60-second interview with Holly Mieville-Hawkins

Holly Mieville-Hawkins, 15/7/2019

Holly Mieville-Hawkins TEP is Senior Associate Solicitor at Enable Law, Bristol.

What does your firm or organisation do?

Enable Law is a specialist mental capacity, personal injury and clinical negligence law firm, and a sister organisation to Foot Anstey LLP. Geographically we are based in the south west of England, but we have clients all over England, Wales and further afield.

What has STEP done for you, individually, or as a business?

The STEP Diploma in Trusts and Estates was the hardest, but most worthwhile, professional course I have ever done. It gave me confidence and knowledge that I was previously lacking, and made me a far more rounded individual. Additionally, STEP is a powerful and respected professional body that represents professionals at policy level, and has provided me with excellent specialised training by way of the Mental Capacity Special Interest Group (SIG).

What is the most important thing STEP does, in your opinion?

I would say STEP provides a benchmark qualification for the private client sector.

You will be speaking at the UK Tax, Trusts & Estates Conference 2019 this autumn. What will you be speaking on and what are the main issues?

I will be speaking about vulnerable clients, both those with and without mental capacity issues, and providing practitioners with information about tax, trusts and Court of Protection law and practice.

What do you most like about your job?

No two days are ever the same! One day I can be rehoming a cat, and the next I might be meeting the Public Guardian about proposed changes to national policy.

.. and what do you feel is most worthwhile?

When you work in mental capacity law, everything you do has a direct effect on the life of another person, and each decision must be very carefully considered. This is what makes my job feel so worthwhile.

What would you say to a young person thinking of a career in this industry?

Am I not a young person?! I would say that you need to truly love people, and be able to embrace people from all walks of life and at all stages of life. If you can do this, whilst being able to detach yourself sufficiently to be able to make clear decisions based on the law, then there is no better job in the world.

Which sectors are likely to see the strongest future growth, do you think?

I would say elder and environmental law.

What about jurisdictions?

In my view, China.

What trends do you see in the global private wealth sector at the moment?

I envisage an increasing reliance on fully or semi-automated services for things like wills, trusts and LPAs. While this might have a democratising effect on the industry, it brings huge risks and challenges, particularly for vulnerable people.

What do you feel are the main challenges facing your organisation at the moment, and how will you deal with them?

I would say that the perception of value within legal advice is eroding. This means we need to work harder to show the level of expertise that we have, and add value to our clients, beyond that which can be found by a quick Google search.

Which social media channels do you use?

I’m on LinkedIn and Twitter (@legal_capacity). 

Holly Mieville-Hawkins TEP is a Senior Associate Solicitor at Enable Law, specialising in mental capacity law. She deals with statutory wills, litigation, attorneyship and deputyship matters in the Court of Protection, and regularly acts where there are concerns of abuse. Holly is a member of STEP’s Mental Capacity SIG.