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Philip Bowen

Phil Bowen is a dedicated advocate renowned for his expertise in a wide array of family law proceedings, encompassing financial settlements and matters concerning children, as well as the Court of Protection. With a rich background spanning 25 years, Phil embarked on his legal journey after qualifying in 1994, transitioning from a successful career as a police officer.

His unique perspective is further enriched by direct involvement with children's services within a Local Authority, rendering him particularly adept in cases involving substantial social services engagement.



Philip's Experience

Called in 1994

Extensive experience with Social Services cases

Experience working with local authorities

Barristers in England and Wales are regulated by the Bar Standards Board

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Family Law

Philip is a specialist advocate for all manner of family law proceedings, covering:

  • Divorce and financial settlement proceedings

  • Children matters (Care, Adoption, Protection and Child Arrangement Orders)

  • All aspects of Local Authority proceedings

  • Injunctive proceedings before the family courts (non-molestation and occupation orders)

  • Court of Protection

Divorce and Matrimonial Proceedings

Phil has extensive experience in divorce and matrimonial proceedings (financial settlement). He accepts instructions from Applicants and Respondents to deal with proceedings from the First Directions Appointment (FDA), to Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) and Final Hearing.

Phil's caseload includes proceedings featuring high-value and complex assets including pensions, businesses and property (including property held overseas). Phil also has experience in dealing with enforcement proceedings relating to financial orders and has dealt with applications to vary long-standing orders due to a material change to the circumstances of one or the other party to the order.

Children Act Proceedings (Private & Public Law)

Phil is very experienced in care proceedings, acting over the years for local authorities, parents and guardians. He also has experience of dealing with Adult Social Care matters and Court of Protection Cases. His knowledge of the internal workings of local authorities is extensive. Phil is known for his detailed approach to any cases he undertakes and his ability to relate to and deal with clients on all levels.

Private law applications in relation to Child Arrangements Orders form a significant part of Phil's practice and he has been involved in all manner of proceedings ranging from 'straight-forward' disputes relating to applications for contact and residence through to very complex cases involving parental alienation, child abduction and cases with an international element featuring removal of children from the jurisdiction.

Fact Finding Proceedings

Phil is frequently instructed to advise and represent clients in relation to fact-finding proceedings. His front-line experience of service in the police force allows Phil to offer a deeper understanding of the serious allegations typically investigated in fact-finding hearings.

He has extensive experience in dealing with cases involving allegations of substance abuse (drugs and alcohol), domestic violence, and sexual abuse. He brings the same experience to bear when instructed to deal with injunctive remedies before the family courts (non-molestation and occupation order applications), especially those involving allegations of harassment and intimidation.

Court of Protection

Phil deals with a wide range of cases arising in the Court of Protection (COP). He accepts instructions from all parties to such proceedings including family members, local authorities, deputies, Protected Parties and the Official Solicitor. Phil has considerable experience and has dealt with cases of all ranges of complexity, from District Judge to the High Court. Phil's COP practice includes the following:

  • Deputyship

  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS)

  • Lasting Powers of Attorney and Enduring Powers of Attorney

  • Mental capacity

  • Medical treatment

  • Best interests decisions

  • Welfare, including contact, residence and care decisions

  • Advocacy

As an advocate, Phil has appeared in all levels of the Family Court in multi-day contested hearings from the Magistrates Court, County Court and High Court. He has also appeared in the Court of Appeal on behalf of local authorities and a Guardian. He offers a commanding and authoritative courtroom presence, capable of both persuasive negotiation and also robust representation subject to the approach demanded by any particular hearing, case, client or opponent.

Privacy Policy

1. This is a privacy notice that describes how, why and for how long I will process or keep your personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’).
2. The GDPR governs how an individual’s personal data is used, and your rights in relation to that data.
3.  I, Philip Bowen, have been instructed by you or your litigation friend (usually a parent), through your solicitor or agent, or via the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
4.  It is necessary for me to process your personal data in order for me to provide you with legal services, for example:

  • Advise on the prospects of litigation;
  • Advise on the value of your claim;
  • Representation at a court hearing;
  • Representation at trial;
  • Advise, review or comment on legal issues or evidence.

5. Processing means anything done to data such as: recording, organising, adapting, altering, copying, consulting, transmitting, combining, erasing or storing it.

6.The processing for the purposes listed above will take place in accordance with either Article 6(1)(a) GDPR or Article 6(1)(b) GDPR, depending on how you instructed me.

7. If you have instructed me on a direct access basis, or engaged a solicitor (or legal agent), to assist you in bringing or defending a claim then the processing is necessary to perform a contract to which you are a party (Article 6(1)(b) GDPR). To give effect to that contract (i.e. to bring a claim) it is necessary for me to process your personal data for litigation purposes.

8. If I am assisting you on a pro bono basis, it will be necessary for me to seek your consent to be able to represent you (Article 6(1)(a) GDPR). In this scenario, you will be sent a consent form.

