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Stowe celebrate success in The Legal 500 2024 rankings

Stowe celebrate success in The Legal 500 2024 rankings

It’s proven to be an excellent year for Stowe in The Legal 500 UK 2024 rankings.

The Legal 500 UK is a leading legal directory. Its annual rankings are an independent guide to the best lawyers and law firms across the UK, used by professionals and clients alike.

Each year, the rankings reflect a detailed analysis of law firms. Based on a range of factors including detailed criteria and industry feedback, impartial researchers assess each firm. The only way to be included in The Legal 500 ranking tables is through merit.

Stowe success in The Legal 500 Guide 2024

Over 40 Stowe lawyers are mentioned by name in this year’s Legal 500 commentary for standout contributions to their respective practices.

These mentions represent the breadth of expertise within the family law firm, including Leading Individuals, Next Generation Partners, Rising stars, as well as Recommended and Key Lawyers.

Stowe has been recognised across ten practice areas in the UK, three of which have successfully achieved ranked status for the first time.


Yorkshire successfully maintained its Tier 2 listing once again. They are described as ‘incredibly professional and apply a “can do” attitude to problem solving’ and as ‘a solid team’.

‘Stowe have a broad team with specialisms throughout it. Everyone practises to a high level’

‘They are responsive and are really interested in the detail of the matter at hand – they don’t leave anything to chance. This grasp of the detail is what sets their key people apart.’

Senior Partner Julian Hawkhead, Regional Director Rachel Roberts, and Managing Partners Chris Birch and Sarah Barr Young, all received Recommended status.

Rachel Roberts is described as ‘particularly commercial, and able to take a step back in order to reach a good deal in the client’s favour, particularly where an issue becomes bogged down.’

Team Leader Partner Maria Coster once again received personal recognition as a Next Generation Partner.

Family Lawyers Angela Sussens, Kate Sarsfield, Debbie Heald, Shanika Varga, Katie Kilburn and Hannah Ross are all listed as Key Lawyers.

Angela Sussens is noted for being ‘a consummate professional who cares deeply about the wellbeing and aims of her clients’ and ‘able to spot issues you hadn’t thought of, which is invaluable.’

‘Angela Sussens and Kate Sarsfield are highly skilled practitioners with thorough knowledge and sensitivity.’


Following its status as a ‘Firm to Watch’ in last year’s guide, Stowe’s North East team has built on that success, achieving ranked status in the North for the first time.

The team is described as ‘highly motivated and energetic in their approach. They have a real focus on building relationships with clients and resolving disputes in an amicable and constructive way, where possible.’

‘The team can solve cases (unusual divorce problems for instance) which a general law firm might find it more difficult to do.’

Alongside its newly listed Tier 4 listing, a number of lawyers received personal mentions.

Team Leader Partner Nicky Hunter is listed as a Recommended Lawyer.

Partner Sarah Crilly is listed as a Next Generation Partner for the second consecutive year.

Associate Hollie Morgan has achieved Rising Star status. She received special mention for being a ‘stellar solicitor’.

Hollie is described as having ‘a calm and friendly approach to her cases. She is extremely organised and has a high technical ability both advising and in advocacy. She specialises in all areas of family law and has experience with complex high value financial matters.’

Associate David Allen is recognised as a Key Lawyer and described as ‘a real rising star. His approach is always calm, considered and empathetic. His advice is clear and wide-ranging – he really considers a case from all angles and strives to plan for every eventuality. He is determined and unflappable. His knowledge of the law is impressive. It is always a real pleasure working with him.’

West Midlands – Birmingham 

Birmingham once again maintained its Tier 2 ranking.

‘Stowe Family Law is a well-regarded national firm with a strong regional presence in and around Birmingham, providing high quality advice and representation in complex and high value financial remedy cases.’

Managing Partner Rebecca Calden-Storr is listed as a Recommended Lawyer. She is described as ‘extremely good, very good with clients, unflappable’ and ‘highly recommended’.

