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Stowe achieve excellent results in Legal 500 2023 rankings

It’s been another excellent year for Stowe in The Legal 500 UK 2023 rankings.

The Legal 500 rankings are a leading independent guide to the best lawyers and law firms across the UK.

The rankings reflect a detailed analysis of law firm submissions and thousands of interviews with GCs and private practice lawyers conducted by a team of experienced researchers.


Yorkshire maintained its tier 2 listing and was noted for the quality of the lawyers, diligence, and excellent client care:

‘Stowe Family Law is an exceptional firm of family solicitors which is synonymous with quality, thorough preparation, excellent client care and high professionalism. The quality of the partners and associates is consistent throughout the firm.’

“All interactions with Stowe Family law team members has been positive. There is an apparent culture of kindness, helpfulness and, importantly for me, straightforwardness.”

‘Throughout my dealings with Stowe Family Law I received nothing but the highest levels of service, a thorough and up to date knowledge of my complicated case, and excellent and understanding advice.’

Rachel Roberts and her team were nothing short of excellent in helping me through a difficult time. I was the ‘respondent’ in divorce proceedings. I was faced with a particularly adversarial approach by the ‘petitioner’. Rachel Roberts applied her intellect, experience, attention to detail, and wisdom to my case and was successful in achieving my desired outcome. She achieved this efficiently and with due consideration to costs. I would have no hesitation in recommending Rachel and her team to anyone navigating the divorce process. I am sincerely grateful. Thank you.”

Sarah Barr-Young, Rachel Roberts, Angela Sussens and Chris Birch are all are excellent in their field and able to deliver effective and realistic advice.’

‘Wide-range of knowledge and their depth of specialism is second to none. They have such a broad range of solicitors that any potential client can be matched to accordingly.’

Maria Coster maintains Next Generation Partner and Hall of Fame status.

Debbie Heald is listed as a key lawyer and is personally described as ‘very patient and kind throughout and consistently replied in a timely manner. She had expertise relevant to the case, and when appropriate she sought the advice of a barrister.’

Angela Sussens is recognised as a key lawyer receiving a personal mention: ‘My case was handled by Angela Sussens and I cannot recommend her highly enough. At all times she had a thorough and up to date understanding of the case and had immediate recall of all details throughout.’

Kate Sarsfield is also listed as a key lawyer.

And Senior Partner of the firm, Julian Hawkhead received a special mention: ‘I trust Julian and value his opinion and advice. I feel he has my best interests at heart, but at the same time, tells it how it is.’



Following recent expansion in the North, Stowe family Law’s North East team are listed as a Firm to Watch.

Sarah Crilly is listed as a Next Generation Partner



Birmingham maintained it’s tier 2 ranking and was noted for being:

‘A fresh team of experienced practitioners delivering solutions under the watchful eye of a dynamic head of department making the most of national resources and local knowledge.’

‘A big beast of a law firm. 5* Rated. 10/10. You know what you’re getting; a tenacity, commitment and an unwavering determination to do what is best for the client.’

‘The Stowe family law team in Birmingham does a great job for its clients, handling difficult cases with ease whilst also making the client feel valued and important.’

‘Stowe Family Law is a well known and highly regarded national family law firm. In my view the Birmingham office upholds the firm’s reputation for providing legal representation of the highest calibre‘.

‘The firm offers both financial remedy and children’s expertise, providing a seamless service for separating couples with children’.

With several special mentions for Rebecca Calden-Storr who is described as having a ‘deep legal knowledge which she uses to give clear and straightforward advice to difficult problems’.

‘Rebecca Calden-Storr is a force to be reckoned with! She puts her clients at ease, ensuring they receive the right advice at the right price for their circumstances, and supporting them throughout the process’.

‘Rebecca Calden-Storr is an exceptionally gifted lawyer. She is a class act. A grandee of family law. No one even comes close to how brilliant she is.’

‘Rebecca Calden Storr has impressed me as a meticulous and thorough practitioner who adopts a methodical and forensic approach to her cases. She is very good with handling (sometimes difficult) client’s expectations whilst always making them feel totally supported during one of the most stressful periods of their lives. She is sensible and always prepared to reach (and actively seeks to find) a fair out of court settlement when possible. If not, then she is more than capable of representing a client’s interests robustly in court‘.

Hannah Stubbs is listed as a key lawyer with a personal mention ‘Hannah Stubbs – has significant expertise in children’s, financial and trusts of land cases, covering all eventualities that may arise in a complex case. Her grounded and down to earth manner ensures client expectations are realistically managed throughout.’

