Martin F. Murphy

Partner, Co-Chair, Litigation Department - Boston

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Clients call on Marty Murphy, whom the Boston Globe has called "one of the most sought-after lawyers in town," to help solve a broad range of high-stakes legal problems. Marty, the Co-Chair of Foley Hoag’s Litigation Department, is a seasoned courtroom advocate and negotiator who represents companies, individuals (including senior corporate executives), educational and other non-profit institutions and law firms in complex civil litigation, criminal investigations, and regulatory proceedings. He also conducts investigations for companies and non-profit institutions. Marty has tried more than 40 cases to completion before state and federal courts and arbitration panels and argued more than a dozen appeals before the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and the Massachusetts Appeals Court. He has also successfully resolved dozens of hotly contested disputes without ever stepping into a courtroom.

Chambers USA  has described Marty as "as smart as they come and a pleasure to deal with.” He is a past President of the Boston Bar Association, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has twice been named Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer of the Year by his peers in Best Lawyers in America. 

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  • Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1983
  • Princeton University, summa cum laude, 1980

Representative Experience

Marty’s recent work includes:

  • Serving as Compliance Monitor, selected by the Department of Justice, to assess a major Boston financial institution’s compliance program and compliance with a Deferred Prosecution Agreement.
  • Securing the dismissal of an action brought by students at Harvard challenging the university’s investment policies. 
  • Serving as lead outside counsel in connection with Harvard ‘s review of Jeffrey Epstein’s giving and other connections to the University. See
  • Representing actress Felicity Huffman in the "Varsity Blues" college admissions case. 
  • Securing summary judgment for Harvard in a former faculty member’s challenge to the University’s decision to deny her application for tenure—a result the First Circuit affirmed on appeal.  See Theidon v. Harvard, 948 F.3d 477 (1st Cir. 2020).  
  • Persuading federal prosecutors not to bring charges against a major pharmaceutical company CEO they had labeled a target of federal health care fraud and off-label marketing violations.
  • Successfully resolving allegations of misconduct against a number of senior business and community leaders. 
  • Representing Massachusetts General Hospital in civil False Claims Act case filed by a former hospital anesthesiologist. 
  • Successfully defeating the Department of Justice’s attempt to compel a criminal defense lawyer to testify against his client in a federal grand jury proceeding. See In Re Grand Jury Subpoena, 273 F. Supp. 3d 266 (D. Mass. 2017).
  • Serving as counsel to a Monitor selected by the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission to assess a major Boston financial institution’s compliance program and compliance with a Deferred Prosecution Agreement.
  • Successfully resolving a claim against a major university in a case alleging that the university failed to respond appropriately to complaints about sexual harassment.
  • Conducting an independent investigation reviewing allegations of sexual abuse at an independent school and the leadership's response to those allegations.See
  • Obtaining an injunction enforcing a non-compete clause in a case alleging that a former employee of a high-tech company misappropriated the company’s confidential information.
  • Persuading the Department of Justice’s Anti-Trust Division not to bring criminal charges against the senior executive of a Japanese company.
  • Securing the dismissal of a suit brought by students at Harvard challenging the university’s investments in fossil fuels—a decision the Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed on appeal. See Harvard Climate Justice Coalition v. President & Fellows of Harvard College, 90 Mass. App. Ct. 441 (2016).
  • Representing a non-profit organization’s Special Committee in an investigation of the compensation of the organization’s former Chief Executive.
  • Successfully representing a doctor in a federal criminal investigation addressing a major teaching hospital’s response to allegations of a negligence by a senior physician.
  • Securing the dismissal of wrongful death claim brought against a major university by the family of a man murdered on campus.
  • Persuading the government not to bring charges against a senior executive of a medical device company identified as the target of a federal health care fraud investigation.
  • Representing a major law firm in two trials defending a claim for $120 million in sanctions based on the firm’s alleged discovery and trial misconduct.
  • Conducting an internal investigation at the request of a major pharmaceutical manufacturer to review allegations that the company and its outside counsel failed to produce subpoenaed documents.
  • Persuading the government not to bring charges against senior executives of three of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, identified as the targets of federal investigations alleging that the companies had engaged in off-label  promotion of prescription drugs, and violated the federal anti-kickback laws.
  • Securing the favorable resolution of charges brought by the Massachusetts Securities Division against a Madoff-related New York securities dealer--after winning a motion in Massachusetts Superior Court vacating the Division’s administrative  judgment against the broker-dealer.
  • Defeating the State of New Hampshire’s first attempt in sixty years to obtain the death penalty against a defendant in a homicide case.
  • Advising the boards of a major mutual fund complex in connection with potential claims against a custodial bank arising out of foreign exchange trading.
  • Testifying as an expert witness in a regulatory proceeding concerning the state Uniform Securities Act.
  • Successfully defending a university professor in National Science Foundation investigation of alleged research fraud.

