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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 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.  

Since the Inquiry concluded in 2012, she has appeared in a number of high profile cases in each of her practice areas.

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



"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.

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)


Human Rights in Healthcare for the AvMA Clinical Negligence Conference 2013.

On-going series of specialist talks on Human Rights in Healthcare, 2013

On-going series of specialist talks on Judicial Review in Tax, 2013


Recorder (Western Circuit) 2005

Deputy Judge of the High Court (Administrative Court) 2013

Bencher of Middle Temple

Chair, Merton Lawyers Association

Lay Member, Guy's and St Thomas' Research Tissue and Data Bank Management Committee.

Significant cases include the following

Please click on the printable version of the CV for a more detailed list

Public Law/ Human Rights

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)

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

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)


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 [2013] UK UT 057 (TCC) (abusive claims) (acted for HMRC)

Reed Employment v HMRC [2011] UK UT 0109 (TCC) (legality of unjust enrichment defence post 2005) (acted for HMRC)

Subone Ltd t/a Subway v HMRC [2012] UKUT 34 TCC (VAT on hot takeaway food) (acted for taxpayer)

Taylor Clark Leisure PLC [2013] UKFTT (TC) (VAT Group representative; Fleming claim) (acted for taxpayer)

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)


CC v South London Healthcare NHS Trust (March 2013) (settlement of substantial damages including variable PPO 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) (failed claim for damages for loss of chance to be footballer following negligent accident) (acted for Defendant)

Rachael Brown v Birmingham and Black Country SHA and Shukru [2005] EWHC 1098 (GP’s alleged failure to diagnose low grade meningitis) (acted for Defendant)

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

Other information

VAT Registration No:  646 2783 14


Phone Clerk
020 7797 7500

Email Clerk


Hot Food for Thought. Owain Thomas wins for HMRC in Court of Appeal VAT dispute with Sub-One represented by Philippa Whipple QC and Isabel McArdle.
Philippa Whipple QC successfully defended a claim brought by the family of a brain damaged child seeking substantial damages for negligence.
Philippa Whipple QC lead Counsel to the Detainee Inquiry assisted by Matthew Hill.
Philippa Whipple QC represented the family of a triplet who was struck almost blind by medical negligence