Adam Vaitilingam QC

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 other regulatory work. He is instructed in many of the most high profile trials; recent cases include the prosecution of three men involved in the Bath tipper truck crash and the defence of Nathan Matthews for the killing of his step-sister Becky Watts.

He acts for individuals and companies across the country in health and safety, fatal road accident, 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.

"Prominent silk on the Western Circuit with a broad environmental law practice. He is well regarded for his regulatory practice and noted for his experience in handling contaminated land and pollution cases": Chambers and Partners

"Very experiencd in serious cases of murder and fraud": Legal 500

“An excellent advocate with cross examination skills that are second to none”: 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, a good manner with clients”: Chambers and Partners

Specialist areas of work include:

Murder 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 newborn child; Nathan Matthews, accused of the murder of his stepsister, and Operation Axiom, prosecuting eight men accused of the murder of Dolton Powell in Gloucester. He has defended many motorists charged with causing death by dangerous, careless driving or manslaughter. Appellate work in the Court of Appeal in 2017 has included leading cases on diminished responsibility and loss of control.

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 been involved in many health and safety trials involving fatality, 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 and is briefed to defend in a similar case where gross negligence manslaughter is charged.

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.

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. Current cases include defence of a Premiership rugby international charged with sexual assault, and defence of a young man charged with offences arising from his consensual relationship with a fifteen year old.

Regulatory cases
Adam has defended in a very wide range of regulatory cases. Recent cases of interest have included:                     
Farmers prosecuted under gang-master regulations for employing foreign labour;                                                            
The manager of a care home accused of systematic neglect in the treatment of clients;
A manufacturer of gaming equipment charged with breach of copyright;
Owners of an ancient farm, accused of breaches of planning law during restoration work.

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


Areas of Practice