Philip’s main area of expertise is acting for spouses or other related parties in matrimonial finance applications. He is instructed not only on behalf of wives and husbands but also other parties, such as those intervening in or joined to proceedings. He has experience of contested applications where there are allegations of non-disclosure; where one party fails to engage in the proceedings; cases concerning complex financial structures and trusts; and in cases where there is an international dimension, including disputed jurisdiction.
In 2009 he represented a husband at an interlocutory stage concerning the retention of his passport. This was a much publicised divorce case where the wife alleged that her husband was worth £400m. In 2010 he represented a wife in a complex 5-day contested divorce jurisdiction case in the High Court before Mostyn J in which the husband sought a stay of the English petition in favour of his Danish proceedings. In 2011 he represented a husband and eight other Respondents (led by a leading commercial QC) on the preliminary issue regarding the beneficial ownership of shares in a private limited company. In 2012 he then appeared in the related appeals in that case, including responding to the wife’s solicitors appeal against a wasted costs order made against them, inter alia, following the wife’s application to adjourn a 5 day trial in order for her to take steps to join relevant third parties they had failed to engage in the proceedings. This is reported as Fisher Meredith v JH and PH  2 FLR 536 and contains important guidance from Mostyn J on the obligations on one spouse or the other to join relevant third parties, although, on 2 November 2012, Philip secured permission from Munby LJ to appeal Mostyn J’s decision.
Philip has a particular interest in complex matrimonial proceedings and has acted in a number of cases concerning declarations as to status and the recognition of foreign divorces; these have included securing a ‘Hudson v Leigh’ declaration in respect of a ceremony in Goa and the recognition of an alleged tribal marriage ceremony in Nigeria. He has experience of contested financial applications following overseas divorces and in 2012 he appeared for the successful Respondent in the case of Dukali v Lamrani (HM Attorney General intervening)  2 FLR 1099 in which Homan J considered whether the ceremony celebrated at the Moroccan Consulate in London constituted a valid, void or non-existent marriage between the parties under English law. There was also an issue as to whether the Moroccan divorce ought to have been recognised here, but it was not necessary to determine that issue in view of the Court’s finding, as argued for the Respondent, that this was a ‘non-marriage’. This was the first occasion on which the interpretation of ‘marriage’ in s.12 of the MFPA 1984 has arisen in reported case-law. On 21 November 2012 the Court of Appeal approved this decision in the highly publicised case of Sharbatly v Shagroon  EWCA Civ 1507.
In addition to his matrimonial work Philip accepts instructions to advise and act in civil claims brought under the Trusts of Land and Appointments of Trustees Act 1996, albeit only in the ‘domestic context’. He is instructed on applications under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and advises and appears for spouses, former spouses, and children and often for the estate and beneficiaries. An unusual example was acting for an estate where the Claimant asserted that she was living as the civil partner of the deceased.
Before commencing his practice at the Bar, Philip worked for the Victoria Climbié Inquiry where he was a member of the Inquiry legal team working on the final report. He also worked as a legal researcher for the Irish Law Reform Commission and was the principal legal researcher on the Consultation Paper on Public Inquiries/Tribunals of Inquiry.
Dukali v Lamrani (HM Attorney General intervening)  2 FLR 1099
Link to report on Bailii is as follows: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2012/1748.html
Fisher Meredith v JH and PH (Financial Remedy: Appeal: Wasted Costs)  2 FLR 536
Philip is the current editor of the 1 Garden Court Newsletter. He is a regular contributor to the division on Family Breakdown in Butterworths’ Civil Court Precedents. He was part of a team of contributors from 1 Garden Court to the reissue of Volume 5(3) and (4) of Halsbury's Laws of England - Children and Young Persons in 2008. He worked, inter alia, on the chapter on Civil Proceedings by or against Children.
His other publications include:
The Family Procedure Rules 2010: A New Procedural Code – 1 Garden Court Newsletter Spring 2011
The Rise of The Post-Nup, in which he looked at the status and treatment of post-nuptial and pre-nuptial agreements in the light of the MacLeod v MacLeod  UKPC 64– Counsel April 2009
Joinder of Third Parties in Ancillary Relief Proceedings – 1 Garden Court Newsletter Spring 2007
Seminars and lectures
Philip has delivered papers at a number of conferences including:
Starting Proceedings in TOLATA claims – CLT on 28 April 2010
Financial Relief in England and Wales after Overseas Divorce: remission of hardship or second bite of the cherry ...? - 1 Garden Court on 24 November 2009