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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)

Inquests & Public Inquiries

Jack has an established specialist inquest practice, and is ranked in both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners. The Legal 500 has described him as “Very experienced, much beyond his years. Very legally and tactically astute… very well prepared. Highly Recommended”; and Chambers and Partners as  “a strong choice of barrister for healthcare providers, construction companies, public bodies and families in complex inquests…”.

Clients include infrastructure companies (Balfour Beatty, RATP); public services (South Central Ambulance Service, G4S); international healthcare providers (Bupa, HCA); local authorities (Surrey County Council); government departments (the Ministry of Justice).

He appeared in the first well-publicised case involving unlawful killing after the Supreme Court case of Maughan; represented South Central was instructed regarding the Grenfell Inquiry; and is instructed in the forthcoming Forbury Gardens terrorist attack inquests.

He was appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel in 2021, and accepts instructions on behalf of government departments.

He is regularly instructed by leading solicitors in the field.

Selected Cases

  • 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.
  • Inquest into the death of N Saunders – (Reading Coroners’ Court, November – December 2022) – A 3-week jury inquest that gained national media attention, it involved a death during ambulance transport due to cocaine-toxicity and the associated phenomenon of ‘Acute Behavioural Disturbance’ (or ‘ABD’) following over 1 hour of restraint in handcuffs by the police. Jack acted for South Central Ambulance Service. The case was significant for its focus on the lawfulness of police restraint, and the adequacy of the ambulance response to a poorly-understood and rare medical condition. At the end of the evidence, the Senior Coroner accepted Jack’s argument that the jury could not make any criticism of the ambulance response.
  • J Barnes Inquest (Manchester City Coroner’s Court, February 2021)– Acting for the former operators of the Manchester Metrolink tram system in a sensitive, well-publicised inquest involving the death of a young man following a cardiac arrest, suffered during a contentious physical restraint performed on him by four Metrolink contractors in central Manchester. This was one of the first cases concerned with unlawful killing and the lowered standard of proof following Maughan. Jack’s submissions on the application of Article 2 ECHR and his client’s work policies were accepted by the Senior Coroner, and no adverse findings were made in regards to his client at the conclusion of the inquest. The case attracted national media coverage:
  • CF Inquest (Worcestershire Coroner’s Court, September 2020)– A complex one-week inquest concerning the drowning of a severely disabled young woman whilst using an allegedly-defective domestic bath hoist unattended. Jack acted for the contractor responsible for servicing the hoist one month prior to the death. The family alleged that the hoist service had been inadequate. Much of the evidence was concerned with expert opinion. Previous consideration of homicide offences by the police created particular sensitivity. Accepting Jack’s submissions, no criticism of the client was made by the Coroner made at the inquest’s conclusion.
  • Acting for Surrey County Council in a number of ongoing complex inquests, including: two cases of teenage suicide, and a case involving the murder of a vulnerable man on probation.
  • Being led by Keith Morton KC and Adrian Darbishire KC in connection with the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
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“He’s a really technical barrister who gets into the detail of the case really quickly.”

Chambers & Partners, 2024

“Jack is very quick and has an eye for detail. He is very much a specialist health and safety lawyer. Highly recommended.”

Legal 500, 2024

“Jack has a very astute tactical approach, and a cogent and determined advocacy style.”

Legal 500, 2024

“Jack is extremely diligent, thorough, well prepared, and has good commercial awareness.”

Legal 500, 2023

“Jack is a really thoughtful barrister and knows how to behave with various witnesses.”

Chambers & Partners, 2023

“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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