Barristers

Tim Forte

Call 1994

'Tim is unyielding in the pursuit of justice, exhibiting a level of determination that is truly admirable. He is never deterred by obstacles and consistently works towards achieving the best possible outcome for clients, no matter how difficult the circumstances.'

Tim Forte has a well-established practice in large, complex and serious crime specialising in heavyweight violence, fraud, drugs, terrorism and firearms offending.

Notably, he has been instructed in murder trials relating to three on-duty police officers. He has also been instructed in three prosecutions in relation to the “domestic use in the UK” of grenades, of which there have only been a handful.

His computer and technological expertise means he is particularly sought after in cases involving EncroChat, telecoms and computer evidence, including probe and telephone intercept evidence and substantial telecoms data re pattern, attribution and cell site. In an article on the EncroChat system, he correctly predicted the breach and implant by French law enforcement days before the news broke.

He has been instructed in more than 50 Encro proceedings, including two major Operation Venetic Preparatory Hearings: Operation Estevan (Manchester) and Operation Oberon (Cardiff). He can be relied upon to manage and master voluminous and complex material at pace. By the start of 2021, he had successfully secured the acquittal of two defendants in Encro cases (one in Snaresbrook for Deepak Vij at ABV Solicitors and one in Ipswich for Darren Flight at Harris Cuffaro Nicholls).

He has built a strong reputation with a wide spectrum of professional clients, mainly as a leader, but also as a junior (alone or led). He is respected as a fighter with very sound judgment, who can be relied upon to take the initiative in the case and to carry the fight to the prosecution.

He has conducted numerous complex legal submissions, often taking the lead in and succeeding in arguments overlooked by others. As an experienced appellate advocate, he is often singled out to take over complex and substantial proceedings on appeal.

As a fluent German speaker and with contacts in the German legal world, he has always had a keen interest in the international aspect of crime. In May 2018, he was one of a handful of English barrister delegates at the IBA Transnational Crime Conference in Krakow, and has contributed to an article on the IBA website about the current state of legal professional privilege.

Expertise

Tim has been instructed in numerous cases involving Serious Organised Crime, especially Organised Crime Groups involved in substantial drug importation and supply. He is one of the Leading Barristers in England and Wales in EncroChat cases, instructed in more than 40 Encro cases. He is frequently instructed in gang-related killings.

Featured Organised Crime cases


Operation Estavan, Manchester Minshull Street

Encro Preparatory Hearing before Dove J. and interlocutory Court of Appeal before Fulford L.J. – [2021] EWCA Crim 1447


Operation Oberon (Cardiff Crown Court)

Encro Preparatory Hearing before Griffiths J.


Operation Hobart (Winchester Crown Court and Court of Appeal)

Colombian cocaine pipeline estimated at £400m every six months. Initial trial took 1 year, before success in the Court of Appeal on issues of disclosure (with Special Counsel). Secured acquittal at retrial when his legal argument, relating to admissibility of Colombian telecoms intercept and acquittals of erstwhile co-defendants, led to Crown offering no evidence.


Operation Gobbed (Bristol Crown Court)

importation by sea of 1 tonne of Cocaine.


Operation Keyhole (Bournemouth Crown Court)

Encro Class A conspiracy re 450kgs.


Operation Wizard (Swansea Crown Court)

Encro Class A and firearms importation conspiracy.


Northern Circuit (Chester, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston)

Operations Florence, Taillight, Illinois, Aquarium, Downey, Malaga and Quebec – Encro Class A conspiracies.


Midlands Circuit (Birmingham)

Operations Scorch, Surrounding, Hakea and Absorb – Encro Class A Conspiracies.


South Eastern Circuit (Aylesbury, Ipswich, Luton, Basildon, Kingston, Croydon, Guildford) – Operations Eternal, Saco, Orochi, Syncopize, Coadminster, Guava, Mousetrap, Netty, Coast, Costello, Saffire, Shania, Maputo, Creedence and Gem – Encro Class A conspiracies.


London (Southwark, Inner London, Snaresbrook, Wood Green) – Operations Sandstone, Elapse, Cigarfish, Stranraer, Sharpener, Wulfenia, Direen, Solanum, Crinks, Soku and Sopot – Encro Class A conspiracies and Encro firearms and kidnap conspiracy.

Instructed in POCA proceedings flowing from drugs and fraud trials that he conducted, but also frequently brought in at the confiscation stage for cases he did not act in before.

Featured Confiscation and Asset Recovery cases


Operation Beath II (Manchester Crown Court)

instructed in POCA proceedings only, secured reduction, after two week litigated hearing, from figure originally sought of £5,140,000 to £340,000.


