Fran Cotton was born in New Zealand and spent an idyllic childhood never far from the beaches in Auckland.
Her secondary school years were spent in the country’s capital city, Wellington where she attended Marsden College. She then moved to a warmer climate and spent her tertiary years in Perth at the University of Western Australia. After graduating from law school, Fran decided it was clearly time to travel again, and spent the following year backpacking around Europe in true antipodean style.
On returning to Perth, the backpack was cast to one side and she joined a national law firm, where she worked as a commercial property lawyer by day, and went to as many gigs as possible by night. After five years in Perth it was clearly time to travel again, and Fran set off with two suitcases for London.
Once in London, Fran was fortunate to secure a job with Warner Music, the largest record company in the world at the time, where she worked as Business Affairs Manager for WEA Records, a division of Warners. Within six months the Director of Legal and Business Affairs had realised her own travel bug, and departed for the French ski slopes. Fran took over her job, working with artists signed to WEA (Enya, The Pretenders, The Pogues), ZTT (Seal, Shane McGowan), Blanco Y Negro (Catatonia, Jesus & Mary Chain, Dinosaur Junior) and the dance label Eternal (Gina G).
Eight years later, Universal Music, the largest record company in the world by then and to this day, approached Fran to work as Director of Legal and Business Affairs for Mercury Records, a division of Universal. Fran worked with the artists signed to Mercury (Metallica, Texas, Elton John, Mark Knopfler, Beautiful South, James, Def Leppard), Giles Petersen’s drum and bass label Talkin’ Loud, the dance label Manifesto (Café Del Mar series) and a very active back catalogue (INXS, Thin Lizzy, Bob Geldorf, Marc Almond, Plant & Page).
For 13 years Fran worked as a music lawyer for the international corporations by day, and attended gigs, launches, showcases, stadium shows, arena concerts and festivals for the remainder of the time, and the occasional art gallery. During that time she decided that she also wanted to manage artists, and managed a rock band (Vega4) for five years, whilst working at the labels.
Fran was able to represent clients from all aspects of the creative industries when she left Universal five years later, to set up her own legal practice F C Cotton & Co. She also managed one of Ireland’s legendary singer songwriters (the late Christie Hennessy) for five years, setting up RubyRed Management, RubyRed Records and RubyRed Publishing during that time.
After 17 years in England, three nationwide tours of Ireland, working for Universal Ireland and Warner Music Ireland whilst at the labels, and working closely with the Northern Irish charity Children In Crossfire, Fran decided it was finally time to base herself out of Ireland and moved to Belfast where she continued to run her legal practice.
Her clients included television personalities, actors, production companies, authors, singer songwriters, bands, dj’s, promoters, publishers, producers, managers and record labels. After an amazing three and a half years in Belfast, a total of twenty one years in the UK, Fran decided it was time to fly south to the warmer climes of Western Australia.
RubyRed Legal was launched in 2013 based on a foundation of international experience gained from the past two decades.