‘Rebecca Calden-Storr has recruited wisely to strengthen her dynamic team further. She has a fantastic manner with High net worth clients, knows what they want and works hard to deliver.’

Listed as a Key Lawyer, Hannah Stubbs is noted as ‘one to watch. Extremely knowledgeable in the area and highly organised. Excellent’ as well as ‘bright and diligent’.

Claire Cleary, also recognised as a Key Lawyer, is described as ‘being in her element dealing with complex and high net worth family finance cases. She always strives for the best for her clients whilst giving realistic advice, managing client expectations.’ 

Sara Morton ‘has a relaxed and reassuring manner with clients, easily putting them at ease and forming excellent working relationships’ and has also been recognised as a Key Lawyer.

North West

The North West team maintained its tier 3 listing for the third consecutive year, representing Stowe’s reputation in the region.

The team are described as ‘Brilliant, compassionate, knowledgeable and effective’ as well as ‘friendly, professional and nurturing’.

The Liverpool team received particular mention: ‘The Stowe Family Law team in Liverpool went above and beyond to help me through a stressful time for me. They were kind and absolutely brilliant in everything. How they planned the strategy, the team (barrister), the experts we needed (psychologists etc) so we stayed on top of things and also in the most time efficient manner.’

Managing Partner Helen Miller is recognised as a Recommended Lawyer and is noted to be ‘incredibly knowledgeable, approachable and compassionate in her approach, which was much appreciated.’

Team Leader Partner Matthew Taylor is also recognised as a Recommended Lawyer. ‘I can’t recommend and thank Matthew Taylor and the team highly enough – they were and still are the light in one of the darkest times in my life.’

‘From the first initial contact with Matthew Taylor, I felt for the first time that someone was on my side and really wanted to help me. But more importantly, that finally someone ‘got me’ and knew a way out’.


Building on last year’s recognition for their approachable nature, breadth of expertise and professional diligence, the London region are successful ranked for the first time, achieving Tier 6 status.

‘Stowe Family Law are knowledgeable and provide excellent client service, which ensures the best experience of the Family Court for those going through extremely challenging times.’

‘The team at Stowe Family Law are fantastic to work with. Briefs are detailed and clients’ expectations are realistic.’

‘I would recommend Stowe Family Law for financial remedies and Schedule 1 disputes. The team has a number of well-prepared, thorough and experienced family solicitors. They are a safe pair of hands, have great client skills and get brilliant results.’

As well as the team’s overall recognition, Managing Partner Phoebe Turner also received Recommended status.

Ciara Pugh is listed as a Key Lawyer. She is described as ‘a complete pleasure to work with and I am always willing to take on work from her because it will be well prepared. She is a team player, whip smart, and has a level of insight well beyond her experience’ as well as ‘an excellent family law solicitor and communicator’.

Family Lawyers Alice Brett and Phoebe Hill are also listed as Key Lawyers.


This year’s Legal 500 rankings see Essex maintain its Tier 3 ranking.

Managing Partner Sebastian Burrows once again received personal recognition as a Leading Individual.

Kent, Surrey, Sussex 

Successfully retaining its Tier 3 ranking in this year’s rankings, Legal 500 recognises the teams as a ‘group of excellent lawyers’.

‘A great level of skill and knowledge is shown via correspondence and the day to day running of the case.’

‘The team are empathetic and understanding but ensure that clients remain properly informed as to the likely prospects of success of their case. The whole team are hardworking and affable. I regularly recommend Stowe when asked for recommendations for reputable local Family firms.’

They are noted as ‘One of the friendliest teams I have come across. A group of excellent lawyers striving for the best for their clients’ and ‘a strong team with a number of very good individual solicitors’

Managing Partner Emma Newman listed as a Recommended Lawyer and is highlighted as ‘very good indeed.’

Team Leader Partner Niamh McCarthy is also recognised as a Recommended Lawyer who ‘not only works tirelessly for her clients but obtains exceptional results.’

‘Niamh McCarthy is incredibly clever. She has strong skills in alternative dispute resolution and ensures that court is the last resort not the first.’

