Tim Ward KC

Tim Ward KC

Call: 1994 | 2018 (Ireland) | Silk: 2011

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    Tim Ward KC, joint Head of Chambers, is widely recognised as a leading litigator and advocate in the fields of competition, telecommunications, public law and EU law. Legal directories list him as a leading individual in each of these fields, and describe him as “a very adept and able strategist”, “a genuinely talented advocate with the intellectual firepower to deal with complex cases” , “technically outstanding, a first-rate advocate, great with clients”, “responsive and always accessible,” “a persuasive advocate who gives everything to the cause”, a “natural choice for regulatory judicial review” and shows “the highest levels of skill in his cross-examination of witnesses.

    Tim has particular expertise in commercial and regulatory matters, acting in disputes across the full range of regulated industries, including energy, water, telecoms, broadcasting and aviation. He has expertise in cases with a technical or economic dimension. His competition practice covers all aspects of competition law, including damages claims, class actions, mergers and penalties. His practice is international. He has appeared in more than 50 cases before the European Courts (including the EFTA Court) and has over 30 reported cases in the field of public law, including before the Supreme Court.

    He recently won the first Trucks cartel damages claim brought to trial.

    Prior to taking silk, Tim was a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel.

    Tim sits as an adjudicator on the judicial panels of both the Rugby Football Union and the Football Association. He is a member of the Sports Resolutions Panel of arbitrators and mediators.

    He is a Bencher of Gray’s Inn and Master of Finance.

    Tim has been called to the Bar of Ireland.

    • News
    • Competition

      Tim is an experienced competition litigator, who has acted in the full breadth of competition matters. He appears frequently in the courts and Competition Appeal Tribunal in cases including class action certification, cartel penalty appeals, competition damages actions (both follow on and standalone), injunction applications and claims for judicial review under the Enterprise Act 2002. He has also appeared before the Competition and Markets Authority and has experience regarding applications for leniency and early resolution.



      • Royal Mail BT v DAF;  Dawsongroup v DAF, Daimler, Volvo/Renault: acted successfully in the first Trucks damages claim to come to trial.
      • Gutmann v First MTR & Ors (class action claim for alleged abuse of dominance).
      • Unlockd v Google (alleged abuse of dominant position).
      • Tesco Stores v MasterCard and Visa (interchange fees).
      • Iiyama Corp v Schott & Ors (CRT – territorial scope of EU competition law)
      • Emerald Supplies v British Airways (Air Cargo, acting for Korean Air).
      • Arriva v Luton Airport: standalone damages claim for abuse of dominant position.
      • Sony v AUO & Ors: (LCD screens).
      • National Grid v ABB: (Gas Insulated Switchgear).

      Mergers and market reviews:

      • Sabre v Competition and Markets Authority [2021]: jurisdiction over transaction between two US entities.
      • HCA v Competition and Markets Authority: challenge to healthcare market investigation.
      • Skyscanner v Competition and Markets Authority [2014] CAT 16: challenge to decision to accept commitments.
      • E-12/20: Telenor v EFTA Surveillance Authority, appeal against penalty for alleged abuse of dominance
      • AC Neilson v Competition and Markets Authority [2014[ CAT 8: challenge to Phase I merger decision.
      • AkzoNobel NV v Competition Commission [2014] EWCA Civ 482: challenge to jurisdiction of the CC in respect of overseas mergers.

      Competition penalties:

      • E-12/20: Telenor v EFTA Surveillance Authority, appeal against penalty for alleged abuse of dominance before the EFTA Court
      • In re: penalty proceedings, 2018.
      • In re: penalty proceedings, 2017.
      • In re: pharmaceuticals , 2013.
      • Tesco v Office of Fair Trading, 2011: Chapter I penalty and retail pricing.

      Examples of advisory work:

      • Airports charging regime.
      • Powers of a sports regulator.
      • Pharmaceuticals and competition damages.
      • Chapter II prohibition and water supply agreement.
      • Legality of long-term contracts for a major utility.
      • Abuse of dominant position on behalf of an electricity generator.
      • State aids and utility licensing.
    • Telecommunications

      Tim has been a market leader in telecommunications for many years. His practice draws upon a detailed knowledge of the industry and his strengths in competition law and public law. He has been instructed in most of the significant telecoms issues in the UK in the last decade, as well acting for a number of international clients. His litigation experience includes judicial reviews, appeals to the Competition Appeal Tribunal, competition investigations and dispute resolution.

