Brick Court Chambers

Sir Nicholas Forwood QC

Sir Nicholas Forwood QC

YEAR OF CALL: 1970    YEAR OF SILK: 1987

Sir Nicholas Forwood was called to the English Bar in 1970.  After eight years practice in London, he moved to Brussels in 1979 to set up a new chambers of barristers specialising in EC and competition law.  Over the next twenty years, he practised extensively in this field, before both the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance (now the General Court of the EU) where he pleaded regularly both for corporate and individual clients as well as for the Community institutions. Also called to the Irish bar in 1981, and made Queen's Counsel in 1987, he was appointed to the CJEU as a judge of the General Court in December 1999.

Over 16 years as a Judge of the General Court, Sir Nicholas Forwood took part in many of the Court’s leading judgments, dealing with more than 1500 cases, 464 of which were as “juge rapporteur”. In the competition field, these included the trio of judgments in 2002 (AirtoursTetra-Laval and Schneider) that led to a fundamental restructuring of the Commission’s merger task force, the review of the Commission’s GE/Honeywell merger decision, the Microsoft (2007) and Microsoft (2012) cases on abuse of dominant position, in the latter as reporting judge, as well as numerous cartel cases including JFE Engineering. In other fields, he was reporting judge in the earliest judgments concerning judicial review of restrictive measures against suspected terrorists and organisations (PMOI, Kadi), in several leading judgments on state aids and in relation to EU IP law (trade marks, designs, plant variety rights), and the FIFA/UEFAcases on the broadcasting rights for the World Cup and European Cup.

Sir Nicholas Forwood has an advisory practice and also accepts appointments as arbitrator in a wide range of Commercial , Competition and IP disputes.  Sir Nicholas also practises part-time as Counsel to White & Case in Brussels, where he focuses on providing high-level advice and oversight in the most significant cases in the field of EU law, particularly competition.

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  • EU/Competition M

    The cases he has pleaded as counsel before the European Courts covered many areas.  In the field of competition, they included cartels, particularly those with extra-territorial reach (Woodpulp, PVC, Soda Ash, Cement, LdPE and John Deere), abuses of dominant position, in particular cases involving intellectual and industrial property and advanced technology (IBMRacal/DeccaHilti and Tetrapak), resale price maintenance (Publishers Association ("Net Books")), and maritime transport and shipping conferences (B&I/SealinkCompagnie Generale Maritime ("FEFC"), Atlantic Container Line (“TACA”) and Compagnia di Navigazione Marittima (“SUNAG”)),  as well as mergers and concentrations (Zunis HoldingPynnönnen), coal and steel undertakings (HopkinsNALOO) and state aids (Assurances du CreditBritish Cement Assn).   

    Other areas of experience included anti-dumping and other trade-protection measures, common agricultural policy and environmental cases.  He also acted as counsel in a number of staff cases, both for the Community institutions, and for Community servants.

    He was also involved in leading cases in the national and European courts on the constitutional aspects of EU law (Factortame), and on the EU rules on judgments and jurisdiction (Union Transport v. Continental Lines (HL); Von Horn v. Cinnamond (HL, ECJ)). Before becoming a judge, he also sat as an arbitrator in cases involving EU law, and has acted as an expert witness on EC law in cases before other courts, particularly in non-European jurisdictions (Hong Kong and USA).

    As a member, then Chairman of the CCBE's Permanent Delegation to the European Court of Justice, he was actively involved in consultations between the European Bars and the European Courts in Luxembourg on issues relating to the Courts’ Statutes and Rules of Procedure.

    Reported Cases

    ecj

    Case 60/81 IBM v. Commission

    EC Competition ─ Article 86 ─ abuse of dominant position ─ market definition ─ refusal to supply interface information ─ bundling ─ right to challenge procedural acts

    Case 89/85 Ahlstrom & Ors v. Commission  

    EC Competition ─ cartel ─ "woodpulp" ─ extraterritorial jurisdiction of EC ─ economic evidence as proof of cartel

    Case C-53/92P  Hilti v. Commission

    EC Competition ─ Article 86 ─ definition of relevant market ─ assessment of economic arguments and evidence ─ market survey evidence ─ abuse of dominant position ─ fixings ─ refusal to supply ─ tying

    Case C-360/92P Publishers Association v. Commission (and in CFI)

    EC Competition ─ Article 85 ─ resale price fixing for books ─ "Net Book Agreement" ─ refusal of exemption ─ relevance of national court judgment ─ lack of reasoning by EC Commission

    Case C-480/93P Zunis Holding v. Commission

    EC Competition ─ merger ─ rights of shareholders as complainants ─ complaint after approval of merger ─ power of EC Commission to reopen ─ admissibility

