Philip Williams

  • Year of Call 2005



Philip has an established practice involving public and administrative law, media, sports and regulatory matters along with commercial litigation, personal injury, clinical negligence, planning, environment and property.

Philip is often instructed on matters that are challenging, extremely litigous and require an utterly fearless approach.

Philip has represented (and is representing) many clients who are high net worth individuals or high profile media celebrities.




Philip has a rapidly expanding High Court litigation practice, and his practice encompasses areas such as Technology and Construction, Property and contested Insolvency matters. His vigorous advocacy style often sees him arguing narrow points of law in order to obtain the desired result. Philip has a friendly and approachable manner with clients and easily distils large and complex information into layman's terms. Philip thrives when undertaking convoluted cross-over points of law; his understanding of different legal aspects of common law results in strong legal arguments and a high success rate.



Philip has vast experience in the Court of Appeal, High Court, County Court and the Land Tribunals, in property related cases. His main focus is on adverse possession, easement and equine litigation as well as boundary disputes. Philip has numerous reported cases and has successfully acted on one of the highest value adverse possession claims, with litigation running into a multi-million pound claim for land close to the access of the 2012 Olympic site in Stratford, East London.

Personal Injury

Personal Injury

Philip enjoys a split practice between Claimant and Defendant personal injury work, often in claims pleaded in excess of six figures. He combines a pragmatic approach with his scientific background to condense complex legal and medical issues to ensure the case is analysed robustly yet succinctly.

Philip is a strong negotiator and prefers to work with solicitors early on to make sure that he is best prepared to assist in out-of-court settlements. He is a highly experienced advocate, having acted in several catastrophic injury cases and Fatal Accident Act claims. He has also had extensive involvement in clinical negligence cases, both as junior and sole counsel. Philip maintains a strong paper practice and is able to turn written work around at short notice.

Philip is happy to accept instructions on a CFA basis.



Philip has retained an interest in Regulatory proceedings since pupillage; having initially started off as a unique criminal and planning practitioner. He understands in-depth civil matters that are often heard before the Magistrates' Court. Philip has been instructed successfully in Judicial Reviews and Case Stated matters from a variety of Tribunals involving the decisions Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court. 

While Philip is predominately a civil practitioner, appearing occassionally in the criminal courts for private clients, is not something that phases him. Philip has appeared as a [very] Junior in murder, violence-related, drugs and other serious trials.

Philip is also described as 'truly outstanding' and obtaining 'sometimes seemingly impossible results' when defending privately paying clients on alleged driving over the prescribed limit charges. This is a small but yet relatively regular part of his practice. 



Philip is well versed in construction related matters and has appeared in the Court of Appeal and High Court as a Leading Junior, with many of his cases being reported.

Inquests and Inquires

Inquests and Inquires

Philip has appeared in numerous Inquests and Inquiries over the years. His civil practice combined with his vast experience in personal injury and clinical negligence along with his previous background in crime and public law challenges stands him in good stead in the most testing of circumstances with the most serious of allegations.



Philip is a leading junior in sports law. Prior to coming to the Bar Philip was a professional sportsman, trainer and promoter. His indepth knowledge of the procedure before numerous tribunals and before the Courts is vast. Some of the recent leading reported cases have featured him both led and unled.

Notable Cases

Notable Cases

Below is a selection (only) of some of Philip's cases.

Alex Reid v Katie Price [2018] 5 WLUK 373. Acting for the Claimant against Katie Price in an alleged breach publishing private and sensitive material. Ongoing and instructed by Tim Gir of Sanderswitherspoon LLP.

Baker v British Boxing Board of Control [2015] EWHC 2469 (ChD)

Leading case on adjournments when an Applicant is too unwell to provide instructions. 

Baker v British Boxing Board of Control [2014] EWHC 2074 (QB)

Junior counsel in the High Court for an application for a mandatory injunction to retain the Applicant’s licence pending an appeal based on on arguments of procedural irregularities and unfairness (with Hugh Mercer QC).

Palmer v Muir [2014] EWCA Civ 309

This started off before a District Judge before being given permission to appeal. It was lost originally lost on appeal before a Circuit Judge in Teeside. There was then a rare but successful second appeal. The issue was one of whether the actual seller of a horse could revert to being an agent as defence. The Court of Appeal agreed on the argument that had been run from the outset by Philip, in that the Seller absolutely could not do so (with Mark Anderson QC). Instructed by Jacqui Fulton Equine Law.

Cronin v Greyhound Board of Great Britain [2013] EWCA Civ 668

Junior Counsel before the District Judge and the Recorder. The matter ended up in the Court of Appeal due to inter alia lack of reasons for coming to a decision, the jurisdiction to impose a fine and removal of a licence (with David Lock QC). Interestingly, the veterinary expert (who provided the predominant advice and evidence to the Board) was later found to have been grossly negligent in separate proceedings conflicting with the Court of Appeal. Instructed by Sanderswitherspoon LLP.

Driver v Dover Roman Painted House Trust [2014] EWHC 1929 (QB); [2014] 4 WLUK 511. 

Highly publicised and succesful defence after heavy cross-examination. Leading authority on the Occupiers' Liability Act, intoxication and control of premises.

Staple v Munro Seear [2011] EWHC 3962 (QB)

Successful injunction to deliver up a horse. Took into account whether the horse had individual features, interference with goods and the balance of convenience. Philip acted as sole counsel. Instructed by Blythe Liggins.