      Tim has acted for fixed, mobile and cable operators, a variety of broadcasters and (occasionally) for regulators, in matters such as those listed below.


      • Spectrum: Tim acted for Telefonica O2 in the successful defense of the judicial review claims brought by BT and Hutchison 3G, challenging Ofcom’s determination as to the rules of the forthcoming auction of 2.3 and 3.4 GHz spectrum. The claim was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.
        Tim has also acted in an overseas dispute over mobile spectrum.
        He has advised in respect of spectrum allocation for many years, addressing questions of due process, auction strategy, competition implications and various technical questions.
      • Satellite spectrum: Tim acted for Inmarsat in successfully defending a challenge, concerning the use of spectrum for provision of broadband services for aviation: Viasat v Office of Communications [2020] EWCA Civ 2020.
      • Competition penalties: Tim acted for Telenor in its appeal to the EFTA Court against a penalty for alleged abuse of dominant position:  E12/20 Telenor v ESA.
      • License conditions: Tim has frequently acted in disputes concerning the terms of telecommunications licenses, both in the UK and overseas. He recently acted for an operator in the Caribbean on such an issue and a UK provider in a confidential matter of this kind.
      • Non-geographic numbering: Tim acted for Vodafone and 02 in lengthy litigation over BT’s charging structure for non-geographic numbering: BT v Ofcom (2011 – 2016). Tim also acted for the regulator Payphone Plus in a judicial review challenge to concerning penalty action against a provider of premium rate services: R (Ordanduu and Optimus) v PhonepayPlus [2015] EWHC 50.
      • Market definition: Tim has advised on a number of occasions as to market definition issues which bear on charge control regulation. He acted for BT in support of Ofcom in a challenge to the definition of rural broadband markets: TalkTalk v Ofcom [2012] CAT 1.
      • Wholesale charge controls: Tim acted for BT in a series of challenges before the Competition Appeal Tribunal and Competition Commission concerning the conditions of access to BT’s copper wire network, and the terms of the charge controls which govern various wholesale products; eg BT v Ofcom [2011] CAT 24. Carphone Warehouse v Ofcom [2010] CAT 27 (local loop unbundling) Cable & Wireless v Ofcom [2011] CAT 23 (leased lines).
      • Mobile termination charges: Tim acted for Vodafone in successfully defending a challenge to its approach to mobile call termination charges [2012] CAT 28 and before the Court of Appeal in a successful challenge to retrospective variation to mobile termination charges: Vodafone v Ofcom [2010] 3 All ER 1028.
      • Mobile roaming charges: Tim acted in the European Court of Justice for the UK Government, successfully defending the EU’s regulation of mobile phone roaming charges: C-58/08 Vodafone v Secretary of State, 2010.
      • Broadcasting: Tim acted for a major broadcaster in respect of TV distribution rights in 2018. He acted in litigation concerning the regulation of Sky pay TV content (BSkyB v Ofcom) and in a challenge to its channel numbering policy: JML v Freesat [2010] EWCA Civ 34. He has given advice on a wide range of broadcasting issues including sports rights, equal access and competition.
      • Number portability: Tim acted for Vodafone in a successful challenge to Ofcom’s policy governing number portability: Vodafone v Ofcom, [2008] CAT 12.
    • EU

      Tim has exceptionally broad experience of litigation and advocacy before the European Courts. He has wide experience of litigating EU law issues in the domestic courts including the Supreme Court and has acted in many references from the English courts to the CJEU. He has acted in over 50 cases before the European Courts including the EFTA Court.


      • R(Fratila) v Secretary of State  [2021] UKSC 53  Supreme Court challenge in regard to Brexit arrangements
      • E-12/20: Telenor v EFTA Surveillance Authority, appeal against penalty for alleged abuse of dominance
      • Stagecoach & Ors v Department for Transport [2020] EHWC 1568 (TCC): procurement of rail franchises
      • C-235/19: Trustees of UB Pension Scheme v HRMC: tax and insurance
      • R(Nouazli) v SSHD [2016] 1 WLR 1565: successful defence of Supreme Court appeal under EU law to free movement legislation.
      • R(Rosneft) v BIS, HMT and FCA: [2018] QB 1: successful defence of EU sanctions regime against Russia
      • Financial Services Compensation Scheme v Iceandic Deposit Guarantee Fund (2016): claim to recover “Icesave” deposits in the EFTA Court
      • C-202/13 McCarthy v Secretary of State: free movement of persons and Frontiers Protocol.
      • C-80/14 USDAW v Secretary of State, CA: collective redundancy.
      • E-16/11 EFTA Surveillance Authority v Iceland: successfully defended the Icelandic Government against infraction proceedings in the EFTA Court arising out of failure of Icesave bank.
    • Administrative & public

