Phillippa Ellis

Principal Associate
Commercial Disputes
Business Crime and Investigations

Phillippa leads our business crime and investigations practice. 

Phillippa works alongside colleagues from across the firm, to help clients develop strategies for identifying and managing risks associated with business crime and regulatory breaches.

She has extensive experience in all aspects of criminal litigation from interviews under caution to hearings in the Court of Appeal, and in a wide variety of offences including fraud, unlawful deaths and misconduct in public office.

Phillippa joined us from the Serious Fraud Office where she investigated financial and economic crime. She has worked alongside domestic and overseas agencies including the US Department of Justice and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Phillippa has led teams investigating corporates and individuals suspected of large scale, complex fraud and bribery & corruption often involving multiple jurisdictions. She was part of the team investigating LIBOR benchmark manipulation.

Phillippa is an employed Barrister. Prior to joining the SFO, Phillippa specialised in criminal law as both a solicitor and a barrister.

Speaking engagements:

  • Serious Fraud Office: Update on recent case work – Fraud Advisory Panel
  • Use of compelled material in criminal investigations – Cambridge Symposium

Phillippa Ellis has a strong background in regulatory work, with a focus in recent years on large-scale commercial litigation which makes her particularly well suited to professional negligence claims and claims against professionals involving fraud.’

The Legal 500

  • Acting as the prosecutor on an investigation into a corporate and Bribery and Corruption by a mining company in West Africa.
  • Leading complex investigations into corporates and individuals suspected of fraud, bribery and corruption, and money laundering in the UK and overseas. These included an investigation into suspected fraud within the steel industry, and a bribery investigation into the award of a contract for printing currency in East Africa.
  • Acting as part of the SFO team investigating and prosecuting the fraudulent manipulation of LIBOR.
  • Defending a case concerning the sale of counterfeit batteries from China including reaching an agreeable settlement of the Proceeds of Crime application.
  • Representing witnesses in significant HMRC and SFO investigations into tax fraud and bribery and corruption, assisting with the drafting of witness statements and providing advice on legal requirements.
  • Successfully defending companies suspected of offences under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 resulting in the investigations being discontinued
  • Defending clients suspected of fraudulent conduct and offences under the Financial Markets and Services Act 2000. The allegations arose out of the activities of the companies in which they held senior managerial positions resulting in no charges being brought.
  • Conducting an investigation on behalf of a public body regarding complaints made in relation to an operational case team conducting a criminal investigation.
  • Corporate criminal liability
  • Economic and financial crime
  • Fraud
  • Bribery & corruption
  • Money laundering


  • Principal Associate, Capital Law Limited (Apr 2023 – present)
  • Senior Associate, Capital Law Limited (Mar 2021 – Mar 2023)
  • Case Controller, Serious Fraud Office (Aug 2018 – Feb 2021)
  • Lawyer, Serious Fraud Office (May 2015 – Aug 2018)
  • Barrister, 33 Bedford Row (Dec 2013 – May 2015)
  • Barrister, Solicitor, Paralegal, Noble Solicitors (Jul 2001 – Dec 2013)


  • BPP Law School: Bar Vocational Course (2006 – 2008)
  • BPP Law School: GDL (2004 – 2006)
  • Brunel University: BA in English Lit and Drama (2000 – 2003)

Memberships / Trustee Positions

  • The General Council of the Bar
  • The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
  • Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Fraud Advisory Panel