Masters of the Bench
The Hon Mrs Justice Whipple
Full Title: The Hon Mrs Justice WhippleCategory: Ordinary Bencher
Bench Call Date: 27.3.2012
Call Date: 17.2.1994
Philippa Whipple is a High Court Judge sitting in the Queen’s Bench Division.
She read Law at Merton College, Oxford and has been an Honorary Fellow of that college since 2016. After university she trained as a solicitor, taking her Law Society Finals at Guildford College of Law, before undertaking a training contract at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, with stints in its Hong Kong and Paris offices. She qualified in the tax department, where she worked for several years before changing career track.
Philippa transferred to the Bar and became a tenant at 1 Crown Office Row (then headed by Master Seabrook) where she practised for 21 years, taking Silk during that time.
She had an unusually broad civil practice, specialising in medical law (including professional discipline and medical negligence), public law (including human rights) and tax. From 2010-13 she was Lead Counsel to the Detainee Inquiry chaired by Sir Peter Gibson to investigate allegations of ill-treatment of detainees by British intelligence officials in the aftermath of 9/11.
Her judicial career started in 2005 when she was appointed a Recorder on the Western Circuit, initially sitting in crime but later in civil. In 2013 she was appointed a Deputy High Court Judge in the Administrative Court. She was appointed a full-time High Court Judge in 2015, at the age of 49.
Philippa sits on the Board of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) and has been involved in the most recent High Court Judge competitions. For much of 2017, she was the Acting Vice-Chair of the JAC.
She was appointed a Presiding Judge of the South Eastern Circuit in August 2018 and currently has particular responsibility for the civil courts in London. She also sits on the Judicial Diversity Committee of the Judges’ Council.
She was elected a Bencher in 2012 and chaired the Inn’s Finance & Resources Committee.
Philippa is married to Sam, a media consultant and former journalist. They have three sons who are in full-time education.