Our founder, Marilyn Stowe
Marilyn Stowe, founded Stowe Family Law LLP in 1982 and led the firm from a team of divorce solicitors in Leeds to becoming the UK’s largest specialist family law firm. She sold her interest in the firm and retired in 2017.
As Senior Partner, Marilyn built a remarkable team of family lawyers across the country. With 30 years of experience handling thousands of divorce cases and family law proceedings with clients in the UK Europe, the Far East and the USA, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers and family law media figures.
“She is regarded as one of the most formidable and sought-after divorce lawyers in the UK.” – The Times
“Marilyn Stowe has built the successful practice and wins excellent results for clients.” – Chambers Leading Lawyers
“A high profile divorce practitioner renowned for the energy she expends on behalf of clients.” –Legal 500
“A legal force of nature” – The Daily Telegraph
Highly specialised in conducting investigations in cases with substantial assets in dispute, Marilyn uncovered attempts to disguise wealth and hide assets, ensuring everything was taken into consideration in reaching a settlement.
In 1998, Marilyn Stowe was appointed by the Law Society as the first Chief Assessor and Chief Examiner of its Family Law Panel. She was also appointed Chief Assessor and Chief Examiner of the Advanced Tier of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel in 2001.
Marilyn was among the first 35 solicitors, barristers and ex-judges to qualify as a family law arbitrator in February 2012. The family law arbitration scheme operates in England and Wales and was developed by the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA). As a result she is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb).
In 2012 Marilyn became a member of the Legal Advisory Group to the Law Commission regarding matrimonial property. This follows her role working in a similar capacity during the review of the rights of cohabiting couples in 2007.
Marilyn Stowe is also a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers: a worldwide association of practicing lawyers who are recognised by their peers as the most expert and experienced family lawyers of their respective countries. Membership is by invitation only.
Marilyn Stowe was an avid blogger and set up her family law and divorce blog, which explores the intersection of family law and family life. The Marilyn Stowe blog won Blog of the Year, 2010 in the UK Blawggies and has been named as one of the UK’s top law blogs by The Times.
In 2013 Marilyn Stowe published her book: Divorce & Splitting Up: Advice From a Top Divorce Lawyer. A second edition followed in 2015 which is available on Kindle from Amazon UK – and is the site’s bestselling guide to divorce.
Marilyn Stowe was also known for her live ‘Divorce Clinic’ on ITV’s popular show This Morning. She has also regularly been invited to contribute her insights to national television and radio programmes including Woman’s Hour, The Today Programme, BBC News and ITV Tonight. Producers of Coronation Street and The Archers have sought Marilyn Stowe’s advice on complex, family law-related storylines. In 2011 she was invited to address the Oxford Union.
In the Legal 500 rankings, Marilyn is described as a “first-class” family lawyer.
Career Highlight: Volunteering her help on a pro bono basis, because she felt that something was wrong, Marilyn Stowe unearthed previously undisclosed medical evidence in the case of Sally Clark, the mother wrongly jailed for life for the murders of her two infant sons. The new evidence led to a second appeal, at which Sally Clark’s convictions were overturned.
Marilyn Stowe’s involvement in the Sally Clark case is detailed in a 2005 interview in the Guardian.
“Marilyn could not have been kinder: she was understanding, down to earth and practical…She anticipated every move he made, and helped me more than she will ever know.” (See: Getting Divorced – A Client’s Tale.)
“Many thanks to Marilyn and her colleague Sarah Barr-Young for their help and guidance to my son who had been trying to get his name off a joint mortgage since 2009. Court orders had specified that his ex. should use her best efforts to release him from the mortgage. My son followed Sarah’s advice and was pleased to learn recently that his ex. had remortgaged, duly releasing him from any obligation to the lenders. Job done! Many thanks for the expert advice from Stowe Family Law.”