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We are proud to announce our attorneys that have been named to the list of
Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

2017 Super Lawyers
F. Neil Cowan Jr. (Personal Injury – Plaintiff)
Melanie Friend (Family Law)
2017 Rising Stars
Scott Stovall (Estate Planning & Probate)
Julia Childrey (Family Law)

About Our Virginia Law Practice

Founded in 1977, CowanGates uniquely combines friendly, personalized legal support with the expertise of a large, full-service law firm. Our clients are diverse, ranging from individuals, neighbors, families and friends, to major corporations, mid-size and small businesses. But no matter the client or the case, our goal remains the same: to deliver prompt, personal and professional service that is held to the CowanGates Standard of Excellence.

Our Midlothian, Virginia office is dedicated to securing justice and favorable outcomes on behalf of clients in a timely and cost-efficient manner. Services include:

Contact Us Today

Arrange your consultation with an experienced CowanGates attorney today. Call 804-320-9100, toll free 800-948-7160, or contact us online.

CowanGates Cares: Helping Our Friends and Neighbors

We strive to serve not only the legal and business interests of our community, but the charitable and civic areas, as well. Many of our clients are also our friends and neighbors. We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to contribute our time and resources to community organizations. You can learn more about the organizations we support on CowanGates Cares.


Congratulations to our attorneys who were selected for inclusion in 2017 Virginia Super Lawyers:

F. Neil Cowan, Jr.
Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiff (2012-2017)

Melanie Friend
Family Law (2015-2017)



Congratulations, also, to our attorneys who were included in the list of 2017 Virginia Rising Stars:
Scott D. Stovall, Estate Planning/Probate (2012-2017)
Julia Childrey, Family Law (2015-2017)


The CowanGates law firm has been named to the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” list since 2013, achieving a Tier 1 ranking in Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiff.

Best Lawyers Best Law Firms 2017 Logo











Neil Cowan, Jr. been selected for inclusion in the 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Editions of The Best Lawyers in America© for Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs. He was also selected to the National Association of Distinguished Counsel – Nation’s Top One Percent – Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

Ernest P. “Rusty” Gates, Jr. was named one of the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys Top 10 (2016-2017) and was recognized by The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys as one of the “10 Best” Attorneys for the state of Virginia. He is also one of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100.

Congratulations to Melanie Friend for being named one of Virginia Lawyers Weekly’s “Up & Coming” Lawyers for 2016 and Virginia Business Magazine Legal Elite (Family Law) 2013 – 2016. Melanie was also named President of the Metro Richmond Women’s Bar Association for the 2015-2016 bar year, was named a Super Lawyers Rising Star (2010-2014), and has been selected for inclusion in the list of Virginia Super Lawyers (2015-2017). Melanie has also been selected to the National Association of Distinguished Counsel – Nation’s Top One Percent – Family Law.