Following a mixed criminal and family pupillage and early practice, Shelly now specialises exclusively in family law.
Shelly represents local authorities, parents, children and other family members or interested parties in public and private children cases. She has extensive experience representing vulnerable clients, including those with mental health, cognitive or other difficulties requiring intermediary assistance.
Shelly is instructed in factually complex matters such as those involving allegations of non-accidental or inflicted injury and fabricated or induced illness. Shelly is meticulous in her preparation and a passionate, engaging advocate.
Shelly supports numerous initiatives striving to improve access to and diversity at the Bar. She is a patron of the Association of Women Barristers and ambassador for the association’s #IBelongToTheBar campaign. For many years she has participated in the 'Bar Mock Trial Competition' run by Young Citizens as well as the Bar Council’s 'Barristers in Schools' programme and ‘Bar Placement Week’. She mentors aspiring barristers for the Association of Women Barristers, Inner Temple and Bridging the Bar.
Shelly has provided training to the Metropolitan Police Service’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit and Domestic Abuse Unit on disclosure between the family and criminal courts and jurisdictions.
“Shelly is in my opinion an exceptional advocate - she has an eye for detail which is second-to-none and works well into the night if necessary. Her analysis of the issues in a case are completely focussed and sharp. A fighter for her client."
“Shelly is my go-to Barrister in complex Children Act proceedings or cases with a 'twist'. She is extremely bright, an utterly tenacious, articulate and persuasive advocate, with excellent client care skills."
Shelly’s commitment to medical research ethics occasioned her 15 years’ service as a lay member of various Research Ethics Service committees, culminating in her 5-year appointment as Vice Chair (later Acting Chair) for the London Harrow Committee.
Occasionally, she likes to walk ridiculous distances for money (Trailwalker in 2011, Thames Path Challenge in 2013 and Canterbury Trek in 2017) and every year she will pester you to sponsor, donate or join her on the night shift at the Women’s Centre for ‘Crisis at Christmas’. In her spare time, you'll find her baking, dancing, drumming, lifting heavy things, taking photos and eating!