Francesca Kirby

Call: 2016

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    Great strength in depth both in relation to their expertise and breadth of experience from juniors through to their QCs.

    Legal 500, 2022
    Francesca Kirby

    Personal profile

    Francesca has a busy Crime practice defending and prosecuting a broad range of offences in the Crown Court and Magistrates Court. This has included appearing in cases involving Serious Violence, Sexual Offences, Drugs Offences and Restraint, Civil Recovery & Confiscation proceedings.

    She has experience in representing vulnerable clients, including youths and those with mental health issues. She has dealt with cases involving fitness to plead issues and cases requiring intermediaries.

    Francesca is a member of the Dobbs Review Team considering whether the issues relating to HBOS Reading were investigated and appropriately reported to authorities at the time by LBG, following its acquisition of HBOS.

    During the course of her pupillage at Red Lion Chambers, Francesca developed an interest in Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking offences. She assisted Kate Bex KC and Paul Evans on Operation Piberia, a county lines trafficking trial, and Riel Karmy Jones KC in researching and editing four sections of the 2019 edition of Archbold (Chapter 19 Offences Against the Person), including the section on Modern Slavery.

    Francesca also has experience of Inquests & Inquiries, having been instructed to assist Adam Wiseman KC in his role as Counsel to the inquest touching the death of Ellie Butler.

    Prior to joining chambers Francesca worked at the Free Representation Unit as the Assistant Legal Officer representing pro bono clients in employment and social security matters. This included representing clients at tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

    Serious & Organised Crime

    Francesca has a busy Serious & Organised Crime practice defending and prosecuting a broad range of offences including those related to Serious Violence, Sexual Offences, Drugs Offences and Human Trafficking proceedings.

    Featured Cases

    • R v X 2022- Defended in a case where the client ran a s45 defence under the Modern Slavery act. Used expert evidence on the issue of Modern Slavery to suport the defendants account.
    • R v X 2022 – Client received a suspended sentence for an offence of PWITS after a basis of plea was entered on the day of trial, indicating social supply.
    • R v X 2021- Client acquitted of a count of ill treatment of a person lacking capacity following trial.
    • R v X 2021- Client given a suspended sentence for an offence of possessing a prohibited weapon, using expert psychiatric evidence to support mitigation.
    • R v X 2020- Defended in a sexual assault trial where the client was found unfit to plead. Client was ultimately given a supervision order.
    • R v X 2019 (a youth)- Represented at trial a youth accused of GBH. Subsequently mitigated to obtain a youth rehabilitation order.
    • R v X 2019- Successful submission of no case to answer at half time in an assault case involving a 7 year old complainant. Carried out cross examination carefully tailored to meet the recommendations of an intermediary’s report.
    • Operation Piberia – Trafficking children and a vulnerable adult for the purpose of supplying drugs aka ‘county lines’. Assisted in the electronic presentation of phone schedules in court, and preparation of documents for the Court of Appeal.


    • BPTC City Law School: Outstanding
    • LLB University of Kent: First Class Honours


    • Inner Temple, Profumo Scholarship and Major Exhibition Award.


    • Archbold, 2019, Chapter 19 – Assisted Riel Karmy Jones KC in the updating and editing sections of Chapter 19 Offences against the person Archbold 2019