Adam Kramer QC

Adam Kramer QC

Call: 2004 | Silk: 2021

"Extremely bright and fast-thinking."

- Chambers & Partners UK Bar (2022)

"He is a wonderful, personable silk who has a great way with the judges."

- Chambers & Partners UK Bar (2022)

"Absolutely brilliant in the group litigation area."

- Chambers & Partners UK Bar (2022)

"An intellectual powerhouse."

- Legal 500 UK Bar (2022)

"He has always had star quality, a first choice for financial markets work."

- Legal 500 UK Bar (2022)

Practice Overview

Adam was appointed QC in 2021 after a stellar career as senior junior (Chambers & Partners Junior of Year for Banking in 2015 and Commercial Disputes in 2017), being ranked for many years as one of the very top commercial juniors. He is known for combining an unstuffy teamwork approach with forceful yet charming court and arbitration advocacy and a deep engagement with the law (as to which, he is the sole author of the leading practitioner text The Law of Contract Damages, often cited by courts and arbitral tribunals, with the 3rd edition forthcoming).

He is instructed on many of the leading disputes of the day, maintaining a top-flight practice across the full breadth of commercial litigation and arbitration, with  particular  experience  of large litigation, long trials, quantum, fraud interlocutories, and group  claims. His  rankings  extend  to eight areas (Banking & Finance, Chancery Commercial, Civil Fraud, Commercial Litigation, Commodities/Energy  & Natural Resources,  Group  Litigation, Insurance  &  Reinsurance, Professional Negligence) as new silk. His current and recent matters include Stonegate Pub Company v MS Amlin and Various Eateries v Allianz (large BI insurance aggregation test cases summer 2022), a $1.1bn LCIA Angolan energy arbitrationPhones4U £1bn fraud and collusion competition claim (10 week trial summer 2022), Lehman Brothers sub-debt waterfall dispute (interpretation and rectification, Court of Appeal 2021), Henderson & Jones v Barclays £45m claim (4-week trial autumn 2022), Tecnimont Arabia Ltd v Nat West Bank plc advance  push payment fraud claim (trial winter 2021), VW, Daimler and others diesel group claims (lead counsel for some claimant groups), PIFSS (Kuwait) v Al RajaanFCA v Arch - the Business Interruption Insurance Test case (part of the successful FCA team at trial and in the Supreme Court), the Tesco s90A accounts overstatement group claim (leading the claimant counsel team in the second round action), Acorn v Markel professional indemnity insurance dispute (lead counsel, settled at the Court of Appeal door summer 2021), the Etihad v Air Berlin Court of Appeal dispute about asymmetric jurisdiction clauses under Brussels Recast. Other slightly less recent matters include Libyan Investment Authority v JP Morgan (set aside service on the alleged briber) and the high profile RBS Rights Issue claim (leading prospectus claim).

As a contract damages expert, Adam is frequently instructed to advise on the law relating to damages and exclusion clause points, often when considering the prospects of appeals or to support the thinking of the existing legal team on an ongoing matter.

The 2021 directories say that Adam is “great on his feet”, “noted for his robust courtroom demeanour”, as an advocate, or in pleading, he is top notch”, “renowned for his outstanding advocacy”, “a very good advocate”, “good at knowing when to go in strong and when to hold back”, “really easy to deal with”, “great tactically”, “a joy to work with”, “huge fun to work with”, gets right to the heart of the matter with an overwhelming intellect”, “his analysis is brilliant”, “provides very clear advice”, “has a super brain”, “exceptional and fiendishly clever”, “really knowledgeable on the law”, “great subtlety of analysis”, “devours complex facts and superb on paper”, “amazing”, “absolutely brilliant”, “extremely hard-working”, “absolutely great – academic and practical”.

