Profileback to list
With more than 11 years of experience working on some of the BBC's highest-profile shows, Philip is one of the UK's leading content legal advisers. An Oxford University graduate, Philip originally was a professional journalist, before working for prestigious law firms in London and then becoming a senior solicitor in-house at the BBC, where he worked since 2003.
From BBC News on one extreme, to Have I Got News For You on the other, on television, on radio and online, Philip has worked across the range of the BBC's programming and has helped get some of the Corporation's hardest-hitting output on air.
Highlights include the investigation by BBC Northern Ireland's flagship documentary strand, Spotlight, into the sexual and financial dealings of Iris Robinson, wife of Northern Ireland First Minister, Peter Robinson, which won two Royal Television Society awards in 2011, including Scoop of the Year, and series 1 and 2 of The Revolution Will Be Televised, which won a BAFTA in 2013 for Best Comedy Programme.
Philip also has advised on more than 20 series of BBC1's iconic satirical panel show, Have I Got News For You, and multiple series of long-running favourites such as Traffic Cops, Motorway Cops, Mock The Week and Friday Night With Jonathan Ross. In addition, he has a wealth of experience in advising on daytime shows featuring criminal and antisocial behaviour, as well as stand-alone, fly-on-the-wall documentary series, with all the legal and editorial issues they involve.
Some of Philip's best work has been for the BBC's regional documentary and investigative strands, in London and the South East, but in particular for BBC Northern Ireland's multi-award-winning television current affairs programme, Spotlight. In a political system where the two main political parties share power, there is no "Opposition" in the conventional sense. Spotlight has filled that vacuum, frequently setting the political agenda with its fearless exposes of abuses of power. The programme's revelations in summer 2013 about the political interference by DUP Minister, Nelson McCausland, in the running of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, led to a long-running Assembly inquiry into the allegations and, eventually, the departure of Mr McCausland from office.
In early 2014, Philip began an internal secondment in the BBC’s Editorial Policy department, advising news and current affairs editors and programme makers on the interpretation of, and compliance with, the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines and the Ofcom Broadcasting Code. He is accordingly able to give expert advice from both the legal and editorial perspectives.
Having trained as a journalist before switching to law, Philip has a keen appreciation of “what the story is”, and brings a "can do" attitude to his work. If there is a way of getting something newsworthy or otherwise worthwhile out on air or on theatre screens, Philip will help you find it. The key to his approach is an unrivalled ability to analyse the legal and editorial issues, explain them in a clear way, and give sound, common sense advice on how to manage risk.
Philip particularly enjoys getting to know clients through training and is very happy to give bespoke training sessions to new and current clients.
Before joining the BBC legal department in July 2003, Philip worked in private practice as a solicitor, specialising in defending newspaper publishers in litigation. He did his training contract at the highly-regarded media firm, Oswald Hickson Collier, later joining Farrer & Co, known for being solicitors to HM The Queen. During that time, he worked on some of the biggest libel trials of the period, including Albert Reynolds v Sunday Times and Neil Hamilton v Mohamed Fayed.
Prior to embarking on his legal career, Philip trained as a journalist, gaining the Westminster Press Diploma in Journalism, and working for the Surrey Herald and News and the Oxford Mail and Times.
Philip is a graduate of the University of Oxford, having studied Literae Humaniores (Latin, Greek, Ancient History and Philosophy) at the world-famous Magdalen College, alma mater to Cabinet Ministers William Hague, Jeremy Hunt and Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.
He lives in Northamptonshire with his wife, Sophie, and three young children.