Hughes Fowler Carruthers


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.

Frances is also listed in Tatler Address Book’s Advisory as founding partner and one of the leading family lawyers in their trusted network of influential and elite private client experts with gilt-edged expertise. She is additionally featured in Spear’s Family Law Index’s ‘Top Flight Family Lawyers’ list, where she is described as one of the Queen Bees in the industry and a “powerhouse of the family law world” and in Citywealth’s Leaders List of Top 10 Family & Matrimonial Lawyers.

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.

Frances is consistently recognised by The Legal 500 and Chambers as a leading family lawyer. Chambers UK 2022 reconfirms Frances’ ranking as a ‘Star Individual’ and commends her for showing “total commitment to her clients” and “inspiring enormous confidence” with them, making her “the lawyers’ lawyer in the family world”. Chambers UK 2021 highlighted that she is recognised for being “intellectually and strategically superb” “a real force” and “highly active and effective at what she does”. The directory also noted Frances “gets the best cases and knows just how to handle them”.

Frances continues to be recognised as a Star Individual in Chambers HNW 2021 and is described as a complete star”. Frances is praised for her ability “to get quickly and accurately to the key issues in a case almost immediately. An hour of her time is probably worth more than six hours of most people’s time”. Chambers HNW also notes she is outstanding. She has got a really great reputation and it is entirely deserved. She has a very no-nonsense approach, she is very good at cutting to the chase. She identifies exactly what clients need and then achieves it for them. She is just brilliant. Chambers HNW 2020 reconfirmed Frances’ ‘Star Individual’ ranking, describing her as one of the doyennes of family law” and intellectually and strategically superb” on huge-value and hugely complex divorce matters. Frances is also commended for being the toughest divorce solicitor in the country”, by a top family barrister, adding: She gets the best cases and knows just how to handle them. She is rightly in the star category”.

The Legal 500 UK 2022 reconfirms Frances’ ranking in ‘The Legal 500 Hall of Fame’, noting she “has rightly bestrode the family law world like a colossus”. The directory further notes she “achieves unlikely outcomes by pure force of personality when required” and is the most tactically astute mind in planning and executing a case, and loved by clients who feel utterly protected, and never led down the garden path”. Frances is also praised for having a “stellar reputation” which is entirely deserved and second to none and it is highlighted “she has achieved countless victories against the odds. She has an extraordinary drive and will to win which brings success where others would look to cut her their losses”. The Legal 500 UK 2021 described her as a “peerless” leader who “has been highly active advising stars in the film, music, stage and art world on a variety of financial family law applications, usually involving complex tax issues and international elements”. The Guide also praised her as a “superstar” and “a fearless litigator who consistently achieves fantastic results in cases that are too close to call”.

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

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.

Recent News

15 Oct

Frances Hughes shortlisted for Lawyer of the Year (Family) at the Spear’s Wealth Management Awards 2021
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01 Jul

Partners Frances Hughes and Mark Harper comment in Spear’s on how top lawyers win when UHNW divorce becomes a battle
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16 Dec

Frances Hughes comments in Tatler on the importance of prenuptial agreements
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Academy Court
94 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1DT

Tel: +44 (0)20 7421 8383
DX: 251 London/Chancery Lane
Email: [email protected]

Academy Court
94 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1DT

Tel: +44 (0)20 7421 8383
DX: 251 London/Chancery Lane
Email: [email protected]

Spear's family law
LexisNexis 2020