Francesca Pollera v William Fox-Pitt (2009) (unreported)

This was where Philip ran a successful defence of Civil Fraud on behalf of an Olympic gold medallist against an Italian horse Agent. It was heard in Bristol High Court. Philip was sole counsel.

Cunningham v Buckley [2017] EWCA Civ 224

Philip was lead counsel in a three week trial at first instance and then again in the Court of Appeal. This has become a leading case on the applicability of VAT on new build properties and the burden of proof of who has to obtain the evidence.

Fairhurst v Collins [2016] EWHC (TCC) 199

Highly publicised and reported five week trial in Manchester (TCC) High Court. A dispute arising out of the quality of the build, arguments that the Claimant was an artificial Claimant (litigation vehicle) and the need for numerous experts. Ancillary matters still ongoing. 

Browne Construction v Chapman [2016] EWHC 152

Successful co-defence (with Giles Mooney QC for the Second Defendant) to allegations of fraud in an invoicing capacity between two construction companies and their directors. Philip was for the First Defendant. Permission to Appeal from the Court of Appeal was granted. Settled pre-appeal hearing. Instructed by Dominic Tryb of Railton Law.

R (on the Application) of Derbyshire County Council v High Peak Magistrates Court & Kate Marlow [2013] EWHC 1762 (Admin)

Sole counsel on a civil-public law matter within the Magistrates Court against Paul Stinchcombe QC. Philip acted on a CFA for the original Applicant (who was Simon Cowell’s appearance coach). Acting on a CFA was novel within the Magistrates' Court. The application against the local authority was successful and the District Judge's Judgment damning. The matter was subject to a Judicial Review, which was successfully defended in the High Court, with yet another damning assessment of the Local Authority. The costs of the proceedings in the Magistrates' court exceeded six figures alone. Instructed by Jacqui Mann of Nigel Davies Solicitors.

Pipe v DPP [2012] EWHC 1821 (Admin)

Successful Case Stated application. Philip acted on behalf of the succesful Applicant in the High Court and previous defence counsel defending a speed in excess of 100 mph on the basis of the defence of necessity. This is now the leading authority in relation to such driving matters and duress of circumstances. Instructed by Tim Gir of Sanderswitherspoon LLP.

Watson v National Taxation Team [2011] EWHC 3962 (QB)

Judicial Review on the amount solicitors and counsel should be paid for privately paying successful criminal defences. This arose out of a successful privately paying accountant who had been accused of assault by a sister of a Senior Crown Prosecutor. Abuse of process proceedings were pursued, a District Judge recused himself (accordingly) and the Defence was successful (led by Yvonne Coen QC). It was the costs of the same that were at issue. Instructed by Instructed by Tim Gir of Sanderswitherspoon LLP.

Stratford Upon Avon v Dyde [2009] EWHC 2011 (Admin)

Succesful defence of a Case Stated on behalf of the Prosecuting Licensing Authority as to the correct fares to be charged when a Taxi is also a Hackney Carriage. Complicated matter as to whether a criminal offence could arise based on a conflict in relation to the contractual price and the displayed meter (put simply).

Stevenson & Ors v Southwark [2011] EWHC 108 (QB)

Represented the former manager of Jessy. A five-week trial of Misfeasance in Public Office against alleged corrupt and misfeasant Planning Officers (against Lord Faulks QC). 

007 Stratford Taxis v Stratford on Avon [2011] EWCA Civ 160

Successful resistance in the Court of Appeal to a challenge by way of Judicial Review of the Local Authorities Policies relating to Disabled Taxi access.

Melton v Uttlesford (R on the Application of Melton) [2009] EWHC 2845

This is a case that Philip ran from pupillage. It went from the Licensing Committee, Magistrates' Court, Crown Court and then High Court in a rolled-up case stated and Judicial Review procedure. It involved a Taxi driver who lost his licence to drive in accordance with an (argued unlawful and strictly) applied policy relating to Stanstead Airport. Instructed by Tim Gir of Sanderswitherspoon LLP.

Islam v SoS (R on the Application of) (1) Tower Hamlets (2) [2012] EWHC 1314 (Admin)

Leading case on the conflict of Section 288 and 289 Appeals.

Georgiou (R on the Application of) v SoS [2011] EWCA Civ 775

Successful Appeal in the Court of Appeal of a Planning Inspectors decision for the lack of reasons when the only expert evidence went in favour of the Appellant.

Jenkins v Welsh Assembly [2010] EWCA Civ

Split decision in the Court of Appeal relating to a complicated judicial review on material considerations (on Appeal from Patrick Curran QC) in relation to Cardigan Island Farm Park. Against Clive Lewis QC (as he was then).

Successfully representing a Grenfell Tower Paramedic in keeping his licence notwithstanding a speed limit of 116 mph along with it being his 3rd speeding conviction in 18 months.

Professional Negligence

Professional Negligence

Alongside Philip's commercial practice he is regularly instructed in Professional Negligence matters, primarily involving accountants, brokers, financial advisers, lawyers and valuers.

In 2019 he will be involved in five High Court matters involving Insolvency Practitioners and Solicitors. 

Philip's significant experience encompasses a wide variety of disputes, injunctions and high value professional liability work. (including: Trusts and commodities disputes, insurance and reinsurance matters, banking claims to civil fraud)