Since admission to the Faculty in June 1985, Frances has practised almost exclusively in criminal law.
In addition to her work as defence counsel, mostly in the High Court, her highly regarded experience has led, over the years, to a number of appointments. Since 1991, she has been a visiting lecturer at The Scottish Police College. She was a Temporary Sheriff from 1991 until her appointment as an Advocate Depute in 1997. From then until 2000, she prosecuted High Court trials and represented the Crown in the Appeal Court. Thereafter she returned to establish a very busy practise in the High Court as Senior Counsel for the defence, having taken silk in 1998. In 2009 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Strathclyde University. In 2010 she was appointed to be a member of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission until 2018. In 2014, Lord Bonomy invited her to be one of his expert group to assist with his Post Corroboration Review, published in April 2015 and she receives many invitations to lecture on various aspects of criminal law and practise. She is the senior woman practising at the Scottish Bar.