March 22, 2016
Ian Forrester’s name appears dozens of times in rulings of the General Court of the European Union Court of Justice — as an attorney for some of the world’s largest corporations, including GlaxoSmithKline, Intel, Microsoft and Nintendo.
But since late 2015, he’s taken on a different role. Now, as a judge, he rules on disputes that come before the court where he spent years practicing. In October, Forrester (MCL ’69) joined the court as the United Kingdom’s representative.
And on March 30, he’ll recount his journey from Scotland to New Orleans to the EU’s Court of Justice when he delivers Tulane Law’s Eason-Weinmann Lecture: “A Tulane lawyer on the bench in Luxembourg: Reflections on the work of the courts of the European Union.”
The event, which is open to the public, is set for 5 p.m. in the Wendell H. Gauthier Appellate Moot Court Room 110 of Weinmann Hall, 6329 Freret St. in New Orleans.
A graduate of the University of Glasgow and member of the Scottish Bar, Forrester received a master’s in civil law from Tulane, where legendary Judge John Minor Wisdom (L ’29) of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was a friend and benefactor. Forrester practiced law with Davis Polk in New York, then co-founded a firm in Brussels. In 1998, his firm merged with White & Case, and he eventually became the senior partner in Brussels.
He also led White & Case’s pro bono practice and developed expertise representing individuals and companies on human rights questions involving the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Forrester is a member of the Tulane Law Dean’s Advisory Board and, in 2013 and 2015, he hosted Tulane alumni receptions at White & Case during the law school’s Paris summer program. He has been Queen’s Counsel since 1988 received an honorary doctorate from Glasgow University in 2009.
The General Court, on which Forrester serves, is one of three tribunals that make up the European Union’s Court of Justice. Each of the EU’s 28 member countries selects a judge for the General Court, and the jurists serve six-year terms.
The General Court judges generally sit in three-member panels. The first ruling bearing Forrester’s name came in a trademark dispute in which a German sparkling wine distributor tried to block a Spanish resident from acquiring an English-language mark using “Red Riding Hood” for other alcoholic beverages. The court ruled that consumers wouldn’t be confused between German and English products depicting the character.
The Eason-Weinmann Lecture is funded by the Eason Weinmann Center for International and Comparative Law, a key component of Tulane’s deeply rooted and long tradition of exploring and teaching comparative law. The center, a leading academic hub for American and foreign scholars, was created in 1981 with the help of a generous gift from Tulane Law School Hall of Fame member John Giffen Weinmann (L ’52) and Virginia Eason Weinmann, his wife. John Weinmann, a former chair of Tulane’s Board of Administrators, served as U.S. Ambassador to Finland in 1989-91 and then White House chief of protocol in 1991-93.