      Tim’s public law practice is predominantly concerned with commercial, European, and regulatory challenges, including tax matters. He has, however, acted in almost every conceivable kind of public matter in both domestic and in the CJEU and ECtHR. He has particular expertise in cases where public law and EU law overlap.


      • RIIO 2 Charge Control Appeals (2022: acted for a regulated gas undertaking in challenging Ofgem’s charge control
      • Sabre v Competition and Markets Authority [2021]: jurisdiction over transaction between two US entities
      • Grand Bahamas Power Company v Utilities Regulation and Competion Authority: challenge to jurisdiction of utility regulator.
      • Fratila v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2021): Supreme Court appeal in regard to challenge to Brexit arrangements.
      • Uber London Ltd v Transport for London (2020): successful appeal against refusal of license.
      • R(Chiltern Farm Chemicals) v HSE [2018] 1 WLR 3144, CA: successful appeal re: EU pesticides regulation.
      • R(Nouazli) v SSHD [2016] 1 WLR 1565: successful defence of Supreme Court appeal under EU law to free movement legislation.
      • R(Rosneft) v BIS, HMT and FCA: [2018] QB 1: successful defence of EU sanctions regime against Russia
      • Re: Quality Contracts Scheme (2015): successful challenge to proposed model of bus regulation .
      • R(Ordanduu and Optimus) v PhonepayPlus [2015] EWHC 50 Admin : premium rate phone service regulation.
      • AkzoNobel NV v Competition Commission [2015] 1 All ER 693 CA: judicial review of merger decision.
      • R(Drax Power) v Secretary of State [2014] EWCA Civ 1153: challenge to renewable energy regime.
      • HCA v Competition and Markets Authority (2014): challenge to healthcare market investigation.
      • Skyscanner v Competition and Markets Authority [2014] CAT 16: challenge to decision to accept commitments.
      • AC Neilson v Competition and Markets Authority [2014] CAT 8: challenge to Phase I merger decision.
      • London Welsh v RFU (2012): acted on the Panel determining appeal by London Welsh against refusal of promotion on competition grounds.
      • R(Shoesmith) v Ofsted & Ors, (2011) ICR 1195: procedural fairness of inspection of Children’s Services.
    • Sport

      Tim has wide experience of the competition and regulatory aspects of Sport. He is a member of the RFU and FA Judicial Panels and a member of Sports Resolution’s panel of arbitrators and mediators. As panelist, he has heard cases concerning:

      • competition law challenge to refusal of promotion to Rugby Premiership;
      • player poaching;
      • fielding ineligible players;
      • discrimination;
      • breach of anti-corruption regulations;
      • breach of rules governing agents.

      Tim has acted as counsel in several matters concerning sports broadcasting rights:

      • Sky v Ofcom: challenge to Ofcom regulation of wholesale selling of Sky Sport
      • FA Premier League v QC Leisure: use in the UK of set top boxes showing Sky Sports imported from EU.

      Tim has also advised in cases regarding confidential sports matters:

      • EU competition law and the rules of an international sports governing body regarding athlete eligibility;
      • regulatory powers of English national sports regulator;
      • competition law compliance or rules of an English national sports regulator.
    • What the directories say

      Administrative & Public Law: “He is a first-rate advocate, who is always clear and responsive.” – Chambers UK, 2023

      Competition Law: “He is an excellent advocate who is persuasive in court” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2023

      European Law: “A first-rate advocate and one of the best of his generation. He is always clear and responsive.”  Chambers UK, 2023

      Telecommunications: “He is by far one of the best silks in terms of his client-handling skills.” “He is brilliant. He is highly commercial, very pragmatic and someone who thinks about the overarching objective of the client.” – Chambers UK, 2023

