Ian S. Forrester KC LLD

Year of Call: 1972
Silk: 1988

0131 260 5674

Photo of Ian S. Forrester KC  LLD

He is undoubtedly and incredibly decorated and highly regarded advocate. He is clearly very, very experienced in public law matters

Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide 2023

Ian Forrester KC is a renowned practitioner in the field of European law, specialising in competition, intellectual property, customs, antidumping, pharmaceutical regulation, football, the precautionary principle, broadcasting, computer software and due process. He was educated and trained in Scotland, Louisiana, New York and Brussels and has been a member of the bars of Scotland, New York, England and Brussels.

Mr Forrester returned to practice at the Scots Bar in 2021. From 2015 until 2020 he was the judge from the UK on the General Court of the European Union hearing about 200 cases concerning competition, access to documents, trademarks, plant varieties, public procurement, employment, and other European Union questions. His mandate came to an end with Brexit.

He has been an arbitrator, counsel, and expert Arbitral proceedings under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce, International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, Court of Arbitration for Sport and has argued cases before courts in Scotland, England, Belgium, Serbia and France, as well as the EFTA court, the ECtHR in Strasbourg, and the EU courts in Luxembourg. He has acted for a number of important entities, including BBC, Canon, DuPont, European Commission, Fujitsu, Intel, Liberal Democrat Party, Microsoft, Scottish Football Association, Toyota, UEFA, as well as a number of indigent prisoners.

He has extensive experience in arbitration or mediation matters, either as advocate for a party, or as expert witness on European law, or as arbitrator/ mediator, from 1983 to 2014, and since his departure from the General Court of the European Union in 2021. The arbitrations have mostly been conducted under the auspices of the ICC in Paris, or the CAS in Lausanne; and once before the ICSID in Washington. The ICC cases involved disputes about investment contracts, trade secrets, hotel construction, stolen technology, and a variety of other commercial conflicts. The CAS matters involved player transfers, treatment of injured players, broadcasting rights and the conduct of elections to governing bodies.

His leading competition cases include Magill (compulsory copyright licensing); Bosman (football transfers); Microsoft (computer servers); IMS (compulsory licensing); GlaxoSmithKline (parallel trade in pharmaceuticals); Les Laboratoires Servier (settlement of patent disputes); Chalkor/Halcor (due process and judicial review).

European Court of Human Rights cases concerned forcing a citizen to speak on pain of punishment even if the answer itself reveals punishable conduct (Al Fayed and Harrods: Fayed v The United Kingdom); press sources (Hans Martin Tillack v Belgium); prisoner’s rights (Kalashnikov v Russia); fair trial and right to property (Karic and Djordjevic v Serbia). He helped to achieve the liberation of Louis Henry Burns, an indigent prisoner, on appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeal from a conviction based upon a coerced confession.

During his practice he has been a consistently top ranked counsel by the leading Legal Directories in the UK and European editions of the guides. In the 2023 Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide he is Band 1 ranked in Public Law matters. Chambers say: “Ian Forrester KC’s return to private practice is a highly significant development for the Scottish Bar. Until 2020 he sat for the UK on the bench of the General Court of the European Union. To the Faculty of Advocates he brings immense experience of legal practice in a host of areas including competition and international trade law.”

Further detail about his practice, visit: ianstewartforrester.com.


