Adam is a specialist defamation, privacy, media law and harassment barrister. Many of his cases involve the Human Rights Act and the interplay between articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention. He acts for both claimants and defendants.
In the current Chambers & Partners he is ranked in band 1 for defamation and privacy work and is described as "a tenacious, lateral thinker, who provides extraordinarily helpful advice, and is quite simply a pleasure to work with." The previous year he was described as having "that invaluable combination of expertise, forensic ability and commercial awareness" and as being "on an upward trajectory." In the latest Legal 500 he is said to be ‘a star of the junior Bar with an excellent understanding of the practicalities of media law’.
He has considerable experience in heavyweight trial litigation. He acted for Claimants in Lillie & Reed v Newcastle City Council over 79 days and Morgan & Doyle v Chief Constable of Northumbria which settled on the second day of trial and as sole counsel in Bloom v Robinson-Millar where the claimant was awarded £30,000 damages for libel and harassment.
Trials for Defendants include acting in 2013 as sole counsel for Carmarthenshire County Council and its chief executive Mark James in a 6 day libel trial against a blogger called Jacqui Thompson. The Council and Mr James successfully defended the claim and Mr James won his counter-claim and was awarded £25,000 damages.
In 2012 he acted as junior counsel in three trials for Associated Newspapers (Miller, Qadir, Abbey). He spent a large part of 2011-2 acting for the Telegraph Media Group at the Leveson Inquiry.
Significant recent and ongoing instructions include:
- successfully defending a local authority and its chief executive in a libel claim brought by a blogger and prospective local election candidate and obtaining damages of £25,000 for the chief executive in his counter-claim;
- appointed in July 2012 as an Independent Scheme Barrister to act on behalf of Applicants in the News International Voicemail Interception Scheme. To date, Adam has advised over 50 applicants;
- acting as junior Counsel for Telegraph Media Group at the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press;
- acting as junior Counsel for Associated Newspapers (ANL) in a number of actions. These include Abbey v ANL where ANL successfully defended a privacy and confidence claim brought by businessman, Peter Abbey which included findings of abuse of process on the basis of attempted extortion in 2012; Miller v ANL where judgment (for the claimant) was handed down in December 2012; Qadir v ANL which settled in January 2013; Morgan v ANL (trial in June 2013 of claim brought by 'Psychic Sally'); Nouchin v ANL;
- defending an American company and its American solicitors in a libel action brought by a businessman (settled);
- acting for Lord Ashcroft in a libel action against The Independent which has included several hearings to determine the scope of the defences of justification and honest opinion at first instance and in the Court of Appeal (settled);
- defending Giles Clarke, the chairman of the ECB in a libel claims brought against him by Lalit Modi and IMG, both have now settled;
- acting for a claimant in a privacy, breach of confidence and harassment claim against a former partner which included an application for an injunction (settled)
- acting for the director of an animal sanctuary who had a tracking device placed on her car by a firm of private investigators (settled).
1999 Called to the Bar
Bristol University (BA History (Hons): First Class)
Common Professional Examination at College of Law, London
Inns of Court School of Law (Bar Finals: Very competent)
Areas of work
- Privacy and Confidence
- Sports Law
- Data Protection
- Reporting the Courts
- Pre-publication Advice
- Public Access
- Human Rights
- Injunctive Relief
- Malicious Falsehood
- Media Law
a "cool, calm favourite"
a "brilliant strategist"
"has that invaluable combination of expertise, forensic ability and commercial awareness." One solicitor commented of his experience with him: "We were more successful than we had previously hoped because of the quality of his presentation - he is certainly on an upward trajectory."
"Shows incredibly mature insight, well beyond his years of call"
[Chambers and Partners]
Recommended in the leading directories as a specialist defamation and privacy junior.
In the latest Legal 500 he is said to be ‘a star of the junior Bar with an excellent understanding of the practicalities of media law’. In the 2010/11 edition of Legal 500 he was described as a "brilliant strategist" and in 2006 as a "cool, calm favourite". In 2005 he was described as "a careful thinker on legal issues' who is praised for his 'excellent attention to detail."
In the 2010 edition of Chambers and Partners he was described as "wise beyond his years, and will undoubtedly go a long way." It went on, "He is noted for really going the extra mile and for being "good at turning round complicated matters and giving clear, practical advice." In 2009 he was said to show 'incredibly mature insight, well beyond his years of call'. In previous editions he has been described as "a future star", "an incredibly decent guy", "extraordinarily bright and academically minded"; "conscientious, committed and proactive" and several years ago (!!) as "young but has exactly what it takes".
Jointly short-listed (with Adrienne Page QC and Richard Osborne, then of SJ Cornish) for Liberty/Justice Human Rights Lawyer of the Year 2003 for his role as junior Counsel to the Claimants in the 79 day trial Lillie & Reed v Newcastle City Council  EWHC 1600 where Eady J said, "Had it not been for the introduction of [conditional] fee arrangements a few years ago, and the courage and dogged determination of their various legal advisers.... a significant injustice would.. have gone unnoticed"
1998: Harmsworth Scholar of the Middle Temple
1998: Winner of The Times and 1 Essex Court law awards on 'Press and Privacy' published in The Times on 17/3/98
1997: Benefactors' Scholar of Middle Temple
British Association for Sport and Law
(17 Oct 2002)
(6 Dec 2008)
(17 Mar 2011)