Claire Cleary is also listed as a key lawyer receiving a personal mention: Claire Cleary provides specialist advice in complex and high net worth cases. Calm, focused and unflappable’.


North West

The North West team maintained its tier 3 listing and was recognised for its blend of professional and compassionate skills:

Stowe Family Law is a great team – absolutely professional, efficient, organised and reassuringly ‘present’ and responsive. Anticipating and facilitating. A wonderful blend of business-like organisation and compassionate people skills.’

‘One of the fastest-growing names in family law with a diverse range of talented individuals across the country.’

‘Top level investment in the firm and its people to ensure their growing team has enviable strength in depth across the spectrum of family law work.’

Gareth Curtis maintained ‘Next Generation Partner’’ and a personal mention:

‘Gareth Curtis: At all times he was articulate, patient, knowledgable, compassionate, reassuringly realistic, pragmatic and supportive. I have no hesitation in recommending him. It is no exaggeration to say that his application, diligence, resourcefulness and professionalism has changed my life. He helped achieve an incredibly positive outcome. He has a fine legal brain and is an exceptional human being.’

Helen Miller also received a personal mention:

‘Helen Miller is great to work with in order to achieve a fair resolution on financial matters. She is approachable, takes a sensible and pragmatic approach, but is certainly no pushover. She represents her clients well.’



The London team are recognised for their approachability, breadth of skill and diligence:

‘Each Stowe office has a great energy and drive to achieve the best for their clients. Their range and size can be a huge benefit due to being able to pull in people from other offices with niche interests/experience such as language skills, international experience etc.’.

‘I mostly receive instructions from Stowe in London. The team there, led by Phoebe Turner, is cohesive, warm and welcoming. They are diligent, communicative and responsive. The individual lawyers collaborate well with the barristers they instruct’.

‘The teams at Stowe Family Law are approachable, professional and have good relationships with top sets in London and other circuits. I only have excellent things to say about their teams, and would happily recommend (and actively do) Stowe to clients who ask for firms to instruct.’

‘The team is approachable, friendly and efficient. We have a candid relationship with the team members which is always appreciated when any tricky situations arise, that can happen in Family Law!’.

The London team were also noted as having ‘a good reputation and attracts some very good work, including some complex high-net-worth cases’.

Phoebe Turner was described as a ‘consummate professional’

Ciara Pugh is listed as a key lawyer and recognised for her efficiency and dedication: ‘Ciara Pugh is a complete joy to work with. Her briefs are concise and she has almost always gone above and beyond to get the full context for her clients. What is most enjoyable is just how efficient she is. There’s never anything too small and she accepts the limitations that inevitably come with some hearings. I have to do markedly less client expectation management because Ciara hasn’t promised them the moon on a stick, unlike many others of her level of experience’.

Phoebe Hill is also recognised with key lawyer status receiving a personal mention: ‘Phoebe Hill is excellent. She works with care and concern, guiding her clients through their most difficult times and making sure their interests are properly represented.

Alice Wightman is also listed as a key lawyer.



Essex maintained it’s Tier 3 ranking. The team were recognised as offering:

‘Stowe Family Law in Chelmsford offers a great out of London legal service. Stowe Chelmsford offers a first-class service, be it in matrimonial finance – including complex cases, private children disputes (with international or other complicating factors such as alleged domestic or substance abuse), and disputes involved cohabiting couples.’

‘Stowe are a specialist outfit, exclusively undertaking family law work, and I think that sets them apart in a big way. They also have presence across the country, which adds to their expertise, as they can bring an understanding beyond their local area.’

This is a small branch of the powerhouse that is Stowe and they are evidence that good things come in small packages. They are a tight-knit, friendly team who support each other and achieve great outcomes.’

‘I really enjoy working with the team at Stowe, and have done on a number of occasions. It feels like we work together as a team, which isn’t always the case. I have worked a lot with Sebastian Burrows and Lucy Birch, and would recommend them both. They are able to offer a strong level of expertise in a very approachable, client-friendly, way.’

Seb Burrows maintained Leading Individual status and received personal mentions:

‘Having trained as a barrister, Sebastian Burrows is able to conduct his own advocacy and does so very successfully and persuasively. Seb has built up a strong reputation in matrimonial finance matters, particularly when it comes to dividing pensions, litigating city bonuses and achieving top-class results in dividing property portfolios. His case analysis is clear and his instructions succinct and to the point. His natural affable charm is the icing on the cake of his considerable legal and practical knowledge. He is very able – a gifted litigator and strategist.’

‘Sebastian Burrows is clever and personable. He really knows his stuff and has the sort of tactical nous that allows him to secure results for clients with the minimum fuss and expense.’

