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 specialises in criminal, environmental and health and safety law, and he represents parents in family law fact-finding cases. He is recognised as one of the leading silks on the Western Circuit. He is a deputy High Court Judge, authorised to sit in the Queen's Bench Division and the Family Division, and the Head of Albion Chambers.

Adam has been involved in some of the most high profile trials on the Western Circuit. Among many cases he has:

Prosecuted the defendants involved in the Bath tipper truck crash, prosecuted the Berlinah Wallace murder trial, defended Nathan Matthews, accused of the murder of his stepsister; 

Represented companies and individuals charged with pollution, land contamination and waste offences;

Defended and prosecuted serious breaches of health and safety legislation, usually involving fatal accidents or exposure to hazardous materials;

Represented individuals accused of fraud, sexual or other serious assault.

"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

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 high profile Western Circuit trials. They include the case of Claudia Martins, accused of the murder of her new-born child; Nathan Matthews; Paul Rich, also charged with the murder of an infant; and Operation Axiom, prosecuting eight men accused of the murder of Dolton Powell in Gloucester. He has represented many motorists charged with causing death by dangerous or careless driving, and is currently acting for a driver accused of involvement in a multi-casualty fatal crash on the A35 in Dorset.

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. He successfully prosecuted the owner and mechanic of Grittenham Haulage Ltd in the recent Bath “runaway lorry” disaster. Recent cases in 2019/2020 include defence of a major hotel operator, accused of exposing workers and guests to asbestos, and several cases involving fatality where a worker has fallen from height.

Adam defends individuals and businesses charged with fraud, money-laundering, corruption and theft. He has 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 
Adam has appeared in 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. 

Child law
Adam represents family members in cases involving the most serious allegations of violent or sexual assault. Recent cases include representing a mother accused of devastating assault on a foster child, a father accused of sexual assault on his children and a brother accused of seriously assaulting his siblings.

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. He is currently retained to advise a local authority in relation to a high profile matter involving fire safety. 

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