Adam has long practised at the top of the commercial litigation field in a broad range of leading disputes, being ranked in six areas across the directories including as a leading new silk  for  commercial disputes by Chambers and Partners (UK and Global), Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal (as a QC Future Leader), as well as for Chancery: Commercial by Chambers and Partners (band 4), following an award of Chambers and Partners Commercial Junior of the Year in 2017. Adam acts in many high-profile cases especially complex multi-party frauds (including Phones 4U), investment and commercial banking disputes, business interruption insurance (following FCA v Arch in the Supreme Court), securities claims (Tesco,  following  RBS  Rights  Issue), group  litigation  (including  the  Diesel emissions claims), SPA claims, and energy and other arbitrations. He  is  an expert  in  contract damages and contract interpretation, having written extensively on both (including the leading practitioner text The Law of Contract Damages).

The following are some of Adam’s key cases, but see also the other sections of this CV:

  • Stonegate Pub Company Ltd v MS Amlin, Liberty Mutual and Zurich. Co-lead counsel for the claimant pub chain in an £850m business interruption insurance claim, trial summer 2022.
  • Various Eateries v Allianz. Co-lead counsel for the claimant restaurant chain in a business interruption insurance claim, trial summer 2022.
  • Phones 4U collusion dispute. Jr counsel for Vodafone in this £1bn collusion claim set down for 10-week trial in summer 2022 (led by Ewan McQuater QC).
  • Soteria Insurance Ltd v IBM UK Ltd [2022] EWCA Civ 440. Co-lead counsel unsuccessfully resisting an appeal on an £80m point as to whether an IT contract  claim  for  wasted expenditure was covered by an applicable exclusion clause (with Nigel Tozzi QC).
  • Lehman Brothers sub-debt waterfall  dispute  [2021]  EWCA  Civ  1523,  [2020]  EWHC  1681 (Ch). Successfully acted for joint administrators of Lehman Brothers Holdings plc in a £1bn dispute as to the priority of subordinated debt instruments (led by Adrian Beltrami QC).
  • Henderson & Jones Ltd v Barclays plc and others.  Lead  counsel  for  the  bank  in   £40m fraud claim arising out of the restructure of a cosmetic and other surgery group of customer companies. 4-week trial in late 2022.
  • PIFSS (Kuwait) v Al Rajaan. Lead counsel for two alleged briber defendants in major international fraud dispute.
  • Lead counsel on $1.1bn LCIA arbitration in relation to the supply of turbines in Angola.
  • Lead counsel or co-lead counsel for claimant groups in certain of the Diesel emission group claims (following a long-standing role as part of the Leigh Day claimant group counsel team in Crossley v Volkswagen e.g. GLO hearing [2018] EWHC 1178 (QB), reliance in deceit failed strike out [2021] EWHC 3444 (QB)).
  • Persons v Tesco plc. Lead counsel for large second stage s90A FSMA securities claim arising out of an accounts overstatement. Settled 2021.
  • FCA v Arch Insurance (UK) Ltd (Covid-19 business  interruption  insurance  test  case)  [2021] AC 649 (Supreme Court), [2020] Lloyd’s Rep IR 527 (Divisional Ct). Senior jr for the FCA in its successful and ground-breaking test claim  against  8  insurers  (led  by  Colin  Edelman  QC, and at trial also Leigh-Ann Mulcahy QC).
  • UK Acorn Finance Ltd v Markel (UK) Ltd [2020] Lloyd’s Rep IR 356. Lead counsel obtaining £14m judgment after 1 week trial (the judgment being based on the products of cross- examination) against PII insurer, concerning rationality under an unintentional non-disclosure clause. Settled at the Court of Appeal door.
  • Etihad Airways PJSC v Flother [2021] 2 WLR 939 (CA), [2020] QB 793 (Comm Ct). Senior jr for the defendant (insolvent airline Air Berlin) in this dispute as to the application of Brussels Recast to asymmetric jurisdiction clauses in the context of a £1bn claim under a comfort letter (led by David Joseph QC).