      Leading silk in Competition: “Tim is a real stress tester of arguments and judges very well the exact points to push on. He demonstrates real conviction in his advocacy and shows the highest levels of skill in his cross-examination of witnesses.” Legal 500, 2023

      Leading silk in Administrative Law and Human Rights: “He is bright, strategic, calm and a great advocate.”Legal 500, 2023

      Leading silk in European Union Law – Legal 500, 2023

      Leading silk in IT and Telecoms (Regulatory) – Legal 500, 2023

      “Tim Ward QC receives widespread endorsement as “a very strong advocate who really stands out in the competition bar”. He is excellent due to his ability to “turn difficult issues over in his mind and come up with innovative solutions”.” – Competition, Who’s Who Legal Global Guide 2022

      “Very astute at identifying the impression a judge will form of any argument and challenges strategies constructively to ensure they land well with the court.” – Telecoms, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2022

      Recommended in  Competition, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2022

      Administrative & Public Law: “He has a laser-like focus on the key points among complex issues and a lot of detail.” “He’s a great team player, very generous to everyone in the team and goes out of his way to be supportive” – Chambers UK, 2022

      Telecommunications: “He is an exceptional advocate. He has an amazing ability to distil issues in a digestible way, but he is also incredibly persuasive and engaging.” “I am always impressed by how insightful he is and how he can take complicated strategic issues and come up with a sound assessment.” – Chambers UK, 2022

      European Law: “An extremely capable advocate with great client-handling skills.” “He is really great at working as part of our team. He is very practical, commercial and experienced.”  – Chambers UK, 2022

      Competition Law: “Tim has practical understanding of how things play out. He brings a certain gravitas to the case.” “Deeply analytical, very calm, a team player.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2022

      Leading silk in Competition: “Tim is incredibly hard working, thoughtful and very intelligent. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty and really gets to grips with the detail of a case.” Legal 500, 2022

      Leading silk in Administrative and Public Law (including Elections): “Technically outstanding, a fantastic advocate. Great with clients – very user friendly. He is our first choice silk for public law work.”Legal 500, 2022

      Leading silk in European Union Law (Leading Silks): “An extremely capable advocate with great client handling skills.”Legal 500, 2022

      Leading silk in IT and Telecoms (Regulatory) – Legal 500, 2022

      “Known for being “quick to understand and apply the client’s goals in his advice, strategies and arguments”. His impressive experience includes acting as lead counsel in the large-scale cartel damages claims.” – Competition, Who’s Who Legal 2021

      Administrative & Public Law: “A fantastic advocate with great strategic skills. He is our go-to silk every time.” “He has a great range and is excellent on the law. He’s also very client-friendly, and really good at answering the question the client actually wants answered.” – Chambers UK, 2021

      Telecommunications: “Excellent, user-friendly, bright, and a good advocate.” “He really gets into the detail of a case.” – Chambers UK, 2021

      European Law: “Tim is technically very impressive, and an excellent advocate and also extremely client-friendly.”  – Chambers UK, 2021

      Competition Law: “He is an absolute delight to work with: a real team player, who makes himself available and is very client-friendly.” “He obviously knows cartel damages inside out, is very good on his feet and gives sound advice.” “Tim is focused, super sharp and a pleasure to work with.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2021

      Leading silk in Administrative and public law (including elections): ‘‘Technically outstanding, a fantastic advocate. Great with clients – very user friendly. He is our first choice silk for public law work’’Legal 500, 2021

      Leading silk in Competition: ‘‘Tim is a hands on, hard working silk, who is an attractive, reasonable and persuasive advocate. He would be my first choice for pretty much everything competition related.’’Legal 500, 2021

      Leading silk in EU Law: ‘‘Technically outstanding, very user friendly with clients. Tim is also a fantastic advocate – very clear and assertive when necessary.’’Legal 500. 2021

      Leading silk in Telecoms (regulatory): ‘‘A very good team player who is a pleasure to work with. He is very thorough in his analysis and is excellent at anticipating lines of argument.’’Legal 500. 2021

      “Hailed as a leading name at the UK Bar for complex commercial and competition-related disputes in the telecoms arena.”Telecoms, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2020

      Administrative & Public Law: “Tim Ward is a first choice for competition cases with a public law crossover; he’s very user-friendly and great with clients.” “He’s strong on the technical law and will give clear and accurate advice. He keeps it logical and keeps the attention of the judge.” “He always holds his ground and is willing to put in the extra effort to learn the client’s business. He’s very commercial in terms of strategy.” – Chambers UK, 2020

