Clerking team

Mark Robinson

Senior Clerk Chester

Sarah Philpotts

Lead Civil & Family Clerk

Sophie Dobson

Family & Civil Clerk

‘Lucinda provides focused and succinct advice to ensure the best result for her client, and she commands the confidence of the court.’

Legal 500, 2024 (Court of Protection)

‘Lucinda is an excellent advocate who is good on her feet, well respected by judges and her peers, and liked by the professional clients who she is representing. She is particularly skilled with nervous clients given her friendly and approachable demeanour.’

Legal 500, 2024 (Children and Domestic Violence)

Strengths: “She is excellent at dealing with matters. She is very hard-working and capable and is superb on her feet.”

“Lucinda is an excellent barrister who provides sound advice and is very approachable with clients.”

“She can absorb so much information and then produce a well thought-out plan for the way forward.”

Chambers UK Bar, 2024

Lucinda France-Hayhurst is a talented junior barrister who regularly acts for the Official Solicitor in complex cases concerning deprivation of liberty, forced marriage and capacity to consent to sexual relations. She also has experience representing local authorities in judicial reviews and cases concerning ordinary residence.

She has extensive experience in all disciplines of Family Law and has, in the past few years, chosen to specialise in Court of Protection matters (both welfare and finance).

Lucinda is also a qualified Children’s Arbitrator and a trained Mediator.

Lucinda regularly travels throughout the North of England, Wales and the Midlands for work. She appears regularly in the High Court and is confident handling matters of increased complexity.

A capable public speaker, Lucinda has delivered lectures to large-scale CPD conferences and willingly travels to conduct seminars concerning fresh legal developments.

Lucinda studied in Bristol and London and was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 2009. Lucinda was appointed Junior of the Northern Circuit in 2012 and Editor of the Northern Circuit’s legal publication In Brief in 2014.

Court of Protection

Lucinda receives instruction at all tiers of the Court of Protection in Welfare and Financial matters. She acts frequently for the official solicitor, and regularly advises and trains local authority legal and social care departments on the law.

Lucinda is well-versed in handling matters in which care and court of protection proceedings overlap. She has extensive experience in DoLS challenges but her practice has evolved over the years to include matters of complexity including: capacity to consent to sexual relations, historic physical abuse, sexual abuse, honour-based violence, forced marriage, chronic alcohol consumption, experimental treatment, mental health and learning disability.

In addition, Lucinda has advised and acted in matters concerning vulnerable adults who have capacity but who may require protection through invoking the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court.

When Court of Protection matters throw up unlawful practice, Lucinda will provide clients with advice and representation in Human Rights Act claims.

She also takes instructions from local authorities to advise on disputes over ordinary residence and will draft submissions for determination by the Secretary of State. Lucinda has advised and represented local authorities in applications for judicial review.

Lucinda draws on her expertise in representing Family law clients with mental health difficulties (or who lack capacity and require the assistance of the Official Solicitor), children through their guardians and professional social work clients. A firm grasp of Civil procedure built during her early years in practice has prepared her well for navigating the rules, guidance and legislation to be applied in the Court of Protection in both England and Wales.

Keen to promote awareness of the legal and practical framework in the Court of Protection, Lucinda often delivers training to legal professionals, best interests assessors and social workers, and will respond readily to requests for seminars and workshops for practitioners hoping to expand their knowledge of this area.

Lucinda is also an accredited mediator and is a member of the panel for  ‘Mediation in the Court of Protection,’ a nationwide pilot scheme to evaluate the impact of mediation on Court of Protection proceedings. More details are available here.

Children (Public and Private law)

Lucinda routinely represents children, parents and local authorities in sensitive and complex Public and Private Law matters concerning children.

The subject matter of her care cases ranges widely but includes: complex mental health in children and adults, non-accidental injury, historical sexual abuse (including in large-scale litigation and allegations against multiple perpetrators), neglect, alcohol and substance misuse.

Lucinda has a broad experience of Private Law Children matters ranging from the negotiable to the intractable. Her work has touched on the following issues: domestic violence, sexual abuse, internal/external relocation and relocation to non-Hague Convention countries, implacable hostility, older children opposed to a course of action and proceedings with a Public law element.

Lucinda’s background in languages (with a degree in French and Italian at Bristol University) has often proved useful in cases with an international element.

In practice, she is confident in handling expert witnesses and takes particular care over assimilating large volumes of material and extrapolating relevant detail to further her client’s case. She is happy to advise on all aspects of law and case management, or to draft court documents (including grounds of appeal) if required.

Reported Cases

AA v 25 Ors (Children) [2019] EWFC 64



Lucinda is an accredited, all-issues mediator. Arrangements to suit the requirements of the parties with respect to venue, format and materials can be made through Lucinda’s clerks.

As a barrister in Family law and Court of Protection work, she is experienced in managing deeply personal and acrimonious disputes, and focussed on assisting clients to achieve best outcomes in the most direct, pragmatic and constructive way. She regularly receives instructions from separating parties/parents, local authorities and the Official Solicitor (in cases where a party lacks capacity), and therefore has a broad and varied understanding of parties’ perspectives at mediation. With a wealth of experience in matters both financial and welfare-related, Lucinda offers compassion, scrutiny and creativity as a mediator.

Lucinda is also an accredited mediator and is a member of the panel for  ‘Mediation in the Court of Protection,’ a nationwide pilot scheme to evaluate the impact of mediation on Court of Protection proceedings. More details are available here.

Having commenced life at the Bar as a common law pupil, Lucinda has amassed expertise across a broad range of legal disciplines. She has a unique platform to marshal parties in mediation in a variety of contexts. In her first few years of practice, Lucinda built up extensive knowledge of civil procedure, instructed in personal injury and related contractual claims. Lucinda trained under specialists in employment law, clinical negligence and actions against the police. She has also recently acted for clients in the education tribunal. Before life at the Bar, Lucinda worked in Singapore for local legal firm specialising in intellectual property.

Family arbitration

Arbitration (Children’s Scheme)

Lucinda is a qualified Children’s Scheme Arbitrator and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. She is one of only a handful of family law arbitrators in the North West and deals with private child law matters for people who are seeking an alternative means of resolving their disputes outside of the court arena. Please see the link to Lucinda’s bio on the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators for more details, and contact for Lucinda’s availability.



  • Northern Circuit
  • Court of Protection Practitioners’ Association
  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitration: Lucinda France-Hayhurst


  • Vulnerable Witness Advocacy Training

Client Testimonials

“Lucinda is very approachable, with a calm and reassuring manner especially when explaining things to clients in often difficult and stressful circumstances. Her level of knowledge and commitment to meeting clients’ needs are very impressive and she is concise and prompt when reporting on case outcomes.”Darren Matthews, Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP

“Miss France-Hayhurst is a first-class barrister who handles the complexities of child care cases with ease and, even with difficult timeframes, offers an excellent service. An incredibly persuasive advocate who not only has a detailed knowledge of the law but is personable and excellent with clients, Miss France-Hayhurst is always a first choice when instructing Counsel.” – Lauren Ashcroft, Morecrofts LLP