Frances is the Director of the Legal Advice Centre based within the Department of Law and a practising barrister. In addition to her duties as the LAC Director, Frances teaches two LAC modules; The Practice of Law in a Clinical Environment and StreetLaw which are on the undergraduate degree. Frances is an expert in the current law surrounding the sharing of intimate images, and regularly speaks on this topic.
Prior to joining Queen Mary University, Frances was working at the independent criminal bar. She practiced from 15 New Bridge Street Chambers, where she remains an associate tenant. Her work included conducting criminal and quasi criminal cases – mainly funded through legal aid. Frances also has extensive experience of representing those who have been arrested at the police station.
Frances has experience of prosecuting and defending in high profile matters such as the LIBOR prosecutions conducted by the Serious Fraud Office and the trial of Asil Nadir in relation to Polly Peck. Her experience spans criminal law, procedures, evidence and disclosure. While in practice she regularly appeared at the Crown Court, Court of Appeal, High Court and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Most notably Frances represented Terrance Calix in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in his 2013 appeal for damages for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.
Throughout her career Frances has worked on social justice cases, human rights issues and pro bono matters. She remains, as she has always been, committed to the provision of legal services for those who cannot afford to pay for representation.
Frances is a fellow of the Higher Education Authority (FHEA) and a trustee for the Clinical Legal Education Organisation.
Frances is the course convenor for the undergraduate optional modules; LAW6156: The Practice of Law in a Clinical Environment, and Law6462: Street Law.
- "Immigration University Clinics and regulation: a working case study", Frances Ridout, Deirdre Gilchrist, Jeremy Dunn, The International Journal of Clinical Legal Education Vol 25, No 3 (2018) 135-149
- "Review of StreetLaw: Democracy for all – Learners Manual”, The International Journal of Public Legal Education Vol 2 No. 1 (2018).
- 'Victims of revenge porn turn to students for legal advice', The Guardian
- The Family Law Week
- UK StreetLaw Best Practice Conference; September 2016; “Undertaking StreetLaw in Schools – SPITE for Schools.”
- Regulation Matter; “Taking Pride in Modern Legal Services”; July 2017
- Public Policy Exchange Conference; March 2017; “Revenge Pornography, two years on: Building Partnerships and Addressing Gaps in the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015.”
- Sex Rights and Pleasure Lab Conference; Institute of Development Studies; January 2017; “Digital Sexual Violence”.
- Frances remains a door tenant at 15 New Bridge Street chambers. Whilst in post she retains her link with the profession and regularly appears in court conducting criminal cases. She also regularly attends the police station representing those who require a ‘duty solicitor’.
- Global Day of Action for Climate Justice
6 December 2019
- School of Law wins prestigious pro bono award
2 May 2019
- Queen Mary School of Law recognised for its public engagement successes
8 March 2019
- LAC Director Frances Ridout gives lecture on issues with revenge porn legislation in UK
12 November 2018
- Does the Proposed Bill Provide do Justice for Upskirting?
20 August 2018
- The need for upskirting legislation and how other laws fall short
18 July 2018
- Frances Ridout speaks to Wired about Facebook trial to tackle online revenge porn
9 November 2017
- LAC's Frances Ridout speaks to Regulation Matters on how pro bono can benefit all
5 September 2017