Family lawyers Gemma Thew, Gemma Artus and Nicola Beasley, each achieved Key Lawyer status.

‘Nicola Beasley is an asset to Stowe and her capabilities far exceed her level of relative experience. She is able to hold her own against partners of other firms. Her correspondence is always measured yet sufficiently robust and detailed. Her attention to detail is particularly impressive.’

‘Gemma Artus has an exceptional bedside manner. Clients would follow her anywhere. She will ensure that people are well supported throughout.’

South West

Stowe’s South West region achieved Tier 2 ranking for the first time, improving on last year’s Tier 3 status. They are described as ‘An extremely reputable firm in the field of private law children work, with a strong team of skillful solicitors.’

This success is a testament to the growth, hard work, and collaborative achievements of Stowe’s South West region in the past year. They were recognised for working ‘fearlessly to achieve results for their clients’ and having ‘Excellent client focus. Providing forensic and pragmatic advice.’

‘Each solicitor I have worked with from the team has been exceptional. If a particular solicitor is unable to answer a query, another member of the time will know the answer. The documentation and paperwork is prepared to the highest standard. The approach is always sensible, child-focused but robust and genuinely focuses on reaching a good outcome for the client and the child.’

Adding to this, Regional Director Jemma Slavin and Managing Partner Louise Chipchase are both recognised as Recommended Lawyers.

Family lawyers Joanna Newton, Amy Langford, Rachel Fisher, Zoe Carter and Georgina Nelson are each listed as Key Lawyers.

‘Rachel Fisher is very sensible, with good judgment and knowledge.’

‘Amy Langford is a standout member of the team who provides clients with a sound understanding of the litigation process and practical and realistic advice. She is always well prepared and achieves the best for her clients.’

‘Zoe Carter: I wish I could clone Zoe and have her instruct me on every case. She works tirelessly on every single case she instructs me on. Her statements are exceptional and have often made all the difference.’

Katy Jordan was described as having ‘excellent client care skills. She is supportive and sensible and guides her clients clearly through the process’

Thames Valley – Reading 

Stowe’s Thames Valley team maintained its Tier 3 position once again.

They are described as ‘A well-regarded team which puts clients’ needs first and strives to explain the process fully to avoid confusion or unexpected occurrences.’

‘They are accessible and professional in their dealing with other solicitors. They have a strong mediation presence and work with clients and other professionals in a friendly and professional manner.’

Managing Partner Amanda Phillips-Wylds is noted as a Recommended Lawyer who ‘runs the team with great skill. What she doesn’t know about family law isn’t worth knowing. She is unflappable in even the most pressured situation. Solution driven, Amanda is always eager to reach a negotiated settlement for her clients if possible. However, she’ll never shy away from a fight in court if it’s needed.’

Team Leader Partner Gemma Davison is also noted as a Recommended Lawyer and is described as ‘a dynamic and passionate family law solicitor and an empathetic and excellent family mediator. She is down to earth and realistic in her advice and assistance to clients, listening to their needs and working out in mediation realistic outcomes. Gemma is also an expert in surrogacy.’

‘Gemma Davison is excellent with clients and has a thorough knowledge of the law and practicalities of the matter, offering clients a rolls royce of a service.’

Senior Associate Sarah Scriven has achieved Rising Star status for the first time.


Achieving ranked status for the first time, Stowe’s Wales team have been recognised as Tier 3.

This success is a testament to the Stowe’s recent growth in the region, as well as the quality of the team and their expertise.

Team Leader Partner Victoria Cannon received personal recognition as a Leading Individual. She is recognised as ‘a very capable lawyer who is especially skilled in managing clients’ expectations. She provides clients with clear, realistic advice and takes great care in presenting their cases to their best possible effect.’

Alongside its inaugural ranked status, Senior Associate Lauren Roche is noted as a Recommended Lawyer.

‘Lauren Roche is a very capable lawyer. She has an empathetic yet firm approach to clients.’

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