Phillipa Hildyard

Phillipa Hildyard
Year of call:



2012 - St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford · BA Jurisprudence

2014 - University of Law · BPTC (‘Outstanding’)


2015 - Pupil at Park Square Barristers

2016 - Tenant at Park Sqaure Barristers


Family Law Bar Association Lawyers for Children North Eastern Circuit

Ranked in The Legal 500 (2022) for Family and Children Law and seen as a rising star.

 ‘She is always well prepared. Her cross examination is well crafted, considered and thorough. A highly intelligent barrister.’ – The Legal 500 (2023)

“As a barrister, Phillipa has it all; she is exceptionally able, and very professional, yet remains personable and approachable.” – The Legal 500 (2022)

“Viewed as a ‘rising star‘, Phillipa Hildyard is ‘very bright‘ and has ‘a huge future ahead of her‘” – Legal 500 (2021)

Phillipa appears in both public and private children law matters in the Family Court, as well as Family Law Act injunctions (non-molestation orders and occupation orders).

Public Law

Phillipa regularly acts in public law proceedings, representing Local Authorities, parents, children, wider family members and interveners.

She has advised and represented parties on cases involving the following issues:

  • Non-accidental injuries
  • Sexual abuse (including grooming and rape)
  • Factitious illness
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Neglect
  • Psychological and psychiatric evidence
  • Parents with learning difficulties or who lack capacity
  • Parents who misuse substances
  • Jurisdictional issues

Whilst seconded to Humberside Police Legal Services in 2016, she often represented the Chief Constable of Humberside Police in the Family Courts on issues of disclosure. Phillipa has also advised Local Authorities in relation to disclosure into the Criminal Courts, including the redaction of social care records and public interest immunity.

Private Law

Phillipa is regularly instructed to represent parents where there are disputes over child arrangements, including residence and contact disputes, applications for prohibited steps orders and specific issue orders. Phillipa also has experience in enforcement proceedings.

She has particular experience of cases involving:

  • Allegations of domestic abuse
  • Allegations of violence to children
  • Psychological and psychiatric evidence
  • Risk of abduction

“My client thought Phillipa was great and we achieved a fantastic result.”

– Solicitor recommendation.


Phillipa’s approachable and friendly manner ensures she is able to provide clear advice to both solicitors and lay clients. Phillipa is regularly instructed to represent clients who are young, vulnerable, and / or present with learning difficulties.


Phillipa currently coordinates the seminars for the Park Square Barristers Family Team and regularly delivers seminars for colleagues and solicitors. She is also able to provide bespoke training in relation to children law matters and court skills. She has previously delivered training for social workers at Wakefield MDC and assisted Leeds Beckett University’s BA and MA social-work students by facilitating a court skills training day.

Notable Cases

  • Re M 2020 – Junior Counsel for the Local Authority, led by James Hargan, in a High Court case arising out of the death of a baby with underlying brain and other congenital abnormalities who it was found had been shaken on two separate occasions. A very complex medical picture required the instruction of numerous experts.
  • Re S (Fact-Finding) [2020] EWFC 71 – Junior Counsel led by Nicholas Stonor QC representing the father in an 8-week Finding of Fact Hearing in the High Court which took place entirely remotely via Zoom. The case involved complex medical evidence from numerous Court appointed experts and treating doctors to determine whether the child’s extensive injuries (multiple fractures and bruising) were as a result of an underlying medical condition or serial abuse. No findings were made against the parents or interveners. The Court instead found that the child suffered from genetic abnormalities (some of which may still be unidentified or not properly understood) which made the child susceptible to both bruising and fracturing with lesser force.
  • Re EB 2020 – Represented the child in a Finding of Fact Hearing to determine the cause of multiple injuries (two fractures and multiple sites of bruising) to the baby.
  • Re B/R 2019-20 – Junior Counsel led by Huw Lippiatt for three non-subject children in a 9-week Finding of Fact Hearing in the High Court. The proceedings were to determine extremely serious allegations of child sexual abuse made by all three of the non-subject children against the parents and 7 interveners.
  • Re JT 2019 – Represented the mother in a Finding of Fact Hearing to determine who was the perpetrator of serious inflicted injuries (six fractured bones and bruising) to a baby.
  • Re H/R 2019 – Represented the Local Authority in a Finding of Fact Hearing involving cross-examination of the parents who had learning disabilities and required the assistance of intermediaries. The purpose of the hearing was to determine the cause of the baby’s fractured leg.
  • Re W/G 2018 – Junior Counsel led by Charlotte Worsley for the children (A aged 17 and P aged 6) in a 4-week Finding of Fact Hearing in the High Court. A had disclosed systematic abuse against her stepfather over a period of seven years. Ensured A was able to give evidence to the best of her ability. A was believed and all findings were made.
  • Re C/T 2018 – Successfully represented an intervener in a 2-week Final Hearing. The Court found that the intervener had not caused non-accidental injuries to the children as alleged by the parents.
  • Re SW 2018 – Represented a father in a 3-week Final Hearing involving allegations of serious sexual violence and child sexual abuse.

Contact Phillipa’s clerks

Claudine Cooper on 0113 202 8604

Paul Foster on 0113 213 5209

Arnela Siranovic on 0113 213 5212

Phillipa takes instructions in a broad range of regulatory crime cases, including health and safety, environmental, fire safety, environmental health, building control and food standards cases.

Police Law

Phillipa has significant experience representing police forces. Between March 2016 and September 2016, Phillipa was seconded to Humberside Police Legal Services. She continues to act for police forces on a range of matters including:

  • Applications for orders to protect members of the public, including Sexual Harm Prevention Orders, Sexual Risk Orders, Notification Orders, Violent Offender Orders and Domestic Violence Protection Orders.
  • Firearms appeals.
  • Dangerous dog applications.
  • Disclosure between the police and the Family Court.
  • Legal professional privilege issues.
  • Police property disputes.
  • Defending civil claims against the police.


Phillipa is available to provide bespoke training to police forces and regulatory bodies. She has previously provided training to Humberside Police Legal Services, South Yorkshire Legal Services and Cleveland Fire Brigade.

Notable Cases

  • Chief Constable of Humberside Police v Benjamin Lumby (2016) –successfully defended the appeal against a Sexual Harm Prevention Order in Hull Crown Court over a 4-day hearing with vulnerable witnesses. The Court varied the SHPO to make it more onerous. It was reported in the national press.
  • Chief Constable of Humberside Police v Glyn Martin (2016) – successful application for a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, including a condition requiring the Respondent to wear by a location-monitoring device at all times.
  • Represented Humberside Police at the case management stage of proceedings in the High Court to disclose information arising out of the police investigation into the death of Poppy Widdison. The case attracted national press.

Contact Phillipa’s clerks

Madeleine Gray on 0113 202 8603

Patrick Urbina on 0113 213 5250

Imogen Brown on 0113 2135225

Phillipa accepts instructions to advise and represent clients in relation to all aspects of family finance. She has experience of representing clients at First Hearings, Financial Dispute Resolution Hearings and Final Hearings.

Contact Phillipa’s clerks

Claudine Cooper on 0113 202 8604

Paul Foster on 0113 213 5209

Phillipa accepts instructions to advise and represent clients on Court of Protection matters and is eager to build this area of her practise. She is sensitive and has experience of working with vulnerable clients.

Contact Phillipa’s clerks

Claudine Cooper on 0113 202 8604

Paul Foster on 0113 213 5209

Arnela Siranovic on 0113 213 5212