Adam Vaitilingam QC

Image of Adam Vaitilingam QC
MA (Cantab)
Year of call and Inn: 
1987; Middle Temple
Professional Membership: 
Western Circuit, CBA
Deputy High Court Judge 2019 (Queen's Bench Division, Family Division); QC 2010; Recorder 2005 (Crown and County Courts)
Public Access Areas: 
Practice Overview: 

Adam Vaitilingam QC is a highly-experienced silk and a specialist in criminal, environmental, health and safety and child law. He is the head of Albion Chambers and a deputy High Court Judge, authorised to sit in the Queen’s Bench Division and the Family Division.

In criminal work Adam has a wide-ranging practice prosecuting and defending all types of serious cases. He has a particular focus on complex fraud and homicide, fields in which he has been regularly named as a leading silk by Legal 500.

In fraud work, his current cases include a long-running multi-million pound missing trader fraud. Other high profile cases include: conspiracy to defraud a major aircraft company; an IFA charged with high value fraud in relation to tax relief for a film project; and the chief executive of a multinational insurance company charged with conspiracy to defraud. He has successfully represented many commercial and professional clients.

Among a succession of high profile homicide cases, Adam prosecuted for gross negligence manslaughter the men responsible for the Bath tipper truck crash, prosecuted the Berlinah Wallace murder trial and defended Nathan Matthews, charged with the murder of Becky Watts. He has represented many motorists accused of causing death by dangerous or careless driving. He has appeared in a number of important appeal cases, particularly in relation to causation and partial defences to murder.

In environmental work, he has represented companies and individuals charged with pollution, land contamination and waste management offences. Adam recently defended a company responsible for a series of major fires across South Wales and a company director charged with unlawfully filling a quarry with waste. He also advises on environmental permitting. He is the only Western Circuit silk recommended in this field by the legal directory Chambers & Partners 2020.

In health and safety work, he has defended and prosecuted many serious breaches of health and safety legislation, usually involving fatality or serious injury. Recent cases in 2019/2020 include defence of a major hotel operator, accused of exposing workers and guests to asbestos, and several cases where workers have fallen from height. He is currently advising in relation to failures in maintenance across an operator’s fleet of vehicles, following the death of a cyclist who was hit by a lorry.

In public law, Adam represents parents in fact-finding hearings, particularly in cases involving non-accidental injury or allegations of sexual assault. Recent cases include an application for the right to withdraw life support from a severely brain-injured infant, and the defence of a mother accused of devastating assault on a foster child.

Adam has also prosecuted and defended in some of the most serious sexual offences cases heard on the Western Circuit, ranging from rape and sexual assault to the production and distribution of indecent images. He recently successfully represented a Premiership Rugby international charged with sexual assault.

Both as a junior and over a decade in silk, Adam has represented many companies and individuals in a wide range of regulatory cases, from alleged planning, copyright and trademark offences to breach of the law on gangmasters and the unlawful felling of protected trees. He is currently retained to advise a local authority in relation to fire safety across its housing stock.

Away from practice, Adam has lectured widely in the UK and overseas on human rights law, most recently in Russia on behalf of the Council of Europe.

"Prominent silk on the Western Circuit with a broad environmental law practice. He is well regarded for his regulatory expertise and his work at the intersection of criminal and environmental law. He is noted for his experience handling contaminated land and pollution cases.
"He is very quick-witted and a very good advocate. If matters go to the criminal courts, he runs rings around people and is bright enough to catch the nuances of the case." "He has an ability to get straight to the heart of a case and provide practical and commercial advice."  - 
Chambers and Partners
"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
"Well regarded for his regulatory expertise and noted for his experience in handling contaminated land and pollution cases. Very capable and very quick thinking": 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

The above is just a short summary of Adam’s practice. For more details of his experience in or availability for any particular type of work please contact his clerks: Bonnie Colbeck (serious criminal work), Nick Jeanes (environmental, health and safety and regulatory work) and Michael Harding (child law).

Areas of Practice