Coulson is head of insolvency and business recovery at London-based commercial law firm Moon Beever and she becomes R3’s second female president.
The first female president was Patricia Godfrey in 2007 who is a partner at the law firm Nabarro.
Coulson said: “I am delighted to be taking over as president at a time when the profession is involved in debating the future make up of the industry.”
Coulson became a partner of Moon Beever in 1988 and her brief has grown to include insolvency, fraud and injunctions.
She added: “During my presidency I will be engaged with two ongoing consultations that will have implications for the profession for years to come: one on regulation and another on personal insolvency. I am keen to prevent not only unnecessary change, but also the unnecessary cost to creditors change can bring.”
Over the past two decades Coulson has seen a varied range of cases, including a bankrupt German fugitive who received cash glued to pages of a magazine and attempted to set up his own bank.
Coulson has been an active member of R3 for 15 years. Before this appointment she was chair of R3’s smaller practice group, which provides support and a debating forum for small to medium sized insolvency practices.