WATCHING THE BOTTOM LINE
Cochran spearheads an effort to aggressively
reduce legal fees and generate more revenue
than his department spends. He holds the line on
expenses through reviews of costs and requests for
proposals and insists upon spending caps, including
limits on monthly fees for “notoriously expensive”
patent litigation and lifetime caps on case costs.
McAfee has implemented outside counsel billing
guidelines. For example, Cochran refuses to pay 25
cents per copy (he considers 5 cents per page rea-
claims where there may be a coverable claim,” he
said. “We’ve been able to recover a considerable
amount of insurance proceeds in a variety of areas.”
Those recoveries serve as a credit against legal fees
throughout the year.
BLAME THE ‘TROLLS’
Cochran blames the surge in litigation on “patent
trolls” attempting to wring money from companies
through frivolous litigation. More often than not,
he said, the plaintiffs are venture capitalists who
We’re much more methodical about looking at all of our
insurance policies and asserting claims.”
ROUTE TO CURRENT JOB
Cochran has spent the past 20 years providing in-house legal services and leadership to San Francisco
Bay Area companies.
He’s been employed by medical device manufacturer Syntex Inc. (since acquired by Roche Holding
Ltd.); Advanced Micro Devices Inc.; Avantgo Inc.; and
Brocade Communications Systems Inc. He served
as Hyperion Solutions Corp.’s general counsel from
2005 to 2007.
McAfee recruited Cochran following Oracle Corp.’s
$3.3 billion acquisition of Hyperion. He began his
career at the firm now known as Ropers Majeski
Kohn Bentley in Redwood City, Calif.
sonable.) Firms are expected to provide hourly rate
discounts. The company demands itemized invoices
and uses automated software to flag expenses in
invoices that deviate from its billing guidelines.
Cochran doesn’t take no for an answer when insur-
ance companies deny claims involving employer
liability, human resources disputes, corporate and
securities matters or directors and officers poli-
cies. Typically, he said, insurance companies will
initially reject those claims, but careful review and
persistence have helped McAfee prevail in these
arguments. “We’re now much more methodical about
looking at all of our insurance policies and asserting
purchase patents cheaply from inventors and then
find contingent-fee law firms to sue corporations for
infringement. The plaintiffs reap windfalls if the defen-
dants settle to avoid costly, protracted litigation.
A native of Connecticut, Cochran graduated from
the University of California, Davis in 1981 and
earned his J.D. from Santa Clara University School
of Law in 1987. A year later, he received his Master
of Business Administration degree from Santa Clara
University. He and his wife, AnnaLisa, have two children: Kyle and Kelly.
A BOOK AND MOVIE
Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge and Inglourious
—JUNE D. BELL
An earlier version of this profile appeared in The
National Law Journal on March 15, 2010.