Members of 20 Essex Street are pleased to welcome Dr Philippa Webb, a specialist in public international law and an expert in the law of state immunity, as a member of chambers.
Philippa’s practice covers all aspects of public international law in domestic and international courts. She has extensive experience with proceedings before international courts and tribunals, particularly the International Court of Justice. She served as the Legal Officer and Special Assistant to Judge Rosalyn Higgins DBE QC during her presidency of the ICJ (2006-2009). During this time, she worked on 14 cases involving the law of the sea, territorial sovereignty, immunities, genocide, the use of force, human rights, diplomatic protection, and environmental matters.
Philippa has particular expertise in the law of state immunity and advises governments, organisations, corporations and individuals on all aspects of immunity, including immunity from enforcement, diplomatic status, and related concepts such as act of state and non-justiciability. She is the co-author, with Lady Hazel Fox QC, of the leading treatise The Law of State Immunity. Her work has been cited by the UK Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, the Supreme Court of Canada and the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa.
Philippa is currently counsel in two disputes pending before the International Court of Justice concerning maritime delimitation and immunities, respectively. She is counsel, with other members of Chambers, for the Italian Republic in its dispute with India over the “Enrica Lexie” incident, which is before an arbitral tribunal constituted under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. She is also counsel in a case before the European Court of Human Rights and is instructed in a number of other cases before the English courts involving matters of public international law.
Philippa was admitted to the New York Bar in 2006, and called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2016. She has a doctorate and masters in international law from Yale Law School and degrees in Law and Asian Studies from the University of New South Wales, Australia. She speaks French and Japanese. Philippa is Reader (Associate Professor) at King’s College London.
Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC says: "Philippa is a rising star of the international law Bar, with outstanding experience and broad-based PIL expertise. We confidently expect clients to be beating a pathway to her door from all around the world. We are delighted that she is joining 20 Essex Street and look forward to her participation as a pre-eminent member of our established and growing community of public international lawyers."
Duncan Matthews QC, 20 Essex Street’s co-head of Chambers says: “It is with great pleasure that we welcome Philippa to the set. She brings recognised expertise and a wealth of experience in Public International Law to further enhance the set’s pre-eminent practice in the field.”
Philippa adds: “I am thrilled to join 20 Essex Street. It has had an outstanding reputation in Public International Law for seven decades. It is home to not only the leading advocates in the field, but also the new generation of international lawyers. I am looking forward to developing my international practice as a barrister in these chambers.”