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Adam has acted in some of the key public law and human rights cases of recent years, including test cases on human rights issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, major inquiries such as into child sexual abuse and into antisemitism in the Labour Party, and leading cases on the right to protest. He is described in the leading legal directories as an "extremely sharp and intelligent barrister who digests complex information quickly, explaining it well to clients and the broader public"​​​​​ (Chambers and Partners 2023), as having a “first rate intelligence and a highly personable manner” and being a “fantastic public law and human rights specialist” whose work is “at the cutting edge of civil liberties and human rights." (Legal 500 2023).

Adam is perhaps the UK’s leading authority on the law relating to COVID-19. From 2020-2021 he was Specialist Advisor to Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights Inquiry into the government’s response to the pandemic and assisted in the writing of five reports.  He is a trusted commentator on TV and radio explaining COVID-19 law to the public. He has acted in a number of path-breaking cases relating to the pandemic, including the Good Law Project’s challenge to the Metropolitan Police’s refusal to investigate the Downing Street parties and two key judicial reviews of the hotel quarantine system, on the discriminatory impact of fees (Boardman and Others) and if hotel quarantine is compatible with the right to liberty (Hotta and Others). He acted for a range of people to secure their release from inhumane hotel quarantine conditions, such as international journalists and a severely disabled child, and obtained the first hotel quarantine court injunction of its type. He successfully acted for people unlawfully given fixed penalty notices including the first withdrawal by police of £10,000 FPNS against students. He acted in the successful challenge to the government’s failure to fund equipment for children to engage in online learning during school closures and in two successful judicial reviews of failures by the Home Office to protect asylum seekers at Colnbrook IRCC and immigration detainees at Napier Barracks from COVID-19.

Free expression and the right to protest are areas of particular interest to Adam. He has acted in a number of the recent leading cases relating protest, including acting for women’s rights organisation Reclaim These Streets in the leading case on protest rights in the pandemic, relating to the Metropolitan Police’s response to the Sarah Everard vigil (Leigh and Others), in the first Court of Appeal judgment on protesters held in contempt of court (Cuadrilla Bowland Ltd & Ors v Lawrie & Ors), and the follow-up Court of Appeal case relating to protest against the HS2 railway (Cuciurean v HS2).

He regularly acts in politically sensitive public inquiries and inquests, most recently in the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party, including prompting the EHRC to investigate in the first place, for Harvey Proctor in the Westminster strand of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, in the Manchester Arena Bombing Inquiry, as sole Counsel to the investigation in to the death of Welsh Minister Carl Sargeant and in the Whyte Review investigation into abuse in British gymnastics. He also regularly acts in high-profile coroners inquests such as into the death of an immigration detainee at Wormwood Scrubs prison, the death of a young woman who took her own life in a mental health hospital and a profoundly deaf man who died in prison.

Adam is a passionate advocate, educator and writer on human rights. He founded and chairs the muti-award winning human rights education charity EachOther, set up the widely-read UK Human Rights Blog and hosts the UK’s leading human rights podcast, the Better Human Podcast. He regularly speaks on human rights law to charities, parliamentary committees and government departments and is a Visiting Professor of Law at Goldsmiths University where he teaches undergraduate students. He is the Consultant Editor of the 2020 Prison Law edition of Halsbury’s Laws of England and regularly writes for the New StatesmanProspect and appears on TV and radio.

He was the Lawyer of the Week in The Lawyer magazine and was shortlisted for Human Rights Junior of the Year in the 2020 Legal 500 Awards. He has won the Plain English Campaign’s Communicator award for human rights public education and has previously been shortlisted for Human Rights Lawyer of the Year at the Liberty Awards and Legal Personality of the Year at the Solicitors Journal Awards.

He has been appointed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission ‘A' Panel of Counsel from 2019 to 2023.

Administrative and Public Law

Adam is a versatile lawyer who has acted in key public law and human rights cases across a variety of areas. He regularly lectures on public law for example to the Judicial Review and Public Law Project conferences and is regularly called on to assist with parliamentary committees and inquiries.

Key cases

  • Currently representing the family of Harry Dunn in a Judicial Review and human rights claim against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

  • Newby, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for Justice [2019] EWHC 3118 (Admin) - acting for Phil Newby in a landmark challenge to the ban on assisted dying

  • Acting for a complainant in the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party

  • Cuadrilla v Lawrie, Walsh and Wilson - currently acting in the Court of Appeal, led by Kirsty Brimelow QC, for anti-fracking protesters committed for contempt of court for protesting

  • R (on the application of Susan Wilson & Others) v The Prime Minister [2019] – Acting for the Claimant in a Brexit-related case against the Prime Minister for failing to take into account the findings of the Electoral Commission that the Leave campaign cheated during the 2016 Referendum campaign.

  • Jogee and Ruddock v The Queen (Jamaica) [2016] UKSC 8. Junior Counsel for Ameen Jogee in the landmark Supreme Court challenge to the law of Joint Enterprise, including making oral submission on Article 7 ECHR and Principle of Legality.

  • Acting for Asher Johnson in a follow-up application to Jogee in the European Court of Human Rights, led by Felicity Gerry Q.C.

  • Janet Alder [2016]. Acted for Janet Alder, whose brother Christopher's body was retained in a local mortuary for almost a decade without her knowledge, in a successful human rights claim against the local mortuary. Instructed by Liberty;

  • Chief Constable of Greater Manchester v Calder [2015] EWHC B11 (QB)). Acted for a Grime rapper in a High Court appeal by the Greater Manchester Police, who sought to impose a gang injunction on him with reference to the lyrics of his online rapping

  • Begraj v Secretary of State for Justice [2015] EWHC 250 (QB)), Acted in a human rights damages claim following the collapse of a 'caste discrimination’ employment tribunal

Prison Law

Adam acts in claims involving parole reviews, provision of rehabilitative courses, prison violence, claims arising from deaths in prisons and claims involving repatriation of foreign prisoners.

