Phil Holden

Call To The Bar: 1994


Philip has almost 30 years experience in the law specialising in inquests, crime and sports disciplinary law.


Philip has been instructed in numerous high profile and complex inquests. His clients include corporate bodies, hospital trusts, care homes, mental heath facilities and family members.

He has appeared in a wide range of inquests including deaths in hospitals, care homes, community care and police custody. Philip is renowned for his sensitive and empathetic approach and for his persuasive and effective advocacy.

The inquests he has undertaken involving fatalities in a clinical setting range from deaths of new-born infants to those within psychiatric hospitals and prisons.

Philip is particularly noted for representing care homes and has an excellent track record for achieving positive outcomes for his clients.

Philip was appointed as an Assistant Coroner in 2014 in the area of West Yorkshire (Eastern) and has also sat in West Yorkshire (Western) and Lancashire. He has considerable experience in both sitting on and appearing in lengthy and complex inquests including jury inquests and inquests where Article 2 is engaged.

Philip sat as the coroner on the first inquest in the country to consider the death of an infant following heart surgery which had taken place in the aftermath of the temporary closure of several coronary centres resulting from concerns in relation to high mortality rates. The inquest attracted a significant amount of media attention and was extensively reported in the national press.

Philip has frequently lectured on Coronial law and is available to present lectures on request.
Criminal Law :-

Philip acts only for the defence and has vast experience in the criminal courts. He is renowned for providing expert advice and robust advocacy in cases of the utmost complexity and gravity.

Philip is regularly instructed in cases of terrorism, homicide, fatal road traffic accidents, fraud (including VAT carousel fraud), and large scale drug importation/supply cases linked to organised crime.

He has appeared in over 30 murder trials to date many of which have lasted for several months and several of which have attracted national media attention.

He appears as a leading junior, led junior and junior alone in cases of complexity and has vast trial experience in all aspects of serious crime.

His recent lengthy cases have included a 5 month boiler room fraud and a six week fraud involving the importation of large quantities of tobacco.

He is also currently instructed in two terrorist cases that have attracted national media attention.

Philip, in addition, has particular expertise in representing those accused of driving offences and is regularly instructed in cases involving fatal road traffic accidents. He has a significant track record of successfully representing drivers charged with causing death and catastrophic injury by dangerous and careless driving.

Sports Law :-

Philip was appointed to the Lancashire RFU disciplinary panel in 2018 and as an RFU Judicial officer in 2020. He has represented numerous professional sportsmen, sportswomen and clubs before disciplinary panels and in the Criminal Courts.

He is a sports enthusiast and has an excellent general knowledge of a number of different sports. He is a retired cricket and rugby player.