Marilyn Stowe

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Marilyn Stowe
Marilyn Stowe.jpg
Marilyn Stowe
Born1957 (age 61–62)
ResidenceLeeds, England
EducationLeeds Girls High School, University of Leeds; Chester College of Law
Partner(s)Grahame C Stowe

Marilyn Stowe (born 1957) is an English family lawyer. She founded her firm in a converted cobbler’s shop in Halton, Leeds, in 1982, eventually growing it into the UK’s largest specialist family law firm.[1][2]  In February 2017 she sold her firm and blog for a ‘substantial’ eight figure sum to private equity investors Living Bridge. Her first clients were legally aided. Later they included members of the aristocracy, and some of the wealthiest and best known figures in the UK and abroad.

Early life and education[edit]

Stowe attended the University of Leeds and lectured in English law at the University of Le Mans, France, in 1976.[citation needed] As a solicitor, she led the Law society’s Family Law Panel as its first Chief Assessor[3] and Chief Examiner for six years from 1998. In 2007 and 2012 she was appointed to legal advisory groups working with the Law Commission, considering changes to family law in relation to cohabitation and finance in divorce.[4][5] She became one of the UK’s first family mediators in 1995 and one of the country’s first Family Law arbitrators in 2012. In 2010 she was the first woman solicitor outside London elected a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers.[6]

Working pro bono in her own time,[7] Stowe uncovered previously undisclosed medical evidence which proved critical in securing the release from prison of fellow solicitor Sally Clark, who had been jailed for life in 2001 following the sudden deaths of her two infant sons.[7] A first appeal to the Court of Appeal had already failed but, “convinced something was wrong”,[8] Stowe volunteered her services and obtained the medical evidence that had not been produced at her original trial. This showed that the second baby had developed meningitis at the date of death. A second appeal based on this evidence was successful in 2003.[9] The case led to revisions in civil and criminal procedure, an investigation into medical experts[10] and the acquittal of several other women who had been imprisoned in similar circumstances.[11][12]

In 2011 Stowe was invited to participate in an Oxford Union debate, and spoke in favour of the motion "This House believes that marriage is an outdated institution”.[13] She appeared in print and broadcast media, including the BBC, ITV and Sky News.[14] She blogged for The Times[15] and was the resident family lawyer on ITV show This Morning,[16] for 18 months, answering legal questions phoned in by viewers. Stowe is the author of three books, including Divorce & Splitting Up: Advice from a top Divorce Lawyer,[17] a guide to negotiating the legal issues in family breakdown.

In February 2017, she sold her firm[18] and blog to private equity investors Living Bridge[1][2] and left the firm.

On 22 January 2019, to mark a unique business achievement in law, she opened trading at the London Stock Exchange at the launch of the global Jewish Women’s Business Network, in the presence of Treasury Minister Liz Truss MP and other globally-based politicians and businesswomen.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Stowe has been married to fellow solicitor Grahame Stowe, a part time Tribunal Judge for over 30 years. Their son[20] Benjamin Stowe is a family solicitor based in Central London.


Stowe is the author of three books about life after divorce:

  • 'Divorce - a New Beginning', published in 1993
  • 'No Looking Back', published in 2002[21]
  • 'Divorce & Splitting Up: Advice From a Top Divorce Lawyer', first published in 2013.[22]


  1. ^ a b "Top divorce firm bought by investors". Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b White, Francine (12 June 2017). "Marilyn Stowe: The barracuda looking for a new role". The Jewish Chronicle.
  3. ^ "A legal force of nature". The Telegraph. 10 July 2005.
  5. ^ "MATRIMONIAL PROPERTY, NEEDS AND AGREEMENTS" (PDF). September 2012. External link in |website= (help)
  6. ^ Longrigg, William (3 June 2015). "President's Blog". External link in |website= (help)
  7. ^ a b Maccallum, Victoria (26 July 2002). "Cry Freedom". The Law Society Gazette.
  8. ^ O'Hara, Mary". "Suspicious mind", Guardian, 3 August 2005.
  9. ^ Second appeal, R. v Clark, [2003] EWCA Crim 1020, 11 April 2003, from BAILII.
  10. ^ "Pathologist in Sally Clark case suspended from court work"[dead link] British Medical Journal 2005;330:1347, 11 June 2005.
  11. ^ Doward, Jamie (27 February 2005). "'My home is now my prison cell'". The Observer. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  12. ^ Vasagar, Jeevan (12 June 2003). "How cot deaths shattered mother's dreams". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  13. ^ "On addressing the Oxford Union". 15 February 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Marilyn Stowe on Sky News: the impact of divorce". 24 November 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  15. ^ "Meet The Experts: Marilyn Stowe". The Times. 21 April 2011.
  16. ^ Atkins, Sue (January 2014). "Here are ITV "This Morning" Divorce Expert's most popular posts on the Marilyn Stowe Family Law & Divorce Blog this year". External link in |website= (help)
  17. ^ Scott, Catherine (2 August 2013). "Tenacious divorce lawyer living up to her own family's values". The Yorkshire Post.
  18. ^ "Divorce Solicitors and Family Lawyers Across the UK - Stowe Family Law LLP". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  19. ^ "LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE CELEBRATES THE LAUNCH OF THE JEWISH WOMEN'S BUSINESS NETWORK". London Stock Exchange Group. 22 January 2019. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  20. ^ "Tenacious divorce lawyer living up to her own family’s values" Yorkshire Post, 2 August 2013.
  21. ^ "Marilyn Stowe". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  22. ^ "Divorce & Splitting Up: Advice From a Top Divorce Lawyer". Amazon.