  • Ivanhoe Mines Ltd v Gardner [2020] EWHC 144 (Comm). Sole counsel obtaining a freezing and notification injunction.
  • Lead counsel on two LCIA arbitrations in relation to German hotel franchises, termination and quantum. Two 1 week hearings.
  • Libyan Investment Authority v JP Morgan and Walid Giahmi [2019] EWHC 1452 (Comm). Successfully set aside service on the alleged briber on grounds of non-disclosure and limitation (led by Alan Gourgey QC).
  • Addlesee v Dentons Europe LLP [2019] 3 WLR 1255 (CA). Successfully acting for solicitor defending in leading case on privilege in relation to insolvency company clients (led by William Flenley QC).
  • Portland Stone Firms Ltd v Barclays Bank plc and KPMG [2018] EWHC 2341 (QB). Sole counsel for the bank striking out a £10m fraud claim by a commercial customer.
  • JSC BM-Bank v Vladimir Kekhman [2018] EWHC 791 (Comm). Obtained $150m judgment for a Russian bank in this fraud cause against the ‘banana king’ after a 4-week trial (led by Alan Gourgey QC).
  • Holyoake v Candy [2018] Ch 297 (Comm Ct). Acted for the defendants in the original ‘notification injunction’ fraud claim (led by Ewan McQuater QC)
  • Avanti Communications Ltd v The Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Indonesia. LCIA arbitration leading to $20m award in favour of the supplier of satellite services, in relation to illegality and exclusion clauses.
  • Co-lead in 3-day Paris ICC arbitration in relation to international sanctions on Iran and oil extracting machinery (frustration and force majeure).
  • RBS Rights Issue claim. Acted for a claimant group of institutional investors in this s90 prospectus claim, leading to a huge settlement.
  • Astle et al v CBRE et al [2016] PNLR 16 (Ch Div). Sole counsel for the valuer in this summary judgment hearing in relation to the scope of duty of a valuer in the context of an information memorandum for issued notes for investors in a major property development.
  • Challinor v Juliet Bellis & Co [2015] EWCA Civ 59 (CA), [2013] EWHC 347 & 620 (Ch) (Chancery Div). Acted for the claimant investors in this claim against solicitors involved in an airfield investment scheme, seeking a Quistclose trust and other relief. 4-week trial and then appeal (led by Andrew Sutcliffe QC).
  • Gard Marine & Energy Ltd v Lloyd’s Syndicate 780 [2012] Lloyd’s Rep IR (Comm Ct). Acted for the brokers in this $10m 2-week trial turning on an excess of loss clause in a facultative reinsurance energy policy, following hurricane oil well damage (led by Tom Weitzman QC).
  • Parabola Investments Ltd v Browallia Cal Ltd [2011] 1 QB 477. Deceit claim against stockbroker, a leading case on lost opportunity damages for deceit (led by Ali Malek QC and Jeffrey Chapman).
  • SITA v Serruys. Acted for the defendant in a £90m deceit and SPA warranty claim arising out of sale of Easco national scrap metal business, which settled after a 10-week trial in 2010 (led by Adrian Beltrami QC and David Head).
  • Attorney General of Zambia v Meer Care & Desai [2008] EWCA Civ 1007 (CA), [2007] EWHC 952 (Ch) (Chancery Division). Acted for solicitor defendant in 11-week trial in relation to embezzlement of funds by former very senior Government of Zambia officials (led by David Head). Then on appeal with successful root and branch challenge to judge’s fraud findings (led by Andrew Onslow QC).
  • HIH Casualty & General Insurance Ltd v JLT Risk Solutions Ltd [2007] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 278 (CA), [2006] Lloyd’s Rep IR 493 (Comm Ct). Acted for the brokers on this film finance dispute, the leading authority on post-placement duties (led by Tom Weitzman QC and Jonathan Davies-Jones QC).
  • Pearson Education Ltd v The Charter Partnership Ltd [2007] BLR 324 (CA). Acted for the architect in this leading cause on the duty of care where intermediate examination is reasonably foreseeable (led by Colin Edelman QC).

