Areas of Expertise

Ryan Murphy is an Accredited Specialist in Employment and Industrial law with over 8 years’ experience. He advises organisations across the government, corporate, and NGO, sectors on all things workplace and industrial law. He is a published author who is able to break down complex legal matters in a way that is understandable and easy to apply.

Ryan prides himself on partnering with organisations to help shape culture in a way that makes their workplaces work. He has extensive experience advising and representing clients in all manner of dismissal, industrial, and discrimination disputes. He also prepares and advises on employment and contractor agreements, interpretation of industrial instruments and employee entitlements, negotiation of severance arrangements, performance management of employees, restructuring of organisations, sales and transfers of business, and restraint of trade matters.

Ryan is also a sought-after presenter on legal matters in the workplace for the way he is able to discuss important topics with an enjoyable spin.



  • Bachelor of Laws (University of Wollongong)

  • Bachelor of Commerce (University of Wollongong)

  • Master of Laws (University of Sydney)

  • Accredited Specialist Employment and Industrial Law

  • Admitted Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW (2011) and the High Court of Australia (2012)

  • Member - Law Society of NSW

  • Member - Australian Labour Law Association (ALLA)


A word from Ryan

Workplace law is all about people. I never cease to be amazed by the stories that I hear of what people have got up to in and around the workplace, particularly in this age of social media. 

In the current climate, organisations face a tough task: fostering a culture of trust to draw the best out of their employees, while ensuring that safety and respect is afforded to all within their care. 

I consider it a privilege to assist organisations as they navigate this minefield in such a way as to set up themselves, and their people, for sustained success.


Career highlights

  • Being recognised as an Accredited Specialist in Employment and Industrial Law. The Law Society of NSW’s specialist accreditation program is a structured peer to peer assessment process enabling legal practitioners to be recognised for their expertise. Accredited Specialists must pass a series of meticulous assessments on both legal knowledge and its application in practice. Retaining accreditation requires significant additional professional development in the area of expertise each year. 

  • Advocating for the University of Wollongong in defending an application for leave by an Applicant who claimed discrimination on the grounds of disability and race. The University denied any unlawful discrimination, and the Tribunal agreed with that position:  Davies v University of Wollongong [2020] NSWCATAD 13 (9 January 2020).

  • Securing one of the first costs orders made by the Fair Work Commission in connection with the successful dismissal of an application for a Stop-Bullying Order: Salama v Sydney Trains & ors [2018] FWC 5756 (9 October 2019); Salama v Sydney Trains & ors [2018] FWC1845 (11 April 2018); Salama v Sydney Trains [2018] FWC 7465 (6 December 2018).

  • Defending Sydney Trains against several unmeritorious claims brought by a former employee, culminating in a successful defence in the NSW Court of Appeal: Duraisamy v Sydney Trains [2019] NSWCA 269 (6 November 2019).

  • Advocating on behalf of a Local Health District in an industrial dispute that alleged unsafe work practices. The District defended the dispute on the basis that the employees were afforded all entitlements under the applicable industrial instruments, and their conditions that were at least equal to those in surrounding hospitals. The union (on the employees’ behalf) was forced to withdraw their dispute.

  • Defending an unfair dismissal claim on behalf of a Local Health District through to the preparation of evidence. The former employee agreed to settle the matter before the hearing, which saved our witnesses from the stresses of cross-examination. The union official, after reviewing our evidence, conceded that the LHD was correct to have dismissed the employee.


Specific areas of focus

  • Advising in-house counsel and HR: Preparing documents contracts and policies, and providing ad-hoc advice on all workplace law matters including performance management, misconduct, and workplace culture.

  • Workplace litigation: Defending claims of unfair dismissal, adverse action and bullying, often involving difficult litigants and sensitive matters.

  • Interpretation: Interpreting agreement and awards, including contesting or defending breach or underpayment claims.

  • Discrimination and sexual harassment: Defending claims in Tribunals and Courts of alleged unlawful discrimination or harassment.

  • Public sector: Experience advising NSW government agencies including across the health and local government sectors.

  • Transfers of business: Advising vendors and purchasers of the employment law issues surrounding sales and transfers of business.

Short videos by Ryan

Paid sick leave during stand down

Dismissal over technology

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