After being called in 1991, Sheila began practicing in family law in 1993 and has built up a diverse practice, accepting instructions in public and private law, divorce and ancillary relief proceedings, and injunctive relief. She is approachable and compassionate, and recognises that her clients are at their most vulnerable and emotional when they come to see her.
Sheila will always advise her clients on the strengths and weaknesses of their case to ensure they have a realistic assessment of the possible outcome. As a trained mediator she is well placed to help achieve a negotiated settlement rather than have one imposed by the courts, but where settlement is not possible she is more than capable of robustly representing her clients in court.
Due to her own cultural background, she is aware of the particular difficulties experienced by clients from certain ethnic backgrounds, resulting from the cultural/religious and family implications of divorce/separation, and of the additional stresses this places upon them.
In her public law work Sheila has acted for local authorities, parents and children’s guardians, and she is specifically instructed on matters where there is a criminal element involved, or subsequent care proceedings following criminal proceedings. Her experience includes cases involving applications to remove children, adoption and special guardianship. Sheila has experience of dealing with cases via video link, including the evidence of children. Sheila has represented clients who have mental health/educational or physical challenges, for example schizophrenia, personality disorders, depression and self-harm.
Sheila has extensive knowledge of cases involving allegations of domestic violence and sexual abuse, an area where her knowledge of the criminal system and advocacy in criminal courts is invaluable. She also has experience of representing same sex couples, where she has successfully obtaining residence of the children, persuading courts to depart from the recommendations of CAFCASS and obtaining leave for her clients to remove their children permanently out of the jurisdiction in order to start new lives, and dealing with cases where children have been removed to other countries without the court’s permission.
Sheila is very conscious that divorce is a particularly stressful time and the financial implications can be as emotive as matters involving children. She can help all clients, whether they are high net worth or there is not quite enough money to re-house both parties. Her experience includes maintenance pending suit applications, variations of periodical payment orders post-divorce, and parties who have cohabited under TOLATA applications.
She has also dealt with cases involving Inheritance Act applications following the demise of a spouse.
Sheila has extensive experience of being instructed by members of the public under the Public Direct Access Scheme (with or without intermediaries). Fees can be negotiated depending on the complexity of the case, on either an hourly rate or set fee basis. Out of hours telephone conferences can be arranged too.
Sheila also has a complimentary civil practice including Personal Injury matters, RTA liability and Quantum disputes, and Credit Hire hearings. She is happy to undertake drafting and advisory work in all of the aforementioned areas.
“I wanted to pass my thanks on to both yourself and Sheila. Your administration of my case coupled with the excellent advice and representation I had in court resulted in exactly the appropriate action being taken. I have had the opportunity to recommend Queens Square Chambers and particularly Sheila and yourself to two friends who are unfortunately needing legal services and will continue to do so in the future if needed…” (Mr T. E. March 2017)
Cooper -v- DPP  All E R D 525
LL.B (Hons) Law: Staffordshire University
Accredited Mediator (2005),
Qualified to accept Direct Public Access Instructions (2010)
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