A number of Adam’s disputes relate to aviation, including his recent (as junior) acting for the liquidators of Air Berlin in financing dispute Etihad Airways PJSC v Flother [2021] 2 WLR 939 (led by David Joseph QC), a number of LCIA arbitrations as sole counsel including one relating to helicopter leasing and another relating to the provision of satellite services to the Indonesian Government, acting (as junior) for Hertz against Ryanair Ltd in a long running dispute arising out of termination of a car rental services marketing agreement, and acting for investors in airfields in Challinor v Juliet Bellis & Co [2015] EWCA Civ 59 (CA) (4 week trial and appeal, led by Andrew Sutcliffe QC).

Adam has extensive banking litigation experience, ranking in the top tier for several years by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 when a senior junior, and being awarded Chambers & Partners’ Banking Junior of the Year 2015. As new silk, he is ranked by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 and continues to act on some of the biggest banking disputes around, especially in relation to fraud and securities disputes, and is a recommended silk in Who’s Who Legal 2021.

Adam often defends banks in substantial fraud and other claims arising out of commercial financing and other commercial banking. He is lead counsel for the bank in Henderson & Jones  Ltd  v Barclays plc and others (£40m claim, trial 2022), was lead counsel for the receiving bank defending a claim arising out of a push payment fraud in Tecnimont Arabia Ltd v Nat West Bank plc [2022] EWHC 1172 (Comm), was lead counsel for the financer in a group claim arising out of agricultural financing (Various v Nationwide Corporate Finance Ltd and others, settled). He was sole counsel striking out a £10m claim in Portland Stone Firms Ltd v Barclays Bank plc and KPMG [2018] EWHC 2341 (QB), and sole counsel obtaining summary judgment against a duty of care claim by an agricultural customer in Hall v RBS Plc [2009] EWHC 3163 (QB). He was also junior counsel for the claimants against solicitors in Challinor v Juliet Bellis & Co [2015] EWCA Civ 59 (CA) arising out of an airfield investment scheme (4-week trial, led by Andrew Sutcliffe QC).

He is also expert in major international bribery and other fraud claims. He is currently lead counsel for two defendants in the PIFSS (Kuwait) v Al-Rajaan proceedings, was jr counsel for the alleged briber obtaining set aside of service of a $200m claim in Libyan Investment Authority v JP Morgan and Walid Giahmi [2019] EWHC 1452 (Comm) (led by Alan Gourgey QC), and was jr counsel for the bank obtaining a $150m judgment after a 4-week trial in  Russian  fraud  claim  JSC  BM-Bank  v Vladimir Kekhman [2018] EWHC 791 (Comm) (led by Alan Gourgey QC).

Adam has substantial experience of jurisdictional disputes arising out of financing transactions, including acting as lead counsel setting aside a claim against Cyprus financial trading broker for incorrect service, sole counsel for the bank in a settled appeal relating to setting aside an order on grounds that it had been obtained by fraud, and as jr counsel disputing the applicability of an asymmetric jurisdiction clause under Brussels Recast in Etihad Airways PJSC v Flother [2021] 2 WLR 939 (led by David Joseph QC).

Adam has extensive investment banking experience, successfully acting as junior silk on the appeal (and earlier trial) in relation to the £1bn Lehman Brothers subordinated debt priority dispute [2021] EWCA Civ 1523. He was sole counsel for the valuers in a scope of duty dispute arising out of an information memorandum for a property investment structure in Astle et al v CBRE et al [2016] PNLR 16 (Ch Div), and was senior junior for a claimant group focusing on credit market exposures in the ground-breaking s90 FSMA RBS Rights Issue securities claim.

He was also sole counsel for the arranger in a settled bond sale dispute, jr counsel for the investment bank in $100m success fee claim arising out of Sierra Leonan iron ore investment Renaissance Capital Ltd v African Minerals Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 448 (trial and appeal, led by Michael Brindle QC), and jr counsel for a large number of noteholders in settled claim arising out of delay in termination of ISDA notes Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary et al v Morgan Stanley & Co International (led by Andrew Sutcliffe QC).

Earlier consumer banking experience includes as sole counsel for the bank in the first English trial on debit card cloning, and as junior counsel for a bank in the current account overdraft charges test case [2008] EWHC 875, 2325 (Comm) (led by Richard Salter QC and John Odgers).

