Ross Forgan

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Location: Cape Town

Tel: +27 21 405 5167




Ross is a commercial lawyer based in Cape Town. Ross’ practice has a particular focus on the laws and regulations around data and technology/IP, as well as the commercialisation of these assets. Ross joined Werksmans as a director in 2020.

Previously, Ross built and ran a commercial and regulatory disputes practice at another large global law firm where he was made a director in 2015.  Ross’ practice mainly centered around insolvency and business rescue proceedings where he acted for a variety of stakeholders. Ross also has broad experience in general commercial disputes as well as disputes within the technology and commercial IP arena. These include running commercial and regulatory disputes and business restructuring matters in the telecommunications industry for a large South African Telecommunications company, both in South Africa and in Nigeria, as well as running a highly contentious restraint/unlawful competition matter for a listed company over a data solution for voice calls, which included proceedings in the Constitutional Court. 

  • Data Privacy
  • Intellectual Property
  • Media, Communications & Technology


  • Media,Communications and Technology
  • Intellectual Property
  • Data Privacy

Ross has broad experience in data and technology/IP matters, which include:

  • Cyber hacking/compromises - managing the client and the forensics team through the incident, preparing reports, advising on issues relating to privilege, confidentiality, reporting obligations, and obligations to data subjects;
  • Data - conducting audits on companies/ corporate groups treatment of data as well as advising on structuring of companies to ensure data privacy compliance and general responsible practice in respect of the treatment of data; drafting, and reviewing data policies and protocol for POPI and GDPR compliance; drafting and reviewing data transfer and data storage (Software as a Service) agreements;
  • Intellectual Property - advising clients on the appropriate measures to adopt in order to prevent value leakage of IP, including contractual arrangements and the re-organisation of corporate structures; advising on ownership rights in respect of IP in both transactional and adversarial environments;
  • Transactional - acting for both vendors and procurers in leasing, licensing, subscription, maintenance and service, and sale agreements relating to technology and ancillary IP;
  • Automation – Involved in supply chain contract automation, as well as repapering solutions for mass contract amendments;
  • During 2017 and 2018, Ross took a 2-year hiatus from practice during which time he acted as the general counsel at a technology start-up based in the United Kingdom and Switzerland. In particular, he was involved in compliance with the General Data Privacy Regulations, as these regulations came into force during this period.
  • Ross was also involved with the restructuring of the organization in anticipation of seeking external funding, as well as in reaction to the implications of Brexit.
  • Ross was also required to prepare all of the commercial agreements around the development, licensing and maintenance of the IP, as well as other ancillary arrangements.
  • BBusSci – University of Cape Town;
  • LLB - University of Cape Town;
  • Advanced Company Law I and II (certificate) - University of the Witwatersrand;
  • Internet and the Law (certificate) - University of Cape Town Admitted,
  • Qualified in South Africa (2010)


  • Admitted as an attorney in 2010;
  • Promoted to director in 2015;
  • Acted as general counsel for a technology start-up, as well as director of a technology development company, from 2017 to 2019;
  • Appointed the head of technology law and legal innovation at another large law firm in 2019; Seconded to London to engage with cutting edge market trends in legal innovation;
  • Involved in the development of contract automation and repapering solutions