Phil was born in Danville, Virginia on March 26, 1972, to Philip and Pat Berger. Phil is a 1990 graduate of Morehead High School in Eden, North Carolina. He graduated from UNC-Wilmington in 1994 with a B.A. in History, and earned his law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1999.
Phil began his legal career in private practice in 1999. From 2001 through 2006, he joined his father and brother, Kevin, forming The Berger Law Firm. In 2006, Phil was elected District Attorney in the 17A Prosecutorial District and was re-elected in 2010.
While serving as District Attorney, Phil was the chair of Project SAFE Rockingham County. A collaboration with the US Attorney's Office and local law enforcement, Project SAFE implemented the “focused-deterrence” model for reducing violent crime among recidivists and gang members. In 2013-14, he served as President of the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys. Phil represented the National District Attorneys Association in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a Non-Governmental Observer to the United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, et al hearings.
From 2015-2016, Phil served as an Administrative Law Judge with the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings. He was elected to the North Carolina Court of Appeals in 2016. In 2020, Phil was elected to the Supreme Court of North Carolina.
Phil has a passion for helping young people. He serves as a volunteer assistant coach with the baseball team at Cedar Ridge High School. Phil previously coached football at the high school level, and he has also coached youth football with the Durham Firebirds and Greensboro Eagles. Phil was the founder and chair of Eden Youth Football, and he served as a board member and basketball coach with Bethany Community Middle School.
Phil is married to Jodie Church, a public school teacher. They have two children, Philip III and Will.