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Philippa Whipple QC

Call: 1994 
QC: 2010


Philippa Whipple QC has experience in a number of practice areas.  Her main specialisms are public law, tax and health law.  She acts for both Claimant/Appellant and Defendant/Respondent in each of her practice areas. 

She read law at Oxford University before becoming a solicitor at Freshfields, where she worked for 5 years before coming to 1 Crown Office Row as a pupil in 1993.  She was called to the Bar in 1994.  She worked her way up to the Attorney General’s London Panels of Counsel, being appointed to the “A” panel in January 2005. She took silk in 2010.

In November 2010 she was appointed as Lead Counsel to the Detainee Inquiry, chaired by Sir Peter Gibson, to investigate alleged involvement of British officials in the ill-treatment of detainees post 9/11.  That Inquiry ended in January 2012, and she returned to full-time practice in chambers. 

Since then she has appeared in a number of high profile cases in each of her practice areas.

Philippa sits as a Recorder (Crown Court and County Court, Western Circuit) and as a deputy High Court Judge (Administrative Court).

Philippa lives in West London with her husband and three sons.

Philippa recently chaired a conversation between the Rt Hon Sir Brian Leveson and Shami Chakrabarti “On Liberty”.  Watch it here



"Just brilliant all round - she provides a thorough, well-rounded opinion, is very good in court, and is very courteous and professional." (Chambers and Partners 2014)

Philippa Whipple QC is "a perfect advocate," who is "clever, articulate and fair."  (Chambers and Partners 2013)

Has a “huge and loyal following.”  She is a popular advocate with a reputation for being a tough battler and an impressive opponent (Chambers and Partners, 2012)

 “Impressive on her feet, highly persuasive and a favourite of the judges” (Chambers and Partners, 2011)

“Excellent” (Legal 500, 2010)


"From the client's perspective she is approachable, kind and caring, and makes you feel instantly at ease. From the legal perspective she knows her stuff. She's very thorough." (Chambers and Partners 2014)

"Super-brain" Philippa Whipple QC is "very thorough" in her approach. Since taking silk she has had a key role in cases involving cerebral palsy and negligent cataract operations. (Chambers and Partners 2013)

She is an excellent all round brief who is renowned for her tough negotiating style. (Chambers and Partners 2012)

“She impresses hugely with her work on both sides of complex clinical negligence claims.  Clients say she is ‘very canny, very personable and someone who doesn’t miss a point’” (Chambers & Partners, 2011)

“Widely praised” (Legal 500, 2010)

Inquests/ Public Inquiries

"She has the most wonderful court manner. She is very calm under fire and enormously conscientious." "Calm, balanced, measured, and a good, hard-working advocate." (Chambers and Partners 2014)

Philippa Whipple QC is "a strong character, has a very good brain and articulates things very well." She was recently counsel to the Detainee Inquiry chaired by Sir Peter Gibson.  (Chambers and Partners 2013)


Euromoney European Women in Business Awards 2012 for best in Tax Dispute Resolution                     Nominated for Chambers and Partners “Tax Silk of the Year” 2013
Chambers and Partners award for “Tax Junior of the Year” in 2006 and 2007


Co-author, chapter on breach of duty, Medical Law (3rd Ed) Grubb, Laing, McHale (OUP)    

Co-author, chapter on taxable transactions and on judicial control of the Commissioners, Value Added Tax: Commentary and Analysis (Sweet and Maxwell)

Co-author, chapter on expert evidence, PIBA Personal Injury Handbook (3rd Ed)


Recorder (Western Circuit) 2005 (Crown Court and County Court)

Chair, Merton Lawyers Association (2006 - date)

Member, Merton Society Council (2013 – date)

Lay member, Guys and St Thomas’ Research Tissue and Data Bank Management Committee (2013 – date)

Deputy Judge of the High Court (Administrative Court) 2013

Bencher of Middle Temple 2013; Chair (Elect) Finance and Resources Committee, Middle Temple

Significant cases include the following

Public Law/ Human Rights

R (Veolia ES Landfill) v HMRC and other cases [2015] EWCA Civ 747 (landfill tax, judicial review of refusal to repay) (acted for 4 Claimant taxpayers)

R K (Children) (Unrepresented Father: Cross-Examination of Child) [2015] EWCA Civ 543  (unavailability of legal aid in private family cases, articles 6 and 8 ECHR) (acted for Lord Chancellor)

R (GSTS Pathology LLP) v HMRC [2013] EWHC 1801 (Admin) (Interim relief, substantive legitimate expectation following HMRC ruling) (acted for claimant taxpayer)

