Martina Murphy specialises in complex and significant employment litigation including the areas of whistleblowing and discrimination. She is “Technically excellent, well prepared, detailed, and great with clients. She inspires confidence in clients with clear pragmatic advice. She is also liked by employment judges because she moves the hearing along, especially in cross-examination.” (Legal 500 UK 2021)
Martina is instructed in cases which typically involve difficult issues of law and are often high profile and reported by the media. She “possesses expertise in whistle-blowing matters, including those arising in the medical profession.” (Chambers UK 2021). She has recently successfully represented a Consultant Psychiatrist in her whistleblowing detriment claim (amongst other claims) which was reported by the media (March 2021).
Martina has cross-disciplinary expertise in the related areas of employment, equality and professional discipline and regulatory disputes.
She also offers expertise in investigations and Inquiries.
Martina also offers expertise in cases involving vulnerable parties and or witnesses; she was instructed in the first Employment Tribunal claim to appoint a Registered Intermediary and published an article on the topic ELA Article
Martina is recognised as a leading junior in employment by both Chambers UK and the Legal 500 UK. She is “Very practical and commercial.” “She is thorough and completely on top of the issues in any case; she gets up to speed quickly and provides pragmatic advice.” (Chambers UK 2021). “Technically excellent, well prepared, detailed, and great with clients.” (Legal 500 UK 2021)
Martina is Vice Chair of the Employment Law Bar Association (ELBA). She has also been appointed to the Bar Council’s Race Working Group (2020) and the Bar Council’s Flexible Working Group (2021).
Outside Chambers Martina enjoys running, cycling and landscape architecture.
Martina Murphy specialises in complex employment litigation, including whistleblowing and discrimination. She has a broad employment, commercial and equality law practice including the areas of whistleblowing and discrimination. She has experience up to and including Court of Appeal level and reported cases. She is “an effective barrister commended for her substantial experience in unfair dismissal, discrimination and victimisation cases. She also possesses expertise in whistle-blowing matters, including those arising in the medical profession.” (Chambers UK 2021)
Martina acted for a Claimant in her substantial disability discrimination and harassment claim before the EAT which was reported in the IRLRs. She successfully argued a new point of law on harassment – that ‘actual’ unfair dismissal (as opposed to constructive’) can amount to a matter of law, to harassment (U v DWP  IRLR 304)
Martina represented the Respondent Trust in Dye v Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust EAT 0350/15 (Unfair Dismissal: Whose reason? | TUPE | Repudiatory conduct). The EAT held that the ET had been entitled to determine who was the relevant decision-maker (Assistant Director of Workforce) and then go on to assess the subjective reason operating on her mind even though her evidence dealt with the question of dismissal on a hypothetical basis. Dye was also an unusual example of a repudiatory breach. The employee had terminated his secondment with the Trust without prior consultation. Martina successfully argued before the ET and the EAT that the Trust were entitled to rely on D’s actions as a repudiatory breach and summarily dismiss.
Martina has experience acting in whistleblowing claims, including high profile matters. She has been recognised for her expertise in whistleblowing and in particular in the healthcare sector, she “possesses expertise in whistle-blowing matters, including those arising in the medical profession.” (Chambers 2021 UK). She has recently successfully represented a Consultant Psychiatrist following a 22 day + liability hearing in respect of her whistleblowing detriment claim (employer’s referral to the GMC) amongst other claims, which is now subject to cross-appeal before the EAT.
Martina brings to bear her cross-disciplinary expertise in cases involving the healthcare sector. For example, she is currently is representing a doctor in their parallel employment and regulatory proceedings.
Martina has extensive experience in the full range of discrimination claims including race, sex, sexual orientation, disability and religion or belief. She “successfully defended the respondent in Khan v The WKCIC Group, against all claims of unfair dismissal, unauthorised deduction from wages, victimisation and discrimination because of sex, race, disability, age and religion.” (Chambers 2021 UK)
Martina has substantial experience in harassment cases on both sides. Martina acted for a Claimant in her substantial disability discrimination and harassment claim before the EAT which was reported in the IRLRs. She successfully argued a new point of law on harassment – that ‘actual’ unfair dismissal (as opposed to constructive’) can amount to a matter of law, to harassment (U v DWP  IRLR 304)
Martina acted for a Respondent NHS Trust against a claim for unfair dismissal from their former Head of Midwifery whom they dismissed for bullying and harassment (media interest).
