Robert Cohen

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YEAR OF CALL: 2009

Described by instructing solicitors as an ‘excellent advocate…able to make clear, well structured submissions in a confident and relaxed manner’ and ‘great in conference’, Robert accepts instructions in all of Chambers’ main practice areas.

Robert was appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel of Counsel in February 2017.

Robert is Security cleared.

Police Law:

Robert represents police forces across the country and has extensive experience in a range of civil matters. He has acted in a large range of civil actions against the police and is especially interested in cases involving police information and the Data Protection Act. He has appeared on behalf of Chief Constables in the Court of Appeal, High Court, and County Court.

Robert has a great deal of experience dealing with the issues facing the police in the family court, and is regularly instructed in Children Act proceedings to deal with disclosure issues and assertions of Public Interest Immunity.

Notable cases:

Grey v Commissioner of Police [2016] EWCA Civ 1360 – Robert successfully defended this second appeal in the Court of Appeal. The Court held that the proper approach had been taken to seizing the Appellant’s vehicle pursuant to section 165A of the Road Traffic Act.

 

Murray v Chief Constable of Lancashire [2015] EWCA Civ 1174 – Appeal against the imposition of an interim Injunction to Restrain Gang Related Violence. The Court dismissed the appeal holding that once it was established that there was a “serious question to be tried” as to whether the individual was a member of the gang responsible for violence as outlined in the evidence, the judge was not confined to restraining particular conduct attributed to the individual but was entitled to impose or continue orders restraining him from engaging in conduct attributable to the gang as a whole.

Elliott v Staffordshire Police [2015] EWHC 3165 (QB) – Trial of the Claimant’s claim for defamation. The Claimant alleged that he had been libelled by the course of a child protection conference. His claim was dismissed and costs awarded to the Chief Constable on an indemnity basis.

Re X (Children) (Disclosure of Judgment to Police) [2014] EWHC 278 (Fam) – Robert acted for a Chief Constable, making submissions on why an especially sensitive fact finding judgment should be disclosed to police.

Re the Al Hilli Children [2013] EWHC 2190 (Fam) and [2013] EWHC 2299 (Fam) – Acting for the Chief Constable of Surrey (as junior to Fiona Barton QC) in these complex family proceedings. Particular issues arose in relation to the disclosure of sensitive information and the assertion of PII, the attendance of representatives of the press, and the sensitivities associated with an international, cross border investigation.

Ali v Bashir [2013] EWHC 2572 – Robert acted for the Chief Constable of Surrey in these election court proceedings. He represented the Chief Constable at the scrutiny, and handled applications for the disclosure of police information.

Inquests:

Robert has acted in a number of inquests (including several heard by juries) and has been particularly praised by clients for his handling of sensitive issues.

Notable cases:

Re the Birmingham Pub Bombings (ongoing) – Robert is instructed (as junior to Jeremy Johnson QC) in the ongoing inquests into the deaths arising from the 1974 bombings.

 

Re Alexander Perepilichnyy (deceased) (ongoing) – Robert is acting (as junior to Dijen Basu QC) for the Chief Constable of Surrey in the inquest into the death of a Russian businessman.

Re Leslie Douthwaite (deceased) (2016) – Robert appeared for the Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall in this jury inquest in which there were allegations that position asphyxia had been a contributory factor.

Re Michael Lawrence (deceased) (2015) – An Article 2 inquest concerning positional asphyxia.

Re William Hafele (deceased) (2014) – Robert acted for the Chief Constable of Surrey in this two week Article 2 jury inquest.

Re Francis Andrade (deceased) (2014) – Robert acted for the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester at the inquest into the death of a professional musician who was found dead after giving evidence against a couple who had sexually abused her whilst she was a student at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.

Public Law:

Robert has a long-standing interest in Public Law. He has been instructed to act in many applications for judicial review, and frequently appears in the First-Tier and Upper Tribunals.

Before coming to the Bar Robert worked as a Legal Assistant at the House of Commons. This involved working on interventions in judicial reviews to assert Parliamentary Privilege, and frequently advising on public law issues. This provided Robert with a detailed grounding in public law principles and he is now routinely called upon to advise police forces and the Government in this area. Robert acted for the Chief Constable of Surrey in the Election Court convened to consider a disputed local government election in Maybury and Sheerwater. He has also advised constabularies on the extent of Parliamentary Privilege.

Robert is especially interested in Freedom of Information and Data Protection. He has advised police forces and other public authorities on disputes with the Information Commissioner, and acted for police forces in high value claims brought under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Licensing Law:

Robert has been instructed in a variety of licensing matters. He frequently appears for licensing authorities on appeals to Magistrates’ Courts, and has attended many local authority licensing hearings to make representations on behalf of responsible authorities.

He was recently instructed on behalf of the Chief Constable of Surrey to make representations against an application for a premises license for a new festival (for 5,000 people) in the Mole Valley. The application was refused. The hearing (which was webcast live) was attended by over 100 local residents and was reported in the local press.

Personal Injury:

Robert has a busy personal injury practice. He frequently appears in trials and has advised, and drafted pleadings, in a large number of claims. He has been instructed in a number of actions for clinical negligence, workplace stress, and other multi-track litigation. He is often involved in high value claims, including actions in which parties have been permanently disabled.   Where appropriate he is happy to accept instructions on the basis of a CFA.

Employment Law:

Robert has experience of a wide range of Employment issues. He has acted in claims for unfair dismissal, disputes involving allegations of discrimination, and actions arising from TUPE. He is often asked to draft pleadings and advise on complex employment disputes, and is adept at addressing technical questions of statutory construction.

Education:

LLB (Hons) – St Chad’s College, University of Durham [2008]

BVC – BPP [2009]

Exhibition – Inner Temple

Interests:

Wine, Skiing, Mountaineering