Recipients of your data

9.  I may also be required to share your data with others, depending on the nature of your case. This may include:

(i)  Courts and other tribunals to whom documents are presented;

(ii) Your solicitors, or agent representing you, through whom I have been instructed;

(iii) Potential witnesses, experts and other persons involved in the case;

(iv) Solicitors, barristers, or other legal representatives;

(v) Ombudsman and regulatory authorities;

(vi) Education and examining bodies; and

(vii) Current, past or prospective employers.

Special Categories of Data

10.  In some cases I will have been given your personal data that is within the ‘special categories’ of data described in GDPR Article 9(1). For example, personal data that reveals your race, ethnicity, sexual preferences, political or religious beliefs, trade union membership or health. There are also restrictions for processing information regarding criminal convictions.

11. This type of personal data will only be processed where it is necessary in order to represent you in your legal claim, or advise on the prospects of a legal claim.


12. I will retain your personal data for no longer than is necessary, and where it is possible, I will anonymise your data.

13. How long your personal data is kept will depend on a number of factors. The retention period will be reviewed when the service I am providing you with is complete. However in general, I am obliged by the Bar Code of Conduct to retain records of my cases, and by HM Revenue and Customs to retain records for 6 years.

14. Once your case has concluded and fees have been paid, I shall retain only the personal data necessary for the following purposes:

(i) The legal and professional obligation to retain information relating to my cases;

(ii) To check for any potential conflict of interests that may arise in the future when I am instructed on other cases;

(iii) For use in the defence of potential complaints, legal proceedings or fee disputes;

(iv) To refer back to in future cases which raise similar legal, factual, or procedural issues.

15. The processing for the purposes listed in paragraph 14 (ii), (iii), and (iv) above, will take place in accordance with Article 6(1)(f) GDPR. That is, for the purposes of legitimate interests that are not outweighed by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms.

16. The processing for the purposes listed in paragraph 14(i) above, will take place in accordance with Article 6(1)(c) GDPR. That is, the processing is necessary for me to comply with a legal obligation. 

Your Rights

17. Where processing of your personal data was based on your consent (see paragraphs 6 and 8) you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. This does not affect the lawfulness of the processing based on consent before its withdrawal.

18. Withdrawal of your consent to process such data will most likely mean that I am no longer able to provide you with the legal services you seek.

19. You may request confirmation that your personal data is being processed by me and details about the personal data, the source, the processing, the purposes of the processing, the recipients and the retention period.

20. You may request a copy of your personal data that is being processed by me. You may also request rectification (i.e. correction) where there are inaccuracies in the personal data.

21. You have the right to object, on grounds relating to your particular situation, at any time, to processing of your personal data in paragraph 14 of this privacy notice. Should you object, the processing will only continue where there are compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override your fundamental rights, freedoms and interests. 

22. Where the processing or retention of your data is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims, it will not be possible to object. 

23. You have the right to request that your personal data is erased where any of the following apply:

(i) The personal data are no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected or otherwise processed;

(ii) You withdraw your consent where the basis of processing was based on consent and where there is no other ground for the processing;

(iii) Where your fundamental rights, freedoms and interests override the legitimate interests of processing in paragraph 14;

(iv) The personal data has been unlawfully processed; or

(v) The personal data have to be erased to comply with a legal obligation.

24. You have the right to request that your personal data is restricted from processing, so that it is simply stored, for the following reasons: as an alternative to deletion; so that it can be corrected; for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims; to verify if a legitimate ground exists (paragraph 14).

25. Where it is necessary to correct your personal data, or you have requested the restriction or erasure of your personal data, I shall endeavour to contact the recipients of the personal data, unless this involves disproportionate effort. 


26. I take appropriate physical and technical procedures to safeguard your personal data to prevent it from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way. 

Complaints or Queries

27. If you have any questions regarding this privacy notice, or how I use your personal data please email me: mailto:, or my clerks: telephone 01823 247 247.

28. I shall aim to respond as soon as possible, and within 30 days.

29. You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) if you believe I have not handled your request in an appropriate manner. For information on contacting the ICO please go to:

Philip's Testimonials

Philip Bowen came onto my case with only 48 hours before my final hearing. In that time he read and processed the file, developed a strategy and represented me at court. He is a calm pair of hands in a daunting situation and I will be forever grateful for his knowledge and expertise. He has truly made such a difference to my life - we can breathe again. I would recommend Phil wholeheartedly and thank him for what he was able to achieve for us.



Latest articles from Philip

Four TBG Barristers Included in 2024 Pro Bono Recognition List

We’re pleased to share the inclusion of four TBG barristers - Haresh Sood, Maureen Spencer, Philip Bowen, and Jake Rudman - in the 2024 Pro Bono Recognition List.
The Barrister Group



Family Law Barristers (1)-1


Contact us about working with Philip

If you’d like to work with Philip Bowen or any of our other specialist barristers, send us your details and we’ll get back to you.