the barristers are all very bright, responsive, cool under pressure

Legal 500

Rory Cochrane

Year of Call: 2013

the barristers are all very bright, responsive, cool under pressure

Legal 500

Rory Cochrane

Year of Call: 2013

the barristers are all very bright, responsive, cool under pressure

Legal 500

Rory Cochrane

Year of Call: 2013

Rory Cochrane

the barristers are all very bright, responsive, cool under pressure

Legal 500

Rory Cochrane

Year of Call: 2013

Rory Cochrane joined the Bar following six years as a solicitor advocate in the dispute resolution division of Herbert Smith Freehills. He is an experienced commercial litigator, with expertise in cross-border disputes. He also has particular expertise in telecommunications and banking litigation. Since coming to the Bar, Rory has appeared many times in the High Court, County Court, and specialist tribunals. Rory has assisted on two of The Lawyer’s Top 20 cases of 2015 and 2016 (the Cattles litigation and the Construction Industry Vetting Group Information litigation).

He has experience across a wide range of areas and industries, including IT and telecommunications, banking and finance, insolvency, aviation, regulatory and competition, funds management, insurance and re-insurance, stockbroking, oil and gas, fraud, professional negligence, and private wealth. 

He is available to accept instructions in all areas of Chambers’ practice.

Rory qualified in Australia in 2005 and practised at global firm King & Wood Mallesons (and as an Associate to the Honourable Justice Susan Kenny in the Federal Court of Australia). He relocated to the UK in 2007 to join Herbert Smith Freehills and was seconded for a year to a major private bank.

Rory contributed to the 2015 edition of MacGillvray on Insurance Law (Sweet & Maxwell), Chapter 13 (Conflict of Laws) and is a Teaching Fellow in Private International Law at University College London.

  • Commercial Litigation

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    Rory has developed a practice at the Bar in commercial disputes in the telecommunications, IT, banking and finance, insurance and reinsurance, stockbroking, aviation and energy industries.

    His recent instructions include:

    • Construction Industry Vetting Group Information litigation – one of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2016 – Group Litigation involving claims by over 700 claimants bringing claims for defamation, unlawful means conspiracy, misuse of confidential and private information and breach of the DPA.
    • Cattles v PwC: acting on disclosure issues for PwC in a £1.6bn auditor’s negligence claim arising out of the collapse of sub-prime lender the Wellcome Group. One of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2015.
    • Shagang Shipping Company Limited (in liquidation) v HNA Group Company Limited: appeared in the Commercial Court for the Claimant responding to an application for an order under CPR 31.22 for documents in the proceeding to be able to be used by a third party in an unrelated arbitration (instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills).
    • A Company v British Telecommunications Plc: advising BT regarding a restitution claim arising out of alleged overpayments in respect of cancelled services.
    • White v Transalis Ltd: a shareholders’ dispute regarding ownership and control over a company involved in developing online invoicing software. The matter involved an unfair prejudice petition application in the High Court, a dispute over share ownership, as well as a dispute over the ownership of valuable intellectual property.
    • Deraven Limited v GT Steel Recycling DMCC: led by Graham Read QC, acting in English High Court proceedings for a Cypriot company in guarantee enforcement proceedings against a United Arab Emirates company.
    • Re: A Company v The Cabinet Office: instructed to assist with disclosure on a £100m procurement dispute.
    • Overy v Transport for London: successfully appeared at trial for TfL in a County Court payment dispute with a former contractor.


    Rory is regularly instructed in insolvency matters in the High Court and County Court, and has frequently appeared in the Companies Court winding up list on winding up petitions. Recent instructions include:

    • Lynch v HMRC: acting for a purchaser of a property in validation order proceedings.
    • Re: British Gas: acting for British Gas in the Companies Court winding up list on numerous winding up petitions.
    • Aerial Vision International S.P.A v Olivemist Ltd:  advising an Italian sunglasses distributor in relation to claims against a UK-based distributor’s insolvent estate.
    • Re: A Healthcare Services Company (In Liq): advising former directors of an insolvent company in relation to director’s duties claims brought by the company liquidator.
    • Funding Circle Recoveries Ltd v Palmer: appearing on a personal bankruptcy application in the County Court.


    Rory has experience as a solicitor acting in litigation in the High Court, Court of Appeal, as well as ICC and LCIA arbitrations. He has particular experience in large insolvencies, financial services misselling claims, and competition disputes in telecommunications and other regulated industries.

