Sheelagh is an experienced family solicitor, having worked at a senior level for over 15 years. She specialises in representing children and parents in care proceedings brought by the local authority where the children are considered to be at risk of harm.
Sheelagh deals with hearings in the Family court. She is a member of the Association of Lawyers for Children, an organisation committed to ensuring children’s voices are heard in proceedings concerning them.
She has been a member of the Law Society Children Panel for many years. This body recognises the expertise and experience of lawyers representing children. Sheelagh regularly acts on behalf of parents, children and increasingly, grandparents and other family members whose role in maintaining children within the family is becoming more important.
Sheelagh frequently acts as an advocate in court for her clients. She has been an active member of the local Family Justice Board for several years and continues in this role representing the interests of local Child Law solicitors when matters of local and national policy are debated.
She also represents step parents in adoption proceedings and works in the field of Special Guardianship Orders on behalf of those for whom adoption is not practical or appropriate.
Sheelagh also represents parents and children in court cases where local authorities are not involved but the family is unable to reach agreement about with whom the children should live or how often they should see the other parent.
Sheelagh Coles mainly advises child guardians on complex public law children matters. One source comments: "I find her to be very knowledgeable and up to date, and she has a good manner with families."
Chambers and Partners, 2019 | Band 3
Sheelagh Coles is highlighted for her child public law knowledge
Legal 500, 2018
Sheelagh Coles is well versed in collaborative law. A ‘very thorough, approachable and conscientious’ lawyer, she comes highly recommended for her expertise in both public and private children cases. Peers laud her as ‘insightful, very experienced and no mean advocate.’