Hilary O’Keefe

Hilary O’Keefe


Year of Call: 2010


Hilary O’Keefe joined Octagon Legal in October 2016 following pupillage. Hilary completed pupillage under the supervision of Octagon Legal and Doughty Street Chambers through a pupillage scheme implemented by NP Law (Norfolk Public Law).

Hilary accepts instructions in the following specialisms;

Public Law


Hilary represents local authorities, parents and children in care and adoption proceedings involving neglect, alleged non-accidental injuries to children, domestic abuse, emotional and physical abuse, sexual abuse, substance misuse, mental health concerns and deprivation of liberty.


Hilary has experience of representing local authorities and family members in the Court of Protection and in matters regarding the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Special Educational Needs

Hilary appears in the First-Tier Tribunal in matters concerning the provision for special educational needs.

Private Law


Hilary represents parents and children in all applications under the Children Act 1989 including child arrangements orders, special guardianship orders, specific issue orders and the enforcement of orders.

Protective Orders

Hilary represents parties in applications for non-molestation and occupation orders under the Family Law Act 1996.


Prior to coming to the Bar Hilary worked for eight years in local government in Norfolk assessing the local authority’s statutory duties to the homeless in accordance with Part VII of the Housing Act 1996. During this time Hilary developed extensive experience of dealing with vulnerable people, many of whom had mental health issues, substance misuses issues, had fled domestic violence, or had left prison or local authority care. Hilary then worked for three years as a Legal Officer in local government providing advice and support to Adult Social Services on matters of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, proceedings in the Court of Protection and inquests, and gave advice to schools on education law. Hilary also undertook voluntary work as an Appropriate Adult in police custody protecting the rights of juveniles and detainees with learning difficulties and mental health issues.

Hilary therefore has considerable experience of dealing with people from all walks of life and understands the challenges faced by public bodies in meeting their statutory responsibilities.

Hilary has close connections to East Anglia having lived and worked in the region for the majority of her life.


Winner of the James Hunt Prize, Gray’s Inn, 2016

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Professional Qualifications

  • Graduate Diploma in Law - Commendation
  • Bar Vocational Course – Very Competent