Martina has experience in representing healthcare professionals in professional discipline and or regulatory matters. She also brings to bear her cross-disciplinary expertise in this area. For example, Holder v Nursing and Midwifery Council  EWHC (Admin) 1565 (nurse, judicial review, decision to strike off the register)
Martina has experience of conducting highly sensitive and confidential investigations for a variety of clients.
Martina has acted in numerous cases concerning employment status and lectured on the same. Martina has recently advised an International Energy Company on the ramifications of the UK Agency Worker Regulations in relation to a tender for a large construction project.
Martina has acted in various cases concerning TUPE issues. She acted for the Royal Free Hospital in a complicated TUPE dismissal case at first instance and before the EAT (Dye v Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust EAT 0350/1).
Martina has broad commercial employment experience having of employee competition and business protection cases.
Martina has experience on breach of confidence and misuse of confidential information claims, including applications for delivery up and other injunctive relief
Martina acts in a range of bonus disputes. Her experience includes representing an inter-broker dealer in his whistleblowing, unfair dismissal and breach of contract (bonus) claim against a large inter-broker dealer (successfully mediated).
Masters (LLM), Labour Law, London School of Economics and Political Science
LLB (Hons), University of East Anglia (UEA)
|2021||Vice Chair of the Employment Law Bar Association (ELBA)|
|2021||Bar Council’s Flexible Working Group|
|2020||Bar Council’s Race Working Group|
|2019-2021||Secretary of ELBA|
|2017-2019||Assistant Secretary of ELBA|
|c.2005||Metropolitan Police Panel of approved Counsel|
Employment Law Bar Association
Industrial Law Society (ILS)
Employment Lawyers Association
Administrative Law Bar Association
Vulnerable parties and witnesses in employment tribunal proceedings, ELA Briefing June 2020
Covert recordings: does the end justify the means L? (with and Jane Wheeler, Keystoneaw) ELA Briefing, 4 February 2020
Ensuring strong equalities legislation after EU Brexit’ (2016), (with Rachel Crasnow QC) on behalf of the Employment Law Bar Association (ELBA) to Parliament’s Women and Equality Committee’s Inquiry;
‘Mandatory gender pay gap reporting: what you need to know’ (2016), Employment Law round up (2015), LexisNexis webinars with Ed Stacey, PwC
Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act (SBEE) 2015, Legal Network TV (LNTV)
Equal pay: gender pay gap reporting (2016) (with Ed Stacey), and Zero hours contracts; Contributor to Westlaw’s Insight Employment Law Encyclopaedia (2015-16)
U v Department for Work and Pensions  IRLR 304
Martina acted for a former employee of the DWP in her substantial disability discrimination and harassment claim before the EAT. Martina successfully argued a new point of law on harassment – that ‘actual’ unfair dismissal (as opposed to ‘constructive’) can amount as a matter of law to harassment.
D Baker v Abellio London Ltd UKEAT/0250/16/LA (1.2.2017)
Martina acted for the Appellant, Mr Baker at the Preliminary stage of his appeal before the EAT. The Company had dismissed Mr Baker, a bus driver, a Jamaican national, for not being able to provide a document which would prove that he had the right to work in the UK. Martina persuaded the EAT that the matter should proceed to a full Hearing regarding the reason and the fairness of the dismissal and the claim for unlawful deduction of wages. The Full Appeal was reported in the Press.
Whistleblowing, Unfair Dismissal and Breach of Contract
Martina acted for a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, initially on a direct access basis at his internal appeal against his dismissal and finally at his Remedy Hearing before the Employment Tribunal, where (unusually) the Respondent had refused to comply with an order for re-engagement.
X v Public Sector Employer (2018)
Martina acted for a former employee in his claim for disability discrimination, Harassment and unfair dismissal. There were non-disclosure issues and following Martina’s cross-examination of the Respondent’s witnesses the matter settled mid-trial.
Multiple Discrimination (Race, Disability)
Martina acted for the MET police in defending claims of multiple discrimination on grounds of race and disability over a 3-week trial period. There were multiple preliminary issues including strike out and wasted costs.
Judicial Review / Regulatory
Holder v Nursing and Midwifery Council  EWHC (Admin) 1565
Martina advised and drafted submissions on behalf of a Nurse judicially reviewing the decision to strike her off the professional register.
Whistle-blowing, Unfair Dismissal, Bonus scheme (2017)
Martina acted for an inter-broker dealer in his claim for whistleblowing, unfair dismissal and bonus. It was successfully mediated.
Dr Arhin v Enfield Primary Care Trust, CA  EWCA Civ 1481
Successfully defended 100% Polkey reduction. Obtained £10,000 costs for the Respondent Trust.