  • AB, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for Justice [2019] EWCA Civ 9. Acted for the Equality and Human Rights Commission (led by Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC) intervening in the Court of Appeal in this case about the prolonged detention of a minor in solitary confinement

  • Scott Johnson v Governor of HMP Wayland and SSJ [2018] CO/2389/2018. Successfully acted for a prison with severe mental health issues in a judicial review claim against the refusal to place him in segregation and transfer him to protect him from violence within a prison

  • Dixon, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for Justice [2017] EWCA Civ 961). Acted (unled) for Francis Dixon in a 2017 Court of Appeal challenge to delay in releasing him from prison

  • Bucpapa v Secretary of State for Justice [2017] EWHC 1895 (Admin). Acted successfully for a participant in the “Securitor Heist” in a Judicial Review of a refusal to repatriate him to Albania

  • Stephen Helm v SSJ [2016] CO/5780/2016. Acted successfully for a prisoner in a challenge to the SSJ’s pilot policy of automatically preventing oral Parole Board hearings being held if a recalled prisoner has 24 weeks or less from their Sentence Expiry Date

  • Calder, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Justice [2015] EWCA Civ 1050. Acted in a key Court of Appeal decision on the powers and duties of the Secretary of State when recalling people to prison

Inquiries and Inquests

Adam has acted in five major public inquiries:

  • Equality and Human Rights Investigation into Antisemitism in the Labour Party - (2019 to ongoing). Currently acting for the principal complainant, Campaign Against Antisemitism

  • Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. Acting for former MP Harvey Proctor in the Westminster Strand, led by Geoffrey Robertson QC (2019)

  • Independent Investigation into the First Minister’s Actions relating to the death of Carl Sargeant AM. Currently acting as sole Counsel to the Investigation (2018 - ongoing)

  • Al-Sweady Inquiry into allegations of mistreatment and unlawful killing by the British military in Iran

  • Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust Inquiry: acted for the Department of Health in an investigation into systemic failings in the NHS

  • Baha Mousa Inquiry into the use of ‘stress’ and ‘conditioning’ techniques on detainees by the British military in Iraq, acting for most of the soldiers.

Adam regularly acts for families in inquests. He has a particular expertise in relation to deaths resulting from mental and physical health conditions. He has extensive experience in medical law including clinical negligence and regularly acts in civil claims arising from inquest findings.

  • Inquest into the death of Claire Greaves (2019) - Acted for the family in an inquest of a young mental health campaigner who sadly died whilst detained at Cygnet Hospital in Coventry. The jury found there were multiple 'unbelievable' failings which caused the death (Press coverage)

  • Inquest into the death of Terry Perkins (2019) - Acted for the family in an inquest relating to the death in prison of the ringleader of the Hatton Garden robbery (Press coverage)

  • Inquest into the death of Tyrone Givans (2019) – Acted in this inquest in which the jury concluded there had been multiple failings in caring for a profoundly deaf prisoner who hanged himself (Press coverage)

  • Inquest into the Death of Emma Butler (2018) -   Acted for the family of Emma Butler in a three-week inquest relating to her death whilst detained in a mental health facility. The jury reached a number of critical conclusions (Press coverage)

  • Inquest into the death of John Delahaye (2018) – Acted for the family in a 5-day inquest concerned the death of a diabetic prisoner who deliberately overdosed on insulin. The jury found that he should not have been given the insulin pen in the first place (Press coverage)

Immigration and Asylum

Adam has strong expertise in all aspects of immigration and asylum law. He regularly acts in the High Court, Upper Tribunal and First Tier Tribunal and has extensive experience of unlawful detention claims. Recent examples include:

  • Mr Muhammed Ali v The Home Office [2019] – Successfully acted for a man with severe mental health issues was detained for over a month despite there being no possible justification for the Home Office doing so.

  • Miss Bokan Mohamad -and- Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] - successfully acted for the Appellant in this asylum appeal which related to the refusal by the Secretary of State to accept the Appellant faced discrimination and undue hardship if she was returned to Kirkuk, Iraq

  • Mr. Ricardo Orlando Saunders v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018]  successfully acted for the Appellant in an Article 8 ECHR appeal against the refusal to grant him leave to remain – the Tribunal ruled that he was deeply involved in his family’s lives and so should be granted leave

  • Khazar v SSH [2016] - Succesfully acted for the claimant in a false imprisonment claim by an Iraqi national, including twice resisting a strike out on res judicata grounds prior to settlement
Actions Against The Police

Adam regularly acts for claimants in actions against the police. He has particular expertise in actions which include human rights elements. Recent cases include:

  • R(Seik) v- Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2018] – Successfully acted for the claiant in a judicial review challenge to the refusal to instigate misconduct proceedings against two police officers who assaulted the claimant

  • JL v Chief Constable [2018] – a claim relating to the allegedly unlawful arrest and strip search of a child with autism

Equality and Discrimination

Adam has strong expertise in equalities law and has acted in a number employment cases with an equalities element.

In 2019, Adam acted for the Campaign Against Antisemitism in its application to the Equality and Human Rights Commission to launch a formal ’section 20’ investigation into the Labour Party.

He has regularly acted for the University College Union (UCU) and various teaching unions representing academics and teachers in the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), including acting for a professor at Brunel University (Vaseghi v Brunel), a blind disability officer in a successful discrimination claim against his employer (Lambert v Lewisham College) and 24 teachers in a successful Employment Tribunal and EAT claim against a private school (Morris & Ors v E Ivor Hughes Trust).