Mary-Frances spent several years at Oxford University Department of Psychiatry, teaching psychology and researching anxiety in mainly elderly populations. She later studied law at Oxford University (New College), was subsequently called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2004 and is currently a non-practising member of Chambers in London.

She is Vice Convenor of Alzheimer Scotland Board of Trustees, Chair of their Human Rights and Public Policy Advisory Group and also sits on the Advisory Group to the University of Edinburgh Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre.

Her interest in issues surrounding adult capacity stemmed from over a decade of lived experience as a family carer for her parents who each suffered from Vascular Dementia.