Andrew Phillips, Baron Phillips of Sudbury

Andrew Phillips, Baron Phillips of Sudbury

Andrew Wyndham Phillips, Baron Phillips of Sudbury, OBE (born 15 Mar 1939) is a solicitor and Liberal Democrat politician.

He attended Culford School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he read Economics and Law, then became a solicitor. In 1970 he founded commercial law firm Bates, Wells & Braithwaite, and he remains a partner to this day.

From 1976, he appeared on BBC Radio 2's Jimmy Young Show as the "legal eagle", giving legal advice to the show's listeners. He continued in this role until the show ended upon Sir Jimmy's retirement in 2002. Phillips has also appeared on other television and radio programmes such as "Any Questions?" and "Newsnight". He received the OBE in 1996.

In 1998, Phillips was made a life peer as Baron Phillips of Sudbury, of Sudbury in the County of Suffolk. He sat in the House of Lords as a Liberal Democrat, and spoke on issues concerning civil liberties. He led the Liberal Democrats' opposition in the Lords to the government's identity card and counter-terrorism legislation.

Phillips was appointed Chancellor of the University of Essex on 28 April 2003, succeeding Lord Nolan who had retired on 31 December 2002.

In July 2006, to the surprise of many people, Lord Phillips of Sudbury announced his intention to resign from the House of Lords at the age of 67 (the average age of members being 68). He criticised the "cascades" of legislation that the Labour government had introduced::"It is seriously counter-productive. No society can absorb a net increase of statute law of eight or nine thousand pages a year."He said he would pursue other interests, and would no longer be just a "weekend husband" to his wife.

He had wanted to vacate his seat in the House of Lords, revert to being known as Mr Phillips, and allow "new blood" from his party to take his seat. However, although hereditary peers may disclaim their titles under the Peerage Act 1963, life peers are unable to renounce their titles, and continue to hold them for life. Therefore, Phillips is to take leave of absence from the House, meaning he will be unable to attend or vote, but could return at a month's notice. There will not automatically be a seat for a new Liberal Democrat peer in the House.

Andrew Phillips married Penelope Ann Bennett in 1968. They have a son and two daughters. He lists among his recreational interests theatre, local history (especially of Suffolk), arts, architecture (especially parish churches), golf, walking and reading.


* [ Lord Phillips of Sudbury] , biography at the Liberal Democrats
* [ Leigh Rayment's Peerage Page]
* [,,1817653,00.html Lib Dem peer loses bid to hand seat to 'new blood'] , "The Guardian", 11 July 2006
* [;jsessionid=Y3TBXNDEVGVO1QFIQMFSFF4AVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2006/07/27/npeer27.xml Just call me mister, says Lib-Dem peer] , "Daily Telegraph", 27 July 2006

External links

* [ Bates, Wells & Braithwaite]

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