HomeLord Phillips of Worth Matravers

Expert resume of Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers

Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers is a retired Law Lord and past President of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.

Lord Phillips was called to the Bar in 1962, and became a Queen’s Counsel in 1978. During his time at the Bar, he specialised in Commercial Law and Admiralty Law. He was appointed a Judge of the Queen’s Bench Division in 1987, where he sat in the Commercial Court. After becoming a Lord Justice of Appeal and being appointed to the Privy Council in 1995, he was elevated to the Court of Appeal in 1999, appointed Master of the Rolls in 2000 and Lord Chief Justice in 2005. Lord Phillips was appointed as Senior Law Lord in 2008 and oversaw the transition of the House of Lords to the Supreme Court in 2009, when he became the Court's first President, a position which he retained until 2012. He remains a non-permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong and also the President of the Qatar International Court & Dispute Resolution Centre.

A Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter, Lord Phillips is currently a Dickson Poon Distinguished Fellow and Visiting Professor at King's College London, a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and Mansfield College Oxford, the President of the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre, and a non-permanent Judge on the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong.

During his time in Judicial Office he presided over some of the most celebrated legal cases, including the complex prosecutions relating to the Maxwell Pension Funds, and also of Barlow Clowes. He also conducted the Public Inquiry into the outbreak and effects of BSE.


Born 21 January 1938; 1958 - 1961 King's College Cambridge. Exhibitioner - 1st Class degree in Part II Law Tripos; 1962 Called to the Bar by the Middle Temple (Harmsworth Scholar); 1973 - 1978 Junior Counsel to the Ministry of Defence and to the Treasury in Admiralty matters; 1978 KC; 1982 - 1987 Recorder; 1987 - 1995 Judge of the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, where sat in the Commercial Court; 1995 Promoted to the Court of Appeal; 12 January 1999 Elevated to Lord of Appeal in Ordinary; 6 June 2000 - 2005 Master of the Rolls and Head of Civil Justice; 1 October 2005 Appointed Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales; 1 October 2008 Appointed Senior Law Lord; 2009 - 2012 President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom; 13 June 2011 Made a Knight of the Garter.

Positions Held

1999 - Honorary Fellow of The Society for Advanced Legal Studies; 2000 - 2005 Trustee Magna Carta Trust; 2000 - 2005 Visitor - Nuffield College, Oxford; 2000 - 2005 Visitor - University College, London; 2000 - 2005 Chairman Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Public Records; 2000 - Advisory Council of Institute of Global Law; 2003 - Honorary Fellow King's College Cambridge; 2005 - President, British Maritime Law Association; 2005 - 2008 Visitor, Darwin College, Cambridge; 2012 - Distinguished Visitor, The Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London.

Honorary Degrees

1993 Hon LLD, Exeter University; 2003 Hon LLD, Birmingham University; 2003 Doctor of Civil Law City University, London; 2005 Honorary LLD, London University; 2007 Hon LLD, International Maritime Law Institute; 2009 Doctor of Laws, University of Wolverhampton; 2010 Doctor of Laws, Wake Forest University, North Carolina.