Joe Murphy

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Joe Murphy


Joe Murphy is a Director in Cowell Clarke’s Employment & Workplace Relations Team.

Joe is an accredited employment relations lawyer with over 20 years’ experience specialising in workplace relations at mid-tier and employer associations. His experience extends to providing advice and representation in matters across Australian tribunals and courts, including the Fair Work Commission and the Federal Courts of Australia. Joe has also successfully represented clients in various inquests and commissions of inquiry, including the Independent Commission Against Corruption and various State Coroner’s Inquests and Inquiries.

Joe is valued for his commercially focused advice and is sought out by clients for his expertise in redundancies, unfair dismissals, general protections (adverse action) claims, executive and complex dismissals and separations, discrimination claims, industrial disputes, managing long and short term injured workers, troublesome workers compensation claims, employee fraud, employee privacy and surveillance, investigations (including in connection with whistleblower complaints), and the defence of underpayment claims brought by employees, unions and the Fair Work Ombudsman.

He has extensive experience assisting clients with disputation between employers and their employees (whether dealing with employees collectively or individually). While Joe has extensive experience representing employers in litigation, he considers that his greatest achievements have been in getting his clients out of legally challenging situations for exceptional commercial outcomes, and in deploying strategies to avoid legal issues arising later, from the outset.

Joe has particular expertise advising businesses across a range of industries and sectors, including information technology, SaaS, retail, hospitality, transport, manufacturing, construction, social & community services, and financial services.

Joe was recently featured on Sky News, The Project, ABC Radio, 3wE Radio and News Corp Australia publications discussing the latest workplace and employment law issues.

Joe has been recognised for the following accolades since 2015:

  • Best Lawyers in Australia – Recognised for Labour and Employment Law (Sydney, AU) – since 2021 edition

  • Doyle’s Guide – Leading Employment Lawyers (Employer Representation) – New South Wales, 2015 – 2023 editions

  • The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific – Recommended Lawyer for Labour & Employment Law – 2016 – 2023 editions

  • Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards –Workplace Relations and Employment Team of the Year in 2016, 2018 & 2019

  • Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards – Finalist for Workplace Relations Partner of the Year in 2019

  • Australasian Law Awards – Employment Specialist Firm of the Year in 2018

Joe's Workplace Training

Register for Joe’s upcoming workplace training sessions throughout 2024 HERE. The popular training amongst HR professionals are held in person and online.

"Having personally had a deep and long involvement with the Industrial Awards system in Australia I cannot more highly praise Joe Murphy and his substantial experience in and around  Industrial law and Award deciphering. He has a pragmatic hands-on approach to ensure we are effectively guided throughout the entire process. Similarly, Joe provides honest and pragmatic advice across  the full spectrum of employment and workplace relations.”

Bruce Mackenzie (Founder), HREX

“Joe is a very experienced lawyer, providing guidance, direction and advice at a strategic level with solid practical application. He has applied this approach to guide the senior executive, the board and the business owners through the most complex of issues. I really enjoy working with Joe and learning from him.”  

(Best Lawyers Australia 2025)




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