    Case C-333/94P Tetrapak v. Commission (and in CFI as Case T-83/91)

    EC Competition ─ Article 86 ─ definition of relevant product and geographic markets ─ assessment of economic power ─ abuse of dominant position ─ predatory pricing ─ discriminatory pricing ─ abuse on related markets to that dominated

    Case C-18/94 Hopkins v. National Power & Ors

                ECSC competition ─ Article 63 ─ discriminatory purchasing ─ rights of sellers

    Case C-339/95 Compagnia Naviera v. Compagnie Maritime Belge & Ors

    EC Competition ─ maritime transport ─ shipping conferences ─ application of Article 85 to arbitration awards

    Case C-7/95P John Deere v. Commission

                EC Competition ─ agricultural tractors ─ information exchange

    Case C-428/98P Deutsche Post v. Commission

    EC Competition ─ postal services ─ remail ─ complaints ─ Articles 85 and 86 ─ refusal to supply ─ justifiable reasons for refusal ─ relevance of national postal monopoly

    Cases C-449&450/98P IECC v. Commission

    EC Competition – courier services – appeal from judgment of CFI

    cfi

    Case T-30/89  Hilti v. Commission

    EC Competition ─ Article 86 ─ definition of relevant market ─ assessment of economic arguments and evidence ─ relevance of market surveys ─ abuse of dominant position ─ fixings ─ refusal to supply ─  tying

    Case T-79/89 ICI and Shell v. Commission

    EC Competition ─ Article 85 ─ PVC cartel ─ concept of concerted practice - evidence ─ access to file ─ formalities of decision

    Case T-36/91 and 37/91  ICI v. Commission

    EC Competition ─ Article 85 ─ soda ash ─ cartel ─ mutual withdrawal from markets ─ pricing ─ access to file ─ irregular authentication ─ Article 86 - abuse -rebates and discounts ─ rights of defence ─ access to file

    Case T-448/93 British Cement Assn, Blue Circle & Ors v. Commission

    EC Competition ─ state aids ─ Greek export subsidies ─ operating and investment aid ─ procedural rights of complainants ─ access to file

    Case T-328/94 ICI v. Commissson

                EC Competition ─ plastics (PVC) ─ cartel ─ rights of defence

    Case T-28, 110, 133 and 204/95 IECC v. Commissison

    EC Competition ─ postal services ─ remail ─ complaints ─ Articles 85 and 86 - refusal to supply

    Case T-56/95 Castle Cement v. Commission

    EC competition ─ cement ─ cartel ─ rights of defence ─ liability of successor undertaking

    Cases T-70&71/95 Aker and Euroc v. Commission

    EC competition ─ cement ─ cartel ─ extraterritorial effect of EU competition law

    Case T-395/94 Atlantic Container v. Commission (Japanese Shipowners Assn intervening)

                EC competition ─ maritime transport ─ shipping conferences

    Case T-86/95 Compagnie Generale Maritime v. Commission

    EC competition ─ maritime transport ─ conferences ─ through intermodal transport

    Case C-339/95 Compagnia di navigazione marittima 

                EC competition ─ maritime transport ─ conferences ─ through intermodal transport – arbitral award – enforceability if incompatible with EU competition law

    Case T - 285/97 Pynönnen v Commission

    EC competition ─ mergers ─ banking ─ rights of complainant

    Case T-89/98 NALOO v. Commission (National Power intervening)

    ECSC competition ─ discriminatory pricing of coal purchases ─ complaint - damages for infringements ─ obligation on Commission to decide on complaint

    Case T-162/98 SMSWA v. Commission (National Power intervening)

    ECSC competition ─ discriminatory pricing of coal purchases ─ rejection of complaint

    Case T-213/98 NYK v. Commission

                EC competition – maritime transport – Art 86 – joint dominance

    Case T-132/97 Collins v. Committee of the Regions – staff case

  • Qualifications and Further Information M
    Qualifications & Education

    St.John’s College, Cambridge (1966-1969)

    BA Mechanical Sciences (Part 1 – 1st Class Hons, Part 2 Law - 2nd Class Hons)

    MA (1973)     

    Barrister, Middle Temple 1970 (Bencher 1998)

    Queen's Counsel 1987; Bar of Ireland 1982

    Practice in London (1971-1999) and Brussels (1979-1999)

    Other appointments

    Law Advisory Committee, British Council (1987-1993)

    Chairman, Permanent Delegation of the CCBE to the

    Court of Justice of the European Communities (1994–99)

    Founding Council Member, European Maritime Law Organization (1991- )

    Governing Board Member, World Trade Law Association (1996-2004)

    Vice-President, UK Association of European Law (2007 - )