Gerard Forlin KC, BL (Ireland)

Silk: 2010 | Call: 1984

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Called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn and appointed Silk in 2010 in both the Civil and Criminal law sections, Gerard Forlin KC’s broad practice covers civil, criminal and commercial litigation; environment; fire; corporate governance (including bribery and corruption); major event planning & crowd safety; State, ceremonial and historical events; crisis management; health and safety; aviation; inquests and inquiries; local authority governance and services; and regulatory law. Gerard was called to the Bar of Ireland in 2020, after passing the Irish Bar Examination. He is also called to the Bar of Australia (2006) and the Bar of the British Virgin Islands (2012).

He is currently is instructed in relation to Grenfell Tower, the Shoreham air crash, an F1 case, two crane fatalities, a major international shipping matter, and numerous other cases both in the UK and all over the world.

Gerard is known globally in his various fields of practice and has worked from Vancouver in Canada to Queenstown in New Zealand. Also, from the Falkland Islands and South Georgia in the Antarctic Ocean to Seoul in Korea, Delhi in India and Beijing in China. He has worked in over 80 countries, one of only a tiny handful of London Barristers to have ever achieved this.

He has also appeared in court in several jurisdictions across the world and advised numerous other parties from all over the world including airlines, airports, manufacturers, mining companies, fishing companies, water companies, oil and gas companies, and tour companies. Gerard is a member of Cornerstone Climate, our centre of excellence for climate litigation and advice. He has years of experience in prosecuting and defending environmental cases, particularly water pollution cases in the UK and Hong Kong, as well as in the aviation and shipping industry.

Broad area of expertise

  • Civil, criminal and commercial litigation and corporate governance and crisis management: Aviation, fire, professional discipline, product liability, consumer crime, commercial fishing, licensing, corruption and bribery, oil and gas, construction, transport including railways, fraud, crisis management and inquests.
  • Environment: Oil and gas, environmental crime including water pollution and fishing quotas, and waste offences. He has also acted for the Environment Agency on policy issues.
  • Health and safety inquests and inquiries: Public inquiries, fire, major event planning and crowd safety (including State/Ceremonial matters), human rights and inquests. He has been involved in over 300 fatality cases and has appeared in many of the major cases in this field in the last ten years, both in the UK and abroad.
  • Local authority governance and services: Health and safety, fire, healthcare, environmental matters and inquests and inquires.
  • Regulatory law: Corporate and gross negligence manslaughter, disaster litigation, aviation, railways, shipping, regulatory offences and diving.

Gerard acts for global companies and organisations, local authorities, public bodies and individuals through direct access. He was Special Adviser to the Bar Council on the Corporate Manslaughter Bill (2005), Consultant to a recent Global Aviation Concordat on Aviation Safety, as well as Standing Counsel to numerous organisations in the UK and abroad. Gerard also acts for Crown Departments on Crown Censure (occasional AG nomination) and is a Consultant to the Army and other Government bodies.

Gerard has acted for many of the major UK companies (retail, manufacturing, aviation, transport, tour companies, sporting including F1), regarding various regulatory matters. He has also acted for numerous local authorities and individuals. He is currently also acting for the majority of the families in the pending Inquest into the Shoreham Air Crash when eleven men died after a jet aircraft crashed on a road near Brighton in Sussex in the UK.

He was Special Adviser to the Bar Council on the Corporate Manslaughter Bill (2005), Consultant to a recent Global Aviation Concordat on Aviation Safety, as well as Standing Counsel to numerous PLCs, Unions and Government Departments in the UK and abroad. Gerard also acts for Crown Departments on Crown Censure (occasional AG nomination) and is a Consultant to the Army.

He has been appointed to an International Mediation and Arbitration panel of 14 worldwide members for the Royal Aeronautical Society. There are only two KCs on this global panel. He was also Vice-Chair of the Health and Safety Lawyers Association, from 2016 – 2024.

In the last few years, he has been ranked in no fewer than seven areas in the leading independent directories including Health and Safety, Product Liability, Crime, Public Inquiries and Inquests, Consumer Law, Aviation and Environmental Law. He was also awarded the title of Regulatory Barrister of the Year in 2015, 2016 and 2023.

Gerard was awarded President’s Commendation at the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management’s ‘2020 Excellence Awards’. He is the first lawyer to ever win this award.

Gerard has acted on some of the most high-profile regulatory and health and safety cases in the last 10 years, both in the UK and internationally, including:

  • Currently instructed in two crane fatalities
  • Grenfell Tower inquiry
  • Watford Train Crash
  • Southall Train Crash
  • Ladbrook Grove/Paddington Train Crash
  • Hillgrove School/James Porter: Leading Case on “Risk”
  • The DVT Litigation
  • Teebay Train Disaster
  • Barrow Legionnaires Case in relation to a local authorities and civil servants (corporate manslaughter/gross negligence manslaughter)
  • Hatfield Train Crash
  • Purley Train Crash
  • Faversham Coach Crash
  • Britannia Air Crash
  • Lift fatality in the City of London – acting for ThyssenKrupp
  • Inquest in the Falklands (death in South Georgia) for an international tour company
  • Recently involved in a high profile regulatory fishing case in the Falklands
  • Alton Towers
  • Acting in a global Helicopter regulatory matter
  • Currently retained in the MH370 aviation disaster case in Asia
  • IICSA Independent Inquiry into child sexual abuse
  • The Shoreham Airshow Disaster
  • Advising on the Notting Hill Carnival, official state ceremonial, and other major sporting and other historical events
  • A large scale commercial case for a series of local authorities with regulatory implications
  • Motorsports cases
  • Test case on the CDM regulations 2015
  • Numerous other inquests/inquiries for government and private clients

Gerard is called to the Bar in Australia and is an overseas member of State Chambers in Sydney. He was also a member of Maxwell Chambers in Singapore where he, until recently, had his own room. He was previously Senior Crown Counsel, Hong Kong. He is also called to the Bar of the British Virgin Islands and as of December 2020, was called to the Bar of Ireland after passing the Irish Bar exams.


London School of Economics LLB (Hons) and LLM
Trinity Hall, Cambridge University M.Phil.
University College London Diploma in Air and Space Law