Lucy Birch was listed as a key lawyer receiving a personal mention:

“Lucy Birch is one to watch. Incredible diligence and great instincts.’


Kent, Surrey, Sussex

Retaining its Tier 3 ranking, the team is recognised for its professionalism, expertise and empathy:

Stowe has a terrific market presence across the country – well resourced, clever lawyers, with a firm-wide brand for excellence and innovation.’

‘This specialist niche and diverse family firm is able to offer expertise and skills at any level throughout its numerous offices. Their openness and friendly demeanour allows them to offer a personal yet professional service.’

‘With a top firm like Stowe I expected a high level of expertise and professionalism as a given and the experience completely matched my expectations. Communication was good throughout across the whole Stowe team.’

Emma Newman received special mentions: ‘Emma Newman is terrific. Very experienced, organised and realistic, you can just tell how much her clients love her.’ Emma ‘has deep expertise in complex financial disputes’

Niamh McCarthy is listed as key lawyer and is described as being ‘a stand out practitioner’ who ‘delivers an excellent service to all levels of clients’.

While also being recognised for approach: ‘Niamh McCarthy was extremely professional and gave me a high level of confidence yet was very approachable. She was clear and pragmatic in laying out positions and options as well as being sensitive to dealing with my situation. I always had confidence she was on top of things and up to speed with my case.’


South West

Retaining its Tier 3 ranking, the South West team are recognised for their depth of knowledge and exceptional client care:

‘I find the team exceptional and so approachable. They are extremely friendly, personable, highly professional, and genuinely want the best for their clients.’

‘Stowe Family Law is one of relatively few true ‘household names’ in their area of practice, and understandably so. The team is vast and their collective experience almost unquantifiable.’

‘Their knowledge is second to none. They will always seek to find pragmatic solutions to the client’s problems. They know their cases inside out and are very thorough.’

‘Always ready and willing to provide an excellent and thorough service.’

‘The team is highly skilled and has a number of impressive individuals.’

‘After a very complicated and multi jurisdiction divorce that had been running for 3 years I switched to Stowe Family Law. I had an initial meeting with Jemma Slavin and was filled with confidence in her ability and knowledge immediately. Jemma was extremely thorough in bringing matters to a conclusion using all tools at her disposal. I was kept fully informed as well as being asked for my opinion on each course of action taken along the way. From my own experience I can only say that I would recommend both Jemma and Stowe Family Law in dealing with anything other than straightforward family law. Finally a huge thank you Jemma for expeditiously bringing matters to a successful conclusion.’

Louise Chipchase received a special mention:

‘Louise Chipchase is brilliant. She has a ‘no nonsense’ approach which clients and opponents alike both appreciate and respect. ‘

Rachel Fisher was recognised as a Key Lawyer and received a special mention:

‘Rachel Fisher is an impressive solicitor. She works incredibly hard for her clients, ensuring that she has thought of all avenues and provides sensible advice.’

Joanna Newton, Zoe Carter, Elizabeth Lacey, Georgina Nelson and Amy Langford were all noted as Key Lawyers.


Thames Valley – Reading

Reading maintained its Tier 3 position recognised for their strategic approach and ‘unrivalled’ expertise:

‘The Stowe team is a specialist family team and embraces a constructive and problem-solving strategy for the benefit of their clients.’

‘The team is exceptionally qualified, with unrivalled breadth and depth of expertise in all areas of family law. Their solicitors are experts and ensure that their client’s get the Rolls-Royce service.’

‘I have found the family team at Stowe very easy to work with. I have been particularly impressed with their response to communications. Materials requested are provided promptly.’

While being specifically renowned for being a “ ‘go-to’ firm for both children and cases involving complex finances arising from divorce/separation. A diverse team of specialists who are approachable and always on top of the issues.’

Amanda Phillips-Wylds received special mentions:

‘Amanda Phillips-Wylds is superb. She offers first rate advice to those going through a difficult time in their lives. She’ll always secure a great outcome.’

‘Amanda Phillips-Wylds is calm and wise: just what divorcing clients need. She’s always focused on an early agreed resolution, but won’t shy away from a fight if it’s needed.’

Gemma Davison was recognised as a key lawyer and received two personal mentions:

‘I work mostly with Gemma Davison. Her meticulous case preparation is unrivalled. She is personable and empathetic to her client’s cases, but if a very effective representative and real pleasure to work with.’

‘Gemma Davison is thorough and has excellent judgement. My experience is that she works hard to resolve matters without resorting to litigation, and any points left for the court to decide are well-prepared and well-argued.’

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