Christopher J. Cochlin


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P: (613) 368-4143

Chris Cochlin advises businesses and governments on international trade matters and assists clients in devising market access strategies to challenge or defend a wide range of foreign and domestic measures. He also advises Canadian and international companies in the defense, energy, high technology, and communications sectors extensively on compliance with export controls and the controlled goods (defense contracting) regime. He represents companies regularly before the Canadian Export and Import Controls Bureau, the Canadian Controlled Goods Directorate, and the Canada Border Services Agency.

Government Service

Mr. Cochlin draws on a decade’s worth of experience providing strategic advice to government officials on cutting-edge treaty and policy issues as counsel in Government of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He has developed significant expertise in the interpretation and application of international treaty rights and obligations relating to market access for goods and services, the protection of intellectual property, and the regulation of foreign direct investment. As trade counsel to the Government of Canada, Mr. Cochlin briefed and argued numerous trade disputes at the WTO and under the NAFTA, as well as before ad hoc tribunals. He also served as lead counsel in Canada-Korea FTA negotiations and as a trade policy analyst in Canada’s Department of Finance developing policy and negotiating positions for the WTO Doha Round of trade negotiations.

Mr. Cochlin is the recipient of the Government of Canada’s Head of the Public Service Award as well as several awards for trade service relating to his work advising on and litigating trade disputes.

Representative Work

  • Advises Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) on international trade treaty issues and on related intellectual property and trade law/policy matters
  • Advises energy sector and high technology clients extensively on compliance with export controls, including representation before the Canadian Export and Import Controls Bureau and the Canada Border Services Agency
  • Appeared before numerous trade panels and the Appellate Body in several of Canada’s multi-billion-dollar WTO challenges to U.S. anti-dumping and countervailing duties on softwood lumber arising out of the Lumber IV investigation, as well as before arbitral panels in lumber-related NAFTA Chapter 11 investment disputes and several ad hoc arbitrations under the 1996 Softwood Lumber Agreement
  • Appeared before several WTO panels and the Appellate Body several times in defense of Canada’s dairy product export regimes
  • Advised Canadian governments at the federal and provincial levels on liability, litigation strategy, and participation as a non-disputing Party in relation to several ongoing investment arbitrations under Chapter 11 of the NAFTA


  • LL.L., 1999, University of Ottawa (National Program)
  • LL.B., 1998, University of Ottawa (National Program)
  • B.A., 1995, University of Alberta

Bar Admissions

  • Ontario
  • Quebec

Honors and Awards

  • Ranked by The Best Lawyers in Canada 2011-2016 as a leading lawyer in the area of International Trade and Finance Law
  • Recommended by Chambers Global: The Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2009-2016 as a leading lawyer in the area of International Trade Law
  • Identified by LEXPERT as a Leading International Trade Lawyer in Canada, 2013-2016
  • Recognized as a leader in trade and customs law by Who’s Who Legal, The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, 2014-2015
  • Recognized by the Euromoney Guide to the World’s Leading International Trade Lawyers as a Leading International Trade Lawyer in Canada

Professional Affiliations and Academia

  • Co-Lecturer, International Trade & Investment Law, Professional LLM in International Business Law, Osgoode Hall Law School (Professional Development), Toronto
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association, International Trade and Investment Committee
  • Member, Ontario Bar Association, International Law Section
  • Member, International Affairs Committee, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Former Member, Canadian Council on International Law, Executive Committee

Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter, “Unravelling the Mystery of Canada’s Export Control Regime”, OCRI 45th Circuit, November 2, 2010
  • Co-presenter, “Recent Developments in Canadian Customs Law: Cases and Issues that are Changing the Legal Landscape”, Compliance Conference, Vancouver, September 23, 2010
  • Presenter, Seminar on Current Issues in International Trade, Calgary, September 21, 2010
  • IT.CAN Quarterly Roundtable Series presentation on “Export-Controlled Technology: The Cost of Non-Compliance”, September 2008
  • Panelist at Carleton University’s “So You Want To Be A Lawyer?”, September 2008
  • Chris served as a panel moderator at the inaugural conference of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL) in Geneva, Switzerland July 15-17, 2008 moderating a discussion on the topic of intellectual property, entitled “IEL & Intellectual Property: The Challenges Ahead”
  • Canadian International Development Agency presentation and workshop on “Canadian Legal, Administrative and Policy-making Framework for International Treaties”, Hanoi, Vietnam

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • French


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