Kathleen M. Murphy

Partner Chicago
kathleen.murphy dbr.com
Phone: (312) 569-1155
Fax: (312) 569-3155


Kathleen M. Murphy counsels clients on maximizing trade benefits, making informed global procurement decisions and developing domestic and international trade compliance programs. She represents clients in audits, validations and investigations conducted by U.S. or foreign customs authorities. She also guides clients through U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Trusted Trader Programs—the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and the Importer Self-Assessment Program.

In addition, Kathleen conducts internal trade compliance reviews and training, and helps clients develop audit processes and internal controls for risk management and mitigation purposes. She also advises companies on corrective measures and risk avoidance strategies, including prior disclosures and reconciliation filings. She has considerable experience with customs valuation methodologies, customs transfer pricing reviews, the First Sale Rule, and WCO and OECD valuation pronouncements.

Kathleen is ranked internationally in Chambers Global and nationally in Chambers USA, where her clients describe her as having a “highly sophisticated” customs practice and a “really strong grasp” of valuation laws and regulations. She received Lexology's Client Choice Award for International Trade in 2016.

Kathleen is a frequent speaker on supply chain management, trade regulatory compliance, and trade developments promulgated by the World Trade Organization, the World Customs Organization, and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.


Kathleen advises clients on all aspects of international trade and compliance. A few representative matters include:

  • Drinker Biddle is viewed as “go to” external trade counsel for a long-standing, iconic multinational client. Our team regularly advises this client on numerous strategic issues involving cross-border trade and provides opinions on high profile trade compliance matters involving complex tariff classifications, FTA and preferential duty qualification analyses, transfer pricing reviews, changed circumstances review before the International Trade Commission, and antidumping and countervailing proceedings before the Department of Commerce. We have also supported the client’s active acquisition strategy by vetting and integrating critical trade compliance issues across the enterprise and testing transactions on a periodic basis to identify potential risks and recommend corrective actions, when necessary.
  • A global animal health company, with operations in over 150 countries and a producer of a wide range of pharmaceutical products and vaccines, sought our assistance with a comprehensive internal import compliance review, aimed at preparing them for participation in a CBP “trusted trader” program, known as the Importer-Self Assessment Program (“ISA”). Participation in ISA affords importers various benefits, including expedited processing of entries, removal from U.S. Customs annual audit pool, increased protection of intellectual property rights, and access to information regarding counterfeit/substandard pharmaceutical and health imports, among other items.
  • A major global retailer retained us to assist with an extensive review of its tariff classifications, as well as to advise on other areas of trade compliance and litigation. Through these efforts, we have assisted the client with significant duty recovery initiatives. Likewise, they have engaged us to analyze the application of the First Sale Rule to multi-tiered sales transactions for the purpose of lowering their duty bills and taking advantage of U.S. tax savings.


Chambers Global, International Trade: Customs (2012–2015)
Chambers USA, Nationwide, International Trade: Customs (2012–2016)
Lexology’s Client Choice Award, International Trade (2016)

Awards Methodology (www.drinkerbiddle.com/content/awards)

Kathleen is ranked nationally in Chambers USA, where her clients describe her as having a 'highly sophisticated' customs practice and a 'really strong grasp' on valuation work.

Chambers USA

International Trade: Customs, USA (2012–2015)

Chambers Global


Bar Admissions

  • Illinois


  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D.
  • Loyola University Chicago, M.A.
  • St. Xavier College, B.A., with honors

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of International Trade


  • American Association of Exporters and Importers, Long Range Planning Committee (Past Board of Governors, Membership Committee Co-Chair)
  • American Bar Association, Customs and U.S. Trade Law Committee (Past Vice-Chair)
  • Customs and International Trade Bar Association
  • International Compliance Professionals Association
  • Joint Industry Group (JIG)
  • Midwest Global Trade Association, Professional Development Program Committee
  • National Association of Foreign Trade Zones (NAFTZ)
  • Women in International Trade, Chicago Chapter (Past President and Director)
  • Chicago Bar Association, International and Foreign Law Committee (Past Chair)