Frances Beddow


Frances acts for large international corporates on complex commercial disputes, including in the context of acquisitions, joint venture agreements and private equity investments. 

She has advised clients in a range of sectors (including private capital, financial services, transportation and retail). She also has experience advising financial institutions on cross-border contractual disputes and international sanctions issues.

Frances also represents individuals, corporates and professional bodies across a range of high-profile public and administrative law matters. These include high-value public procurement challenges, judicial reviews before the UK Administrative Court, and appeals to the Court of Appeal.

Frances has a strong pro bono practice and a particular interest in supporting refugees, asylum seekers and victims of trafficking. She regularly advises international NGOs and charities on strategic litigation. In 2023, she was one of six shortlisted nominees for the Junior Lawyer award at the LawWorks Pro Bono Awards.


Representative matters

Representing TP ICAP Finance plc as claimant in several substantial breach of warranty claims in the English High Court against NEX Group Limited in to Tullett Prebon’s £1.3 billion acquisiton of the ICAP voice broking business.

Representing Hitachi Rail Limited and Alstom Engineering and Service Limited (an unincorporated joint venture), who won an approx. £2 billion contract to build and maintain the trains for the HS2 high-speed railway line, in 9 separate claims brought by Siemens Mobility Limited challenging HS2’s conduct of the procurement, including the decision to award the contract to the joint venture. Trial in relation to 8 of the claims took place and Siemens’ claims were dismissed in their entirety, and its 9th claim was struck out.

Advising a private equity client on the settlement of a potential dispute in the context of a contemplated M&A transaction in the UK private infrastructure sector.

Advising an international investment bank on the contractual implications under English law of the introduction of Russian sanctions in the context of notes potentially held by a sanctioned Russian entity.




Pro bono

Representing the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in an intervention before the Court of Appeal to challenge the lawfulness of the UK government’s policy of removing asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Representing the family of Harry Dunn, a 19-year-old killed in a road traffic collision with an American driving on the wrong side of the road, in a judicial review appeal and inquest proceedings.

A&O co-lead on a project with Refugee Legal Support, Coram Children’s Legal Centre and seven other law firms supporting refugees and asylum seekers to apply for family reunion in the UK.

Assisting clients with research and advice on human rights issues, including advising a legal NGO client on the UK’s extra-territorial jurisdiction for international criminal offences and human rights abuses.

Three two-week secondments (November 2020, July 2022 and October 2023) to European Lawyers in Lesvos to assist clients preparing for their asylum interviews in Greece.


  • Best Contribution by a Junior Lawyer (shortlisted), LawWorksPro Bono Awards, 2023
  • Pro Bono Initiative of the Year (commended), The Lawyer Awards, 2022



Solicitor, England and Wales, 2021


LLM, Commercial Legal Practice, BPP University, 2019

Graduate Diploma in Law, BPP University, 2018

BA (Hons), History and English, University of Oxford, 2015

A&O Shearman was formed on May 1, 2024 by the combination of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Allen & Overy LLP and their respective affiliates (the legacy firms). Any matters referred to above may include matters undertaken by one or more of the legacy firms rather than A&O Shearman.