Martin F. Murphy

Co-Chair, Litigation Department

When clients face challenges, I draw on decades of experience to help them get the best results--in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.

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 helps companies, universities and other non-profit institutions in complex civil litigation, criminal investigations and internal investigations. Marty has tried more than 40 cases to completion before state and federal courts, briefed and argued appeals and 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 and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Marty has represented clients in health care and securities fraud investigations and defended white collar prosecutions, capital murder cases and many other criminal investigations. He has also helped clients in civil cases, including business and securities disputes, employment discrimination cases, False Claims Act cases and wrongful death matters, among many others. He has also represented senior business and community leaders facing career-threatening allegations of misconduct. 

Companies, corporate directors and non-profit organizations have called on Marty to conduct internal investigations across a wide array of subjects, including reviews of university policies, institutional response to sexual abuse, allegations of securities fraud, market manipulation, obstruction of justice and allegations of excessive executive compensation. He currently serves as counsel to a Monitor appointed by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission to evaluate a major financial institution’s compliance program.

Marty brings to his work a decade of experience as a federal and state prosecutor, investigating and prosecuting federal securities, mail, wire and bank fraud cases and, as First Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County, leading a staff of more than 100 prosecutors and personally prosecuting murder, white collar crime, civil rights, sexual assault and child abuse cases. 

Marty also plays an active role in the legal community. When United States Attorney Rachel Rollins was elected Suffolk County District Attorney, he served as co-chair of her Transition Committee. He has also played a major role in many Boston Bar Association projects, including serving as co-chair of the BBA’s Task Force to Prevent Wrongful Convictions, whose work paved the way for first Massachusetts statute to provide inmates imprisoned as a result of wrongful convictions with access to post-conviction DNA testing.

Marty is a currently a Trustee of the Massachusetts American Civil Liberties Foundation. From 2010 to 2015, he served as a Commissioner of the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission.

After graduating from law school, Marty served as a law clerk to the late Hon. A. David Mazzone of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.


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

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • District of Massachusetts 
  • First Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States Supreme Court


  • Led review by Independent Fund Trustees of major mutual fund complex concerning claims of breach of fiduciary duty
  • Served  as Compliance Monitor and Monitor’s counsel, selected by the Department of Justice, to assess a major Boston financial institution’s compliance program and compliance with a Deferred Prosecution Agreement
  • Represented actress Felicity Huffman in the "Varsity Blues" college admissions case
  • Successfully resolved a high-profile False Claims Act investigation and related civil litigation on behalf of MassGeneral Brigham
  • Served as lead outside counsel in connection with Harvard ‘s review of Jeffrey Epstein’s giving and other connections to the University. See
  • Defeated 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).
  • Defeated the State of New Hampshire’s first attempt in sixty years to obtain the death penalty against a defendant in a homicide case
  • Conducted an independent investigation reviewing allegations of sexual abuse at an independent school and the leadership's response to those allegations. See
  • Led the investigation by a non-profit organization’s Special Committee concerning compensation of the organization’s former Chief Executive
  • Successfully resolved allegations of serious misconduct against a number of senior business and community leaders
  • Persuaded 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 represented a doctor in a federal criminal investigation addressing a major teaching hospital’s response to allegations of a negligence by a senior physician
  • Persuaded the Department of Justice’s Anti-Trust Division not to bring criminal charges against the senior executive of a Japanese company
  • Persuaded 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
  • Conducted 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
  • Persuaded 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
  • Secured 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
  • Advised the boards of a major mutual fund complex in connection with potential claims against a custodial bank arising out of foreign exchange trading
  • Testified as an expert witness in a regulatory proceeding concerning the state Uniform Securities Act
  • Successfully defended a university professor in National Science Foundation investigation of alleged research fraud
  • Represented clients in many other 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.
  • Secured 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). 
  • Won victory at trial and on appeal 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
  • Obtained the dismissal of 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).
  • Secured the dismissal of wrongful death claim brought against a major university by the family of a man murdered on campus
  • Obtained 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
  • Successfully resolved a claim against a major university in a case alleging that the university failed to respond appropriately to complaints about sexual harassment
  • Defended a national beverage company in a contract claim brought by a Massachusetts professional sports franchise
  • Represented many other clients in other matters, including a major law firm in an employment discrimination claim, clients in legal and medical malpractice cases, class action claims, partnership disputes and energy-related litigation
  • As a member of the state’s appointed counsel “Murder List” and the United States District Court’s Criminal Justice Act panel, regularly represented indigent defendants in federal and state criminal cases. 

  • 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


  • Co-Author, Statement of Principles Concerning Immigration and Related Issues, REPORT OF THE BOSTON BAR ASSOCIATION WORKING GROUP ON IMMIGRATION (September 2018)  
  • Co-author, No Time to Wait: Recommendations for a Fair and Effective Criminal Justice System, REPORT OF THE BOSTON BAR ASSOCIATION WORKING GROUP ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM (September 2017) 
  • Co-author (with Nancy Gertner and Michael B. Keating): “Tsarnaev Trial: Let’s not relive the Marathon bombings,” The Boston Globe, December 10, 2014
  • Co-Author, The BBA and the Death Penalty (2014)
  • Co-Author, Getting it Right: Preventing Wrongful Convictions, Bulletin of the American College of Trial Lawyers (2013)
  • Co-Author, Melendez-Diaz, One Year Later, BOSTON BAR JOURNAL (Fall 2010)

Honors & Involvement

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers (2009-present) 
  • 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 (2007-2021)
  • Trustee, American Civil Liberties Foundation
  • Board Member and Nominating Committee Chair, American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (2016-2022)
  • Board Member, District of Massachusetts Criminal Justice Act Panel (2014-2022)
  • 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

Speaking Engagements

  • 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