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Philip Havers QC

Call:  1974 
QC: 1995


Philip Havers has a wide-ranging practice focused, in particular, on public law, human rights law, clinical negligence, health law, environmental law, personal injury law, sports law, breach of confidence and contempt of court.  He has appeared in many leading cases in these fields.  He is also an accredited mediator and a member of the football Premier League’s Arbitration Panel.


Philip has been recognised by leading directories for many years in the fields of public and administrative law, human rights, clinical negligence, personal injury, environmental law and professional discipline.

At the Chambers and Partners Bar Awards in 2006, he was voted Silk of the Year for “Human Rights and Public Law”.

Administrative and Public Law

"He has the ear of the court, is canny and knows which are the good points to make. A very succinct advocate." (Chambers and Partners 2017)

"A real class act, he has very good judgement, takes points well and is a good advocate who makes his cases very attractively." "He is phenomenal - he speaks with such authority." (Chambers and Partners 2016)

"He is charming and hard-working, and has impeccable credentials." (Chambers and Partners 2015)

"He is an extremely smooth advocate. Even when confronted with the most determined opponent he remains completely unruffled." "He is very composed, and a deep, careful thinker." (Chambers and Partners 2014)

“appears to have the complete trust and confidence of judges – his signature on the paper alone seems to carry great weight at the permission stage…a very experienced public lawyer with a great understanding of the legal process and the relative importance of legal points.  “He is intellectually inclusive and really thoughtful about the clients that these issues affect.” (Chambers and Partners 2013)

“the standout public law practitioner at the set.  An advocate in demand, “he is so good that he makes the other side look as though they’re stirring very thin gruel indeed”” (Chambers and Partners 2012)

The established public law star of this set.  A lawyer who “always has the courts trust,” he is an “excellent choice for any case involving the government (Chambers and Partners 2011)

Clinical Negligence

"He's incredibly knowledgeable, vastly experienced and somebody you always feel completely safe with." (Chambers and Partners 2017)

"He has a forensic brain which gets straight to the heart of the matter and leaves you feeling that you and your client are in the safest hands.” (Chambers and Partners 2016)

"Philip goes through cases like a hot knife through butter. He's got the judgment and the intellectual courage to pare things down to what really matters." (Chambers and Partners 2015)

"He is a leading light. If you want a real heavyweight, he is the man to have in your corner as he has a good feel for the court." "He is such a clever man. He makes complicated things sound simple. He is also very human - he can deal with anybody." (Chambers and Partners 2014)

Philip Havers is considered “one of the true leaders in the field” and is a barrister whose advocacy skills are legendary. (Chambers and Partners 2013)

He has the ear of the Bench and is “superb in court” as a result of his “quietly authoritative” style.  Others say of him that he is “intelligent, perceptive and thorough” and maintains the response of his opponents since he remains a “true gentleman” throughout proceedings. (Chambers and Partners 2012)

Universally regarded as a top class practitioner.  He is exceptionally bright and has great experience on both sides of the fence.  Clients say “He’s down to earth, dynamic and reliable.  He’s quietly spoken in court but very robust in the promotion of his case.” (Chambers and Partners 2011)

Human Rights

"He speaks with huge authority in court and has a wonderful style." "He's very thorough." (Chambers and Partners 2017)

"He is a very elegant and smooth advocate." (Chambers and Partners 2016)

"He is an outstanding silk with years of experience whom the government often turns to."  (Chambers and Partners 2015)

"He is great. He can present radical ideas in a palatable way." "He is very likeable and pleasant, and very good with clients." (Chambers and Partners 2014)

He has “an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the relevant principles in the human rights arena (Chambers and Partners 2013)

a “top-drawer silk” with an amazing breadth of experience.  (Chambers and Partners 2012)

Brings real gravitas to a case.  “A superb advocate who adds value every time,” he is well liked by clients and revered for his extensive knowledge of human rights law. (Chambers and Partners 2011)

Personal Injury

Philip Havers is an approachable leader in the field of personal injury and possesses outstanding advocacy skills.  He is considered one of the main draws at the set as a whole. (Chambers and Partners 2013)

Known as a “tough but fair opponent,” he “has such a vast experience that he can foresee all sorts of issues others might not grasp in a case.” (Chambers and Partners 2012)

“absolutely terrific on PI claims that require a superior intellect.” (Chambers and Partners 2011)

Professional Discipline

"Very experienced silk; he is a formidable opponent in healthcare disciplinary matters." (Chambers and Partners 2017)

"He's a very skilled advocate who combines good client skills with enormous intelligence." (Chambers and Partners 2016)

"He is extremely competent, very astute, relaxed on his feet and a very experienced advocate." (Chambers and Partners 2015)

Admired as a “clever, quiet and dependable character,” who is “a very good figurehead to have on any case.” (Chambers and Partners 2012)

A reassuring presence for clients, and adopts a “very understated but effective” approach to regulatory work.  (Chambers and Partners 2011)


An Introduction to Human Rights and the Common Law (general editor and contributor) Hart 2000

Contributor to Powers, Harris and Barton on Clinical Negligence, Fourth Edition, 2008 and APIL’s Clinical Negligence.

Numerous talks and articles


Deputy High Court Judge
Member of the football Premier League’s Arbitration Panel
Council and Executive Board Member of Justice
Bencher of Inner Temple

Significant cases include the following

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

R (Mousa) v Secretary of State for Defence [2013 and 2011]:  Whether Secretary of State should hold a public inquiry into allegations of abuse made by Iraqi civilians against the armed forces during the occupation of Iraq.

Burnett v Dr Lynch [2012]:  Court of Appeal:  correct approach to clinical negligence appeals on the facts.

R v RNOH NHS Trust [2012]:  Claim for damages in respect of complex spinal surgery.

Whiston v London SHA [2010]:  Knowledge and discretion in limitation in a clinical negligence claim 32 years after the events complained of.

AG v Times Newspapers [2012]:  Whether article published by Times Newspaper was in contempt of court.

R (Prudential Plc) v Special Commissioner of Income Tax [2013]:  Whether advice from accountants to tax payer is protected by legal advice privilege.

GDC v Savery [2011]:  Use of patients’ medical records in disciplinary proceedings without their consent.

Savage v South Essex NHS Trust [2008]:  Whether mental hospital under Convention duty to prevent suicide.

AM v DPP [2013]:  Right to die.

R (APIL) v Lord Chancellor [2012]:  Challenge to the failure of the Lord Chancellor to revise the discount rate for the assessment of damages for future loss in personal injury/clinical negligence claims.

Other information

VAT Registration No:  244 8889 12


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