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Jack Murphy

Call 2013

"Very experienced, much beyond his years. Very legally and tactically astute, good eye for detail, understands strategy, and is very well prepared. Highly recommend."
(Legal 500, 2022)

Criminal Regulatory & Environmental

Jack has a specialist criminal regulatory law, inquests, and personal injury practice. He has extensive court experience:

  • He is recognised in the legal directories for his inquests expertise, and regularly acts as sole counsel in complex, multi-day inquests.
  • As part of his criminal regulatory practice, he regularly appears in both the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts for trials and sentencing hearings. He has been led by some of the leading practitioners in the field; and, rare for his level of call, has successfully acted as sole counsel in a Crown Court health and safety trial.
  • Jack’s personal injury practice encompasses both casualty and disease work, and his routinely instructed on cases valuing up to £500,000. He regularly appears in the County Court for trials and interlocutory hearings; in front of Queen’s Bench Masters; and has been led in the Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal.

Before coming to the Bar, Jack read History at Christ Church, Oxford. Aside from the law, he is a keen sailor.


Jack is an established member of Crown Office Chambers’ market-leading criminal regulatory law team. His practice encompasses health & safety, environmental law, and motor offences. He welcomes instructions on behalf of defendants and potential defendants, and he regularly appears in the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts for both trials and sentencing hearings.

Health and Safety

His health & safety work covers a broad range of industries and issues. He has represented a range of corporate clients, from micro companies up to very large organisations with turnovers in excess of £1 billion; regularly advises companies and individuals regarding prosecutions under the 1974 Act; has been instructed in manslaughter cases; and is familiar with niche areas of the field, including wilful neglect and fire safety offences.

Selected health and safety offences cases include the following:

  • Inquest into the death of IM (Birmingham Coroner’s Court, September 2022) – A two-week jury inquest into a work at height fatality, involving a collision between an overhead crane and an elevated work platform during the construction of a testing facility at the University of Birmingham. Jack acted for the Principal Contractor, a national construction and engineering company.
  • R v Alutrade Limited & Others. (Wolverhampton Crown Court, March 2022) – One of the major manslaughter cases of 2022, Jack was led by Mark Balysz in representing a large metal recycling company charged with corporate manslaughter relating to a death due to unguarded machinery. The Crown eventually accepted the company’s guilty plea to corporate manslaughter, alongside pleas to non-causative HSWA offences from three co-defendant managers originally charged with gross negligence manslaughter. This plea deal, coupled with the Company’s sentence (£2m, with four years to pay) was a favourable outcome.
  • R (HSE) v Douglas (Reading Crown Court, December 2021) – Jack was instructed as sole counsel to represent a high-performance boat builder charged with a breach of regulation 11 of PUWER regarding the use of an unguarded table saw. Jack secured an acquittal following a week-long trial. The case was challenging, and the outcome exceptional given the strict nature of the duty under regulation 11 and the absence of a reasonableness defence.
  • R (Thanet DC) v S (Folkestone Magistrates’ Court, April 2022) – Jack represented a multi-national building materials company (with a turnover in excess of £1 billion). The case concerned alleged inadequate training in regards to the movement of heavy steel mesh products using fork-lift trucks, and a consequent serious accident involving 3 employees. A significant aspect of the case was the comprehensive fort-lift truck training provided to all employees involved, and the enforcement of exclusion zones. The prosecution contended for a fine of between £1.5 to £3 million. The Judge accepted Jack’s arguments and imposed a fine of £400,000 only.
  • R (HSE) v R&J Ltd and Others (Swansea Magistrates’ Court, September 2021) – Jack represented one of two directors of a specialist roofing firm charged with s.37 HSWA offences regarding a serious work at height accident. On sentence, the prosecuiton’s argument that a custodial sentence and a directors’ disqualification order should be imposed were rejected, and a community order only imposed.
  • R (HSE) v S Ltd and Others (Grimsby Magistrates’ Court, September 2020) – Acting as sole counsel at sentence for a company with turnover in excess of £300 million, in relation to a workplace accident caused by inadequate isolation and lock-off procedures. A favourable fine of £200,000 was obtained.
  • R v E (Leicester Crown Court, July 2017) – Led in a s.47 wilful neglect Crown Court trial involving the near-fatal drowning of a vulnerable pupil at a specialist school, in which a conditional discharge was obtained on the basis of unused material Jack identified.
  • Being led in a prosecution of an Approved Inspector under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, in which the prosecution offered no evidence following legal submissions on the applicability of the Order.

Environmental Law

Jack is developing an environmental law practice, and he has particular experience of prosecutions under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Recent work in this area includes successfully defending Waitrose (instructed by Eversheds Sutherland) and a large national housebuilder (instructed by Gowling) in respective statutory nuisance prosecutions.

Motoring Offences

Jack’s motor offences work includes regular trials and sentencing hearings for careless driving; and he has experience of fatal offences, as well as s.170 Road Traffic Act failure to report / failure to stop offences. Recent highlights include securing non-custodial sentences in both a death by careless driving case and a serious injury by dangerous driving case.

Selected Cases

View full profile »


“He’s meticulous in his approach and has a lovely manner about him with clients and the courts.”

Chambers & Partners, 2022

“Very experienced, much beyond his years. Very legally and tactically astute, good eye for detail, understands strategy, and is very well prepared. Highly recommend.”

Legal 500, 2022

“He is on top of the detail, he gets the issues and he works extremely hard.”

Chambers & Partners, 2022

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