Wachtell Lipton was founded on a handshake in 1965 as a small group of lawyers dedicated to providing advice and expertise at the highest levels. We have achieved extraordinary results following the distinctive vision of our founders -- a cohesive team of lawyers intensely focused on solving our clients' most important problems.
Our distinctive structure defines our approach.  We maintain a ratio of associates to partners significantly below that of other firms.  We focus on matters that require the attention, extensive experience and sophistication of our partners.
We have experience in the fields of mergers and acquisitions, strategic investments, takeovers and takeover defense, corporate and securities law and corporate governance. We handle some of the largest, most complex and demanding transactions in the United States and around the world.
Wachtell Lipton is dedicated to providing advice and expertise at the highest levels and achieving extraordinary results for our clients. We seek individuals who are talented, motivated and committed in order to maintain our record of excellence.
Murphy, David
Of Counsel, Litigation
tel 212.403.1272
fax 212.403.2272


  • Yale University, B.A. 1986, cum laude, with distinction in philosophy
  • University of Chicago Law School, J.D. 1989, (winner of the Hinton Cup for the annual Hinton Moot Court competition; recipient of the Thomas J. Mulroy prize for excellence in oral advocacy with highest distinction; recipient of Joseph Henry Beale prize for excellence in legal research and writing)


  • Honorable Ralph K. Winter, Jr., United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 1990 - 1991
  • Honorable Charles L. Brieant, United States District Court, Southern District of New York, 1989 - 1990

David Murphy is a retired partner and of counsel to the Litigation Department of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.  He has briefed, argued and tried dozens of high-stakes cases in the federal and state courts and arbitration hearings all over the United States.

Mr. Murphy’s civil practice focuses on cases involving mergers and acquisitions, the federal securities laws, shareholder derivative and corporate governance litigation, contractual disputes, product liability and tort claims and First Amendment claims.  He has represented a wide range of industries from commercial banks, investment banks, investment funds and other financial firms to aerospace, defense, oil, energy, pharmaceutical and consumer products companies.

In addition to complex civil litigation, Mr. Murphy specializes in white-collar criminal and regulatory enforcement matters.  He regularly appears before the U.S. Department of Justice, USAOs, SEC, Federal Reserve, OCC, FDIC, Homeland Security and other federal and state agencies and regulators.  He participated in the negotiations over the national tobacco settlement with the state attorneys general; has represented companies and individuals in criminal and civil enforcement investigations involving the federal securities laws, accounting fraud, federal antitrust laws and federal banking laws; has handled investigations involving the False Claims Act, qui tam whistleblower statutes and federal consumer protection laws; and has handled high-stakes international matters involving the FCPA, trading-with-the-enemy and anti-money laundering laws and the Patriot Act. He has extensive experience with internal investigations, whistleblower allegations, special committee and board investigations.

Mr. Murphy frequently represents prominent individuals, including senior corporate executives and directors and public figures.  Most recently, he has represented individuals and financial institutions in the criminal and regulatory investigations arising out of the 2008 financial collapse.  These have included investigations and litigation arising out of bank failures; the writing and valuation of credit derivative swaps; the securitization, sale and valuation of residential mortgages and RMBS portfolios; mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices; claims for reimbursement under federally-guaranteed loan programs; and the manner in which lenders accounted for, classified and reserved against troubled commercial real estate and construction-related loans.

Mr. Murphy also has been  involved in many of the Congressional and special commission hearings arising out of the financial collapse.  He has worked closely with many of Washington, DC’s leading law firms on the legislative investigations that—with increasing frequency and effect—accompany high-profile criminal and civil probes.

Recent Publications