Maria-Luisa was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Western Australia on 2 March 1995 and of the High Court of Australia on 26 July 1995.
From 1995 to 2003, Maria-Luisa practiced as a barrister and solicitor, predominantly in commercial litigation. From 2003 to 2011 she practiced almost exclusively in the area of legal costs from the independent bar, as Head of Chambers at Sir Ronald Wilson Chambers. In 2011, Maria-Luisa established Coulson Legal.
Since 2003, she has been an accredited Grade 3 Arbitrator with the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia, and in 2011, she was appointed to the Law Society of Western Australia’s Panel of Mediators and Arbitrators as an Arbitrator.
Maria-Luisa has practiced almost exclusively in the area of legal costs since 2003, and has advised on and acted in hundreds of party/party and solicitor/client costs disputes in Western Australia, and has advised on or appeared as counsel in Western Australia on numerous contested costs applications, such as special costs applications, lump sum costs applications, applications for enlargements of time, and security for costs applications.
She has also have advised on and acted in a number of solicitor/client and party/party costs matters in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. Promoting alternative dispute resolution mechanisms is a priority for Maria-Luisa, and she has avoided the taxation process for countless costs disputes by utilising ADR, including acting as a neutral evaluator in expert costs determinations.
Maria-Luisa has also acted in the capacity as an expert, giving expert evidence in relation to costs in the Supreme Court of Western Australia, the Federal Court of Australia (WA Division), and the County Court of Victoria.
Maria-Luisa is a member of the Law Society of Western Australia’s Costs Committee. In her capacity as a member of the Costs Committee, she has regularly provided input into legislative changes and revisions of scales of costs in Western Australia. Maria-Luisa has also presented numerous seminars to the legal profession regarding costs issues in Western Australia, including on behalf of the Law Society of Western Australia as part of its Continuing Legal Education program; and has had papers published regarding legal costs.
Maria-Luisa is a member of the Law Society of Western Australia, of the Women Lawyers Association of WA (WLWA), and of the Anglo-Australasian Lawyers Society.
When not considering legal costs, Maria-Luisa enjoys zumba, boating, water sports and photography.