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Team Members

Chris Murphy

Special Counsel
A dedicated litigator, Chris identifies with his clients. He uses his knowledge, experience and commitment to help his clients meet their goals.

As a special counsel in Cooper Grace Ward’s insurance team, Chris brings over 15 years’ experience in handling insurance and workers’ compensation matters.

Chris is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law and a member of the QLS Accident Compensation / Tort Law committee, which keeps him at the cutting edge of changes in accident compensation that affect his clients.

Chris provides personal service and is passionate about working towards bringing back the balance to employers in workers’ compensation claims.

Chris has extensive claims experience across all major industries including health/aged care, manufacturing, hospitality, sport/recreation and transport.

Chris has handled claims in all areas of insurance litigation including Queensland and federal workers’ compensation, public and product liability, motor vehicle accidents, indemnity disputes and construction and engineering. Before joining Cooper Grace Ward, Chris was a partner at a national insurance law firm where he handled a large portfolio of public liability and workers’ compensation matters.

A dedicated litigator, Chris identifies with his clients. He uses his knowledge, experience and commitment to help his clients meet their goals.

  • Bachelor of Laws – Queensland University of Technology
  • Bachelor of Arts – Queensland University of Technology
  • Solicitor – Supreme Court of Queensland
  • Member – Queensland Law Society Tort Law / Accident Compensation Committee
  • Member – Australian Insurance Law Association.
  • Handling numerous common law claims under the Workers’ Compensation Rehabilitation Act 2003 (WCRA), Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (PIPA) and Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994, including claims involving the interaction between the different legislative schemes.
  • Acting in numerous statutory workers’ compensation matters under the WCRA and Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Act, including several that have been of strategic importance to the relevant compensation scheme.
  • Handling high volume PIPA litigation for a major national retailer, including slips and falls to more complex labour hire and product liability type claims with panel leading results on average damages, duration and reserving accuracy.
  • Experience in almost every type of claim in the aged care and meat processing industries gained through scores of site visits.
  • Significant experience handling matters for major corporate entities in matters involving significant reputational / media risk or HR issues.
  • Acted in defence of numerous professional indemnity claims including several with quantum over $1M.
  • Acted for insurers in numerous indemnity disputes including an arson claim with quantum in excess of $10M

Areas of Expertise


High Court unanimously finds for WorkCover in unusual vicarious liability case

A significant outcome for employers in High Court case examining vicarious liability.

No damages for highly unusual work event

The findings of the Court in this highly unusual compensation claim should provide some comfort to employers but is a reminder to remain focused on practical measures to minimise foreseeable risks of injury to employees.

Documented systems of work and risk assessments – not the be all, and end all

Allegations that an employer failed to undertake a risk assessment and prepare a documented system of work are a feature of most common law work claims.