He was the eldest son of Charles Paul Phipps (1815-1880) and Emma Mary Benson. Having been educated at Eton, he was sent to Brazil to work for the family firm, Phipps & Co, which exported coffee from Rio de Janeiro. In 1871, following the death of his uncle, John Lewis Phipps, he became a partner in the firm.
In 1880, Phipps was elected as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Westbury. A petition by the defeated Liberal candidate, Abraham Laverton, to have his election annulled on the grounds of bribery, treating and undue influence, failed. He remained MP for Westbury until 1885.
Phipps died in 1913. In 1874, he married Clare, the daughter of Sir Frederick Hervey Bathurst, of Clarendon Park Wiltshire. They had one son and six daughters.