Tony Murphy joined Bhatt Murphy in 2007, having been a Partner for nine years at another leading firm. Tony specialises in acting for those who have been neglected or abused by the police. An important part of his work is representing the loved ones of the men, women and children who continue to meet their deaths in police stations and prisons around the country at a devastating rate.
Tony has extensive experience in litigating and mediating against the range of public authorities on behalf of his clients, including police forces nationwide, the Prison Service and local authorities. Tony is also a specialist in inquest law, with particular experience in representing the victims of police shootings. He is an active member of both the Police Action Lawyers’ Group and the Inquest Lawyers’ Group. Tony has been acknowledged as a leader in his field by his peers for over a decade.
Tony is dedicated to securing just outcomes for his clients including in the most challenging of cases. The justice of those outcomes is very much dictated by what his clients wish to achieve. Tony’s notable cases include:
OOO v CPM
 The first High Court case in this jurisdiction to litigate a breach of Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to be free from enforced labour and servitude). This resulted in Mr Justice Wyn Williams finding the Commissioner of Police in breach of both Articles 3 and 4 of the ECHR and awarding damages to four young Nigerian women who had been trafficked into the UK as children and forced to work as unpaid servants. This outcome demonstrated that defective police investigations can be successfully challenged where Convention rights are engaged and put paid to an attempt by the Commissioner to extend the immunity from suit enjoyed by the police in common law claims, to HRA claims.
R (Antoniou) v CNWL Trust and The Secretary of State for Health
2011: A test case challenging the lack of independent investigation into the deaths of those who die whilst detained under the Mental Health Act 1983.
ZH (GH) v CPM
: A claim for assault and disability discrimination against the Met on behalf of a boy with Autism who placed by police in handcuffs and leg restraints when he became transfixed by the water during a school visit to a swimming pool.
RTF v CPM
: A record out of court settlement of £75,000 on behalf of a victim of trafficking whom the police failed to protect
Andrew Sheppard, deceased and Another:
Inquest jury findings of gross police negligence in two separate deaths of intoxicated detainees in police custody
Helen Steel v CPM:
Admission by the Commissioner that his officers assaulted and falsely imprisoned this well known and respected protestor whilst she was conducting a legally privileged conversation during proceedings against the Commissioner outside the High Court.
IW (KW) v CPM
: Successful out of court settlement following wrongful arrest and prosecution of young man with Autism
DN v CPM
: Successful out of court settlement following wrongful arrest and prosecution in alleged kidnapping and firearms case
JT v Chief Constable of Devon & Cornwall
: Successful mediation in dog bite case
An unprecedented claim against the Metropolitan Police for breach of Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights
(the prohibition of slavery) regarding the failure to protect a victim of human trafficking. This claim mediated for substantial damages and a police apology with Cherie Blair QC acting as mediator.
A novel claim under the Disability Discrimination Act against Northamptonshire Police
in relation to its failure to protect of a victim of crime with autism, which circumvented the traditional barriers to making the police accountable for neglect . This claim was also successfully mediated for substantial damages, an apology and an agreement that lessons would be learned by the police with Lord Henry Brooke acting as mediator.
The G20 protests
A public law challenge against the Home Office
, as a result of which it conceded that police stop and search provisions must be revised to reflect the needs of those with disabilities.
An ongoing and high profile Art 3 claim against the CPS
for failing a victim of sexual assault.
Winston Silcott v The Metropolitan Police
Mal Hussain v Lancaster City Council and Lancashire Police
Sylbert Farquharson v The Metropolitan Police
The Menson Family v The Metropolitan Police
The Death of Mischa Niering in Police Custody in London
The Death of Sean Beard in Police Custody in Staffordshire
Like the rest of the team at Bhatt Murphy, Tony is active in trying to effect change in the police arena of behalf of his clients and colleagues. This includes:
Sitting as an independent member representing complainants' interests on the Independent Police Complaints Commission's (IPCC) Advisory Group 2004-2007
Making written and oral submissions to the Morris Inquiry
Devising and delivering a training course with other Bhatt Murphy colleagues to IPCC caseworkers and investigators in an effort to improve the service it offers to complainants
Presenting to IPCC commissioners on behalf of the Police Action Lawyers Group on how the IPCC is failing complainants
Meeting with Ministers of State on behalf of the Inquest Lawyers Group in relation to the reform of the inquest system