Marty’s experience also includes work in the following areas:

  • Complex Civil Litigation, including the defense of a contract claim brought by a Massachusetts sports franchise, defense of a major law firm in an employment discrimination claim, defense of a state False Claims Act investigation against a major engineering and construction firm, and the representation of clients in legal and medical malpractice cases, class action claims, partnership disputes and energy-related litigation.
  • Health Care Fraud Investigations, including investigations of alleged kickbacks, off-label marketing, and pricing misconduct by companies and by executives of pharmaceutical manufacturers, medical device companies and pharmacy benefit managers.
  • Securities Investigations, including the defense of boards, audit committees, investment advisers, hedge fund managers and senior corporate executives facing investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Justice Department, and state Securities Divisions concerning allegations of unlawful stock option practices, market manipulation, market timing, insider trading, revenue recognition, misappropriation, and analyst/investment banker conflict of interest.
  • Other Criminal and Regulatory Investigations, including investigations of bank, mail and wire fraud and public corruption investigations.

Professional Experience

  • Lectured on criminal practice at Harvard Law School
  • Lectured on trial practice and ethics to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and Suffolk District Attorney’s Office
  • Lectured on business ethics at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business



  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Ranked by CHAMBERS USA: AMERICA'S LEADING LAWYERS FOR BUSINESS as one of Massachusetts' top-ranked attorneys in white-collar crime and government investigations (2009-2022)
  • Named BEST LAWYERS’ 2013 and 2016 Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer of the Year
  • Listed among the best criminal defense and white collar defense lawyers in the United States in the publication THE BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA


  • President, Boston Bar Association (September 2020 - September 2021)
  • First Circuit and Canadian Atlantic Province’s Regent, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Board Member and Nominating Committee Chair, American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts
  • Advisory Board Member, South Boston Catholic Academy
  • Board Member, District of Massachusetts Criminal Justice Act Panel
  • Chair, Boston Bar Association Covid-19 Response Working Group
  • Chair, Boston Bar Association Immigration Working Group
  • Co-Chair, Boston Bar Association Working Group on Criminal Justice Reform
  • Co-Chair, Boston Bar Association Death Penalty Working Group
  • Co-Chair, Boston Bar Association Task Force to Prevent Wrongful Convictions
  • Appointed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to Advisory Committee on Massachusetts Evidence Law
  • Member, Massachusetts Special Commission to Study the Criminal Justice System
  • Former Commissioner, Massachusetts Ethics Commission
  • Former Chair, American College of Trial Lawyers Federal Criminal Practice Committee
  • Former Chair, Massachusetts State Committee, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Former Co-Chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Criminal Law Section
  • Co-Chair and Moderator, Boston Bar Association First Annual White Collar Crime Conference (January 2018)
  • Panelist, “Innovative Strategies to Prevent Educator Sexual Misconduct,” National Conference Sponsored by Massachusetts Citizens for Children, October 2017  
  • Lecturer, “Trying Federal Conspiracy Cases,” Criminal Justice Act Panel, February 2016
  • Panelist, “Crisis Communication for Law Firms;” Legal Marketing Association, November 2015
  • Panelist, “FDA Enforcement Trends,” Boston Bar Association, April 2011
  • Panelist, “Recent Developments in False Claims Litigation,” Suffolk Law School, March 2011
  • Panelist, "Recent Developments in the Law of Computer Searches," MCLE, October 2009
  • Program Co-Chair and Panelist, "Trial of a Health Care Fraud Case," Boston Bar Association, April 2009
  • Panelist, “Off-Label Enforcement: Prosecution Theories and Potential Defenses,” Boston Bar Association Health Care Fraud Program, April 2007
  • Panelist, “Don't Look Back: Stock Option Dating and Internal Investigations,” Boston Bar Association, February 2007
  • Panelist, “Medicare Part D, Off-Label Promotion, and the False Claims Act,” American Conference Institute Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Program on Off-Label Communications, New York, April 2006
  • Program Chair, “White Collar Crime 2006,” Boston Bar Association, February 2006
    Panelist, “Challenging the Admissibility of Testimony of Expert Witnesses in Criminal Cases,” MCLE, June 2003
  • Panelist, “Recurring Issues in Joint Defense Agreements,” Boston Bar Association, February 2003
  • “Stopping Bank Fraud Before It Starts,” presentation to Citizens Bank Senior Loan Officers, January 2003
  • Panelist, “Forensic Accounting and Fraud,” Turnaround Management Association and Risk Management Association (New England Chapter), December 2002
  • Panelist (and demonstration of cross-examination of DNA Expert Dr. Robin Cotton), “Cross-Examination of Scientific Experts,” Cambridge Healthtech Institute Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., August 2002
  • Panelist, “Criminal Law Top Guns - Trying the Perfect Case: What Makes Great Trial Lawyers Great,” Boston Bar Association, April 2002
  • Program Chair and Moderator, “Top Guns: Veteran Criminal Trial Lawyers Tell their Secrets,” Boston Bar Association, March 2001
  • Program Chair and Moderator, “When Worlds Collide: Civil and Criminal Enforcement of Securities Laws,” Boston Bar Association, April 2000


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Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court