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Ian Rogers KC is a leading silk who has built up an impressive body of work spanning a broad range of practice areas. He has represented private and public parties on 14 occasions in the Supreme Court and Privy Council. He has appeared numerous times in the EU Court of Justice (“CJEU”) and EFTA Court and was the final advocate to appear for the UK in the CJEU before the Brexit implementation period ended in December 2020. Since taking silk in 2014, he has regularly been ranked as one of a handful of “Tier 1” silks in EU law, and a leading silk in administrative and public law, and civil liberties and human rights. Much of his work is of a commercial character, ranging from his particular specialism in “commercial human rights” cases to the full range of general commercial litigation.
The legal directories evidence his ability to analyse a legal problem from a different perspective and identify “innovative points” which can change the direction of litigation. They observe that the “key to his effectiveness is his strategic ability and thorough analysis of the facts”, and his approach is “immensely thorough; he combines highly effective analysis with original thinking”. They praise his “rapier intellect” and “incisive mind”. These attributes allow him to “get to the heart of an issue quickly” and “provide clear and concise advice”.
He enjoys mastering the detail of cases with a technical, scientific or economic dimension, optimising the use of experts. The directories emphasise his skills in “controlling a vast volume of expert evidence”.
There are few areas of law to which he has not turned his hand during the course of a career spanning over 25 years, earning his “reputation as a seasoned advocate in both European and domestic courts”. As a result, one of Ian’s strengths is his capacity to bring a new perspective in cutting edge cases operating at the intersections of areas of law, and also in developing areas of law. He is therefore particularly well-equipped to assist companies, public bodies and individuals with the challenges they face in the post-Brexit legal landscape of “EU Relations Law” and UK international trade law generally.
In court, the directories praise his “extremely persuasive courtroom manner”, highlighting that “he is excellent on his feet” and “very good at getting the judge onside”.
In dealing with clients, the directories note that he is “very personable, which clients like” and “working with him is a delight … he manages the stress of proceedings on his client’s behalf admirably by way of his natural empathy.”
Given the breadth of his body of domestic and international work at every level of court and tribunal, Ian has wide-ranging experience across a huge number of industry sectors, including: pharmaceuticals, health and social care, tobacco and alcohol, rail, road and passenger ferry transport, road user charging, telecommunications and broadcasting, food safety, agriculture and animal welfare, climate change and environmental protection, banking and financial services, labelling and packaging, intellectual property, media, sports, public health, education, insurance, professional discipline and regulation, advertising, retail and e-commerce, cross-border controls, international trade, corporate service providers, employment agencies/businesses and outsourcing.
He has extensive offshore experience through multiple cases in the Isle of Man (where he has appeared as an advocate in doleance proceedings and in the Staff of Government Division), the Channel Islands and Caribbean jurisdictions.
His client list is as broad as his experience. In public law, this includes the UK Prime Minister, the First Minister for Wales, the Italian Prime Minister, the Isle of Man Government, the UK (in overseas proceedings), the Advocate General for Scotland, tribunals, the staff of the European Investment Bank and some 800 judges. In commercial and private client work, some of the world’s largest oil and pharmaceutical companies, law firms, Premiership football and rugby clubs and the private owners of some of Europe’s largest steel and supermarket groups rank among Ian’s clients. At the other end of the spectrum, Ian acted pro bono in the Privy Council for a person on death row, whose conviction was quashed when vital new evidence proved he had been wrongly identified.
Prior to taking silk, Ian served on the Attorney-General’s A Panel of Treasury Counsel. He is one of eight silks appointed to the Welsh Government’s Panel of KCs, having served on its Public Law A Panel until taking silk. Ian was honoured by Gray’s Inn in 2020 by his election as a Bencher.
Ian Rogers has a broad public law practice, with particular expertise in human rights, EC and employment law. Much of his work is in the commercial sphere.
Member of the Attorney-General’s A Panel of Treasury Counsel prior to taking Silk.