Operation Hobart (Winchester Crown Court)

(confiscation completed before conviction quashed) successful in restricting Crown’s DTA claim over matrimonial home and parental (mortgaged) home, and in defeating AG’s Ref – [2008] EWCA Crim 2953.


Operation Testmatch (Luton Crown Court & City of London Magistrates Court)

after acquittal in fake cigarette importation case, civil POCA seizure continued at Magistrates Court, until secured stay on the ground of Abuse of Process.

Tim is instructed in homicide cases across the country. Cases have included gangland killings, egg-shell skull, transferred malice, Diminished Responsibility, complex issues of causation.

Featured Murder cases


Operation Mirato (Preston Crown Court)

trial of 10 defendants relating to four murders, four attempted murders and assorted explosives (grenades) charges. Included the two WPCs murdered by co-defendant Dale Cregan.


Operation Voyage (Wolverhampton Crown Court)

double homicide by crossbow, involving cannabis factories and raiding aggravated burglars. First death involved transferred malice manslaughter or murder. Featured in BBC documentary “Forensics: the real CSI”.


Operation Acetabulum (Central Criminal Court)

multiple gangland attempted murder conspiracies.


R v ED (Liverpool Crown Court)

successfully defended a trained boxer and a student at Liverpool University against the charge of the murder and manslaughter of another student at the university.


R v. CW (Liverpool Crown Court)

secured acquittal of burglar on charge of murder of serving police officer, PC David Phillips.


Operation Haiku (Wolverhampton Crown Court)

death of alleged paedophile victim, with issues of diminished responsibility, novus actus and egg-shell skull.


Operations Sunderland and Roberts (Luton Crown Court)

separate attempted murder cases, one with firearms and the second with knives.

Instructed, often as Leading Junior, in a variety of fraud cases, including Welsh Assembly contract frauds, MTiCs, Carbon Credits and Legal Aid frauds.

Featured Fraud and Money Laundering cases


Operation Larkspur (Southwark Crown Court) (Goose J.)

series of three Legal Aid fraud trials involving solicitors, barristers and part-time judges. Secured acquittal of our defendant.


Operation Midas (Cardiff Crown Court)

multi-million pound Welsh Assembly/European Union frauds. Leading Junior secured acquittal of our client.


Operation Balaban (Southwark Crown Court)

Carbon Credit and Diamond boiler room frauds, collapsed on discrediting of Crown expert.


Operation Carnival & Chuck (Inner London Crown Court)

Leading Junior in Transport for London ticket fraud.


Operation Aldgate (Southwark Crown Court)

privately instructed for professional Accountant defendant acquitted in long firm fraud.


Operation Lithium (Sheffield Crown Court)

scrap metal MTiC fraud, collapsed after disclosure issues pressed with the Crown.


Operation Leviathan (Southwark Crown Court)

Leading Junior in RFU Hospitality ticket frauds.


Operation Casper (Liverpool Crown Court)

Leading Junior in MTiC fraud.


Operation Lantern (Woolwich Crown Court)

wine/vintner boiler room fraud.


Operation Volt (Woolwich Crown Court)

Leading Junior in multi-million pound Counterfeiting conspiracy involving Encrochat and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.


Operations Ana and Nimrod (Southwark and Maidstone Crown Courts)

Medicinal Healthcare and Products Regulatory Agency, pharmaceutical frauds.

Instructed in both England and Wales, he has acted for both alleged Islamic Fundamentalist and Right Wing Extremist terrorists.

Featured Terrorism cases


Operation Loricated (Central Criminal Court) (Hon Recorder of London)

teenager in Essex involved in conduct preparatory to acts of terror, as well as holding a digital library of terrorist literature. Leader of UK cell of variety of White Supremacist groups, planning murders by 3D-printing guns.


Operation Eelcatcher (Kingston Crown Court)

white, anti-islamic terror, planning to blow up a mosque in Surrey in revenge for death of young girl in Manchester Arena Bombing.


Operation Soleus (Cardiff Crown Court and Central Criminal Court)

Islamic fundamentalist promulgating anti-American, pro-alQaeda “nasheeds”.


Operation Harplike (Central Criminal Court) (Jay J. and McGowan J.)

Right Wing extremist/White Supremacists alleged to be members of Proscribed Organisation National Action (proscribed after murder of MP Jo Cox). Acquitted after retrial.

Instructed, often as Leading Junior, in a variety of fraud cases, including Welsh Assembly contract frauds, MTiCs, Carbon Credits and Legal Aid frauds.