    His experience as a solicitor includes:

    • Nortel Networks (In Administration): insolvency proceedings in the UK, Canada and the US. Acted on proceedings in 19 European states, as well as in the US and Canada, in relation to complicated claims arising out of alleged breaches of de facto and shadow directors' duties, and proprietary remedies.
    • BSkyB Ltd v HP Enterprise Services (as a member of The Lawyer’s Litigation Team of the Year 2008): acted in relation to a successful £200m+ claim for fraud and negligence arising out of a $50 million IT contract to design and implement a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
    • Purple Parking v Heathrow Airport: acted for Heathrow Airport in relation to a competition law dispute arising out of valet parking businesses.
    • Ryanair Limited v Gatwick Airport Limited: acted for Gatwick Airport on a number of competition disputes in relation to check-in and baggage charging at the airport. Appeared as junior counsel in a hearing before the Civil Aviation Authority.
    • LCIA arbitration on behalf of a sovereign wealth fund arising out of a US $2 billion investment in a major investment bank.
    • LCIA arbitration for a major insurance company arising out of losses sustained as a result of a multi-billion pound stock-lending programme.
    • LCIA arbitration, with associated Norwich Pharmacal applications, on behalf of a high net worth Russian businessman relating to the control of a multi-billion dollar resources group.
    • Advised an English company in a dispute with a US company in relation to the development and commercialisation of a genetic sequencing technology. This matter encompassed corporate governance and intellectual property issues, and a commercial contract dispute.
    • Advised on a dispute arising out of a hire contract for a North Sea oil platform.
    • Seconded to a market-leading private bank for 10 months in late 2008 to mid-2009. Advised in relation to a high profile investment dispute and media campaign by a prominent investor (including advice in relation to defamation, privacy regulations, and the protection of confidential information). 
    • Advised on around 100 misselling claims in relation to retail sales of an investment fund in the Financial Ombudsman Service, or through litigation in the High Court.
    • Advised a major US private equity firm in relation to a transaction in Ukraine, involving consideration of points of conflict of laws and sovereign immunity.
    • Acted in High Court litigation on behalf of a number of US companies in relation to fraud and insolvency proceedings arising out of the management of a US$2 billion property portfolio.
  • Telecommunications & IT

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    Rory has considerable experience as a solicitor in major telecommunications and IT disputes in Australia and the UK.

    He has particular experience in regulatory and competition telecommunications matters, and in working with experts in relation to telecommunications cost modelling. Since coming to the Bar, he has appeared in a number of disputes relating to telecommunications apparatus under the Communications Code and has advised landowners, telecommunications companies, and the Government in relation to related issues.

    Recent instructions include:

    • Re: The Reducing the Cost of Broadband Directive: advising the Department of Culture, Media and Sport on the implementation of the Reducing the Cost of Broadband Directive (Directive 2014/61/EU). This far-reaching directive provides for access to the passive infrastructure of telecommunications providers, as well as gas, electricity, water and transport providers.
    • Funeven Ltd v British Telecommunications Plc: led by Graham Read QC for BT in a dispute regarding wayleaves pricing under the Communications Code.
    • Povey v British Telecommunications Plc, Chester v British Telecommunications Plc: two cases in which Rory appeared for BT at a trial regarding the siting of telecommunications apparatus under the Electronic Communications Code.
    • Thank Sustainable Ltd v Orange Personal Communication Services Ltd: acting for a landowner in a dispute with a telecommunications company over a wayleave renewal.
    • Re: A Private Equity Firm: advising a private equity firm regarding due diligence connected with an investment in a trans-Atlantic submarine cable.
    • White v Transalis Ltd: a shareholders’ dispute regarding ownership and control over a company involved in developing online invoicing software. The matter involved an unfair prejudice petition application in the High Court, a dispute over share ownership, as well as a dispute over the ownership of valuable intellectual property.

    His experience as a solicitor includes:

    • Nortel Networks (In Administration): acted for 19 European Nortel subsidiaries in insolvency proceedings in the UK, Canada and the US. This involved proceedings in the UK and Europe, as well as in the US and Canada, and concerned complicated claims arising out of alleged breaches of de facto and shadow directors' duties, and proprietary remedies. Rory also advised over a considerable period of time in relation to the contentious break up of Nortel's global IT system.
    • BSkyB Ltd v HP Enterprise Services (as a member of The Lawyer’s Litigation Team of the Year 2008): acted in relation to a successful £200m+ claim for fraud and negligence arising out of a £50 million IT contract to design and implement a Customer Relationship Management system.
    • BSkyB v Virgin Media: acted for Sky in a dispute regarding prices charged to Virgin Media for wholesale access to Sky's premium sports channels.
    • In Australia, Rory acted on a number of disputes in the Australian Competition Tribunal between the incumbent telecommunications provider, Telstra, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, in relation to access pricing disputes. This included advising on regulatory telecommunications issues, primarily in relation to local loop unbundling, but also fixed-line and mobile interconnection disputes.
    • Advised Telstra's search and directory subsidiary in relation to a number of matters arising out of its marketing and online search business.
    • Advised Telstra's mobile and broadband businesses on a range of regulatory issues including consumer protection legislation, data protection issues, disputes with advertisers, and interconnection agreements.
    • Advised in relation to the Telstra and Hutchison 3G network joint venture, particularly in relation to contractual matters and the Australian telecommunications regime.
    • Rory has also acted in disputes for telecommunications companies in general contractual disputes, and in relation to ancillary businesses such as search and online businesses.