One of the Bar’s foremost litigators in EU law, Ian is one of a handful of silks consistently ranked as a leading Tier 1 EU law silk by the Legal 500. Praised for his “rapier intellect on European matters”, he applies his “strategic ability” and “solutions-driven” approach in thematic litigation over many years, in multiple proceedings and across different jurisdictions. In the field of EU tobacco control, for example, he successfully defended the £11 billion tobacco plain packaging legislation (Admin Court, CA, Supreme Court, CJEU), the tobacco display ban (UK and EFTA courts), the cigarette vending machine ban in Sinclair Collis (Admin Court, CA, Supreme Court), the snus ban (CJEU) and the Tobacco Products Directive (CJEU) – and advanced the UK’s position in references from Norway, France, Germany and Iceland.
“Intellectually very strong.” He has “an incisive mind and an in-depth grasp of European matters.” – Chambers UK
‘‘Has a reputation as a seasoned advocate in both European and domestic courts.’’– Legal 500
Dual qualified with the Bars of England/Wales and Ireland, he continues to advise clients on EU law matters in all sectors who may require advice and representation before the CJEU.
Ian is well-positioned for the many opportunities and challenges facing his clients, now that the UK has left the EU and established a new framework for UK-EU relations. Ian’s EU relations work to date includes:
Ian drafted the first of the judicial pension claims in 2007, claiming that the exclusion of fee paid part-time judges from the scope of the Part-time Workers Regulations should be set aside as incompatible with EU law. A test case brought by a differently represented judge proceeded to the Supreme Court but he had lost at the hearing below. Ian was then instructed by the Council of Immigration Judges to advise on the possibility of intervening in the Supreme Court and to consider whether any new arguments could be identified. Ian drafted detailed written interventions and appeared in the Supreme Court oral hearings, representing some 800 judges. In particular, he introduced into the proceedings two new legal arguments, not made to the courts below which reversed the course of the litigation.
First, he analysed the policy reasons underlying the area of law, drew an analogy with the fixed-term workers legislation and case law, creating new arguments which could apply, by analogy, to the part-time workers context. He set out a ‘law in context’ comparison of the two areas to show why the same result should logically be reached. The fixed-term workers context had not been considered in the proceedings below. He referred to an ECJ authority which held that similarly worded provisions of the fixed-term workers directive were directly effective. The Ministry of Justice then conceded that the rights accorded by the part-time workers directive were also directly effective, contrary to its previous position.
Secondly, he introduced the Del Cerro Alonso line of authority into the proceedings, arguing that it substantially limited the breadth of discretion left to Member States in the directive. The Supreme Court described the new argument (adopted by the Appellant) as the “high point” of the Appellant’s case.
Pensions for fee paid judges were secured after three Supreme Court hearings and one ECJ hearing. Ian subsequently devised a novel low-cost scheme for judges to settle protective claims for a pension, and drafted about 80 similar claims for individual judges affected by these proceedings. It is the largest group litigation handled by the employment tribunal system and is estimated to lead to £1 billion in payments to judges who were denied pensions in breach of EU law.
Ian is an accomplished employment law advocate with experience ranging over ten years in employment tribunals and the Employment Appeals Tribunal. In addition to familiar unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, redundancy and discrimination claims which make up a large part of employment practice, Ian has considerable expertise and experience in advising on TUPE (including contracted-out service provision changes), employment contract disputes (including restrictive covenants, breach of confidentiality clauses, share option schemes, discretionary bonus clauses, garden leave), equal pay, exclusion of part-time workers from pension schemes and disciplinary proceedings. Clients rely upon his pragmatic and thorough approach to problem-solving, whether advising in conference or in writing, particularly at the early stages of a dispute or before issues in the workplace escalate. His knowledge of EU law is also an advantage in the many areas of European-inspired employment legislation.
Ian acts for a wide range of clients in domestic and international human rights proceedings. He has a particular interest in the way in which the autonomous human rights jurisdiction in the United Kingdom and its underlying principles have developed since the introduction of the Human Rights Act. Human rights issues are found in cases across the legal spectrum and clients therefore benefit from his significant practical experience in diverse areas of law.
“Has a reputation as a seasoned advocate in both European and domestic courts.” – Legal 500, 2018
“He admirably manages the stress of litigation proceedings on his client’s behalf.” – Legal 500, 2017
A large proportion of Ian’s work begins in the Administrative Court with a judicial review application, where he may be acting on behalf of government ministers, public bodies, those seeking to challenge their decisions or interested parties. He has consistently been ranked as a “Leading Silk” in Administrative and Public Law (Legal 500).
