Adam Vaitilingam QC

Image of Adam Vaitilingam QC
MA (Cantab)
Year of call and Inn: 
1987; Middle Temple
Professional Membership: 
Western Circuit, CBA
QC 2010; Recorder 2005 (Crown and County Courts)
Public Access Areas: 
Practice Overview: 

Adam Vaitilingam QC is one of the leading silks on the Western Circuit, with expertise in major crime, serious fraud, health and safety, environmental and child law. He is instructed in many of the most high profile trials, and recent cases include:

R v Berlinah Wallace; murder charge after the defendant threw sulphuric acid over her ex-partner;
R v Gordon, Wood and Potter; gross negligence manslaughter and death by dangerous driving charges against three men involved in the Bath tipper truck crash;
N v SWW Recycling Limited, defence of waste company and its director following fires and allegations of pollution at sites across Wales.
R v Nathan Matthews; murder and kidnapping charges after the killing of his step-sister.

Adam acts for individuals and companies across the country in health and safety, fatal road accidents, murder, fraud, sexual assault and environmental cases. He has successfully defended many professional and commercial clients, from accountants, financial advisors and surveyors to sportsmen, teachers and business leaders.

Adam is also instructed in family fact-finding cases where there are serious allegations of non-accidental injury, sexual assault or chronic neglect of children. Recent cases in 2018 include:

Re S; representing the alleged perpetrator of rape and other sexual assault against two of his sisters and his brother;
Re H; representing a father in a case involving allegations of multi-generational sexual abuse, physical violence and neglect.

"An excellent advocate whose gentle manner in court belies his frightening cross-examination skills. He is able to get straight to the heart of a case": Chambers and Partners
"Very experienced in serious cases of murder and fraud": Legal 500
"He is well regarded for his regulatory practice and noted for his experience in handling contaminated land and pollution cases": Chambers and Partners
“Recommended as a specialist in serious crime (particularly fraud and murder) and regulatory crime (particularly health and safety and environmental crime)”: Legal 500
“A well-reputed silk, responsive and helpful, good with clients”: Chambers and Partners

Specialist areas of work include:

Murder, manslaughter and other homicide cases
Adam acts for the defence and the prosecution, and has been involved in many of the most well known Western Circuit trials. They include the case of Claudia Martins, accused of the murder of her new-born child; Nathan Matthews, accused of the murder of his step-sister, and Operation Axiom, prosecuting eight men accused of the murder of Dolton Powell in Gloucester. He has defended many motorists charged with manslaughter or causing death by dangerous/careless driving.

Health and safety
Adam is regularly asked to advise defendants in cases brought by the Health and Safety Executive, both before and after charge. He has defended in many health and safety trials involving fatality and injury, including accidents on construction sites, in factories and at sea. High profile recent cases include an apprentice killed in a quad bike accident on a Dartmoor farm and a bulldozer driver killed during construction of the London Gateway Port. He successfully prosecuted the owner and mechanic of Grittenham Haulage Ltd in the recent Bath “runaway lorry” disaster.

Adam has a heavyweight practice defending individuals and businesses charged with fraud, money-laundering, corruption and theft. He has most recently been instructed to advise an IFA charged with tax fraud, a princess accused of identity fraud and a chief executive accused of conspiracy to defraud.

Environmental and waste management offences
Adam defends companies and individuals across England and Wales who are accused of offences against the environment, ranging from illegal landfill, river pollution and dust and noise pollution to technical breaches of permit and failure to store waste correctly. He recently defended the company responsible for a major fire in Newport and a company director charged with unlawfully filling a quarry with waste. Adam is the only silk on the Western Circuit recommended in this field by Chambers and Partners.

Sexual offences
As a junior, Adam spent years prosecuting and defending sexual offences, and in silk he has defended some of the most serious cases heard on the Western Circuit, ranging from rape and sexual assault to the production and distribution of indecent images. He recently successfully defended a Premiership rugby international charged with sexual assault. He is currently briefed to defend a young man charged with offences arising from his consensual relationship with a fifteen-year old.

Child law
Adam represents parents and other family members in cases involving the most serious allegations of violent or sexual assault on children.

Regulatory cases
Adam has defended in a wide range of regulatory cases, from alleged planning, copyright and trademark offences to breach of the law on gangmasters.

Adam has lectured in the UK and overseas on human rights law, including in Russia and Hong Kong on behalf of the Council of Europe and the British Council.


Bonnie Colbeck
T: 0117 311 0301

Nick Jeanes
T: 0117 311 0307

Ken Duthie
T: 0117 311 0368

Joanna Cload
T: 0117 927 1253


Areas of Practice