Tom Forster QC is commended as “a really intelligent and diligent silk who gains the trust of judges with his thoroughness and commitment to a case. He is an excellent choice for the weightier matter, as he can lead a team and drive a case forward.” in the internationally recognised legal directory Chambers and Partners UK [2021 edition]. He achieved the rank of Silk in 2018 and is a contributing editor to Archbold and sits as a Recorder.
Tom specialises in the fields of financial and serious organised crime, human rights, public law and regulatory law. He brings his invaluable career experience of acting for all sides – claimants, defendants and prosecuting authorities – to the following practice areas:
Tom built a reputation as a busy senior Junior instructed in cases of the most serious and complex fraud and related civil, public law and regulatory work. He has carried this through into Silk. His clients have included domestic financial services institutions including banks, high net worth individuals and government agencies. His practice areas include asset recovery, bribery and corruption, money laundering, restraint/confiscation and criminal fraud litigation.
Tom has significant experience of cases involving money laundering, both domestically and offshore.
He has advised financial services institutions and banks upon their compliance with AML requirements and led for the Prosecution in cases of serious and complex money laundering with an international dimension. He is experienced in dealing with large scale disclosure exercises. He appears as an advocate in both criminal and civil courts and tribunals.
He is nominated to the SFO’s “A” Panel of Advocates.
Recent examples of high profile work include:
Tom has significant experience of cases involving bribery and corruption, particularly with an international dimension. His first notable instruction in this field was by the SFO as Junior Counsel in its investigation into BAE Systems which attracted acute media/public interest both nationally and internationally. This acted as a springboard to further instructions to defend in such cases. He also advises corporate clients upon self-reporting and corruption responsibilities.
He also acts for and advises individuals and public authorities [eg. UKAD] in the field of anti-doping in sport. His work in this area has continued into Silk.
Tom possesses an enviable depth of experience before various professional disciplinary/fitness to practice tribunals including the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service and Bar Tribunals Adjudication Service. He recently presented the high-profile case brought by the BSB against the Lord Advocate for Scotland. [PRESS REPORTS[BBC]]
Tom regularly acts on behalf of Claimants/Appellants in national security related civil litigation, and in particular cases involving control orders, terrorism prevention and investigation measures, national security deportations and exclusions, terrorist asset freezing, claims for damages in connection with alleged unlawful action by Government departments/agencies and JR challenges.
Recent examples of high-profile work include:
Contributing Editor: Archbold 2020;
Contributing Editor: Fraud: Law, Practice and Procedure: OUP
“A really intelligent and diligent silk who gains the trust of judges with his thoroughness and commitment to a case. He is an excellent choice for the weightier matter, as he can lead a team and drive a case forward.”
“Diligent, thorough and stylish,” he is “a tough prosecutor.”
“He is very thorough, really easy to get on with and gives sound advice.”
“He is very good on strategy and has good judgement.”
“Has a nice jury manner and judges like him – he is trusted and has the judges ear.”
“A superb lawyer and a very good advocate. He has quite an acerbic sense of humour but there’s always a twinkle in his eye and juries like him.”
“Extremely good with clients, very well prepared and someone whose legal knowledge is very impressive.”
“Absolutely honed as an advocate and incredibly relaxed in his whole demeanour”.
“A barrister who is lauded for going above and beyond the call of duty to secure great results in financial criminal cases. He acts for both the defence and prosecuting authorities, and has experience of defending insider dealing cases brought by the FCA and tax fraud matters brought by HMRC. Mr Forster is also adept at related confiscation proceedings. He is noted for his effective advocacy and his high levels of client-care.”
“Tom is extremely bright, hard-working, reliable and great to work with. He is a very careful thinker who knows which way to go.”
“A driven and committed advocate, who thrives in the pressure of big cases. He is extremely hard working and his case management is second to none.”
“Incredibly easy-going, with a charming manner that belies a highly academic and tenacious mind.”
“He has a first-rate brain and a quiet, authoritative manner. Academic yet practical, and extremely straightforward to deal with.”
“A superb barrister, always responsive, creative and ready to go the extra mile.”
“Clients respect his no-nonsense attitude and keen intellect, and his advice is second to none”
“He is extremely hardworking, unflappable, approachable.”
Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
South Eastern Circuit
2017: CPS Extradition Panel.
2016: CPS Grade 4 Specialist Panels: Fraud, Confiscation/Asset Recovery, Organised Crime.
2013 to date: SFO Panel: A List.
2012: A-G Regulatory Panel: B List.
2012: Recorder of the Crown Court.
2010: A-G Panel of Special Advocates.
Leading Silk in the Legal 500 and Chambers UK Bar directories (see Recommendations)