    Rory has presented a number of seminars with Graham Read QC on trends and issues in telecommunications and competition litigation.

  • Insurance & Reinsurance

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    Rory is developing a practice at the Bar in insurance and reinsurance. Rory has appeared in many County Court trials for insurers on a wide range of matters concerning liability insurance and motor insurance.

    He has recently presented seminars to leading insurance firms on matters including stockbrokers’ negligence, the Insurance Act 2015, and the Late Payment of Insurance Claims provisions. Rory also contributed to the 13th edition of MacGillvray on Insurance Law (2015, Sweet & Maxwell), Chapter 13 (Conflict of Laws).

    He has experience as a solicitor in acting for insurers in general insurance matters including business interruption and life assurance. He also spent 6 months in an Insurance and Corporate Risk division as a trainee solicitor and was exposed to a range of general insurance disputes.

    At Herbert Smith Freehills, Rory also acted in a confidential arbitration on behalf of a large insurance group in respect of losses arising out of a stock-lending programme, and while on secondment to a major private bank, advised on issues arising out of the sales of a whole of life assurance policy.

  • Banking and Financial Services

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    Rory has extensive experience as a solicitor in acting for financial institutions in relation to a range of disputes. He is also familiar with a wide range of financial instruments and products, and has experience in advising banks and other firms in FSA/FCA enforcement proceedings.

    Since coming to the Bar, Rory has appeared in the County Court on a number of mortgage possession hearings (for borrower and lender), and in the High Court in applications for relief from forfeiture including:

    • Re: A Major Bank: Instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills to advise a major bank in relation to the investigation and prosecution of a number of former employees of the bank. Instructions focussed on reviewing documents for relevance and legal privilege (including complicated issues of joint and common interest privilege).
    • Glenmore Capital v Mason: concerned the enforceability of a mortgage against an investor and wife.
    • Residential Loans Ltd v Vines: appearing on a mortgage possession hearing.
    • IS Trading v Matten: appearing at a possession hearing for a borrower in default of loan obligations.

    His experience as a solicitor includes:

    • Seconded to a market-leading private bank for 10 months in late 2008 to mid-2009, and continued to advise for a number of years following. This included advising in relation to a high profile investment dispute and media campaign by a prominent investor (including advice in relation to defamation, privacy regulations, and the protection of confidential information). 
    • Advised on around 100 misselling claims in relation to retail sales of an investment fund. These claims were resolved through the bank’s complaints handling procedures, in the Financial Ombudsman Service, or through litigation in the High Court.
    • Acted for a prominent foreign bank in relation to losses arising out of investments in a fund invested in collateralised debt obligations, floating rate notes and other securities.
    • Advised a stockbroking firm regarding claims arising out of alleged market abuse under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
    • LCIA arbitration for a major insurance company arising out losses sustained as a result of a multi-billion pound stock-lending programme.
    • Advised a number of major banks in relation to alleged breaches of FCA/FSA handbook principles and rules.
  • Professional Negligence

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    Rory has advised as a solicitor in relation to professional negligence issues in particular in defending solicitor’s negligence claims, negligent advice in the banking industry and in relation to IT contracts.

    Recent cases include:

    • Cattles v PwC: acting on disclosure issues for PwC in a £1.6bn auditor’s negligence claim arising out of the collapse of sub-prime lender the Wellcome Group. One of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2015.
    • A Property Developer v A Firm: advising a firm of solicitors in relation to professional negligence allegations arising out of the conduct of property development litigation.
    • A Property Developer v A Finance Broker: advising a property developer in County Court litigation arising out of an alleged failure by a finance broker to secure agreed finance.
    • Davidson v Lea & Company Solicitors: advising on the defence of a firm of solicitors arising out of Stamp Duty Land Tax mitigation schemes.
    • Howard Stone Solicitors v Hamilton Downing Quinn LLP: instructed by a firm in relation to the recovery of disputed fees in circumstances of allegations of professional negligence.


