Chantel Fenton, winner of the Stowe Hall of Fame Award

Stowe Fest is a much-anticipated event which includes workshops and speakers during the day, followed by a night of celebration where colleagues and teams come together and are recognised through the Best in Stowe Awards. This year, a new award was introduced – the “Stowe Hall of Fame.” Chantel Fenton, Regional Team Leader for London & South-East, won this award.

We asked Chantel to share her experience of Stowe Fest 2024…

Stowefest2024, where do I start… I guess right at the beginning when I jokingly suggested a Stowe coach to Leeds in light of the train strikes. Even though Sally (Business & Events Assistant), and Louise (Head of Culture & Communications), were knee-deep in Stowefest plans, they got on it, found us a coach, and that’s how I started Stowefest2024, with my Coach Monitor hat on, calling a register to ensure no one was left behind!  Fast forward 6 hours, and we arrived at the beautiful Queens Hotel in Leeds City Centre.

Friday morning started with breakfast and lots of hellos from old and new colleagues. The highlight was Lauren (Talent Acquisition Advisor), waving me over with a great big smile and name badge at the ready. We’ve worked together recruiting for my team and finally met!!

On to the welcome speech from Julian (Senior Partner) who introduced Nicola Wallace and walked us through essential communication skills for family lawyers. This included great tips on communicating with clients often in highly emotional stages of their lives followed by an insightful mental capacity session hosted by Rosanna (Team Leader Partner, London), Nicola (Senior Associate, South-East), and Fleur (Associate, South-East). Then we chatted about high net worth clients; think pre and post-nups, think trusts, you get it, hosted by Liza (Team Leader Partner, South-East) and Matthew (Team Leader Partner, North-West).

After lunch, Ken (CEO) ran us through what has been and what will be, including all of the amazing highs we have had as a firm and what we can look forward to in the coming years. He then introduced Kate Richardson-Walsh, OBE, an Olympic Gold and Bronze Medal-winning English field hockey player and what a treat it was to listen to her speak—I didn’t think anyone felt the importance of teamwork like I do. What an insightful story about her team’s journey, the highs and lows to Olympic gold!

Speaking of teamwork…  after a glam up, we were ready for the Best in Stowe Awards.  My heart could burst with the absolute joy and pride I felt seeing so many of my amazing Legal Assistants’ names in the list of nominees on the big screen, only topped off by seeing Alpita (Legal Assistant Team Leader) win her #BestNewcomer award. Andrea (Legal Assistant, Southgate & Victoria) win her #UnsungHeroAward and Stephanie (Legal Assistant, London) win her MVP award, I’m pretty sure my cheering resembled a banshee but I was so proud of them.

My whole team being nominated and shortlisted in the #BestGroupAct will always be a highlight of my career, only narrowly missing out to my fellow Acquisition team colleagues who work extremely hard ensuring Acquisitions run smoothly.  If Stowefest had ended there I would have been in my element.  I won two awards personally at #Stowefest2022 so seeing my colleagues and especially my team win at #Stowefest2024 was a dream, my heart was full.

Never did I imagine there would be one last award.  When you’re on the party planning committee you don’t expect any surprises!  No nominations listed on the big screen, just heart-warming quote after quote popped up – Ken’s words are still jumbled in my memory “so many nominations, “already been on the stage… multi-award winner,” that last one got me, my heart was beating out of my chest before Ken said my name.  Going up to collect that award, music ringing in my ears and seeing everyone standing up and clapping was so overwhelming, that moment felt ecstatic, it really was special… Did anyone say STOWE HALL OF FAME!!!!  What an achievement, especially in the lead-up to my 10-year anniversary at Stowe Family Law.


Mark (Talent Acquisition Business Partner) and Oliver (Head of Talent Acquisition) were doing the post-award interviews. I am so sorry, the interview is a blur but I know I just rambled!  I couldn’t process my thoughts into words in the moments that followed but thank you for the biggest smiles and even bigger hugs as I stepped off stage.  Interview ‘butcher’, Jemma (Regional Director for London & South-East) comes bouncing over, that huge smile – huge hug – thank you, Jemma, for trusting in me and letting me run free in my role.

Huge shout out to Scott (Working Capital Manager).  Scott was the host with the most and the beaming face I saw ready with a high five as I accepted my award. Well done, you did such a fab job!  You wouldn’t think #MrMoneyonAccount could be so funny 🙂

It’s such a pleasure working with so many wonderful people especially my Legal Assistant team and the London & South-East region.  When I started at Stowe nearly a decade ago, we didn’t have dedicated teams (Scott and Carla (Billing Team Leader)– remember your round trips and paper files?), we didn’t have wellness days or mental health champions – in fact we had a handful of offices and probably 30 people.  Seeing Stowe grow to what it is today has been such a journey.  Seeing people around me progress will always be special but seeing Phoebe (Managing Partner, London) open our beautiful Victoria office and make it such a success, is a core memory.

We drank, gambled and danced the night away.  There was nothing missing.  I’ve said it before, Sally and Louise, you are superwomen.

Well done to everyone who was nominated and everyone who won an award, extra shout out to Maxine (Business Analyst & Project Lead), Liza (Team Leader Partner, South-East), Lauren (Credit Controller) Kate (Senior Associate, South East) Pooja (Solicitor, London, Richmond & Bromley) and Ashley (Senior Associate, Eastern Home Counties) 👏🏾

I can’t finish this piece without the mention of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek (13-19 May) – being a mental health champion has been one of my biggest achievements, being part of such a great MH team within Stowe means we can really push to make a difference and ensure people don’t burnout and that they have the right tools to deal with whatever may be going on in their lives.  💚

With that Stowefest, over and out until next time !!


The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our offices. They give an insight into the latest updates in family law. Along with pieces from our family law legal team, guest contributors also regularly share their knowledge. Sign up below for the monthly legal newsletter, which provides you with everything you need to know in one place.

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