The Sunday Mail
From playing on the dusty streets of Highfield, Harare, as a little girl, Ms Phillipa Phillips has managed to grow into a distinguished entrepreneur, lawyer, wife and mother.
From an early age, she knew exactly what she wanted to become — a lawyer of repute running a law firm in the capital and a businesswoman of note.
This has since come to pass.
She now handles complex cases.
Ms Phillips grew up in Highfield, where she was raised by her grandparents.
She attended Chisipite Senior School.
From a young age, she always had a passion for law.
In fact, she was inspired after watching the popular American legal drama — “LA Law”.
At one time, she also considered becoming a singer or pianist, but ultimately chose to pursue law.
“Watching LA Law made me recognise how the profession is so distinguished,” she said.
After completing her BA in French and Private Law and LLB in five years at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, she became an advocate with the Cape Bar.
She worked briefly for Legal Wise, before being trained by South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority.
She later earned a Master’s Degree in Corporate Law in the United States, where she worked for a law firm before starting her own company specialising in immigration and real estate.
In 2008, she returned home to work for the Civil Division of the Attorney-General’s Office as a legal officer.
Despite her success, she has faced challenges as a woman in the legal profession.
She, however, refused to be intimidated by gender stereotypes.
In 2014, she founded Phillips Law, which is known for its immigration services, fulfilling one of her dreams of becoming a businesswoman.
“I have felt undermined because I am a woman, but that’s mostly here in Africa, Zimbabwe specifically. And it’s different than in the US, where you are respected as a woman lawyer.
“Here in Zimbabwe, the men see you as a young girl and might not want to listen to you, but I hope I get the respect with time.”
Despite the challenges she has faced in the industry, she still believes women and girls have what it takes to be in the legal profession and can make a significant impact.
Her work as a lawyer has shown that she is not only a skilled legal professional, but a trailblazer with a heart for service as well.
In 2016, she worked with the World Bank to revise the old Companies Act, and, after that, she started doing a lot of corporate and commercial work.
“After that, I started doing a lot of corporate and commercial work,” she said, adding that she values the importance of referrals, which have been key for Phillips Law.
Ms Phillips also believes advice from other people can be invaluable.
In addition to her success in the legal field, she is also a devoted mother of two young children — a six-year-old girl and an eight-month-old boy.
She tries to spend as much time with her family as possible.
She only works on weekends when necessary.
“There are also some cases that are hard to handle as a woman who is a mother and wife, but I have the support of my husband, (Mr) Gwinyai Sadza,” she said.