Frances Swaine is the firm's first managing partner and remains a partner in the human rights department.
Frances specialises in human rights law and is an experienced clinical negligence claims lawyer. She has an interest in the role of ethics and values in professional practice and has over 25 years’ experience of representing victims of sexual abuse and bringing claims for compensation and justice on their behalf, and in bringing medical negligence claims.
She is particularly interested in human rights and medical ethics and represents many families at inquests. Frances often represents the rights of those with physical and learning disabilities, especially in the field of disability discrimination and for those without mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. She is frequently instructed by the Official Solicitor in best interest applications. Frances has worked with group such as Mencap and the Child Migrant Trust for many years in her work to represent those without a voice who have suffered abuse.
Frances is a founding member of the Ethical Practice Foundation and a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers. She is a member of AvMA and the Law Society's clinical negligence panel.
Chambers’ guide to the legal profession 2012 described Frances as being “highly regarded for her civil litigation work, which focuses on the social care, healthcare, inquests and education sectors of the practice” and as a "methodical, efficient and effective" practitioner who is "professional and dedicated."
Examples of Frances’ work include:
- Successfully securing compensation for more than 120 families whose relatives died unnecessarily at Stafford Hospital because of substandard and negligent care
- Representing the family of Harinder Veriah and securing compensation after she died in a hospital in Hong Kong
- Representing a group of nurses who had been placed on a provisional list under the Protection of Vulnerable Adults scheme without being able to appeal the decision. The House of Lords ruled that the scheme was incompatible with the Human Rights Act
- Representing the family of a woman who died after a Do Not Resuscitate Notice was placed on her medical notes without her consent
- Representing the family of Kyle Flack, a young man with profound physical and learning disabilities who died of asphyxiation in hospital
- Representing many families in successful clinical negligence claims, including claims for birth injuries such as cerebral palsy
Her main practice areas include:
- Abuse in clinical setting
- Human rights
- Disability discrimination
- Court of Protection
- Care assessments
- Patient autonomy
- Do not Resuscitate Orders
- Access to treatment