Stowe Family Law — Driving Focused Board Conversations

Case study

2 min read

“I wish I had gone through a process like this years ago. A lot of boards think they’re doing a great job, when really, they could add lots more value.”

~ Ken Fowlie, chair

The Challenge

Stowe Family Law is the UK’s largest specialist family law firm, backed by private equity firm Livingbridge. With a new strategy and ambitious growth targets for the next three years, Stowe was looking to simplify governance and make the best use of their board’s experience. The company faced a variety of challenges:

  • Conversation — being drawn into operational “weeds” meant less time to focus on what mattered most.
  • Repetition — similar conversations at executive and board meetings was inefficient.
  • Value — the executive team was unsure how best to take advantage of the board’s skills.
  • Administrative burden — With no company secretary, board reporting and meeting planning fell to the CFO. Pack production was enabled by the Board Intelligence board portal, which saved time. But considerable time was still spent planning meetings, commissioning and reviewing papers, and making last-minute changes to the pack.

The Solution

Stowe upgraded from the portal to the full Board Intelligence offering, including: Agenda Planner, Briefing, Templates, and Academy. The new approach to agenda planning and board reporting was enabled through technology:

Agenda Planning Best Practice

The board identified its priorities for the next 12–18 months using the Six Conversations Model and the guidance of Board Intelligence’s consulting team.

High-Impact Board Reporting

The executive team was inducted into the principles of high-impact reports, using a combination of Academy online learning and coaching.

“Defining the big questions we need to address has helped us to prioritise and think more clearly about how we want to make use of the board.”

~ Louise Walker, CFO

Agenda Planner

The board’s priorities were built into an online agenda planner, creating a forward calendar grounded in what matters most whilst not missing statutory requirements.


“Planning our forward calendar in advance means we can manage our time more effectively as we know what’s coming up when.”

~ Louise Walker, CFO

Agenda Analytics

Knowing where the board is spending its time allows the chair to determine whether it’s weighted appropriately — and allow for course correction if not.

Report Briefing

Authors receive briefs with instructions on report scope, best practice templates, and videos enabling them to write high-impact reports in less time. The entire reporting process is managed seamlessly on the Board Intelligence platform.

“Having everyone upload their own papers eases the burden on me.”

~ Louise Walker, CFO

The Impact

Time saving

“From an admin perspective, this is a massive win. I can spend less time planning meetings and chasing papers, and more time being the CFO.”

~ Louise Walker, CFO

Clarity on what’s important

“Prioritising our time will make a huge difference in how we manage our meetings and run the business. We’re on the front foot, and have a clear view of what we’re trying to achieve.”

~ Ken Fowlie, chair

Greater value from the board

“We now have clarity on how the board should intersect with the plan, and how to extract the most value from them.”

~ Ken Fowlie, chair

Improved investor relationship

“This has transformed the board dynamic, and the board/executive relationship. The executive is leading the conversation and getting much more out of our investors. This is how it should be, and we have received great feedback from Livingbridge.”

~ Ken Fowlie, chair


To find out how Board Intelligence can help you drive more focused conversations and smarter decision-making in the boardroom, get in touch

   AGENDA PLANNER  Never Lose Sight of What Matters Most  Discover The Board Intelligence Agenda Planner and turn governance into a  powerful driver of purpose and performance. Find out more


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