Holly Coates

Holly’s busy court and advisory practice has become well-established since she joined Chambers in 2009, and now specialises in family finance and property matters. Holly has considerable experience in dealing with issues arising from the breakdown of family relationships, including finances, children, trusts of land and housing.  She frequently deals with financial cases involving companies, foreign assets and pensions.

Holly regularly deals with cases involving children, including removal from the jurisdiction, complex domestic violence cases and intractable hostility. She is building a reputation for dealing with these highly emotional matters and the people involved with sensitivity and tact, and her ability to explain complex legal issues to people unfamiliar with legal terms, and in stressful predicaments, is highly valued.

She is trained to deal with family matters on a collaborative basis, using round-table meetings to assist clients to reach their own solution to financial or children issues.

Holly is especially interested in cases involving human rights and access to justice, and has often used her spare time helping the local community through volunteering as a legal adviser for the Kent Law Clinic and Citizens Advice Bureau.

Holly’s practice also deals with housing law, property disputes, and personal injury claims.

Holly is recommended in Chambers and Partners 2015 and 2016.

“Focuses on local government matters. She has considerable experience in acting both for and against local authorities. Recent work: Appeared in Canterbury v Moys, a local authority possession proceeding relating to a tenant’s alleged antisocial behaviour.” Chambers and Partners 2016

“Holly acts both for and against local authorities on a range of issues, including social housing, personal injury and employment disputes. Expertise: “She is knowledgeable and pleasant, deals well with clients, and is able to explain complex legal issues to a client in non-legal terms.” Chambers and Partners 2015.

Divorce & Matrimonial Finance

Holly is regularly instructed to deal with financial provision cases following divorce, at FDR hearing and trial. Her particular experience in this area includes dealing with business assets and international property, and the consideration of pension actuary reports. Holly has appeared in cases involving assets which are outside of the jurisdiction, including properties in Spain and the sale of properties and a business in New Zealand. These cases involved issues of valuation, the applicable rate of tax upon sale and enforcement.

She is also experienced in Schedule 1 Children Act 1989 applications; making provision for children by way of property transfer, payment of a lump sum or periodical payments.

Holly Coates' Divorce & Matrimonial Finance Cases

Improving on a non-binding agreement

Holly represented a Wife in financial proceedings brought over a decade after the parties’ separation. The Husband alleged that they had reached an agreement at separation which gave Holly’s client half of the then marital assets in the form of £20,000 of endowment policies, while he kept the family home and took on the marital Continue reading

Ongoing financial support beyond retirement

Holly acted for a Wife in financial proceedings following a long marriage. The couple had already agreed the sale and division of the family home, and an actuary’s report had been obtained containing guidance on how to equalise their pension incomes. Both were near to retirement age, and the outstanding issues were what ongoing financial Continue reading

Articles by Holly Coates

“The elephant trap of premature remarriage”: the dangers of ignoring section 28(3) of the MCA 1973

Many of us will have experience of section 28 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (‘MCA 1973’). Regular reference is made to section 28(1A) which allows the court to prohibit any application under section 31 to extend the term of a periodical payments order. We all regularly use section 28(1), which provides that the remarriage Continue reading

Duties towards litigants-in-person: a timely reminder

Peter Jackson J has used a recent case to remind practitioners of the need to adapt normal working practices when dealing with a litigant-in-person. The case, reported as Re B (Litigant in Person: Timely Service of Documents) [2016] EWHC 2365 (Fam), involved the alleged abduction of a child.  The father was represented, the mother was Continue reading

Myth-busting the collaborative process

In my view there are many reasons why we lawyers should be getting serious about the collaborative process. The first is the over-stretched, over-burdened and under-resourced Court Service, which means that clients have to wait longer than ever for the resolution of their case.  The second is the ever-more-limited resources of clients, and the difficulty Continue reading

Holly Coates' Testimonials for Divorce & Matrimonial Finance

Thank you, that was another good result. It’s evident that it comes down to the amount of preparation you clearly do.

The client is very happy.

Ms P from Solicitors instructing Holly Coates – April 16

Children - Private Law (CAP)

Holly has considerable experience of a wide range of cases involving children, at first instance and on appeal. She regularly acts for parents, grandparents and children in proceedings dealing with all aspects of the exercise of parental responsibility.

Holly has particular experience in dealing with cases involving an international element, including removal from the jurisdiction to the USA and Romania, applications for Mirror Orders and Hague Convention proceedings in the High Court.

She often deals with complex cases involving parents with mental health difficulties and serious domestic violence, where she has a reputation for dealing sensitively with her clients’ issues.

