Called to the Bar in 1999, Adam took silk in 2020 having been rated as one of only two ‘star individual‘ juniors in defamation and privacy in the Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide.
Adam specialises in all aspects of media and communications law including defamation, privacy, breach of confidence, harassment and data protection. Many of these cases involve the Human Rights Act and the interplay between articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention. Adam is regularly instructed in libel cases in other jurisdictions including in the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, Malaysia and Singapore.
He has considerable experience obtaining interim injunctions, often at short notice, in cases involving data breaches and blackmail (see e.g. Clarksons, PML, NPQ, SOJ below) and in harassment, particularly on behalf of local and public authorities.
RECENT AND IMPORTANT CASES
- Greenstein v Campaign Against Antisemitism  EWCA Civ 1006, for the Respondent/ Defendant on an appeal concerned with the pleading of malice in the context of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974;
- Simon v Lyder  UKPC 38;  AC 650, for the media Appellants and Defendants in the Privy Council on an appeal concerned with reference innuendoes in libel;
- DSM SFG Group Holdings v Kelly  EWCA Civ 2256;  EMLR 10, for the Appellants and Claimants on an appeal to the Court of Appeal concerned with whether an individual who has obtained confidential information illicitly could use the information before establishing a right to do so;
- Brevan Howard Asset Management v Reuters  EWCA Civ 950;  EMLR 28 for the Respondent and Claimant, led by Desmond Browne QC, on an appeal to the Court of Appeal concerned with whether Reuters were correct to contend that information leaked to them was not confidential, alternatively was in the public interest;
- Mionis v Democratic Press SA  EWCA Civ 1194;  QB 662, for the Respondents and Defendants in the Court of Appeal, led by Andrew Caldecott QC, on whether wide undertakings given by media defendants as part of an agreement to settle libel proceedings between the parties, were a disproportionate interference with their freedom of expression rights;
- PJS v News Group Newspapers  UKSC 26;  AC 1081, for the Respondent and Claimant, led by Desmond Browne QC in the Supreme Court, on the leading decision on injunctions in cases of misuse of private information;
- Pinard-Byrne v Linton  UKPC 41;  EMLR 4, for the Appellant and Claimant before the Privy Council on an appeal concerned with the Reynolds defence;
- OPO v MLA,  UKSC 32  AC 219 for the Respondent and Claimant in the Supreme Court, led by Matthew Nicklin QC, on an appeal concerned with the scope of the tort in Wilkinson v Downton;
- Crawford v Jenkins  EWCA Civ 1035;  QB 231, for the Respondent and Defendant in the Court of Appeal on an appeal holding that the witness immunity rule covers the torts of false imprisonment, malicious procurement of arrest and harassment;
High Court Trials
- Ashley v Times Newspapers Ltd  EWHC 2082 (QB) leading Victoria Jolliffe for the Claimant on a preliminary issue trial on meaning and fact/opinion in a libel action where an offer of amends has now been made;
- Scarsdale Grange LLP t/a Scarsdale Grange Nursing Home v JPIMedia NSMY Limited  EWHC 1988 (QB) leading Victoria Jolliffe for the Claimant on a paper preliminary issue trial on meaning and fact/opinion in ongoing libel action;
- Triplark Ltd v Northwood Hall (Freehold) Ltd v others  EWHC 3493 (QB), for the Defendants on a preliminary issue trial on meaning and fact/ opinion in an ongoing libel action;
- Burgon v News Group Newspapers  EWHC 195, for the Claimant, the then shadow Lord Chancellor, in the only full trial against the national media in 2019. Mr Burgon was awarded £30,000 damages for libel and an injunction;
- HM Attorney-General v Tina Malone  EWHC 3726, leading Greg Callus for Tina Malone on an application before the Divisional Court (LCJ and Warby J) for committal for contempt of court for breach of the Venables & Thompson injunction, avoided a prison sentence for Ms Malone;
- AXB v BXA  EWHC 588 (QB) for the Claimant, led by Adrienne Page QC, at the trial of claims for deceit, misuse of private information and harassment;
- Thompson v James & Carmarthenshire County Council  EWHC 515 (QB), for the Defendants and counter-Claimant (Mr James) in a high-profile 5 day trial, also successful on an interim application to strike out a malice plea and on an appeal on meaning before the Court of Appeal:  EWCA Civ 600. Mr James was awarded £25,000 damages.
- BW Legal Services Ltd v Glassdoor Inc  EWHC 979 (QB), for the Defendant in a Norwich Pharmacal claim establishing that service had not been properly effected here and an exclusive jurisdiction clause was engaged, leading Andrew Feld of 20 Essex.
- Ince Group plc v Person(s) Unknown  EWHC 808 (QB), for the Claimant company on a data breach injunction application involving allegations of blackmail, leading Felicity McMahon
- V v Persons Unknown, 2021-2, for the Claimant company on a data breach injunction application involving allegations of blackmail, leading Clara Hamer;
- N v Persons Unknown, 2021, for the Claimants on a data breach injunction application involving allegations of blackmail, leading Felicity McMahon;
- O v N, 2021 for the Claimant companies on a commercial breach of confidence injunction application concerned with customer lists, leading Chloe Strong;
- Santi v Santi  EWHC 388 (QB) for the Claimant on a breach of confidence and misuse of private information injunction application in the context of a marital breakdown;
- Wan-Bissaka v Bentley  EWHC 3640 (QB) for the Claimant on a misuse of private information and harassment injunction application leading Luke Browne;
- City Football Group Ltd v T, 24 February 2020 for the Claimant on a commercial breach of confidence case leading Victoria Jolliffe;
- Re Al M (Factfinding)  EWHC 3415 (QB); Re Al M (Publication)  EWHC 122 Fam; Re Al M (Assurances and Waivers)  EWHC 67 (Fam), junior counsel on publication and privacy issues for the Applicant at first instance, led by Desmond Browne QC, in these high-profile family proceedings between HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum v HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein;
- SOJ v JAO  EWHC 2569, for the Claimant obtaining an interim injunction in misuse of private information involving allegations of blackmail.
- PML v Persons Unknown  EWHC 838 and Clarkson v Persons Unknown  EWHC 417, obtaining injunctions in breach of confidence for the Claimant companies that suffered similar data breaches and had been the subject of blackmail threats, included novel derogations from open justice relied upon in later cases;
- NPV v QEL  EWHC 703, for the Claimant on a misuse of private information injunction application involving blackmail;
- Bains v Moore  EWHC 242, for the Defendant, K2, a firm of private investigators, led by Desmond Browne QC, in a long-running breach of confidence, data protection and misuse of private information claim (now settled) including two hearings on Norwich Pharmacal relief and disclosure;
- Blue v Ashley  EWHC 1553 (Comm), for the Defendant opposing an application by publishers of The Times for disclosure of witness statements before trial;
- Cheshire West & Chester Council v Pickthall  EWHC 2141 (QB), for the Claimants obtaining an interim injunction to prevent the Defendant harassing the Claimants and others through the publication of allegations of criminality and abusive remarks. Subsequent hearings on summary judgment and committal for contempt of court.
Adam was junior Counsel for the Telegraph at the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British Press and one of four panel counsel for applicants on the News International Voicemail Interception Compensation Scheme.
He is a contributor to the first three editions of The Law of Privacy and the Media and the joint editor of the fourth edition with Professor Nicole Moreham. He is also a contributing editor of several editions of Gatley on Libel and Slander. He regularly speaks and writes on media law issues.
Adam is public access accredited and can be instructed directly by members of the public and companies in suitable cases.