Francis FitzGibbon QC

Year of Silk


Year of Call

Francis FitzGibbon QC

Francis FitzGibbon QC is a highly regarded specialist criminal silk, with extensive experience in homicide, fraud, drugs cases and other serious crime, and appeals. He has consistently featured as a leader in criminal law in Chambers & Partners Directory.


Francis is a contributing author of A Practitioner's Guide to the Law and Regulation of Financial Crime (Sweet & Maxwell 2011). He sits as an Immigration Judge, which has enriched his understanding of human rights law.


Francis hosts a legal blog, 'Nothing Like the Sun': and he can also be found on Twitter: @ffgqc and is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books on legal issues.


Francis is licensed to take cases by Direct Access and is an accredited mediator.


For further details of some of the recent or interesting cases in which he has appeared, please see areas of expertise below.

Criminal Appeals

Francis regularly receives instructions in complex criminal appeals in the Court of Appeal (including advice work on applications to the CCRC), often when the lay or professional client needs a second opinion after receiving negative advice (or no advice) from trial representatives.

  • Moss [2013] UKPC 32: Privy Council: due process in resentencing when convictions quashed on appeal.
  • Lovelock [2012]: application to adduce fresh evidence in historic child sex abuse case
  • Thompson [2012]: the extent to which sentence must have regard to jury’s not guilty verdict in a case of mixed verdicts
  • Otway [2011] EWCA Crim 3: admissibility of controversial expert evidence of identification by podiatric ‘gait analysis’
  • Kulah [2007] Crim LR 907: use of Newton hearings in cases of indefinite prison sentences for public protection
  • Evon Smith [2006] 1 WLR 243:  successful Privy Council death row appeal from Jamaica
  • P [2002] 1AC 146: admissibility of foreign phone interceptions (House of Lords)

Homicide and Related Grave Offences

Francis has appeared in many homicide trials, including gang related murder, and cases with complex technical or medical evidence, including

  • H [Central Criminal Court 2014]: Revenge killing within Vietnamese community
  • Wait [Newcastle Crown Court 2014]: murder with complex medical causation issues
  • Brooks [Central Criminal Court 2013]: gangland murder
  • Conteh [Central Criminal Court 2011]: multi-handed gang murder. 17 year old client with abnormally low IQ & compliant personality. Joint enterprise. Acquitted of murder.
  • Livesey [Manchester Crown Court 2010]: Murder in course of robbery. Victim died 6 months later of a cluster of serious medical conditions. Issue was causation, with technical medical evidence on three separate areas. Acquitted of murder.
  • White [Luton Crown Court 2009]: gross negligence manslaughter. Experts on brain damage and survivability from catastrophic head injuries. Acquitted on half-time submission.
  • Mathurin [Central Criminal Court 2007]: gang killing. Defendant later became one of the first ‘supergrasses’ to sign a contract under the Serious Organised Crime & Police Act 200

Regulatory and Financial Crime

  • NK (Operation Euripus) [2014]: Certificate of inadequacy following £14M confiscation order
  • Rybak [Southwark Crown Court 2014]: ongoing multi-million pound confiscation arising from international corruption proceedings
  • Hart [Croydon Crown Court 2011]: VAT ‘missing trader’ fraud, worth over £120,000,000
  • Bahmanzadeh [Plymouth Crown Court 2010]: confiscation proceedings, worth over £8,000,000
  • Lynch [Central Criminal Court 2007]: the Kieran Fallon horserace fixing trial

Other Serious Criminal Offences

  • Thompson [Newcastle Crown Court 2012]: conspiracy to commit misconduct with a Northumbria detective and others, and conspiracy to supply class A drugs
  • Abadom [Newcastle Crown Court 2012]: conspiracy to supply heroin
  • Bryant [Newcastle Crown Court 2012]: ‘cold-case’ historic child abuse and kidnappings from 1980s
  • Britton [Chelmsford Crown Court 2008] conspiracy to pervert the course of justice involving allegations of police corruption in Essex
  • R v Shahchirghi [Harrow Crown Court] multi-handed gang kidnapping and torture
  • R v Streeks [Kingston Crown Court 2009]: large-scale conspiracy to supply cocaine
  • Operation Falbala [Basildon Crown Court 2009]: £500,000 tax credit fraud
  • Medway Ports Authority v Fincken [2011]: Medway Ports Authority v Fincken (Administrative Court 2010) : jurisdiction of Magistrates to dismiss case against the captain of Greenpeace ship for want of prosecution

Courts Martial

Francis has represented members of the armed forces in Court Martial proceedings, including cases of some sensitivity where German civilians were involved.

Immigration Business and Commercial

Francis FitzGibbon QC has more than a decade’s experience as an Immigration Judge and has an in-depth knowledge of the law and procedure in immigration, asylum and deportation cases. Francis has a particular interest in business immigration and is well placed to advise corporate and individual clients on the whole range of issues arising within this area, including challenges to the Points Based System.  He is authorised to accept such cases under the Bar Council’s Public Access Scheme.


  • USA v Bary [2014]: Advisory work for a trial in USA of a suspect extradited from the UK on terrorism charges relating to embassy bombings in E Africa in 1998.
  • Advisory work on potential proceedings under UK criminal law against persons suspected of torture in Sri Lanka.


Magdalen College, Oxford






Member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Criminal Appeals

Criminal Bar Association

South Eastern Circuit

European Criminal Bar Association


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