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Holly Mieville-Hawkins

Mental capacity solicitor wins top law prize

A mental capacity law specialist has been named the winner of a prestigious prize awarded to exceptional solicitors who have recently completed their training contracts.

Holly Miéville-Hawkins, a solicitor in the private client team at Swindon and Marlborough-based law firm Withy King, has been named the winner of the Cook’s and Hatchard’s Law Prize 2013 for her outstanding achievements in her professional exams and throughout her training.

“I have always been hugely interested in mental health and the degree to which people that experience mental health issues are supported within society,” explained Holly.

“Mental capacity issues could affect any one of us, whatever our age. It can be a very daunting time for those who are affected and their loved ones.

“When working in this complex and highly sensitive area, it’s crucial to treat every case individually and give everyone the tailored guidance and support they need to help them through what can be a very challenging period in their lives.

“Being originally from Devon, winning this award means a lot to me and I am honoured to have been selected for it. It has been a very long, hard, road to get to where I am and the award has spurred me forwards and is recognition of the excellent firms that exist and work that is being done in the region.”

Holly is experienced at making and defending applications in the Court of Protection. These include complex property and affairs deputyship applications, both for children who have suffered brain injury and for adults who have lost or are losing mental capacity.

Holly is also able to give detailed advice on and make statutory will applications, and has spoken at a national conference on this subject.

Lasting Powers of Attorney are an area of particular interest for Holly and she regularly advises on and drafts Lasting Powers of Attorney in complex family situations.

Recently, Holly has been working closely with the Office of the Public Guardian in their national launch of the digital Lasting Power of Attorney scheme. 

Holly will be presented with her award at the Devon and Somerset Law Society’s annual dinner in Taunton on November 8. 

She is the second newly-qualified solicitor at Withy King to have received the prize – the first having been awarded in 2010 to Fiona Hooper, who specialises in wills and probate at the firm.