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’ practice is exclusively in the family jurisdiction and she deals with all aspects of matrimonial law. She has experience in ancillary relief cases involving nuptial settlements, trusts, companies and third party interests. She has been involved in many cases involving jurisdiction and forum disputes.
She was one of the team of counsel who acted in the Court of Final Appeal case of v .
A great deal of Frances’ work concerns children’s issues, being Custody, Care and Control, Removal applications, applications under the Guardianship of Minors Ordinance, Wardship, and Hague Convention cases.
Frances Irving focuses her practice exclusively in the family law sphere and is widely endorsed for her capable handling of matrimonial and child-related cases. She is “excellent on children matters” and “a strong matrimonial barrister, too.” 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 Asia Pacific (2021)
"Excellent in children matters. Frances is one of two juniors at Des Voeux Chambers who is held in high regard by peers and solicitors, particularly for her child law work." Frances Irving is singled out as a Leading Junior for Family & Private Client Law.
Legal 500 Asia Pacific HK Bar (2021)
Frances Irving of Des Voeux Chambers acts exclusively in the family law space, operating across the full spectrum of practice area disciplines, but being particularly well known for her handling of matters affecting children, including custody, care and control, removal application and wardship issues. Sources characterise her as “very highly regarded, very detail-focused and very, very well prepared” and as a “tough and well-respected advocate who is not afraid of a scrap” when the occasion demands it.
Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2020)
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.