hire 

Francis represents claimants and defendants in all areas of personal injury.  His cases range from standard fast track road traffic cases to complex cases involving issues such as work-place bullying, psycho physiological illness and carbon monoxide poisoning.  He is well placed to act and advise from the earliest stages, when issues such as permission to instruct experts may be of critical importance.


Francis acts for and advises both sides in commercial and residential landlord and tenant matters, including in cases of disrepair and harassment.  He has a particular expertise in criminal and civil unlawful eviction actions and recently acted in two substantial trials, one a criminal trial acting for a local authority, the other a civil action acting for a tenant.  Francis also acts in probate cases; he is currently instructed in three matters, including in a dispute over an estate worth around £1 million in which the principal issue is capacity.

Additional Professional Information

Elected member of the Committee of the Criminal Bar Association, 2007-2010, in which position he drafted a large number of CBA responses to Government consultations relating to law reform.  Francis has also served on sub-committees of the Bar Council.

Interests include running (Francis ran the Flora London Marathon in 2008 and raised £2,500 for Cancer Research); skiing, riding, singing and politics

Publications & Media
'Limitations to the right to time-off for trade union activities', legal briefing published by the Taxpayers' Alliance in September, 2012
'How to save your seat' Local Government Lawyer, June 2011. Francis Hoar looks at the implications for election candidates at all levels of government after the first MP is ejected from the Commons in 100 years.
‘Public or Personal Character in Election Campaigns’: A Review of the Implications of the Judgment in Watkins v Woolas’, Modern Law Review Vol 74, Issue 4, June 2011;
Author of a chapter on a British Bill of Rights in The State of Liberties in Modern Britain (Biteback Publications, 2010)
Regularly appears on Radio Five Live’s Victoria Derbyshire show, most recently to discuss two newsworthy immigration decisions;
 ‘There’s no Justice in Anonymity’ Counsel, 2008
‘Serving Justice’ (article on the role of the Lord Chancellor),Counsel, 2007.

If you would like any further information regarding Francis Hoar's practice, please contact his clerks or call +44 (0)20 7405 6114.


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