His public law practice is broad, but he is particularly highly regarded for his expertise in innovative and cutting edge “commercial public law” cases – applying public law principles to commercial disputes (including in offshore jurisdictions).
He has successfully defended challenges to the vending machine ban, retail tobacco display ban, the Tobacco Products Directive, e-cigarette regulation and “plain packaging” (with two of those matters ending in the Supreme Court, and others involving multiple appearances in European courts). He advised the UK Government on minimum alcohol pricing, including in the Supreme Court and CJEU. All of these matters began or concluded in public law judicial review proceedings. He also acted in the Client Earth litigation, and has been instructed in various judicial review applications and threatened judicial review challenges to the Government’s decisions on caste discrimination legislation since 2016.
Much of his body of work involves “classic” public law principles. In the civil enforcement of parking regime (and the related bus lane and road user charging schemes), Ian has undertaken almost all of the leading test cases, having worked closely with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal and Parking Adjudicator, as well as local authorities, over many years. The resulting judgments have provided greater legal certainty to an area of law which affects millions of motorists and administrative decisions on a daily basis. They also illustrate how it is possible for some tribunals to assist the Administrative Court in obtaining vital clarification of the law, compatibly with public law principles on the conduct of tribunals in judicial review proceedings.
Constitutional law and, in particular, the devolution settlement in Wales, is a further specialisation.
‘‘He is very informative, patient and accommodating.’’ Legal 500
“He is very personable, which clients like, and he has a very nice manner in court. He is very good at getting the judge onside in a nice, low-key manner.” Chambers UK
Current/recent advisory work includes: potential judicial review proceedings in relation to post-Brexit manufacturing industry regulations; threatened proceedings against a national parliament; a dispute concerning quasi-public law duties of sports regulatory bodies between the governing body and its clubs.
European Law: “He is fantastic: he produces good advocacy and is experienced.” “Ian is amazingly knowledgeable in his field.” .” – Chambers UK, 2024
Leading silk in Administrative and Human Rights: “Ian provides prompt, helpful and practical advice, and is very user-friendly.” – Legal 500, 2024
Leading silk in EU Law – Legal 500, 2024
European Law: “He’s focused, extremely bright and hard-working, as well as being a pleasure to work with. He gets into the details and turns materials around quickly whilst never losing sight of the overall strategy.” – Chambers UK, 2023
Leading silk in Administrative and Human Rights: “He is very informative, patient and accommodating.” – Legal 500, 2023
Leading silk in EU Law – Legal 500, 2023
European Law: “He has great advocacy skills and deep understanding of European law.” “The quality of his written work is exceptionally good, and he is approachable for solicitors in need of advice.” – Chambers UK, 2022
Leading silk in Administrative and Public law (including elections) – Legal 500, 2022
Leading silk in Civil Liberties and Human Rights (including actions against the police) – Legal 500, 2022
Leading silk in EU Law – Legal 500, 2022
European Law: “Incredibly intelligent and solutions-driven, and offers a helpfully varied body of experience.” – Chambers UK, 2021
Leading silk in Administrative and Public law – Legal 500, 2021
Leading silk in Civil Liberties and Human Rights (including actions against the police): ‘‘Excellent on his feet and is very adept at taking clients through sensitive and complex matters. He is very hands on and is always thinking ten steps ahead.’’ – Legal 500, 2021
Leading silk in EU Law: ‘‘Professional, thorough and involved.’’ – Legal 500, 2021
European Law: “Solution-driven and very approachable,” Rogers is able to “analyse complex facts, consider the legal position and provide advice that is very practical. He doesn’t just tell the client what the law says, but translates it into what steps the company needs to take.” “Key to his effectiveness is his strategic ability and thorough analysis of the facts.” – Chambers UK, 2020
Leading silk in Administrative and Public law: ‘‘Professional, thorough and involved.’’ – Legal 500, 2020
Leading silk in Civil Liberties and Human Rights (including actions against the police): ‘‘Has a rapier intellect on European matters.’’ – Legal 500, 2020
Leading silk in EU Law: ‘‘Professional, thorough and involved.’’ – Legal 500, 2020
