Marilyn Stowe

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Marilyn Stowe
Marilyn Stowe.jpg
Marilyn Stowe
Born 1957 (age 59–60)
Residence Leeds, England
Nationality British
Education Leeds Girls High School, University of Leeds; Chester College of Law
Partner(s) Grahame C Stowe
Website [1]

Marilyn Stowe (born 1957) is an English solicitor. She has been described by The Times as "one of the most formidable and sought-after divorce lawyers in the UK",[1] and described as "one of the country's leading divorce lawyers".[2] Mrs Stowe has been described as 'First Class' by the Legal 500 and as an 'Eminent Practitioner' by Chambers & Partners. She is the founder of Stowe Family Law and regularly contributes on family law matters in the UK media.

Marilyn Stowe was educated at Leeds Girls' High School and the University of Leeds. She founded Stowe Family Law, the UK's largest specialist family law firm, in 1982. The firm has offices in Harrogate, North Yorkshire; Leeds, Wetherby and Ilkley, West Yorkshire; Hale and Wilmslow, Cheshire, Central London, St Albans,[3] Winchester[4] and Tunbridge Wells.[5] Marilyn sold Stowe Family Law LLP to midmarket private equity firm Living Bridge in February 2017 and left the firm.[6]

She is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers ("IAFL"), a worldwide association of family lawyers who are recognised by their peers as the most experienced and expert family law specialists in their respective countries. She was among the first 35 solicitors, barristers and ex-judges to qualify as a family law arbitrator in 2012. The family law arbitration scheme operates in England and Wales and was developed by the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA).[7] As a result, she is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb). In 2012 she became a member of the Legal Advisory Group to the Law Commission (England and Wales) regarding matrimonial property. In 2007 she was a member of a Legal Advisory Group that reviewed the rights of cohabiting couples.

She is also known for unearthing the medical evidence that freed Sally Clark, the victim of a famous British miscarriage of justice.

Sally Clark[edit]

In November 1999, Sally Clark was convicted of the murder of two of her sons, the first of whom had died suddenly within a few weeks of his birth three years earlier. After her second son died in a similar manner, she was arrested in 1998 and tried for the murder of both infants. The convictions were upheld at appeal in October 2000.[8]

Marilyn Stowe volunteered her involvement in the case, providing her services free of charge because she felt that "something was not right".[9] She obtained key medical reports, which showed that one of the babies could have died from natural causes. This evidence had been known to the prosecution's pathologist, Alan Williams, since February 1998, but had not been shared with other medical witnesses, police or lawyers.[10] The Clark family's solicitor described Marilyn Stowe as "the woman who's going to get Sally out of prison".[11]

Sally Clark's convictions were overturned in a second appeal on 29 January 2003.[12] The prosecution's pathologist, Alan Williams, was found guilty of "serious professional misconduct" by the General Medical Council.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Stowe is married to fellow lawyer Grahame Stowe, and has one son. She attributes her decision to embark upon a legal career to her parents: "It was what they wanted for me and it was at a time when women didn’t go into law." [14]


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

  • Divorce - a New Beginning, published in 1993
  • No Looking Back, published in 2002[15]
  • Divorce & Splitting Up: Advice From a Top Divorce Lawyer, published in 2013.[16]

She contributes a monthly family law column to legal trade magazine Solicitors Journal, entitled Family Business. Stowe also writes the popular Marilyn Stowe Family Law & Divorce Blog, which covers a range of family law issues.[17]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ "Meet The Experts: Marilyn Stowe", The Times, 21 April 2011.
  2. ^ "McCartneys Back For Divorce Deal Details"Sky News, 17 March 2008.
  3. ^ "A legal force of nature". Daily Telegraph. 9 July 2005. Retrieved 1 February 2009. 
  4. ^ "SJ movers and shakers | Solicitors Journal". Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  5. ^ "A new office for a new year: Stowe Family Law Tunbridge Wells". Marilyn Stowe Blog. 19 December 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2017. 
  6. ^ "Top divorce firm bought by investors". Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  7. ^ "Institute of Family Law Arbitrators". 
  8. ^ First appeal, R. v Clark, [2000] EWCA Crim 54, 2 October 2000, from BAILII.
  9. ^ O'Hara, Mary". "Suspicious mind", Guardian, 3 August 2005.
  10. ^ Shaikh, Thair. "Sally Clark, mother wrongly convicted of killing her sons, found dead at home", The Guardian, 17 March 2007.
  11. ^ Hampshire, Mary". "I knew Sally was innocent", The Times, 1 May 2003.
  12. ^ Second appeal, R. v Clark, [2003] EWCA Crim 1020, 11 April 2003, from BAILII.
  13. ^ "Pathologist in Sally Clark case suspended from court work"[dead link] British Medical Journal 2005;330:1347, 11 June 2005.
  14. ^ "Tenacious divorce lawyer living up to her own family’s values" Yorkshire Post, 2 August 2013.
  15. ^ "Marilyn Stowe at Guardian". Guardian. 15 November 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2010. 
  16. ^ "Divorce & Splitting Up: Advice From a Top Divorce Lawyer". Amazon. 
  17. ^ "Marilyn Stowe Blog".