Tom Cockroft


Tom specialises in crime, extradition and public law, regularly appearing for both sides in each area. He completed pupillage under Treasury Counsel at 6KBW in 2011 and has sat on the Bar Council's Law Reform Committee since 2015.

Recent notable cases

Instructed as Junior Counsel to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and acted for one of the Key Core Participants in the Undercover Policing Inquiry. [2019] 

Successfully resisted a renewed attempt to appeal against extradition before the Divisional Court. [2019]

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. [2018]

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. [2017]

Instructed as led Counsel in international conspiracy to import £1m of cocaine from the Caribbean via New York: Kingston Crown Court, HHJ Kent. [2017]

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. [2017]

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. [2016]

Seconded to the Extradition Unit of the CPS Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism Division (SCCTD), with Home Office Security Clearance. 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 counter-terrorism and surveillance operations, investigations and prosecutions. [2015]

International work

Awarded Pegasus Scholarship to spend a month seconded to a chambers in Paris specialising in international criminal law. [2014]

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. [2012]

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. [2011]

Shadowed prosecutors and judges for 6 weeks in the criminal courts in Argentina. [2009]

Studied course in international human rights law at the University of Paris I. [2007]

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. [2006]

Worked in the Press Office at the French Embassy in London, answering phone calls from journalists seeking commercially sensitive information and writing daily reports on British newspaper articles concerning France. [2003]

Public & Constitutional law

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. [2011]

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. [2010]

Committees on which served

Elected member of the Bar Council of England & Wales and Law Reform Committee. Drafted Bar Council's response to consultations on remuneration, Protection of Official Data, Misconduct in Public Office, the new Sentencing Code, international search warrants for electronic material and regulation of automated vehicles. [2018]

Elected member of the Executive Committee of the Criminal Bar Association of England & Wales. Led the working group lobbying the Law Society and MOJ re barristers and solicitors consulting on direct payment of barristers for Magistrates' Court work as a means of protecting disadvantaged entrants to the criminal Bar. [2016]

Arranged to meet with the Solicitor General and shadow Attorney General, as a result of which he successfully lobbied the Ministry of Justice into consulting on a new corporate offence of failure to prevent fraud - see Tom's article in Counsel magazine. [2014]










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

Memberships & Associations

Middle Temple
Elected Member of the Bar Council (2015-2018)
Criminal Bar Association
Extradition Lawyers' Association
British Spanish Lawyers' Association
Bar Pro Bono Unit



Areas of work

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Tom Cockroft

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