Highly accomplished individual experienced in acting for national and international banks, administrators, liquidators and funds in a broad range of financial cases”- C&P 2021

Absolutely brilliant and gets right to the heard of the matter with an overwhelming intellect”- C&P 2021

great on his feet”- C&P 2021

As an advocate, or in pleading, he is top notch”- C&P 2021

exceptional and fiendishly clever”- C&P 2021

A fierce intellectual who is never beaten on the law”- C&P 2021

Highly knowledgeable and analytical, devours complex facts and superb on paper”- L500 2021

As silk, Adam continues to act in many of the leading fraud disputes, after a wide-ranging career as a highly ranked senior junior. He is ranked as a leading silk by Chambers and Partners, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal (both for Civil Fraud and Asset Recovery). Adam has substantial experience both of typical fraud interlocutories (freezing and notification injunctions, set aside of service, jurisdiction) and long trials and appeals, and often draws on his damages expertise (he is sole author of The Law of Contract Damages and in has also published on deceit damages. He is instructed for Vodafone in Phones4U Ltd v phone operators, due for a 10-week trial of collusion allegations in 2022 (led by Ewan McQuater QC), and for two defendants in the PIFSS (Kuwait) v Al-Rajaan proceedings.

Current and recent interlocutory experience includes as lead counsel for a defendant in a multi-party international bribery claim seeking to set aside service, sole counsel obtaining a freezing and notification injunction and Ivanhoe Mines Ltd v Gardner [2020] EWHC 144 (Comm), junior counsel for the alleged briber in a $200m claim setting aside service on grounds of non-disclosure and limitation in Libyan Investment Authority v JP Morgan and Walid Giahmi [2019] EWHC 1452 (Comm) (led by Alan Gourgey QC), jr counsel defending the first notification injunction in Holyoake v Candy brothers [2016] 3 WLR 357 (led by Ewan McQuater QC), and sole counsel in a settled appeal relating to set aside of a registration order on grounds of fraud. Also earlier experience as sole counsel for a defendant in Ablyazov, and led in the HSBC v 5th Avenue dispute.

Lengthy fraud trial experience includes, as junior counsel, JSC BM-Bank v Vladimir Kekhman [2018] EWHC 791 (Comm) (4 weeks, $150m judgment for the bank in Russian fraud claim, led by Alan Gourgey QC), SITA v Serruys (10 weeks, £90m deceit and SPA warranty arising out of sale of Easco national scrap metal business, Led by Adrian Beltrami QC and David Head; Adam has also had experience of a number of other fraud claims in the context of SPAs), and Attorney General of Zambia v Meer Care & Desai [2007] EWHC 952 (Ch) (11 weeks, led by David Head, embezzlement by the former President of Zambia).

Appellate experience includes, as junior counsel, Parabola Investments Ltd v Browallia Cal Ltd [2011] 1 QB 477 (a leading case on lost opportunity damages for deceit, led by Ali Malek QC and Jeffrey Chapman), and Attorney General of Zambia v Meer Care & Desai [2008] EWCA Civ 1007 (root and branch challenge to fraud findings at trial, led by Andrew Onslow QC).

Adam also has substantial experience of defending banks and professionals against fraud claims arising out of commercial banking and investment schemes. He is lead counsel for the bank in Henderson & Jones Ltd v Barclays plc and others (£40m claim, trial 2022), was lead counsel for the receiving bank defending a bad faith change of position claim arising out of a push payment fraud in Tecnimont Arabia Ltd v Nat West Bank plc [2022] EWHC 1172 (Comm), was sole counsel until 2020 defending a solicitor in Addlesee v Dentons Europe LLP (and junior  counsel  in  leading  decision  on  privilege  [2019]  3 WLR 1255 (CA)), was sole counsel striking out a £10m claim in Portland Stone Firms Ltd v Barclays Bank plc and KPMG [2018] EWHC 2341 (QB). He was also junior counsel for the claimants against solicitors in Challinor v Juliet Bellis & Co [2015] EWCA Civ 59 (CA) arising out of an airfield investment scheme (4 week trial, led by Andrew Sutcliffe QC).

