Family, Divorce & Childcare

It's fair to say there are many different family set-ups: married, cohabiting, have children, step-children, or choose to stay child-free; there are lots of different ways to create a family.

The breakdown of a relationship can be one of the most challenging experiences of a person’s life with consequences not only for the couple but also for their children and their wider families.

There are countless reasons why people find themselves needing legal advice from a solicitor specialising in family law, but no matter the reason, we adopt a sensitive and supportive approach with the emphasis on guiding you step by step through the process, providing specialist legal advice which is realistic, time sensitive, cost effective and absent of legal jargon.

Many of our lawyers are members of Resolution, which means that they are personally committed to a constructive, non-confrontational approach to family law issues. In addition Partner Philip Cowell and Solicitor Emma Smith are specialist Collaborative Lawyers, who aim to work with you, your partner and your partner's lawyer, in a series of face to face negotiations, to help you resolve your family issues in a more collaborative way.


Legal 500 2019: The Family Team were ranked as a Top Tier, leading Family Team outside Birmingham.

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP 's family law cases typically fall into the categories of being highly complex or of high value. Anne Thompson leads the team and is an expert in handling ancillary relief cases.  She recently acted on a complex divorce where both parties were in business together.

Philip Cowell  focuses on high-value financial cases and is 'extremely efficient' and 'quick to respond'. He recently advised on a matter involving the validity of a prenuptial agreement.

Senior associate Sarah Millington 's work mostly concerns the financial aspects of relationship breakdowns, and is  'professional', 'effective'  and 'good at communicating'.

Cohabitations expert Sara Morton is also a key figure, whose recent work involved the court freezing the husband’s assets in order to prevent him from depriving the wife of her claims.


Chambers UK 2018: The Family Team were ranked in Band 1 of the Family/Matrimonial category for 'Shrewsbury and the surrounding areas' and Band 2 in 'Wolverhampton and the Black Country'.

"They handled my case fantastically, the results were over and beyond what I could have hoped for."

"An absolutely fantastic team; there was no time-wasting and they were realistic."

Elizabeth Cleverley specialises in financial remedy work, prenuptial agreements and high-value farming cases. Clients find her "very efficient" and are grateful for her experience and calming presence."

Anne Thomson is a leading figure in ancillary relief cases, with experience in handling matters involving complex business and farming assets. One client comments: "She is very personable, unflappable under pressure, gives excellent advice and always acts in my best interests."

Philip Cowell is gaining growing recognition in the market, regularly acting on cases of relationship breakdowns involving substantial assets. He is a qualified collaborative lawyer.

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