    His experience as a solicitor includes:

    • Acted for a market leading private bank in relation to a large number of claims for alleged professional negligence arising out of the sales of an investment product.
    • BSkyB Ltd v HP Enterprise Services (as a member of The Lawyer’s Litigation Team of the Year 2008):  Acted in relation to a successful claim for fraud and professional negligence arising out of a $50 million IT contract to design and implement a Customer Relationship Management system.

    Rory has presented to leading City firms in relation to insurance broker’s negligence, and the Insurance Act 2015. He is also a member of the Professional Negligence Bar Association.

  • Tax

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    Rory is developing a practice in taxation, drawing on his background in commercial law. He has a particular interest in judicial review. As a pupil, Rory has acted in a number of taxation matters for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, as well as for private clients. These include matters relating to deductions and residency issues.

    Examples include:

    • Acting for HMRC in a number of disputes involving issues of residence or domicile.
    • HMRC v McLaren Racing Ltd: a deduction case on whether a Formula One racing team could claim as a deduction a fine levied on it by the international racing organisation (as pupil to Akash Nawbatt).
    • Daniel v HMRC: an appeal by a taxpayer on questions of whether he was resident for tax purposes such that certain capital gains were chargeable to capital gains tax (as pupil to Akash Nawbatt).

    Rory has also written on domicile issues for Taxation magazine and is a member of the Revenue Bar Association and of the Administrative Law Bar Association.

  • Employment

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    Rory has frequently appeared in Employment Tribunals and the County Court. Matters include:

    • Gill v Menzies Aviation Ltd: advising a groundhandling firm in relation to unfair dismissal and racial discrimination claims brought by a former employee.
    • Ahmed v Coca Cola Enterprises Ltd: successfully defended Coca-Cola at trial in a dispute regarding alleged breaches of a settlement agreement.
    • A Director v A Multinational Resources Company: Advising a former director on unlawful dismissal and whistleblowing claims following a change in control of an international oil and gas company.
    • Tynan v BPP University Ltd: successfully defended BPP law school at trial for in a claim involving allegations of disability discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
    • An Employee v British Telecommunications Plc: advising BT regarding claims arising out of a termination payment.
    • An ex partner v A Firm: advising an immigration firm on a dispute with a departing partner.

    As pupil to Akash Nawbatt and Peter Edwards, Rory has assisted on a number of employment matters relating to dismissals, equality and discrimination issues.

    Matters include:

    • Lockwood v Department for Work and Pensions: an appeal to the Court of Appeal regarding age discrimination in relation to redundancy payments.
    • Smith v Pimlico Plumbers Ltd: an appeal to the Employment Appeals Tribunal on questions whether the Claimant was an ‘employee’ or ‘worker’ for the purposes of employment and equality legislation.
    • Posavec v Morgan Stanley International Ltd: a claim regarding disability discrimination in an investment bank.
    • Arnold & Ors v Comet Group Ltd (in administration): a protective award claim arising out of the circumstances of the insolvency and liquidation of the Comet Group.
    • Conway v Mirfield & Smith Ltd: a wrongful and unfair dismissal case arising out of the dismissal of a motorcycle clothing salesman.
    • X (Hedge Fund) v Y (Manager): as a solicitor advocate, Rory advised in relation to a restrictive covenant dispute between a hedge fund and former manager.
  • Fraud

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    Rory acquired extensive experience at Herbert Smith Freehills in fraud matters spanning a number of different contexts, including banking, IT and telecommunications, and private wealth.

    Rory acted on a number of fraud disputes for banks and high net worth individuals based in the UK, Russia and Ukraine, and the Middle East. He also has experience in working on worldwide freezing injunctions and Norwich Pharmacal relief.

    Since coming to the Bar, Rory has appeared for an individual in the Chancery division of the High Court responding to a freezing injunction application in the context of a +€10m international fraud claim.

  • Energy & Natural Resources

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    Rory has advised as a solicitor a number of disputes in energy and mining. Examples of matters Rory has worked on include:

    • A multi-million pound contractual dispute arising out of a hire contract for a mobile oil platform.
    • A dispute between parties to a joint venture regarding exploration obligations.
    • Dispute between electricity generators supplying major mining projects.

Additional Information

Year of Call -
Australia: 2005
England and Wales: 2008 (solicitor) 2013 (Bar) 

Academic

Teaching Fellow, Conflict of Laws - University College London (2013 to present)

Master of Laws - University of Melbourne (2006)

Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) – University of Western Australia (2004)

Memberships and Associations

COMBAR (Junior COMBAR Committee member)

Chancery Bar Association

Competition Law Association

Insolvency Lawyers Association

British Insurance Law Association

Administrative Law Bar Association

Professional Negligence Bar Association