Holly Coates

My busy court and advisory practice has been established since 2009, specialising in family finance and property matters. I have considerable experience in dealing with cases involving children, including where one parent seeks to remove the child (or disagrees with their removal) from the jurisdiction, complex domestic violence cases and intractable hostility. I have a growing reputation for dealing with people involved in these highly emotional matters with sensitivity and tact, and my clients, many of whom are dealing with highly stressful circumstances, appreciate my ability to explain complex legal issues, especially where they are unfamiliar with legal terms.

I have acted in a number of cases involving preservation of assets, and am regularly instructed by the Home Office in confiscation and forfeiture matters.

I am especially interested in cases involving human rights issues and access to justice, and in my spare time have volunteered, helping the local community as a legal adviser for the Kent Law Clinic and Citizens Advice Bureau.

My practice also deals with employment and housing law, property disputes, personal injury and negligence 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 and Matrimonial Finance

I am regularly instructed by clients to deal with their financial provision cases following divorce, at FDR hearing and trial. I have particular experience in dealing with cases involving business assets and international property, and agreeing shares of pensions; and have dealt with cases involving assets overseas, including properties in Europe and the sale of properties and a business in New Zealand.

These cases involve issues of valuation, the applicable rate of tax upon sale and enforcement. I aim to negotiate settlements where possible, and my cases have involved protecting pre-marriage assets, ensuring that businesses run from a matrimonial property are able to continue trading, and complex issues where the sale of the home involved negotiation due to the interests of a property developer.

I am experienced in resolving cases which require making provision for children through property transfer, payment of a lump sum or periodical payments.

Holly Coates' Divorce and Matrimonial Finance Cases

Holly Coates' Testimonials for Divorce and Matrimonial Finance

The Collaborative Process

I am trained to work with couples through a collaborative process, in which both are represented and agree to seek a settlement at a series of round-table meetings. This works particularly well where a couple wishes to resolve their issues without going through the court process, but where they need the support and reassurance of each having a lawyer to assist them. At the end of the process a binding court order can be obtained by the lawyers to cement the agreement reached.

Holly Coates' The Collaborative Process Cases

Lifting a freezing injunction

Holly represented a husband, in proceedings in which the family funds were to be divided following divorce. However, without recourse to his wife, Holly’s client had already sold the family home and distributed the sale proceeds amongst his family. The wife obtained a freezing injunction, which prevented him from using his bank accounts or dealing Continue reading

Private Law (Child Arrangements Programme)

I have considerable experience of a wide range of cases involving children at every stage of the court process, and regularly act for parents, grandparents and children dealing with all aspects of parental responsibility. I have acted for clients where hostility between the parents was a barrier to finding a resolution, and always aim to reach agreement that is in the child’s best long term interests. My cases have involved allegations of serious offences including sexual abuse and violence.

I have 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.

My cases often encompass complex issues involving parents with mental health difficulties and serious domestic violence, and I have a reputation for dealing sensitively with my clients’ issues. Whatever the circumstances, these cases are likely to be highly emotionally charged, and I aim to help you to manage difficult circumstances through sensitivity to your situation coupled with a practical, no-nonsense approach.

Holly Coates' Private Law (Child Arrangements Programme) Cases

Public Law Children

I can represent parents, grandparents and guardians at every stage of care cases, from pre-proceedings meetings, through contested interim hearings to fact-findings and final determinations. I have considerable experience of representing family members in public law (care) proceedings, taking a practical, objective and supportive stance. These cases frequently involve working with families where one or both of the parents struggle with mental health difficulties or learning disabilities and if this is the case I take particular care to ensure that my clients are supported at each hearing, through what is a very difficult time.

My experience also encompasses cases involving sexual abuse, non-accidental injuries, neglect and addictions.

Property and Land Law

In Land Law, my clients come to me particularly for my experience in advising on and drafting pleadings in cohabitation disputes, as well as for my skill in representing them at trial. This includes proceedings where there are concurrent TOLATA and Schedule 1 applications.

I have experience of applications before the Lands Tribunal as well as of injunctions to restrain nuisance and trespass.

I also act where there are disputes between lenders and borrowers, and have represented borrowers in applications for sale of property by mortgage companies.

I regularly act for either landlords or tenants in possession actions (usually where breaches of tenancy agreements are involved), and am particularly experienced in proceedings where serious anti-social behaviour has occurred. My cases in this area include a number of disrepair claims, (in which I have acted both for tenants and for landlords), and cases involving harassment and unlawful eviction.

I am particularly regarded for my ability to represent vulnerable tenants in a manner sympathetic to their needs, particularly where psychological and psychiatric conditions necessitate expert involvement. It is not unusual in these cases for someone involved (defendant tenants, for example) to begin the process without representation, and I have experience of needing to help ‘manage’ clients who are unfamiliar with the court system and who may initially find it daunting.

Holly Coates' Property and Land Law Cases

Successfully defending a claim for a share of a property

Holly’s client owned a property in which he had allowed his daughter and grandchildren to live rent-free for 20 years. The daughter’s partner, the Claimant, had lived there alongside the family. He had undertaken extensive works to the property, including the building of extensions, which had increased its value. The Defendant’s daughter had passed away, Continue reading

Disability discrimination claim rejected

Holly represented a Local Authority housing provider which was concerned about the anti-social behaviour of some of its tenants. She was asked to draft the claim, advise on issues of procedure and evidence, and attend hearings. The tenants were vulnerable and claimed that they had been discriminated against because they are disabled. This claim was Continue reading