      Telecommunications: “A barrister who is clearly highly thought of by the big players in the market, he’s a very reassuring, nice guy who goes down well with the clients and the court.” “He has a wonderful, down-to-earth, straightforward and natural manner which is very appealing to judges.” “Strong on the technical aspects of the law, he gives clear and accurate advice and is good at working with the lay clients.” – Chambers UK, 2020

      European Law: “A top performer. Clear and robust in marrying EU law with UK law.”  – Chambers UK, 2020

      Competition Law: “Looks to deal with issues head on, before the other side raises the point.” “He’s extremely personable, gets stuck in to the nitty-gritty of the day-to-day drafting,” has “good strategic judgement and never loses sight of the client’s broader commercial perspective.” “Tim is pragmatic and understands what is needed from senior counsel in terms of giving advice that can be fed to the board; he’s very much to the point and clear.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2020

      Leading silk in Administrative and public law (including local government): ‘‘Technically able and an articulate advocate.’’Legal 500, 2020

      Leading silk in Competition: ‘‘Extremely good with senior stakeholders.’’Legal 500, 2020

      Leading silk in EU Law: ‘‘Extremely good with senior stakeholders and always practical in his advice.’’Legal 500. 2020

      Leading silk in Telecoms (regulatory): ‘‘Combined strength in public law and telecoms cases.’’Legal 500. 2020

      “Thorough, knowledgeable and highly personable” advocate who excels on cartel, damages and judicial review proceedings” – Competition, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2019

      Administrative & Public Law: “He is easy to work with; his advocacy is very clear and he has good judgement. He gets on well with clients.” “Direct, sensible, and a good team player who treats the team he’s working with as his intellectual equals. He’s shrewd and capable.” – Chambers UK, 2019

      Competition Law: “He gets down to the nub of the case very quickly, giving clear and concise advice, and communicating in a clear and simple way. His advocacy is also excellent.” – Chambers UK and Chambers Global, 2019

      European Law: “The top EU lawyer in the set.”  – Chambers UK, 2019

      Telecommunications: “Really smart, level-headed and pragmatic. He is down to earth and his advice is always very much grounded in practical considerations.” “He immediately spots good points and he works in a very user-friendly manner.” “From a client perspective he’s just fantastic.” – Chambers UK, 2019

      Leading silk in Administrative and public law (including local government): ‘‘He is fantastic, a persuasive advocate, and connects easily and effectively with clients.’’Legal 500, 2018

      Leading silk in Competition: ‘‘The best competition silk in the business; always responsive, on top of the detail and extremely user friendly – a fantastic team player.’’Legal 500, 2018

      Leading silk in EU Law: ‘‘Fantastic – clever, hard-working and not afraid to get his hands dirty digging into the detail.’’Legal 500. 2018

      Leading silk in Telecoms (regulatory): ‘‘He is a persuasive advocate and connects easily and effectively with clients.’’Legal 500. 2018

      Administrative & Public Law: “A really good advocate, good with clients and really knows the law.” “He has excellent judgement and is a great team player.”Chambers UK, 2018

      Competition Law: “He offers a good balance of analytical and commercial skills, and has a clear and economical advocacy style.”Chambers UK, 2018

      European Law: “Ward is very down-to-earth, straightforward and the court trusts him.”Chambers UK, 2018

      Telecommunications: “Has tremendous sector knowledge.” “He is really great to work with, highly approachable and very enthusiastic about cases.”Chambers UK, 2018

    • Additional information

      BA, MA

      Tim was awarded ‘Barrister of the Year’ at The Lawyer Awards 2013.

      Professional Memberships

      Tim was elected as Chairman of the Bar European Group, 2013-2015.

    • Publications

      His publications include three books: Competition Litigation in the UK (with Kassie Smith, Sweet & Maxwell 2005), Judicial Review and the Human Rights Act (2000) and The Strasbourg Case Law – Leading Cases from the European Human Rights Reports (2001). He is the founder of and Consultant Editor of the Human Rights Law Reports – UK Cases (Sweet & Maxwell) and Contributor to The European Union Law of Competition (Bellamy & Child).

    • Chambers UK 2019: leading barrister
    • Legal 500 2020: leading individual