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Alex Cochrane

Solicitor: Defamation, privacy and harassment
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The "extremely able and astute" Alex Cochrane has "considerable experience in handling defamation and privacy-related litigation. He has been active in phone hacking litigation and frequently acts on matters related to online libel and harassment." - Chambers and Partners 2018

gains clients’ trust through a mixture of an authoritative yet friendly personality coupled with outstanding legal expertiseLegal 500 2017

Alex Cochrane joined Brett Wilson in 2018 from Collyer Bristow. He is a highly regarded media disputes and reputation management lawyer with considerable experience in defamation, privacy and harassment claims.

Alex is recognised as a leading individual in defamation/reputation management in the prestigious Chambers & Partners directory and he has been listed in the Legal 500 as a "recommended lawyer" since 2015.

Recent examples of Alex's work include:

Defamation

Over the last 10 years Alex has worked on a large number of complex libel disputes and has secured favourable settlements on behalf of many clients including footballers, television personalities, diplomats, businessmen, politicians and investigative journalists.

Alex acted for international cricketer Chris Cairns in his successful libel claim against Indian billionaire Lalit Modi in what was the UK's first Twitter libel ("Twibel") trial, securing damages of £90,000 for the Claimant following an eight day trial in the High Court. The award was upheld by the Court of Appeal (Cairns v Modi [2012] EWCA Civ 1382).  The Court of Appeal judgment is a leading authority for assessing damages in cases which involve online publication and defamation generally.

Alex has identified a number of individuals who have published defamatory comments online but sought to hide behind anonymity or pseudonyms by obtaining disclosure orders from the court against various online platforms.

Alex has also successfully concluded many disputes involving internet publications, including the removal of defamatory comments from numerous websites and online forums.

Privacy

In PNM v Times Newspapers Ltd. [2017] UKSC 49, Alex acted for a businessman who was seeking an order restraining publication of private information. He had conduct of the case as it progressed through the Court of Appeal and, ultimately, before a panel of seven Justices of the Supreme Court.

In ABK v KDT & Anor [2013] EWHC 1192 (QB) Alex acted for the Claimant who had taken intimate photographs of herself and shared them with her boyfriend but when the relationship ended he threatened to distribute them widely. Alex obtained an anonymised "revenge porn" injunction preventing distribution and requiring the permanent destruction of the photographs.

Phone Hacking

Alex has managed a very substantial number of successful claims for misuse of private information and breach of confidence for victims of phone hacking against the publishers of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, The People and the now defunct News of the World. He obtained considerable sums in damages (including six figure payments) for clients as well as written apologies, non-repeat undertakings and costs.

Harassment

Alex obtained an urgent injunction for a businessman who was subjected to a very serious campaign of online harassment and also ensured the prompt removal of a number of libellous allegations about the client that had been published on various online platforms.

Data Protection

Alex acted for the child of a celebrity in relation to articles published in the Mail on Sunday and the Mail Online and obtained, on data protection grounds, the permanent removal of all references to the child in the articles.

Alex has also represented individuals with "right to be forgotten" requests against Google and he has successfully de-linked a number of publications from search results.

Pre-publication Advice

Alex acted for a corporate client in relation to an article The Sunday Times threatened to publish naming the client in connection with a sports doping scandal and he managed to ensure the client was not named in the article.

Alex was instructed in relation to the publication of a book detailing an attempted coup in which his client was said to have been an active participant. Alex succesfully negotiated the removal of all details that might identify his client.

Commercial Disputes

Alex also has a wealth of general commercial litigation experience. He has acted for clients in a wide range of contractual and tortious disputes, including dealing with disclosure, witness statements, settlement negotiations and mediations in highly complex disputes. 

If you would like to contact Alex directly, please send him an email.