European Law: “Intellectually very strong.” He has “an incisive mind and an in-depth grasp of European matters.” – Chambers UK, 2019
Leading silk in Civil Liberties and Human Rights (including actions against the police): ‘‘Has a reputation as a seasoned advocate in both European and domestic courts.’’ – Legal 500, 2018
Leading silk in EU Law: ‘‘His gentle demeanour means working with him is a delight, and he manages the stress of proceedings on his client’s behalf admirably by way of his natural empathy.’’ – Legal 500, 2018
European Law: “He is very good at controlling a vast volume of expert evidence.” – Chambers UK, 2018
Leading silk in Civil Liberties and Human Rights (including actions against the police): ‘‘He admirably manages the stress of litigation proceedings on his client’s behalf.’’ – Legal 500, 2017
Leading silk in EU Law: ‘‘Thorough, assured, methodical and hugely knowledgeable.’’ – Legal 500, 2017
European Law: “He offered commercially minded advice in what was a very delicate situation, and he quickly identified the fatal flaws in our opponent’s case.” – Chambers UK, 2017
Leading silk in Civil Liberties and Human Rights (including actions against the police): “Extremely well-informed on European law.” – Legal 500, 2016
Leading silk in EU and Competition: “Immensely thorough; he combines highly effective analysis with original thinking.” – Legal 500, 2016
European Law: “He is very personable, which clients like, and he has a very nice manner in court. He is very good at getting the judge onside in a nice, low-key manner.” – Chambers UK, 2016
”Has significant knowledge of the European Convention on Human Rights.” Leading Silk in Civil Liberties and Human Rights. – Legal 500, 2015
”He has an unshowy but extremely persuasive courtroom manner.” Leading Silk in EU and Competition Law. – Legal 500, 2015
European Law: “Very thorough and very clear, he’s always prepared to express an opinion rather than be non-committal.” – Chambers UK, 2015
‘He has expertise in international human rights law.’ Ian is listed as a recommended new Silk in Civil Liberties & Human Rights – Legal 500, 2014
Under European Law:Has recently appeared, unled, before the ECJ and EFTA. He is particularly adept at handling free movement of goods matters. Has also argued innovative points of EU law before the Supreme Court several times in a challenge to the denial of pensions. – Chambers UK, 2014
Under Media, Entertainment and Sport, it was noted that ‘Ian Rogersrepresented Pontypool Rugby Club against the Welsh Rugby Union.’ – Legal 500, 2013
Ian Rogers is a recommended leading junior in Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law. – Legal 500, 2013
Under EU and Competition Law, Ian Rogers is described as ‘brilliant, diligent, and ever-helpful.’ – Legal 500, 2012
Ian Rogers is a recommended leading junior in Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law. – Legal 500, 2012
EU & Competition Law states that “Ian Rogers ‘“gets to the heart of an issue quickly’ and ‘provides clear and concise’ advice;.” ” – Legal 500, 2011
Civil liberties and human rights (including public inquiry law and actions against the police) recommends Ian Rogers as a leading junior. – Legal 500, 2011
Ian Rogers is recommended under Public & Administrative Law in Chambers UK, 2011 for his “human rights and EC law expertise. He recently acted for Notts County Council in an important public law case raising the competing rights of public access to the accounts of public bodies and third-party rights to commercial confidentiality.”
Ian has lectured and published on human rights, EU, commercial and employment law, notably ‘The Creation of a Private Law of Human Rights in the UK’ (EUI) and chapters of ‘Employer’s Liability Cases’ (Butterworths).
Ian read Law at Hertford College, Oxford, where he obtained a First Class Honours degree and was awarded the University Prize for Tort. Called to the Bar in 1995, he soon developed a successful and diverse practice in commercial and common law, with trial advocacy consistently forming a substantial part of his work in a range of courts and tribunals. Ian obtained valuable experience abroad, firstly in Australia in 1998, and later in Italy, in 2001. In Australia, as a Pegasus Scholar, he worked for several months for a leading global commercial litigation department and then as a Judicial Associate to Mr Justice Lindgren in the Federal Court. In Italy, he took a sabbatical year at the European University Institute, Florence, in order to research and monitor the impact of the Human Rights Act in its first year of operation. He was awarded the Master’s degree in Comparative, European and International Law and published in the fields of human rights and EU law.
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