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Francis Svilans graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1976, and qualified as a legal practitioner in 1977.
He practised extensively as a Barrister & Solicitor in Darwin, Brisbane and Adelaide, where he is also a Notary Public.
He also worked for a number of years in the Australian civil service.
In 2002 he obtained a Master of Inernational and European Law degree from the Riga Graduate School of Law.
From 2007 until 2017 Francis Svilans worked as an official of the European Commission in the Justice and Consumers Directorate-General.