Tom Cockroft

Call 2010

Tom Cockroft specialises in crime, extradition and public law.

Tom was appointed by the Attorney General as Junior Counsel to the Crown (C Panel) in 2022 and is currently instructed by the Cabinet Office in the UK Covid-19 Inquiry. He completed pupillage under Treasury Counsel at the Central Criminal Court in 2010-11 and has sat on the Bar Council’s Law Reform Committee since 2015.



Tom prosecutes and defends in all areas of serious crime from homicide and terrorism to sexual offences and fraud.

Featured Serious Crime cases

Secured the acquittal of a defendant accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm by scalding a patient of hers in bathwater.

Secured the acquittal of a defendant positively identified as the single assailant in a frenzied knife attack which came within millimetres of severing the victim’s femoral artery.

Instructed as led Counsel in international conspiracy to import £1m of cocaine from the Caribbean via New York: Kingston Crown Court, HHJ Kent.

Successfully appealed against client’s conviction for robbery on the basis of a misdirection on joint enterprise in judge’s summing up: Brown & ors [2017] EWCA Crim Div 167, Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, Davis LJ, Simler J, HHJ Munro.

Instructed as sole Counsel at the Central Criminal Court to resist an application by The Daily Express for disclosure of a reference from Jeremy Corbyn MP for lay client in trial of conspiracy to defraud. The Express unsuccessfully sought to demonstrate links between Corbyn’s support network and Islamic State.

Other Experience

Awarded Pegasus Scholarship for a secondment to a set of chambers in Paris specialising in international criminal law.
Shadowed prosecutors and judges for six weeks in the criminal courts in Argentina.
Drafted note on the appeal of an Afghan warlord against conviction for conspiracy to torture hostages for Paul Walker J in the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division.

Tom regularly appears for requested persons and requesting authorities under Parts 1 and 2 of the Extradition Act 2003.

Featured Extradition cases

Defended in the extradition proceedings of a Romanian national who was acting as an informant against the mafia, his cellmate having revealed the location of 18 murdered prostitutes whose organs were being trafficked across Europe.

Successfully resisted a renewed attempt to appeal against extradition before the Divisional Court: Z v Lithuania [2019] EWHC 816 (Admin), High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, Administrative Court, Bean LJ and Farbey J.

Seconded to the Extradition Unit of the CPS Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism Division (SCCTD). Prosecuted cases at first instance and in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court. Assisted with extradition requests made by foreign governments and judicial authorities in politically significant cases including that of Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange. Worked closely with high-level Extradition Unit personnel to brief press in the most sensitive cases. Prepared briefings for ministers of State, foreign ambassadors, overseas prosecutors and judges on counterterrorism and surveillance operations, investigations and prosecutions.

Tom is regularly instructed in public inquiries and other public law proceedings on behalf of the Cabinet Office, Home Office, Treasury, HMRC and DWP.

Featured Inquiries & Public Law cases

Currently instructed as Junior Counsel to the Cabinet Office in the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

Previously instructed as Junior Counsel to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and acted for one of the Key Core Participants in the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

Drafted observations on behalf of the Government of the United Kingdom for the European Court of Human Rights on the issue of whether an increase in sentence on a reference in excess of a Goodyear indication violated Article 6 ECHR rights.

Drafted submissions on behalf of several bereaved families for the London bombings inquest: Royal Courts of Justice, Hallett LJ, Vice President of the Queen’s Bench Division.

Drafted submissions on the judicial review of a coroner’s decision to limit the scope of a Jamieson (non-State) inquest about a Russian national who was suspected of having poisoned her husband; submissions opposing a prisoner’s claim that the deletion of his racist literary work violated his Article 10 ECHR rights; and submissions on the disclosure obligations of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in coroners’ inquests and immigration appeals, including cases before the SIAC

Tom has experience of appearing for regulatory bodies and defendants in financial investigations and professional disciplinary hearings.

Featured Regulatory Law cases

Seconded to the Nursing Midwifery Council for 6 months in 2013.

Wrote a report on US sanctions compliance and anti-money laundering checks for a Latin American bank reviewing thousands of emails in Spanish in response to an investigation by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control into the $6.7bn fraud against Obama’s Medicare.

Recent articles

Attorney General appoints Tom Cockroft as Junior Counsel to the Crown (C Panel)

The Attorney General has appointed Tom Cockroft as Junior Counsel to the Crown (C Panel).The appointment is for a five year period commencing 1st September 2022.The Panel undertakes civil and EU work for all government departments…

Tom Cockroft

Tom Cockroft secures unanimous acquittal of carer

Tom Cockroft secures unanimous acquittal of carer accused of scalding a patient in bathwater (GBH). After a 19-year career looking after elderly and otherwise vulnerable patients in care homes, Ms X was accused of inflicting grievous bodily…

Tom Cockroft

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Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB)

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.

  • B.A., Magdalen College, Oxford
  • Astbury Scholar 2008
  • Pegasus Scholar in Paris 2014

  • Appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown (C Panel) (2022-7)
  • Appointed to the Bar Council’s Law Reform Committee (2015-)
  • Executive Committee of the Criminal Bar Association (2018-20)
  • Defence Extradition Lawyers’ Forum
  • British Spanish Lawyers’ Association
  • Inquest Lawyers’ Group

  • Spanish
  • Catalan
  • French
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Call: +44 (0) 20 7353 3102

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