Francesca Fothergill

Call 1994

Francesca Fothergill


Francesca is joint head of the St Philips Family Finance Team. Francesca’s practice covers all aspects of matrimonial finance provision, with an emphasis on high value cases, often involving contested business valuation issues, complex trust and tax structures and third party intervention.

Francesca’s clients are mostly wealthy business people, professionals (accountants, solicitors, doctors) and landowners.
She is renowned nationally for her particular and extensive expertise in cases involving farms and landed estates and the connected issues of inherited wealth, family settlements, partnerships and third-party interests. She understands the underlying nuances of this type of case and brings a skill to this area which is recognised in nationwide instruction.

In court, Francesca has a reputation for being tenacious, fearless, and straightforward. Yet she is also a highly effective, determined negotiator and she is keen to achieve sensible settlement when appropriate.

Francesca worked during her early years at the Bar in the offices of Stanbrook & Hooper in Brussels and she is fluent in French.
Francesca is happy to travel and to attend solicitors and lay clients near to their offices and homes.

Recent Experience:

  • Counsel for husband in matter in which assets £860 million and issue was of relative contributions/treatment of pensions.
  • Counsel for wife in financial remedy matter with assets ca. £110 million; issues of delay, post separation accrual and identification of marital assets.
  • Junior Counsel for wife in case with assets £45 million and complex arguments in relation to company valuations and pre-acquired assets/passive accrual.
  • Counsel for husband in case in which jurisdiction challenged on grounds of domicile, court determined relevance of French pre-nuptial agreement and issues of non-disclosure and adverse inference.
  • Counsel for wife in farming case ca. £8 million with issues as to liquidity, viability of estate/farm, value of mineral rights and preliminary issue in Chancery Division as to assets in partnership.
  • Counsel for husband in P v P, involving market gardening business (assets £5 million) and complicated arguments with regard to valuation methodology and liquidity.

Family Finance Team

Francesca is consistently ranked at Tier 1 in Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners directories. She is described as ‘well-prepared, with sound judgment and a direct approach’.

Francesca takes a pragmatic and constructive approach to her cases and enjoys the negotiation or the contest, whatever is required to ensure the best outcome, structured to meet her client’s needs.

Francesca is instructed in cases of very high value involving complex issues of forensic accounting and tax, trust and corporate structures and jurisdictional issues.

Francesca is also recognised nationally for her expertise in farms and estates work, in relation to which she is tenacious in her pursuit of her case, deploying an effective and detailed understanding of issues in relation to inheritance, land and estate/farm management, partnerships and third party intervention.

Often instructed at an early stage of proceedings, Francesca builds strong professional relationships with her instructing solicitors and her lay clients and is happy to advise at any time in conference, by telephone or in writing.


Somerville College, Oxford B.A (Hons) 2.1. Modern History
Diploma in Law, City University
Inns of Court School of Law (Very Competent)
Middle Temple Harmsworth Scholar
Oakham School

Appointments and Memberships

Family Law Bar Association
Agricultual Lawyers Association


"Recommended for matrimonial finance work." Legal 500 2020
"She's very thorough, detailed and direct with the client in a tactful way." Chambers UK
"Extremely competent matrimonial finance advocate. Very clear in her advice and meticulous in her preparation." Chambers UK
"She's really good at building a rapport with clients, she's really bright, she has a great brain." Chambers UK
"Her practical knowledge is great and she's also very bright. She has a good brain and is good at grasping the intricacies of the case." Chambers UK
"Francesca is good at dealing with complex cases, and particularly good with difficult clients/opponents." Legal 500
"She is very knowledgeable and well known for farming cases." Chambers UK
"She is very well prepared, with sound judgement and a direct approach." Chambers UK