skip to main content

James Murphy

Called Called in 1993



About James Murphy

In 2015 James became Head of the PLP Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Team. He leads a specialist team of 56 barristers with responsibility for team development, standards and client relations. 

James practices exclusively in injury and disease litigation. He is instructed nationally by a wide range of insurance companies, large corporations, trade unions and private clients.

James is keen to provide swift practical assistance to his clients at all stages of litigation. 

Each year James is identified by the major legal publications as a leading practitioner noted for his strong client care and advocacy skills.

chambers2017   undefined  Murphy, James   

Personal Details

Education: BA (Hons) Political Theory and Institutions, Liverpool University CPE, University of Huddersfield
Professional Associations: Personal Injury Bar Association (PIBA) Association for Victims of Medical Accidents (AVMA)
Appointments: 2008 - Recorder (Civil) sits as a Judge in the County Court 2012 - Appointed Counsel to the T&N compensation scheme for victims of asbestos exposure 2016 to date - Deputy Head of Chambers 2015 to date - Head of the Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Team Accredited Pupil Supervisor NE Circuit Advocacy Trainer

Specialist Practice Areas


Chambers & Partners 2018 - Band 1

A well-respected junior and head of the personal injury team at Parklane Plowden. He handles both industrial disease and catastrophic injury claims, and also has a specialist focus on employer's liability. He represents claimants and defendants, both at first instance and on appeal. He is praised for his creative drafting and down-to-earth manner.

Strengths: "He gives clients confidence and presents things in a way that the client can understand. He's not put off by paperwork and goes through everything with a fine-tooth comb." "He has a pleasant personality that immediately puts clients at ease. He is extremely thorough and everything you want in an advocate."

Recent work: Represented one of the defendants in a claim for £4 million relating to a rope access accident in which the claimant was rendered partially tetraplegic.

Legal 500 2017

"He has an impressive skill for revealing pertinent facts by shrewd questioning."

Chambers & Partners 2017

A well-respected junior and head of the personal injury team at Parklane Plowden. He is equally capable of handling both industrial disease and catastrophic injury claims, and also has a specilaist focus on employer's liability. He represents claimants and defendants, both at first instance and on appeal.

Strengths: "He's very knowledgeable and robust. He has a very positive approach towards litigation: he always sees the solution and works towards it."

Recent work: Acted in Hall v CPL Ltd, a claim arising out of a sidewall mining accident where liability was disputed.

Legal 500 2016

 "He is always in control of a case and has excellent decision- making abilities"

Chambers & Partners 2016

Instructed by national law firms and insurers on personal injury and industrial disease claims. Cases related to mining are a specialism of his. Instructing solicitors value his manner with clients, outstanding advocacy and availability. 

Strengths: "He is extremely thorough with a great eye for detail. He takes a pragmatic approach and has good negotiating skills." "He is an affable and ferocious opponent. I was impressed with his cross-examination of experts."

The Legal 500 2015

"He is experienced in a wide range of catastrophic injury cases and asbestos-related matters."

Chambers & Partners 2015 

Advises predominantly on personal injury and disease work on behalf of trade unions and insurers nationwide. He is an expert on asbestos injuries, with particular knowledge of mesothelioma. 

Expertise: “He is very persuasive and can extract exactly what we want the witness to say in cross-examinations.” “His client care skills are exceptional.”

Recent work: He acted in Russell Moulton v Midlands Co-Op & Others in relation to mesothelioma and issues of breach of duty.

The Legal 500 2014 

"His advice and advocacy is of a high quality"

Chambers & Partners 2014

Acts primarily in cases relating to industrial disease and asbestos exposure, and is known for the breadth of his specialist expertise in the field. He also has significant experience with complex catastrophic injury claims. 

Expertise: "His court skills are second to none - his ability to think on his feet is quite remarkable. His demeanour with clients is excellent; he's always well prepared and he puts clients at ease."

Recent work: He represented the victim of a building site accident whose leg was amputated after a dumper truck overturned. The case was settled after liability was denied by the construction company.

Legal 500 2013

"James is recommended, and has a strong following among insurers."

Chambers & Partners 2013

'James Murphy has focused his personal injury practice on disease and multiple injury claims. He "is extremely customer-focused," according to those instructing him, who include a number of trade unions and insurers. He acted in the case of Littledyke, a claim regarding a worker whose legs were crushed by an unbanked excavator.'

