Phil Whitaker
Phil Whitaker



    Phil Whitaker enjoys a broad commercial practice with an emphasis on trial and arbitration work.

    Phil’s clients benefit from his substantial experience in trials, arbitrations, and administrative proceedings involving a wide spectrum of business-related issues, including disputes arising from the sale of businesses to the sale of goods, and commercial tort cases, such as fraud, embezzlement, and breach of fiduciary duty. He has substantial experience in shareholder and partner disputes (business divorces) and in protective order and defamation matters.

    He has won jury trials representing plaintiffs and defendants, and he handles appeals in both the state and federal courts.

    Phil also advises business clients in contract and lease matters, entity selection and formation, and the drafting of entity governance documents, including shareholder agreements, operating agreements, employment, and independent contractor agreements.

    In employment law, Phil represents employers and employees in connection with covenants not to compete, anti-piracy or non-solicitation covenants, trade secrets, and confidentiality issues.

    Practice Areas

    Honors & Awards

    • AV Preeminent® Peer Rating, Martindale-Hubbell®
    • Arizona’s Finest Lawyers
    • Top Rated Lawyers (Business and Commercial Litigation), National Law Journal

    Bar & Court Admissions

    • Arizona, 1987
    • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, 1987
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1989
    • U.S. Supreme Court, 1999


    • J.D., Hastings College of the Law, University of California, 1987: Am.Jur. Award, Federal Government Contracts; Best Brief, Moot Court; Moot Court Board
    • A.B., magna cum laude, History, University of California, Riverside, 1984

    Professional Memberships

    • State Bar of Arizona
    • Maricopa County Bar Association: Board Member, Litigation Section

    Community Leadership

    • Lions Club International, Past District Governor, District 21-A
    • Central Arizona Dental Society Foundation: Board Member
    • North Phoenix Lions Club
    • Scottsdale Leadership
    • Banner Good Samaritan Hospital: Institutional Review Board
    • Community Bank of Arizona: Former Board Member

    Published Decisions

    • TWE Retirement Fund Trust, 198 Ariz. 268, 8 P. 3d 1182 (Arizona Appellate 2000)
    • Lloyd v. AMC, 195 Ariz. 144, 985 P. 2d 679 (Arizona Appellate 1999)
    • Cho v. American Bonding Co., 190 Ariz. 593, 591 P. 2d 468 (Arizona Appellate 1997)
    • A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc. v. McCollough, 967 F. 2d 1401 (9th Cir. (Ariz.) 1992)
    • Rent-A-Center, Inc. v. Canyon Television and Appliance Rental, Inc., 944 F. 2d 597 (9th Cir. (Ariz.) 1991)


    • Contributing Editor and Author, Arizona Litigation Guide (6th Ed. 2020), Maricopa County Bar Association
    • Contributing Editor and Author, Arizona Litigation Guide (5th Ed. 2015), Maricopa County Bar Association
    • Contributing Author, “Covenants Against Competition in Franchise Agreements,” American Bar Association Monograph Series, Forum on Franchising, 1992

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