Patent licences, distribution, joint ventures, trade association activities, abuse of dominant position, discriminatory pricing, representing defendant and complainant parties before the European Commission, the House of Lords, the Court of Session, the High Court, the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance of the EC, arbitral tribunals.  Trade, customs and dumping: advice on valuation, classification, origin, duty suspensions, quotas, EFTA, GATT, CCC, Lomé Convention, GSP, free movement of goods, Articles 30 and 36 of the EEC Treaty.  Dumping: acting for European industry, American exporters, Japanese exporters, before the Commission and the Court.  Advising on EEC measures on fisheries, steel, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, automotive parts, professional persons, lawyers, agriculture, sugar, dangerous substances, glass containers, professional sport, broadcasting, football and other topics.  Urging the Commission to take measures against a Member State, contesting national measures in violation of the EEC Treaty; constitutional conflicts between national and Community rules.  Clients have included Belgian, Canadian, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Scottish, Spanish, US companies, as well as the European Commission, trade associations, governments and private individuals.  Participation in following cases (either direct actions or referrals from national courts): (1) before the European Court of Justice: DCL v. Commission and Bulloch, Bethell v. Commission, Control Data v. Commission [I and II], Du Pont v. Customs & Excise, Government of Gibraltar v. Council, Gibraltar Development Corporation v. Council, Government of Gibraltar and Gibraltar Development Corporation v. Council, Canon v. Council, Matsushita et al. v. Council, NMB et al. v. Council, Liberal Democrats v. European Parliament, Bosman v. UEFA, GSK Services v Commission, ; (2) before the Court of First Instance of the European Communities, BBC et al. v. Commission (the Magill/Radio Times case, upheld on appeal to the European Court of Justice),  NMB v. Commission, Titan Cement v. Commission, Pfizer v. Council, Les Laboratoires Servier v. Commission, Du Pont Teijin Films Luxembourg et al. v. Commission, Glaxo Wellcome v. Commission, Commission and NDC v. IMS, Nintendo v Commission, Microsoft v. Commission, Hans Martin Tillack v. Commission, Chalkor v. Commission; several cases on behalf of private citizens against the European Commission and the European Parliament; (3) appearances before national competition authorities (UK, Greece, Kosovo), and courts in Serbia, Belgium, Scotland, England: London Boroughs Transport Committee v. Freight Transport Association Limited and Others (before the House of Lords), HMA v. Orru, High Court of Justiciary (Scotland), General Instrument (UK) Ltd. V. H.M. Customs & Excise(before the UK VAT and Customs Tribunal, then on appeal before the High Court), A and Others v. National Blood Authority and another (before the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division); (4) before the EFTA Court: Bellona v. EFTA Surveillance Authority; (5) before the European Court of Human Rights: several cases concerning denial of property interests, abuse of prisoners, victims of fraud, and a journalist whose sources were compromised, Tillack v Belgium; (6)  Head of White & Case’s Pro Bono Practice, 2012-2015.

Practice Areas

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Normal business hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

+44 (0)131 260 5674 (9am to 5pm)

Alan Moffat

Advocates' Clerk

Working in Office

Jennifer Dunn

Deputy Advocates' Clerk

(working days Mondays to Thursdays)

Working Remotely

Sheena Hume

Deputy Advocates' Clerk

Working Remotely

Shawn McArthur

Deputy Advocates' Clerk


Kathryn Ferguson

Deputy Advocates' Clerk

Working Remotely

Emma Busby

Deputy Advocates' Clerk

Working in Office

Judge, General Court of the European Union, 2015-2020; member of the Third Chamber; Faculty of Advocates (the Scottish Bar), 1972; New York Bar, 1977 (admitted after examination, under special order of the New York Court of Appeals following challenge to the constitutional propriety of excluding non-resident aliens from bar membership); appointed Queen’s Counsel, 1988; 2 Hare Court, latterly Blackstone Chambers; English Bar, 1996; Brussels Bar 1998.

Co-founder of Forrester & Norall, 1981; enlarged to Forrester Norall & Sutton, 1989; merged with White & Case, 1998.

Co-founder, European Trade Law Association.

Trustee, European Union Baroque Orchestra (2004); Member, Dean’s Advisory Board, Tulane University Law School (2006); Honorary Professor, University of Glasgow (2010); Member, Glasgow University School of Law Advisory Committee (2010); Master of the Bench, Middle Temple (2012); Member of the Board of Trustees 2012-2015, Academy of European Law.Legal

Ordinary Member, Competition Appeal Tribunal, 2023 to date

Legal Practice

1968-1972, experience in Scotland (with Messrs. Maclay Murray & Spens) and New York (Messrs. Davis Polk & Wardwell) on a variety of topics, ranging from the insurance aspects of the hijacking of aircraft by Palestinian guerrillas to commercial disputes and personal litigation. Devil of David Edward, then a junior advocate, 1972.

Since 1972, EEC/EU practice in Brussels.


University of Glasgow (1962-1967) M.A. (History and English Literature) 1965; LL.B. 1967; LLD honoris causa, 2009; Tulane University of Louisiana, New Orleans (1968-1969) M.C.L. 1969.


Lectures on EC trade, competition, legal and policy topics to various academic and private bodies in Amsterdam, Brussels, Cannes, Chicago, Edinburgh, Florence, Glasgow, Lausanne, Leyden, London, Madrid, New York, Nice, Osaka (including the Kankeiren), Paris, Salzburg, Santander, Seoul, Seville, Tokyo (including the Keidanren), Vienna, Washington; courses on EC law in Grenoble and Paris (under the auspices of Tulane University); Salzburg (McGeorge University); Edinburgh (Law Society of Scotland, Edinburgh University); Glasgow (University of Glasgow); author or co-author of articles on EC competition and trade topics, and of translations of the German Civil Code, Commercial Code, and Introductory Law.

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