Frances was brought up and educated in Scotland, and trained as a social worker at Edinburgh University. She worked in this field for many years, in matters relating to children’s welfare, both in Scotland and then Hong Kong, before taking up practice at the Bar. She was called to the Bar in 1996 in London and 1997 in Hong Kong.
She joined Des Voeux Chambers in 1999 having served part of her pupillage there.
Frances has developed a busy practice exclusively in the family jurisdiction and with all aspects of matrimonial law.
She has experience in many ancillary relief cases involving;
Trust and companies
Third party interests
Jurisdiction and forum disputes
She was one of the team of counsel who acted in the Court of Final Appeal case of LKW v. DD.
A great deal of Frances' work concerns children's issues, being:
Custody, Care and Control
Applications under the Guardianship of Minors Ordinance
Hague Convention cases
Frances is praised for being “absolutely excellent" and a specialist in child custody matters. "If you want someone to really fight, she's the one; you don't want her on the other side." She focuses her practice exclusively on the family law sphere and draws regular praise for her assured handling of both matrimonial and child-related cases. Her significant expertise in complex matrimonial and financial cases involving settlements, third-party interests and family trusts sits alongside her extensive child-related experience advising on custody, care and control, wardship and Hague Convention cases.
Chambers & Partners Greater China Region (2022)
Frances Irving is a key name in the set for child law cases. 'She is excellent on children law matters.' She is recognised as a Leading Junior for Family & Private Client Law.
Legal 500 Asia Pacific HK Bar (2022)
Frances Irving has been ranked as Leading Junior Counsel for Hong Kong Family & Divorce Law by the Doyles Guide 2022.
Doyles Guide (2022)
Frances has given frequent talks and workshops to practitioners on family law and practice and has taught Family Law and Matrimonial Practice at Hong Kong University SPACE. She was a contributing editor to Family Law and Practice in Hong Kong.
Frances is a member of the Working Group on Children in Family Proceedings chaired by The Hon. Mr Justice Hartmann JA. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Family Law Association.