Roderick Cordara is a law graduate of Cambridge University (Trinity Hall, first class degree). He is a Leading Counsel (‘Silk’) in the UK and Australia. He is admitted to practice in the Courts of the UK, Australia, Singapore (SICC), and the European Court of Justice.
He is unique at the Bar in being a Leader in both commercial and revenue fields. He is a commercial litigator with an international practice, mainly in arbitration. He is also a leading revenue practitioner, with extensive public law experience (both domestic and international law) in litigation and arbitration on tax issues involving governments and parastatal entities. In many disputes, the two fields of commercial and revenue law overlap.
His commercial arbitration & litigation practice focusses in particular on disputes relating to the oil & gas, power generation, and renewables, sectors, principally in Asia, UK Offshore, and East and West Africa. In this context, he has acted in energy-related disputes (eg production sharing, or insurance-related) in relation to fields in Central Asia, India, Africa, the Far East, and UK Offshore. His energy practice has included investor state arbitration in Africa.
He has also unsurpassed experience in shipping and ship construction disputes, involving shipyards from Asia to Europe, and vessels from super luxury yachts and warships, to bulk carriers.
He has also acted for many years in connection with disputes involving the sale of goods, including computers, machinery, spares, transport, as well as in connection with aviation and the arms trade (for Government clients) and ballistic weapons systems. He has wide experience in disputes concerning the supply of services, including in relation to goods sold, as well as M&A disputes.
He has long experience in insurance and re-insurance litigation and financial market disciplinary work. He has been standing Counsel to UK Government in export insurance matters, and has acted both for and against the UK, in litigation involving international treaty obligations.
His revenue practice relates principally to transactional taxes and duties mostly in the context of the EU (VAT, Customs duty, Excises), but also outside Europe (principally Australia and South East Asia) in the context of the global spread of goods & services taxes, with their associated domestic and cross-border issues. This practice has expanded to include gambling taxes (especially in cross-border contexts), insurance-related taxes (IPT), and environmental taxes. Although acting principally for taxpayers, he has advised and represented both the UK and Australian Governments in fiscal matters. He has appeared frequently in leading tax cases in the UK, EU, and Australian Courts, up to the highest levels. He is very widely experienced in tax litigation involving international treaty interpretation and application, including issues of unfair competition and market distortion. His tax practice involves him in public and administrative law disputes (judicial review). He has dealt with tax issues from every conceivable industry from mining, banking, hospitality, ship sale, newspapers, to health care, education, retail, car manufacture, on line gaming, and clairvoyance.
The two sides of his practice have often come together, for example, in commercial arbitrations with governmental parties involving tax issues, and tax cases involving detailed questions of contractual and commercial law analysis. He has specialised for many years in restitutionary claims, both in commercial and tax contexts.
His particular focus is on cases involving technical factual questions and where cross-examination may be critical. He acts as arbitrator. He has also been instructed to give expert evidence of UK & Australian law. He is heavily involved in creating arbitral institutions in the Horn of Africa (the IGAD and Somali projects respectively).
Well-known clients for whom he has acted in Court include:
Governments: UK Government, Australian Federal Government, (also State of New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, State of Victoria)
Corporate and private clients: Abbey National, Agrimpex Trading, Allseas Shipping Company, Allied Domecq, American Express, AP Fonden (Sweden), A P Motors Pte Ltd, ASDA Stores, Axa Insurance, Bank of Baroda, Bank of Ireland, Boucheron SA, British Airports Authority, Bophutatswana National Commercial Corporation, British Shipbuilders Ltd, British Telecom, BUPA Insurance, Carlsberg UK Ltd.Capital One Bank Plc, Caterpillar Plc, Castle Insurance CO. Ltd, Central Reinsurance Corporation, C E Heath, Chase Manhattan Bank, Chinese Channel (HK) Limited, Citibank Inc., Cleobulos Shipping, Commissioner of Taxation, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Corporation of the City of London, DFS Furniture Plc., Electronic Data Services, EMI Group Plc, Export Credit Guarantee Dept (UK Govt.), Ferrovial, Films Rover International Ltd., Ford Motor Company, First Data Resources, General Motors Acceptance Corporation, Glaxo Smith Klein, Help the Aged, Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, IBM, Innocent Ltd., InsuraneWide.com Ltd., Leros Shipping, Lloyds of London, Leros Shipping Co., Lloyds Bank Plc, Liverpool Institute of Performing, Marks & Spencer Plc, MBNA Europe Bank Ltd., MG Rover Ltd., Midland Bank Plc, Natwest Bank PLC, National Provident Institution, The National Health Service Trusts, Oceanus Mutual Underwriting, Orion Insurance Limited, Pendragon Plc. The Post Office, Peugeot Motor Company, Procter & Gamble UK Ltd., Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd, Procter & Gamble, Qantas, Royal Bank of Scotland GmbH, Seawind Maritime UK, SOC Private Capital, Standard Chartered Bank Plc., Swan Hunters Limited, Tesco Plc, Tradax International SA, Transcontinental Underwriting, Travelex, Tropicana UK Ltd.