R (States of Jersey) v HMRC; R (States of Guernsey) v HMRC [2012] EWHC 718 (Admin) (abolition of low value assignment relief on imports from the Channel Islands) (acted for HMRC)

Detainee Inquiry (Chair, Sir Peter Gibson), 2010-2012 (Inquiry into allegations of involvement by British officials in ill-treatment of detainees) (Lead Counsel to the Inquiry)

R (Andrew March) v Secretary of State for Health [2010] EWHC 765 (Admin) (challenge to system of ex gratia payments to HIV and Hep C sufferers as a result of NHS-supplied contaminated blood and blood products) (acted for Secretary of State)

R (London Secure Services Ltd) v Youth Justice Board [2009] EWHC 2347 (Admin) (challenge to YJB’s procurement of secure beds in children’s homes) (acted for Claimant)

A and Others v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2004] QB 335 (CA) (appeals from SIAC by terror suspects) (acted as special advocate)


Zombory-Moldovan (t/a Craft Carnival) v HMRC [2015] UKFTT 245 (TC) (exemption for pitches at craft fairs) (acted for taxpayer)

Sub-One Ltd (t/a Subway) v HMRC (Court of Appeal) [2014] EWCA Civ 773 (VAT on hot takeaway food) (acted for taxpayer)

Taylor Clark Leisure PLC (Upper Tribunal) [2014] UKUT 396 (TCC) (VAT Group representative; Fleming claim) (acted for taxpayer)

HMRC v Loyalty Management UK Ltd [2013] UKSC 15 (Supreme Court) (VAT treatment of Nectar loyalty scheme) (acted for HMRC)

Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust Ltd v HMRC (Court of Appeal) [2014] STC 2222 (statutory set-off for VAT benefits obtained by virtue of same VAT mistake in past) (acted for HMRC)

Reed Employment PLC v HMRC (Court of Appeal) [2014] STC 1026 (legality of statutory unjust enrichment defence post 2005) (acted for HMRC)

Goals Soccer Centres plc v HMRC [2012] UKFTT 576 (TC) (exemption from VAT on pitch hire, separate supplies of pitch hire and league participation services) (acted for taxpayer)

Deliverance Ltd v HMRC [2011] UKUT 58 (TCC) (VAT on delivered food) (acted for taxpayer)

Principal and Fellows of Newnham College Cambridge v HMRC [2008] UKHL 23 (disapplication of option to tax) (acted for HMRC)

HMRC v Mayflower Theatre Trust [2007] EWCA Civ 116, (input tax recovery by theatres) (acted for taxpayer)

R (IDT Card Services Ireland Ltd) v HMRC [2006] STC 1252 (CA) (VAT on telecommunications services from Ireland) (acted for Claimant taxpayer)


FB v Rana [2015] EWHC 1536 (QB) (delay in diagnosis of meningitis) (acted for Claimant)

Wild v Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust [2014] EWHC 4053 (QB) (nervous shock following intra-uterine death of baby) (acted for Claimant father)

Tippett v Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trust [2014] EWHC 917 (QB) (claim for negligent management of pregnancy; infant suffering cerebral palsy) (acted for Defendant)

CC v South London Healthcare NHS Trust (settlement of substantial damages following birth injury) (acted for Claimant)

Whiten v St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust [2011] EWHC 2066 (QB) (damages following birth injury) (acted for Defendant)

Pitcher v Head Start Nursery Ltd [2008] EWHC 2681 (QB) (substantial interim payment for severely brain damaged child with shortened life expectancy) (acted for Claimant)

Roche v MoD [2006] EWHC 3477 (QB) (claim for damages for loss of chance to be professional footballer) (acted for Defendant)

Beck v Ministry of Defence [2005] 1WLR 2206 (CA) (permission for second expert’s report in clinical negligence cases) (acted for Defendant)


Taylor Clark Leisure plc v HMRC [2015] CSIH 40 (refusal of rights of audience for English Barrister by Scottish Courts)

Bwanchwoni v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, 2010 (use of language expert in immigration appeals) (acted for Secretary of State)

Inquest into the death of Sunner and Richards, 2009 (overdose of amphotericin administered in hospital) (acted for hospital doctor)

Inquest into the death of Michael Walsh 2009 (death in hospital) (acted for family)

Other information

VAT Registration No:  646 2783 14


Phone Clerk
020 7797 7500

Email Clerk


Philippa Whipple QC successful in Court of Appeal landfill tax case
Philippa Whipple QC and Matthew Donmall win Court of Appeal case on public funding
John Whitting QC represents Hospital Trust in successful defence of meningitis claim
Philippa Whipple QC refused right of audience in VAT case before Scottish Court of Session by the Lord President, Lord Gill.