Adam also has experience of group claims, and is lead counsel for claimant groups in various diesel emissions claims, after being junior counsel in the Volkswagen GLO claim (led by Tom de la Mare QC and Ben Jaffey QC).

He has a super brain, is really easy to deal with and thinks deeply about issues“- C&P 2021

“An extremely clever lawyer and tactician who is huge fun to work with.”- L500 2021

His analysis is brilliant”- C&P 2021

“Great subtlety of analysis, and good at knowing when to go in strong and when to hold back.”- L500 2021

On damages for deceit, see Adam’s ‘Deceit, Difference in Value and Date of Assessment’ (2017) 133 LQR 41-36)

Adam has developed a specialisation in energy and natural resources disputes  of  all  stripes, typically as lead or sole advocate. This includes oil trading, drilling and well damage; iron ore mining; gas and other power generation; and various commodities. He is ranked as a silk by Chambers and Partners UK and Global in relation to Energy & Natural Resources, and by Legal 500 in relation to Commodities.

Currently co-lead in $1.1bn LCIA dispute about supply of power turbines to Angola, consulting counsel in a $50m LMAA dispute about purchase of a Chinese drillship, and recently co- counsel in a Singaporean dispute about a coal briquetting JV.

Oil disputes raising questions of sanctions include as lead counsel on a dispute as the effect of international sanctions on an advanced payment guarantee arising out of the supply of oil equipment, and as co-lead in a Paris ICC arbitration on frustration and force majeure by Iranian sanctions of a supply contract for oil extracting machinery. Also acted as sole or junior counsel on other crude oil supply and demurrage disputes, including a $37m Albanian crude dispute with BP, and SPA and JV disputes relating to oil field support and seismic exploration companies including Geophysical Service Centre Company ltd v Dowell Schlumberger (Middle East) NV (security for costs ruling at [2013] EWHC 147 (TCC), led by Gregory Mitchell QC). And junior counsel on energy reinsurance dispute arising out of hurricane oil well damage Gard Marine & Energy Ltd v Lloyd’s Syndicate 780 et [2012] Lloyd’s Rep IR (Comm Ct) (led by Tom Weitzman QC).

Extensive experience of energy and commodities SPA disputes including as junior counsel in £100m SPA dispute arising out of acquisition of Teesside gas power station, junior counsel in a £90m dispute arising out of the sale of Easco national scrap metal business (10-week trial led by Adrian Beltrami QC and David Head), junior counsel in heat pump SPA dispute ([2012] EWCA Civ 1059, led by George Bompas QC), and junior counsel in dispute arising out of sale of Italian energy group Elettra.

Adam has acted on a number of cases relating to fraudulent commodities trading schemes, including defending solicitors in Addlesee v Dentons Europe LLP, and acting for claimants against auditors and solicitors in a dispute arising out of a Cayman scheme.

He’s amazing. Outstandingly brilliant’– C&P 2021

A very good advocate”- C&P 2021

Noted for his academic rigour and robust courtroom demeanour”- C&P 2021

has a depth of experience in oil and gas cases’– C&P 2021

And see Adam’s Practical Law Company Oil & Gas notes (with Ryan Ferro) on Consequential Loss and Exclusive Remedies, and Fiduciary Duties of Operators.

Adam is one of the most experienced commercial barristers at the Bar in relation to group and multi-party litigation, being experienced in GLO,  cost  sharing,  book  building,  steering  group  and test claimant issues (for example). He is ranked in the new Chambers & Partners Spotlight Table for Group Litigation. In the securities field, he was lead counsel for a large claimant group against Tesco in the recently settled second round of the  s90A claim, having earlier acted for the Stewarts group of institutional investors in the RBS Rights Issue s90 FSMA prospectus GLO litigation which led to a settlement in 2016, as well as having advised on other (some very large) s90/s90A securities claims.

