Charleston, WV
600 Quarrier Street
Charleston, WV 25301
T: (304) 347-1131
F: (304) 343-3058

J.D., Brooklyn Law School (1986)

  • Notes Editor, Brooklyn Law Review

B.A., Yale University (1981)

  • Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Photo of Sandra M.  Murphy

Sandra M. Murphy


Sandra M. Murphy focuses her practice on acquisition, regulatory, enforcement, corporate governance and securities law matters for West Virginia banks and other financial institutions. She also represents the two lead bank trade associations in the state, the Community Bankers of West Virginia and the West Virginia Bankers Association.

Sandy has been engaged in major bank acquisitions by West Virginia bank holding companies, including over 25 acquisitions in Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia by United Bankshares, West Virginia’s largest bank holding company.  She has also assisted Summit Financial Group and First Community Bancshares with their Virginia and West Virginia acquisition activities.

Sandy’s regulatory practice encompasses the representation of clients before both state and federal regulatory agencies on a wide variety of matters, including regulatory enforcement actions, corporate activity and expansion activities and compliance issues.

In the securities area, Sandy advises bank holding company clients on a variety of issues and provides ongoing legal advice to bank holding company clients registered with the Securities Exchange Commission. Sandy also provides advice to the firm's financial institutions clients on corporate governance issues.

Through her work with West Virginia's banking associations, Sandy has assisted the banking industry in its legislative efforts and has been deeply involved in the passage of significant legislation affecting the financial services industry. Most recently, Sandy advised and advocated for the industry in the passage of favorable legislation implementing sweeping changes to West Virginia consumer protection laws and West Virginia's consumer late fee laws.

Sandy and Bowles Rice have been at the forefront of critical issues and developments affecting West Virginia financial institutions.  This preeminent role has been recognized by many clients in their comments to national peer review and credentialing organizations, including the following:

"Best there is in West Virginia." (Best Lawyers, 2014)

"Sandra Murphy provides, without question, the best banking counsel in West Virginia." (Best Lawyers, 2012)

"I have worked with Sandy for over 20 years. She is, in my opinion, the top banking lawyer in WV. She has been instrumental in helping us achieve legislative changes that put us on parity with Bank Holding Companies and National Banks. Not only would I recommend her to a prospective client, I have." (Best Lawyers, 2012)

Professional Highlights

  • Chair, Bowles Rice Banking and Financial Services Team
  • Chair, Bowles Rice Financial Services Litigation Team
  • Former member, Bowles Rice Executive Committee

Successfully completed the following banking transactions:

  • The issuance of common stock in connection with private equity investment in a public client;
  • A registered common stock rights offering;
  • The acquisition of a Virginia bank holding company and its Virginia subsidiary bank having a presence in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., with an approximate transaction value of $490.6 million;
  • The acquisition of a West Virginia bank holding company and its West Virginia subsidiary bank having a presence in West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, with an approximate transaction value of $186.9 million;
  • The acquisition of a Maryland bank holding company and its Maryland subsidiary bank having a presence in northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland, with an approximate transaction value of $109 million;
  • The acquisition of a bank holding company headquartered in Washington, D.C. and its national bank subsidiary bank having a presence in northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland, with an approximate transaction value of $62.5 million; and
  • The acquisition of a Virginia bank having a presence in Richmond, Virginia, with an approximate transaction value of $40.6 million.
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America ® (Banking and Finance Law; Corporate Governance Law; Corporate Compliance Law; Corporate Law; and Financial Services Regulation Law)
  • –Named Best Lawyers’ Lawyer of the Year in the southern West Virginia region (2016, Financial Services Regulation Law; 2015, Banking and Finance Law; 2013, Financial Services Regulation Law; 2012, Corporate Law; and 2009, Banking Law)

  • Recognized by 2016 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business among “Leaders in their Field” for Corporate/Commercial Law - Banking & Finance
  • Peer-Review Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized by Super Lawyers (Banking), 2007-present
  • American Bar Association
  • West Virginia Bar Association
  • Kanawha County Bar Association
  • Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (Development Committee)
  • The Glotfelty Foundation (Board of Directors, Secretary)
  • Education Elevator at Piedmont Elementary School
  • West Virginia Symphony Chorus
  • Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (Former Chair of Board of Trustees and Development Committee; Operations and Scholarship Committees)