Specialising in family law, I work to resolve financial disputes arising from separation and divorce. I commonly deal with cases involving significant property, business and pension assets.
I'm experienced in children matters, generally involving parents, and also represent wider family members. I've worked on a number of cases where the child has been separately represented due to complicated factors.
I represent clients in often-complex cases, and I'm used to collaborating with colleagues who specialise in other areas of the law, whether this is property, business, personal injury, or any other matter. This makes sure that all issues are addressed.
As a member of a specialist team, I deal with pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and living together/cohabitation agreements where people aren't married. I also cover rare aspects of family law, such as nullity and declaration of parentage proceedings.
What inspired you to get into law?
When I was 16, I thought I wanted to be an architect. I arranged work experience with an architectural practice but it fell through at the last minute. A family solicitor friend of my mum’s suggested I do work experience with her instead. I was hooked from day one. I knew I'd found what I was going to be, and from that point onwards all I ever wanted to be was a family lawyer. It's hard to describe, but it's as if it was destined to be.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
One of the most rewarding things is seeing a client relax when they realise that they don't have to deal with their situation alone as they now have me on their side. Taking some of the stress out of what's very often a very difficult time for people is very rewarding. I pride myself on the relationships I build, and I stay in contact with many following the conclusion of their case.
What do you like most about working at Irwin Mitchell?
Working at Irwin Mitchell is like being part of a large family. The team I work with is fantastic, and the support received and offered both personally and to our clients is second to none.
What do you do away from the office?
I'm a working mum, so time away from the office is often spent with my son. I love walking, and can often be seen being pulled around the woods or countryside by my lurcher Dotty. I love baking (my salted caramel brownies are a particular favourite!) and cooking. I enjoy spending time in my garden pottering around trying to keep on top of everything, and love visiting the New Forest and Cornwall when I get the chance.
"My respect has to be earned and I have it for you because your experience and understanding of the process and likely outcome is apparent. If find you to be totally reliable… you work with professionalism all the time… so no advice/nuance of the case is missed." – Client
"We would have no hesitation in recommending Melanie Hadwin. She is quite simply superb. Throughout the process of our very acrimonious divorces, Mel has remained highly professional, completely knowledgeable, fully reassuring and absolutely determines and committed to achieving a conclusion.
"Mel has the ability to shoulder your worries and remove the negative emotions from the complicated and often protracted process of divorce. She has always left us with a sense of complete security and faith in her abilities to deal effectively with any issues, openly, honestly and fairly,with the utmost professionalism and integrity. Mel is someone who makes you feel you have someone on your side, fighting your corner, someone who is always a few steps ahead of the process and fully prepared for anything that may occur." – James Terry and Michelle Harding, Managing Director and HR Manager at PCT
"There are no adequate words to express my thoughts on all you have helped me through and to achieve in the last few months. You have been an absolute rock, letting me vent when needed and bringing me down to earth when I got ahead of myself. Thank you for your patience and professionalism throughout what has been a really horrible year." – Client
"I received an excellent service from Melanie. She was friendly, approachable and I felt fully supported during what was a very difficult time for me. I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone who found themselves in my position." - 5* Trustpilot review
"I found Melanie to be knowledgeable and extremely efficient, while her communication was clear and concise. She continued to manage my expectations on outcomes and timelines throughout the proceedings despite us being in the unprecedented times of a national lockdown.
Melanie helped me through the process of facing all sorts of unusual challenges. She also ensured my case progressed promptly which enabled me to move onto the next stage of my life. I would definitely recommend Melanie to others." - 5* Trustpilot review