Featured Crime - Fraud cases


Operation Larkspur (Southwark Crown Court) (Goose J.)

series of three Legal Aid fraud trials involving solicitors, barristers and part-time judges. Secured acquittal of our defendant.


Operation Midas (Cardiff Crown Court)

multi-million pound Welsh Assembly/European Union frauds. Leading Junior secured acquittal of our client.


Operation Balaban (Southwark Crown Court)

Carbon Credit and Diamond boiler room frauds, collapsed on discrediting of Crown expert.


Operation Carnival & amp; Chuck (Inner London Crown Court)

Leading Junior in Transport for London ticket fraud.


Operation Aldgate (Southwark Crown Court)

privately instructed for professional Accountant defendant acquited in long firm fraud.


Operation Lithium (Sheffield Crown Court)

scrap metal MTiC fraud, collapsed after disclosure issues pressed with the Crown.


Operation Leviathan (Southwark Crown Court)

Leading Junior in RFU Hospitality ticket frauds.


Operation Casper (Liverpool Crown Court)

Leading Junior in MTiC fraud.


Operation Lantern (Woolwich Crown Court)

wine/vintner boiler room fraud.


Operation Volt (Woolwich Crown Court)

Leading Junior in multi-million pound Counterfeiting conspiracy, involving Encrochat and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.


Operations Ana and Nimrod (Southwark and Maidstone Crown Courts)

Medicinal Healthcare and Products Regulatory Agency, pharmaceutical frauds

Independent Chair of England Hockey Disrepute Panel tasked with dealing with all serious breaches of England Hockey Code of Ethics and Behaviour.

Recent articles

Tim Forte successful in resisting Attorney General unduly lenient sentence application

Tim Forte , instructed by Miriam Altaf at Carson Kaye Solicitors, successfully resisted an application by the Attorney General for leave to refer a sentence as unduly lenient. Having obtained the offender’s acquittal at…

Tim Forte

Tim Forte successful in the Court of Appeal

Tim Forte, instructed by Sara Doyle at ABV Solicitors, was successful in reducing the sentence for his client in Operation Taillight. Tim’s client was the overall leader of an OCG running importation of Class A…

Tim Forte

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Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB)

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.

'Tim is unyielding in the pursuit of justice, exhibiting a level of determination that is truly admirable. He is never deterred by obstacles and consistently works towards achieving the best possible outcome for clients, no matter how difficult the circumstances.'


The Legal 500 (2024)

"He has a huge ability to deal with complex criminal cases. He is excellent on the law and rightly regarded as an expert in cases involving EncroChat, telecommunications and computer evidence."


Chambers and Partners 2023

"Timothy is a strong jury advocate."


Chambers and Partners 2023

'Tim is a formidable advocate and a master strategist. He is a skilled tactician and incredibly eloquent. A polished performer with an excellent reputation.'


The Legal 500 2023

‘Tim is a highly skilled advocate and is very adept at arguing complex points of law.'


The Legal 500 2023 (Fraud:Crime)

"Timothy Forte is a junior who specialises in handling complex criminal matters such as fraud, murder, terrorism and drug importation cases. He regularly defends professional clients and has substantial expertise at appellate level."


Chambers and Partners 2022

"He has surpassed himself with regard to his knowledge of EncroChat cases and is a go-to counsel in this area. Clients are in safe hands when represented by him."


Chambers and Partners 2022

"Tim is very dedicated and clever. Both the lay clients and his peers respect his strengths and qualities of a talented and bright barrister. His written and oral submissions are often compelling."


The Legal 500 2022

"An intellectually gifted junior, whose written and oral advocacy is exceptional."


The Legal 500 2022 (Fraud: Crime)

"Meticulous, exceptionally hard-working and fearless."


Chambers and Partners 2021

"A strong advocate with the ability to grasp very big cases."


Chambers and Partners 2021

"He is a machine and someone you want in your corner. He has a presence in the courtroom that commands respect.". And "As a natural orator and communicator, he commands attention and respect in court whenever he speaks."


The Legal 500 2021

"He has a compellingly confident manner both in and out of court. He's an excellent all-rounder who has the ability to apply himself totally to the issue in hand. Also, very client focused."


The Legal 500 2021 (Fraud: Crime)

  • B.A.Hons
  • Dip.L.
  • Dip.Bus.Eur.
  • Called 1994

  • Grays Inn
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • International Bar Association
  • Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Justice
  • Liberty
  • Amnesty International
  • Society of Labour Lawyers

  • German
  • French
  • Italian
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