Philip Godfrey

Call: 2010

"Knowledgeable and thorough in advice and analysis. Well drafted pleadings and proficient on cross-examination."

Legal 500
Philip Godfrey

Philip prides himself on providing a tactical insight into the cases on which he is instructed. He provides a proactive approach and is often involved at the earliest stages of claims to provide input and guidance.

Philip specialises in all areas of personal injury, industrial disease and clinical negligence litigation.

His personal injury practice encompasses high-value multi-track work involving cases valued up to £1 million.

Philip has extensive experience of trial advocacy and interim hearings, incorporating the full range of personal injury litigation.

Philip has a wide-ranging paperwork practice, advising both Claimants and Defendants, as well as settling pleadings. He regularly advises on liability, quantum and issues of medical causation.

He has a particular specialism in cases involving the Defective Premises Act 1972, and was counsel for the Respondent in the leading case of Lafferty v Newark and Sherwood DC [2016] H.L.R. 13.

Philip studied Law at the University of Nottingham. At University, he was awarded the Law Graduates’ Association Moot Prize. He undertook his Bar Vocational Course at Nottingham Law School where he was graded “Very Competent”.

Prior to joining Chambers, Philip spent three months working for the International Arbitration team at a leading international law firm in Paris.

Away from the Bar, Philip’s interests include travel, theatre and spending time with family and friends.

Personal Injury

Philip’s practice encompasses all areas of personal injury litigation. He acts for both Claimants and Defendants.
He provides particular insight into claims against local authorities, claims under the Defective Premises Act 1972, claims involving issues of vicarious liability and high value cases.
Cases of note include:

  • Successfully represented a Claimant at a trial on the liability of a water utility company for a defective drain cover that it owned located on third party private land;
  • Counsel for the Respondent in the leading case of Lafferty v Newark and Sherwood DC [2016] H.L.R. 13;
  • Junior counsel in the Supreme Court case of McDonald v National Grid Electricity Transmission PLC [2015] A.C. 1128.

His Claimant practice incorporates cases valued in the hundreds of thousands of pounds. He is regularly instructed to settle Schedules of Loss in complex cases. Recent examples include:

  • A claim against the MIB. Claim settled for over £450,000;
  • A public liability case involving significant future care and accommodation issues. Claim settled for £250,000 at a joint settlement meeting;
  • A claim involving a serious ankle injury with issues relating to future surgery and prosthetics. Claim settled for £100,000.

Philip is a member of the Personal Injuries Bar Association. He regularly gives talks and mock trials for professional clients.


Philip specialises in cases of industrial disease involving noise-induced deafness, vibration, industrial asthma and exposure to harmful dusts and asbestos.

He is regularly instructed on Multi Track trials, limitation hearings, appeals, show cause proceedings in the Queen’s Bench Division and interim hearings. He acts for both Claimants and Defendants.

He has acted for clients at Inquests and is regularly instructed to settle pleadings and to draft applications.

Cases of note include:

  • Acting as junior counsel in the Supreme Court case of McDonald v National Grid Electricity Transmission PLC [2015] A.C. 1128 relating to the interpretation of the Asbestos Industry Regulations 1931;
  • A successful appeal against a Judge’s finding on date of knowledge following a preliminary limitation trial in a noise-induced hearing loss case;
  • Junior counsel to Patrick Limb QC in a successful conjoined appeal to HHJ Robinson at the Sheffield County Court on the circumstances in which a Defendant would be granted permission to rely upon its own medical evidence in noise-induced hearing loss cases on the Fast Track;
  • Instructed to act for the Defendant on a £300,000 HAVS trial and an repetitive strain injury trial with contested expert medical evidence.

Clinical Negligence

Philip acts for Claimants and Defendants in clinical negligence and care cases, including representation at Inquest and at the advisory stage.

He has particular experience of cases involving negligent development of pressure sores, surgical negligence (in particular orthopaedic and obstetric cases), cases relating to the delayed diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome, hip conditions, cysts and cancer, failures to obtain informed consent and cases relating to errors in the prescription and administration of medicine.

He has recently acted in cases of failure to supervise patients at risk of falling and those involving obstetric complications in pregnancy and delivery.

He has considerable experience in drafting schedules and counter-schedules of loss, including cases valued up to £1,000,000. He acts for both Claimants and Defendants in cases related to both primary and secondary care.

Animals & Equine

Philip has experience of cases involving the Animals Act 1971, in particular cases involving horses and dangerous dogs.


Philip’s coronial practice includes deaths arising from industrial accidents, cases of suspected medical negligence and those involving industrial disease.


Philip has extensive counter-fraud experience spanning all areas of personal injury work.
Recent examples of his work in this area:

  • A claim dismissed in the Romford County Court with a finding of fundamental dishonesty for an invented accident on the highway;
  • The Claimant’s claim dismissed in the Birmingham County Court with a finding of fundamental dishonesty where the Claimant had invented an “independent witness” (with whom he was a longstanding friend on Facebook);
  • Claim dismissed in the Worcester County Court with a finding of fundamental dishonesty for a fraudulent exaggeration of injuries on the basis of contemporaneous medical records;
  • Claim dismissed in the Middlesbrough County Court with a fundamental dishonesty / wasted costs order in a noise induced hearing loss claim. There was a dispute as to whether the contents of the witness statement had been invented by the Claimant’s solicitors or the Claimant himself, and the matter was listed for a “show cause” hearing;
  • Claim dismissed in the Willesden County Court with a finding of fundamental dishonesty in a case where the Claimant was claiming tens of thousands of pounds for lost earnings while at the same time being a long-standing recipient of disability benefits;
  • Regular involvement in drafting defences, counter-schedules of loss, advising in conference, joint settlement meetings and Court advocacy in cases of suspected fraud.

He is often instructed on cases involving surveillance evidence. He frequently acts in cases that include extensive documentary records incorporating medical records, occupational records, DWP records and social media accounts.


Philip regularly acts in cases arising from road traffic accidents, including credit hire disputes, counter-fraud cases and quantum disputes.

Professional Negligence

Philip’s experience involves cases relating to the professional negligence of accountants, solicitors and medical professionals.


  • Personal Injuries Bar Association


  • LLB, University of Nottingham

Notable Cases

  • Lafferty v Newark and Sherwood DC [2016] H.L.R. 13
  • McDonald v Department for Communities and Local Government [2015] A.C. 1128


"Knowledgeable and thorough in advice and analysis. Well drafted pleadings and proficient on cross-examination."

Legal 500 2022 - Personal injury

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