About Phil

Dr Phil Friend (OBE FRSA), himself a wheelchair user, is acknowledged as the UK's foremost consultant on disability matters. A powerful and highly popular communicator, his company – Phil & Friends – provides consultancy to many of the country's best-known companies. In addition to his professional activities, he is also a respected champion for equal opportunities and diversity in general, where his special blend of humour and direct speaking has won admirers from around the world.

He has made many board presentations and speeches and provided consultancy on a wide range of disability and diversity related topics in the UK. He has also worked on disability and diversity projects in Estonia, Romania, Poland, Germany, Canada and the USA. He was awarded an OBE in 2001 for services to equal opportunities and disabled people.

Phil was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science (Hon Dsc) in 2009 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to equality and diversity from University of Hertfordshire.

Phil has had a number of articles published and is a regular contributor on national/local television and radio, he has also appeared in several video productions commissioned by Sky, the Employer’s Forum on Disability, various Tourist Boards and Angel Productions.

He recently wrote a self help book with his colleague Dave Rees entitled "Why are you pretending to be normal?" It explores how disabled people can manage rather than just cope with their disability.

Phil is also very active within the voluntary sector. Between 2005/15 he was the Chair of Disability Rights UK (previously RADAR) and is now an Ambassador for the organisation. He is a Vice President of the Level Playing Field Association a disabled sports supporters organisation (formerly NADS), Chair of the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RiDC) and the Vice Chair of the Activity Alliance formerly the English Federation of Disability Sport a member of the Association of Disabled Professionals, Vice Chair of BT's Customer Inclusion Panel, a former Commissioner on the Extra Costs Commission. He is also an Associate of the Business Disability Forum, a Churchill Fellow, and was made a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts in February 2007.

Phil Friend

What Phil's clients say...

Phil has worked with many organisations over the past 25 years and some of these are listed on this page. More importantly though is the impression that he has created on the people in these organisations and in the disability community at large.

Baroness Jane Campbell of Surbiton

Baroness Jane Cambell

"I have known Phil Friend for over two decades and have always been impressed by his unique ability to distil and communicate some of the most complex disability policies and practices, to any audience. As a result of this skill, he has not only transformed the public’s understanding of disability but motivates them to do something tangible about it. Phil’s drive to emancipate the most oppressed members of the disability community inspires us to keep going when the going gets tough. When we work together, I know I am in the room with a man of integrity and passion for disability, equality and human rights. You can’t bottle this!"

Tim Taylor,  Lloyds Banking Group

Tim Taylor

"Phil Friend has made an immense difference to Lloyds Banking Group’s journey towards disability confidence. He has supported and helped shape our strategy and been a critical friend (no pun intended) for the Diversity & Inclusion team. "

Liz Sayce, former CEO

Disability Rights UK

Liz Sayce

"I’ve been struck by Phil's enormous commitment to building effective relationships. In our organisation that has meant forging strong relationships with everyone from the newest volunteer to the most prestigious funder and board member – showing leadership, meeting everyone, sharing humour, treating everyone with unflinching respect and equality."

Clients Past and Present





Buckingham Palace

Cabinet Office


Department for Work & Pensions

Ernst & Young

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Goldman Sachs

HM Customs & Excise

The Home Office



Lloyds Banking Group

Metropolitan Police


NHS Blood and Transplant Service

Office for Disability Issues

Royal Mail

Royal Bank of Scotland

Scottish Water

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