Frances Hughes

HFC Law | Divorce lawyers London

Frances is senior partner of Hughes Fowler Carruthers. She is a very senior and highly respected family lawyer, a former Governor at Large of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and former Vice President of the European Chapter of the International Academy of Family Lawyers.

Frances specialises in family law work, including divorce and complex children’s cases. She is also a senior mediator. Frances has been a starred lawyer in the Chambers directory and a leading lawyer in the Legal 500 for many years.

Chambers 2020 reconfirms Frances’ position as a ‘Star Individual’, praising her highly on her “very clear strategic view of a case”, and describing her as “probably the best family lawyer there is – she brings so much skill and brainpower to her role”.

Chambers HNW 2019 reconfirmed Frances as a ‘Star Individual’ and sources note that “there are few people who are more experienced”. Chambers also adds that “what’s very impressive about her is that she gets clients’ confidence but she is in control and she really guides from the top”.

Chambers 2019 reconfirmed Frances Hughes’ ‘Star Individual’ status, describing her as a “grande dame of family law” with an “unsurpassed intellect”.

Chambers HNW 2018 reconfirmed Frances as a ‘Star Individual’, describing her as a “phenomenal lawyer” who “fights hard”, with “an extremely successful practice”.

Chambers 2018 reconfirmed Frances’ status as a ‘Star Individual’, describing her as “undeniably one of the top family law solicitors in London”, with “a track record of excellence in some of the market’s most high-profile cases”.

Chambers HNW 2017 reconfirmed Frances as a ‘Star Individual’, described as “a real doyenne” and “the queen of the family law world”. Noting that Frances is “widely regarded as one of the most formidable matrimonial finance litigators in this market, with a serious reputation for defending her clients’ interests in difficult cases, she is up there as the best litigator”.

Chambers 2017 reconfirmed Frances’ position as a ‘Star Individual’,​ describing her as the “doyenne of the matrimonial area”.

Chambers HNW 2016 describes Frances as one of the best-known names in the family law field. “She’s the best. She’s certainly the best litigator”, comments one source, adding: “If you want a substantial piece of litigation she’s head and shoulders above the rest. She gets the most difficult cases with the highest assets but often settles cases too”. She acts for a wide range of clients and often represents notable figures in financial proceedings. Clients praise her “formidable reputation” as a “very talented litigator”. An interviewee regards her as “fearsome in her defence of her clients”. Hughes also regularly advises clients on complex pre- and post-nuptial agreements.

Chambers 2016 confirmed her position as a Star Individual again. “Frances has a formidable reputation as a very talented litigator and is able to fight your corner efficiently and to the nth degree”.

Chambers 2015 says Frances is “probably untouchable in terms of her abilities; she’s dynamic, she’s highly skilled and she brings a lot to a case”.

Legal 500 2020 reconfirms Frances’ position as a ‘Leading Individual’, describing her as excellent”. The guide also reaffirms Frances’ listing in its Hall of Fame.

Legal 500 2019 reconfirmed Frances’ position as a ‘Leading Individual’, describing her as “highly experienced” and “one of a small group of practitioners who has been conducting and shaping all the leading cases for a generation. She is clear-sighted and very tactically astute”. 

Legal 500 2017 reconfirmed her position as a ‘Leading Individual’, describing her as “a star in this area”, “astute and tough”, and “first-class, excellent and very client-focused”.

Legal 500 2016 reconfirmed her position as a ‘Leading Individual’ and comments on her “pitch-perfect judgement on when to take points and when to drop them” describing Frances as “indomitable and shrewd; you want her in your corner”.

Legal 500 2014 described her as “a grandee of the family law world who commands utmost respect”.

Frances studied English at Oxford University before qualifying as a solicitor in 1981. She set up the family law department at Bates, Wells & Braithwaite in the City in 1983.

She has been a member of Resolution (formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association) since its inception. Frances regularly writes and broadcasts on family law issues nationally and internationally. She is a member of The Times law panel and has had an entry in Who’s Who for many years. 

She has a keen interest in the arts, is a musician and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.