Holly Coates' Children - Private Law (CAP) Cases

Agreeing shared care arrangement

Holly represented a mother who was seeking the reinstatement of a shared care arrangement for the parties’ child. The arrangement had ceased due to the mother experiencing a breakdown in her mental health and the child had therefore spent some months in the sole care of the father. The father now sought that the child Continue reading

Supporting a vulnerable mother in court

Holly represented a mother in the father’s application for contact with the parties’ two children. The father had not seen the eldest child for some years and had never met the youngest.  The mother objected to contact on the basis that the father had subjected her to severe domestic violence during the relationship. The matter Continue reading

Articles by Holly Coates

Duties towards litigants-in-person: a timely reminder

Peter Jackson J has used a recent case to remind practitioners of the need to adapt normal working practices when dealing with a litigant-in-person. The case, reported as Re B (Litigant in Person: Timely Service of Documents) [2016] EWHC 2365 (Fam), involved the alleged abduction of a child.  The father was represented, the mother was Continue reading

Myth-busting the collaborative process

In my view there are many reasons why we lawyers should be getting serious about the collaborative process. The first is the over-stretched, over-burdened and under-resourced Court Service, which means that clients have to wait longer than ever for the resolution of their case.  The second is the ever-more-limited resources of clients, and the difficulty Continue reading

3 things collaborative law training taught me

A few weeks ago I attended the Resolution training on collaborative law.  For those not acquainted with the concept, collaborative practice looks for a client-led solution to family disputes, with both sides being represented and agreeing their own arrangements at a series of four-way meetings.  The lawyers and parties sign a commitment to work collaboratively, Continue reading

Holly Coates' Testimonials for Children - Private Law (CAP)

“…Brilliant news – well done and thank you for all your help. I bet the client is over the moon…”

Mr S from Solicitors instructing Holly Coates – September 17

 “Thanks again for all of Holly’s help, you both made a huge difference and you definitely helped to relieve some of the pressure and  anxiety ……”

 

Mr S Instructing Holly Coates through Solicitors – February 17

Collaborative Law

Holly is trained to use a collaborative process to resolve family issues including finances, trusts of land and arrangements for children.  This involves a series of meetings between the former couple and their lawyers in which the focus is on creating a bespoke agreement for the family.   At the end of the process the agreement is signed and, if necessary, the lawyers will arrange for it to be recorded in a court order.  The process works particularly well for those who wish to retain communication with their former partner perhaps for the sake of the children, and to avoid the adversarial court process.

Articles by Holly Coates

3 things collaborative law training taught me

A few weeks ago I attended the Resolution training on collaborative law.  For those not acquainted with the concept, collaborative practice looks for a client-led solution to family disputes, with both sides being represented and agreeing their own arrangements at a series of four-way meetings.  The lawyers and parties sign a commitment to work collaboratively, Continue reading

Civil Partnership & Cohabitation Dispute

 

Holly is sought after for her experience in advising upon and drafting pleadings in cohabitation disputes, as well as her skill in representing her clients at trial. This includes proceedings where there are concurrent TOLATA and Schedule 1 applications.

She regularly advises clients from a pre-proceedings stage through to trial.  She deals with cases involving disputes over the ownership of property whether between a couple, family members or in a more commercial context.  She has experience of dealing with sole and joint name ownership, and claims involving undue influence, rectification of title and the legitimacy of gifts.

She is highly regarded for her sympathetic representation of vulnerable clients and her attention to detail. She has trained other lawyers in this area of law.

Holly Coates' Civil Partnership & Cohabitation Dispute Cases

Protecting a property owner’s interests

Holly acted for a property owner in a case in which his late daughter’s partner was claiming a share of a property. The owner had allowed his daughter and her family to live in the property for over 20 years, and the claimant lived there by virtue of his relationship with the daughter. The claimant Continue reading

Articles by Holly Coates

3 things collaborative law training taught me

A few weeks ago I attended the Resolution training on collaborative law.  For those not acquainted with the concept, collaborative practice looks for a client-led solution to family disputes, with both sides being represented and agreeing their own arrangements at a series of four-way meetings.  The lawyers and parties sign a commitment to work collaboratively, Continue reading

Holly Coates' Testimonials for Civil Partnership & Cohabitation Dispute

I wish to thank you for an excellent outcome at yesterday’s Multi-track TOLATA case, my client was delighted with the outcome. Your very thorough preparation was clearly evident in your excellent Skeleton Argument.

Well done and I look forward to working again with you in the future.

Mr G from Solicitors instructing Holly Coates – April 16