He has also acted on a number of large group investor claims, including acting for the defendant solicitors in Addlesee v Dentons Europe LLP (against over 200 investors in a gold-trading scheme), and the defendant financing house (against 17 agricultural businesses) in Various v Nationwide Corporate Finance Ltd and other and (as junior) for large number of noteholders in the settled claim arising out of delay in termination of ISDA notes Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary et al v Morgan Stanley & Co International (led by Andrew Sutcliffe QC).

Adam also has an important role in the Diesel emissions litigation, as lead counsel for certain large consumer claimant groups against a number of manufacturers, following his long-standing role for the Leigh Day claimant group in the Volkswagen claim (GLO hearing [2018] EWHC 1178 (QB), reliance in deceit failed strike out [2021] EWHC 3444 (QB), £193m settlement in 2022).

Adam also has substantial experience in multi-party test claims, such as the bank overdraft charges test case (for a bank) [2008] EWHC 875, 2325 (Comm)  and FCA v Arch Insurance (UK) Ltd (Covid-19 business interruption insurance test case against 8 insurers) [2021] AC 649 (Supreme Court) (for the FCA).

Adam is ranked as a silk by Legal 500 and has substantial experience in large insolvency disputes, ranging from pure insolvency matters such as the Lehman waterfall dispute (at trial and on appeal in the subordinated debt priority dispute [2021] EWCA Civ 1523, led by Adrian Beltrami QC) to large disputes brought following insolvency (the £1bn Phones4U fraud and collusion claim; the £1bn Air Berlin comfort letter claim; the £40m Henderson & Jones v Barclays claim involving transaction at an undervalue/defrauding creditors allegations). He was also heavily involved in the RBS Rights Issue claim in which minute examination of the bank’s liquidity and regulatory capital positions were central.

Ranked for many years in the directories for his insurance and reinsurance experience (now ranked as a silk by C&P, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal), especially on broker claims.

Adam has become a leading  expert  in  business  interruption  insurance  and  COVID-19  after appearing as part of the successful FCA team led  by  Colin  Edelman  QC  in  FCA  v Arch  Insurance (UK) Ltd (Covid-19 business interruption insurance test case) at trial [2020] Lloyd’s Rep IR 527 (Divisional Ct) and in the Supreme Court [2021] AC 649 (Supreme Court), and has  since  advised various policyholders, brokers and the FCA on the application of the decision to other policies and on unresolved issues left over from the test case. This includes being co-leading counsel in the teams for the policyholder in Stonegate Pub Company v MS Amlin, an £850m claim for a large pub chain, and Various Eateries v Allianz for a chain of restaurants, both test cases on BI Covid aggregation being tried in summer 2022), and leading various other international  and  UK  policyholder  claims  with aggregation and other issues.

He was lead counsel for the claimant on the leading case on irrationality and unintentional  non- disclosure clauses UK Acorn Finance Ltd v Markel (UK) Ltd [2020]  Lloyd’s  Rep  IR  356  (£14m judgment, PII cover, appeal permission granted but settled at the court door in 2021).

Broker claims experience includes disputes on business interruption broking, property insurance broking, brokers’ PII, and reported claims Gard Marine & Energy Ltd v Lloyd’s Syndicate 780 et [2012] Lloyd’s Rep IR (Comm Ct) (jr counsel for the brokers, led by Tom Weitzman QC, energy reinsurance) and leading decision on post-placement duties HIH Casualty  &  General  Insurance  Ltd v JLT Risk Solutions Ltd [2007] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 278 (CA) (jr counsel for the brokers, led by Tom Weitman QC and Jonathan Davies-Jones QC, film finance).

Other experience includes claims relating to D&O cover, warranties and indemnities insurance (including a settled £100m claim arising out of an SPA of Teesside gas power station in GDF Suez International Holdings BV v Teeside Power Holdings Ltd), income protection insurance, development property indemnity cover, energy policies, cosmetic malpractice insurance (struck out at £multi-million claim as sole counsel).

