Frances Lipman

Frances Lipman


Frances is an associate solicitor who qualified in 2003. She is based in our Bristol office.

She joined Deighton Pierce Glynn in 2013. Before this, she worked at Leigh Day and Co solicitors, the Personal Support Unit at the Royal Courts of Justice, and then the Disability Law Service.


Prior to training to be a solicitor, Frances worked for a number of years working for advice agencies, giving advice and acting as an advocate on community care matters for disabled people and carers.

In 2003, Frances qualified as a solicitor, after having trained at Leigh Day and Co. While at Leigh Day she gained a particular interest and experience in community care law and medical ethics/best interests proceedings. Frances worked mainly in the Human Rights department, most notably on the cases of R (A and B) v East Sussex [2002] EWHC 167 and B v NHS Hospital Trust [2002] EWHC 429 Fam. Frances left Leigh Day to take a childcare break, and returned to work at the Personal Support Unit, where she set up a pilot service for Litigants in Person at Wandsworth County Court. This was the first service of its kind in the country and in the first 2 years assisted over 500 people through the Court process.

Frances returned to legal practice in 2007, when she took up the position of community care lawyer at the Disability Law Service. She remained there for 5 years and was involved in a number of significant cases against local authorities, NHS bodies and the Department of Health. These included R (Harrison) v Secretary of State for Health regarding the lawfulness of direct payments under the NHS and R (Macdonald) v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea [2011] UKSC 33 arguing for dignity in the provision of community care services. While at DLS, Frances also delivered bespoke training courses on community care and the Mental Capacity Act to a number of organisations. She also contributed to fact sheets and worked on an advice line, twice weekly.

Since joining Deighton Pierce Glynn in January 2013 Frances has been involved in a variety of community care and public law cases. These include a challenge to a Council Tax Reduction scheme on the grounds of inadequate consultation and breach of Public Sector Equality Duty, and challenging a Local Authority on the issue of when a s20 Children Act duty crystallises.

Frances has now developed a specialism in challenging negative trafficking decisions of the Home Office for a variety of clients, including sex-trafficked women, children in forced labour and others who have been forced into domestic servitude and criminal activities.

Frances also enjoys working on a variety of other public law matters such as migrant support judicial reviews, including s21 NAA support, disability discrimination claims, challenges to UKBA decisions and policies, and civil claims for damages against UKBA and others.

Frances has also delivered a Workshop on Strategic Litigation for the Voluntary Sector at the Public Law Project Wales Conference, April 2014 as well as training on Direct Payments to the local voluntary sector in Bristol in September 2014.

Sample Cases

Significant cases in which Frances has acted include:

R (Macdonald) v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (Supreme Court) – the dignity of the individual in the assessment of need and delivery of services to disabled people.

R (Harrison) v Secretary of State for Health (Court of Appeal) – lawfulness of direct payments under the NHS.

R (Garnham) v Islington PCT – power of PCTs to make indirect payments to local authorities under NHSA 2006.

R (A and B) v East Sussex CC (High Court) – as a member of a team conducting this challenge to the lawfulness of a User Independent Trust and manual handling regulations.

R (S) v Devon County Council (High Court) – successful challenge to the decision of the Local Authority that the Claimant was  not a Former Relevant Child under s23c CA.

R (J) v SSHD (Court of Appeal) – successful challenge to the legality of the decision of SSHD to impose a condition of “no recourse to public  funds” to the grant of discretionary leave to remain and subsequent challenge to No Order as to Costs Order made by HC judge.

R(ML) v SSHD (High Court) – successful challenge to a Conclusive Grounds decision that Claimant not a victim of trafficking.

R (FK) v SSHD, R (HTP) v SSHD, R (FM) v SSHD (High Court) – successful challenges to trafficking decisions made by the Home Office; all obtained fresh decisions.

EI v SSHD (High Court)  –ongoing damages claim against the Home Office for unlawful detention.