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Michael Murphy, Partner, joined the firm in 2009 and specialises in professional negligence litigation and dispute resolution. He leads our Healthcare, Pharma and Lifescience group.

Practising in the non-jury area, Michael works with particular emphasis on professional indemnity, having experience in negligence cases involving architects, engineers, solicitors, barristers and insurance brokers, as well as claims against directors and officers. He has considerable experience of assessing liability and quantum issues, including the ‘no transaction’ principle. He advises insurers on coverage matters, particularly for regulated professions, advising on the solicitors’ Minimum Terms and Conditions, surveyors’ RICS Minimum Terms and accountants’ CARB Minimum Approved Policy Wording. Specialising in delivering efficient services and, where necessary, innovative solutions, Michael applies these skills to challenging financial lines claims.

Michael also deals with personal injuries litigation in relation to both public liability and employers’ liability claims. With significant expertise in advising clients on complex liability and quantum issues in such cases, he also frequently resolves cases without the input of counsel where appropriate. In both the non-jury and personal injury spheres he has experience in dealing with litigation against construction companies, private companies and health service providers.

Having significant experience in commercial litigation, Michael handles commercial disputes, personal injury actions in the Circuit and Superior Courts, alternative dispute resolution (including mediation and arbitration) and cases before the Commercial Court. He has dealt with judicial review cases and injunctions and has also dealt with cyber claims, including the misappropriation of significant sums of money from professionals by cyber criminals. Michael achieves excellent results, such as the recovery of a substantial amount which was frozen in the bank of another EU Member State. He also advises on the GDPR, including compliance strategies, risk minimisation and litigation arising from data breaches.

Michael acts for international and domestic insurance companies, loss adjusters, financial institutions, statutory bodies, construction companies, SME’s, large corporates and private clients.

Recent Work Highlights

  • Advising upon indemnity and dealing with an arbitration and resolution of a claim involving an architect who was sued cumulatively for €23m arising out of allegedly negligent investment advice provided to two members of one of Ireland’s most popular rock bands
  • Defending seven sets of related High Court professional negligence proceedings against a firm of accountants arising from a dispute as to whether loans taken out by investors were recourse to property only or full recover. The ‘real’ exposure for our client was in excess of €2m but a settlement was brokered for a net €200,000 ‘all in’ by agreeing to purchase the residue of the loan with the new charge holder in an innovative solution that saved the insurers over €2m in liability that would otherwise have crystalised
  • Acted on behalf of an engineer and his insurers in the resolution of an extremely challenging construction claim. Involving one of Ireland’s largest dairy food produce manufacturers, the claims was against the contractor and engineer that provided allegedly negligent construction services. By having the dispute between the defendants submitted for adjudication, following an unsuccessful mediation, we resolved the claim with the contractor agreeing to deal with 50% of the claim – having been unwilling to even discharge their own costs at the mediation several months earlier
  • Resolved an extremely complicated claim that involved a medical negligence component insofar as a cannula had been retained in the plaintiff’s arm following a surgical procedure which resulted in physical and psychological sequelae arising
  • Successfully resolved a cyber claim in which €300,000 was misappropriated by an Eastern European cybercriminal from an Irish firm of solicitors. The potential liability of the bank which facilitated the transaction was explored as well as the scope for holding the external IT contractors responsible for the loss. Through swift intervention, it proved possible to have the funds frozen in the Latvian bank and, with the assistance of a local firm of solicitors, the funds were successfully recovered in full following a court action, leaving the firm at no loss
  • Compromised a claim arising from a road traffic accident in which the physical and psychological trauma of the accident caused the plaintiff to experience a severe recurrence of her previously dormant fibromyalgia condition leading to the onset of chronic pain
  • Handled a claim on behalf of Barrington’s Hospital involving a landlord and tenant dispute with a physiotherapist whose premises was on site and which was compromised on the best terms available, thereby avoiding a court hearing and an additional layer of costs
  • Dealing with a claim that involves allegations of a ‘tummy tuck’ abdominal surgical procedure having been carried out defectively where damages are being sought, necessitating a review of the consent procedures maintained by the hospital and surgeon concerned
  • Responding to a cyber attack on a firm of solicitors in Ireland through a phishing email scam whereby the sum of €30,000 was misappropriated from their client account, it proved possible to recover the sum of €15,000 from the English-based fraudster
  • Successfully defended a property damage claim on behalf of a construction company in which the level of damages sought was in excess of €1m following a full hearing before the High Court, thereby successfully protecting the company’s reputation and interests.

Professional Activities

  • Member of Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL)
  • Member of Professional Negligence Lawyers Association (PNLA)
  • Delivers tutorials to PPC1 students on civil litigation, Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place
  • Leading industry speaker at national and international conferences upon a diverse array of topics including professional negligence, commercial litigation, insurance, data protection and cyber security risks
  • Member of the Law Society of Ireland.


  • University College Cork, BCL
  • University College Cork, LLM(A)
  • Ingenium Smart Choice Leadership Programme, Certificate in Leadership
  • Admitted to the Law Society of Ireland.
Michael Murphy receives strong feedback for his professional indemnity practice. Clients say that his strong technical skills and "his arguments are well thought out, researched and backed up." His advice on "strategy is clear, decisive and very accurate."

Michael Murphy

Insurance Dispute Resolution | Chambers Europe 2021

Contentious construction and debt collection matters are a growing area for the team, led by Harry Fehily, Michael Murphy, and Pat McInerney.

Michael Murphy

Legal 500 EMEA 2021 | Dispute Resolution

Holmes earns praise for its proven capacity to handle diverse claims across employers' and public liability, as well as motor insurance claims. It defends insurers and self-insured companies or associations in personal injury claims filed by employees or third parties.

Insurance: Dispute Resolution

Chambers & Partners Europe 2023

Holmes are effective litigators but also have particular expertise in arbitration, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution options. They are experts in their field and are skilled dispute resolution practitioners.

Dispute Resolution | Legal 500 EMEA 2023

They provide sound, timely and comprehensive advices on legal liability, quantum/reserves and strategy. I would recommend them to someone who is seeking legal advices and/or dispute resolution services.

Dispute Resolution | Legal 500 EMEA 2023

A law firm’s personnel is a most important resource. Holmes excel as market leaders.

Insurance | Legal 500 EMEA 2023

Awards, Membership and Recognition

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