Legal 500 2012 

James Murphy's ‘ability to think on his feet is second to none’

Chambers & Partners 2012

The "outstanding" James Murphy wins the respect of insurance companies and trade unions for his serious injury, amputation and liability work.

Legal 500 2011

"Excellent on his feet".

Chambers & Partners 2011

He is noted for his skilful approach to high-value employers' liability claims, rated as a "particulary intelligent trial advocate." who is "excellent at explaining the position to clients in a language they can understand."

Chambers & Partners 2010

He is the "epitome of the modern silk." "Up on current trends, a real team player and always willing to muck in, he is as far away from the old-style, distant barrister as you can get."


Recently Concluded Cases

  • M v. Cleveland Potash  Ltd- HAVS -breach & causation (Middlesbrough CC).
  • S v. Wincanton Logistics Ltd–serious limb threatening crush injuries (Maidstone CC).
  • C. v. EMHCA-fatal mesothelioma (RCJ, London).
  • K v. HMRC-chronic pain  (Leeds CC).
  • S.H. v. Red7marine & Anos- contribution action. Major  marine lifting accident (Camb. CC).
  • H-Tetraplegia. Settled at JSM.
  • I. v. Co-Op Group Ltd. Cl rendered seriously vision disabled. Settled at JSM.
  • W v. McCain Foods Ltd-chronic pain. Settled at JSM.
  • M. v. Balvac Ltd. Living mesothelioma claim for young widower with dependant child.



  • H v. Humber NHS Trust-clinical negligence-treatment of small cell lung cancer.
  • B v. Chesterfield NHS Trust-clinical negligence-delay in referral for Oncology review.
  • Frozen Valley Ltd v. Heron Foods Ltd-Commercial lease.
  • Waring v. Longfellow, Longley & Haggas-restraint of trade/ breach of contract.
  • Mahmood v. Baser-commercial lease.
  • P1 International v. Smales. Credit hire of a supercar.

Examples of Current Caseload

  • B v. New Look-failed back syndrome/permanent serious disability.  
  • C v. Bradford Diocese-historic sex abuse. (Several similar ongoing claims).
  • R. v. Asda Stores Limited- CRPS/ Pain claim with 6 medical experts. Complex causation.
  • B. v. Bradford & Airedale PCT-clinical negligence arising from failed hysterectomy.
  • T v. Carillion Services Ltd- alleged severe obsessive compulsive disorder after a fall at work.
  • H v. CLDL-myelomalacia /partial tetraparesis after workplace assault.
  • L. v. Hanson PLC-RTA-multiple physical injuries with ABI.
  • S. v.SLAP Ltd-nervous shock claim arising from fatal tiger attack.
  • P. v. RWE Power Ltd-fatal small cell lung cancer secondary to asbestos exposure.
  • M v. JW-fatal RTA for widower / young dependants.

Reported Cases

Home Office v Lowles [2004] EWCA (Civ) 985

Leading authority on regulation 12 (3) Workplace Health Safety and Welfare - Regulations 1992.

Cressy (Brian) v (1) E Timms & Sons Ltd (2) E Timms & Sons Holdings Ltd [2005] EWCA Civ 763 Definition of 'identity of the Defendant' pursuant to s.14(1) c of the Limitation Act 1980

Jakto Transport Ltd v Derek Hall [2005] EWCA civ 243

The correct approach to the credibility of a witness. In particular when there is expert engineering evidence.

Taylor v. Wincanton Group Limited [2009] EWCA Civ 348

Consideration of 'suitability' pursuant to reg. 12(1) of the Workplace Regulations.


  • Head and Psychological Injuries.
  • Pain conditions/ fibromyalgia.
  • Ogden 7 – future loss.
  • Fatal accidents.
  • Mesothelioma /asbestos injury.
  • Motor insurers bureau.
We're Recruiting

Parklane Plowden welcomes enquiries from Barrister and Solicitor advocates. In addition to our regular recruitment campaigns, Parklane Plowden also welcomes enquiries from individuals seeking superb opportunities for career advancement.

Cookies on our website
By accessing this website ("Site") or downloading materials from the Site, you agree to abide by these terms (as amended from time to time) set out here. Where you are using the Site in the course of your business, you agree to these terms on behalf of that business. If you do not agree with the terms (or are not authorised to do so) you should not access this Site.