Also, as to the adequacy of ATE and cross-undertaking liability policies, he appeared as junior counsel in: Holyoake v Candy brothers at first instance and on written appeal submissions [2017] EWCA Civ 92 (led by Ewan McQuater QC) and Geophysical Service Centre Company ltd v Dowell Schlumberger (Middle East) NV [2013] EWHC 147 (TCC) (led by Gregory Mitchell QC).

Absolutely great – academic and practical”- C&P 2021

Capable across the full spectrum of insurance and reinsurance work”- C&P 2021

“Has an in-depth knowledge of insurance broker issues”- C&P 2021

“Provides very clear advice and picks things up extremely quickly”- L500 2021

Adam has for some years been much in demand as lead/co-lead counsel for international arbitrations (mainly LCIA and ICC), especially in the energy and general commercial fields, or where his particular expertise in relation to quantum claims is required.

Key cases in the last few years include acting as co-lead in a $1.1bn LCIA arbitration arising out of supply of power turbines in Angola (contractual termination, affirmation, preliminary issue on exclusion clauses); advising on the damages phase of a $50m LMAA Chinese drill ship-building dispute; as lead counsel in two related LCIA arbitrations worth £10s of millions in relation to European hotel franchise agreements (two 1 week hearings, termination, affirmation, frustration, detailed quantum); as co-lead in Paris ICC arbitration in relation to international sanctions on Iran and oil extracting machinery (frustration and force majeure); as lead counsel for the claimant satellite services provider obtaining a $20m LCIA award in Avanti Communications Ltd v The Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Indonesia (illegality, exclusion clauses).

Adam has broad experience of contractual and related disputes in the media, entertainment and sport fields over a number of years. Film experience includes as lead counsel in a recent settled Commercial Court dispute arising out of the financing of UK film ‘London Town’, as sole counsel on a £12m investment dispute arising out of a UK film tax scheme, and as  junior counsel  in  film finance  dispute  HIH  Casualty  &  General  Insurance  Ltd  v   JLT   Risk   Solutions   Ltd   [2007]   2 Lloyd’s Rep 278 (CA) (led by Tom Weitzman QC). Other experience includes as leading counsel advising a Premiership football club in relation to its business interruption insurance claim (2021), as and as sole counsel in a dispute between a major UK broadcaster and major sports promoter (2021), a dispute against Google and Youtube in relation to breach of an NDA, a dispute arising out of the sale of video delivery hardware and software, a dispute arising out of an IP- sharing JV agreement, acting for a supermodel in relation to her promotion agreement, acting for a brand management company in a dispute with a Formula 1 driver, acting for a rugby international in an income protection insurance claim, and acting for an international pop star in  a  royalties dispute with Spotify and other online platforms.

Ranked as a silk by Legal 500, Adam has extensive experience of professional negligence and professional fraud disputes, on both sides, which play to Adam’s strengths as a damages expert. Particular expertise in relation to professional claims in the context of banking and investment disputes.

Accountant claims include acting as lead counsel in a recent settled claim against auditors arising out of their failure to detect a major international fraudulent commodities trading scheme, sole counsel defending a bank alongside accountants in Henderson & Jones Ltd v Barclays plc and others a current £40m claim, and Portland Stone Firms Ltd v Barclays Bank plc and KPMG [2018] EWHC 2341 (QB) (struck out £10m claim), and junior counsel in a settled £40m claim against tax accountants arising out of an SPA. Also jr counsel for the stockbroker in Parabola Investments Ltd v Browallia Cal Ltd [2011] 1 QB 477, a leading case on lost opportunity damages for deceit (led by Ali Malek QC and Jeffrey Chapman).

Valuer claims include commercial and residential valuers, such as Astle et al v CBRE et al [2016] PNLR 16 (Ch Div) (sole counsel for the valuer) in relation to the scope of duty of valuers to a property development information memorandum, and UK Acorn Finance Ltd v Markel (UK) Ltd [2020] Lloyd’s Rep IR 356 (lead counsel for the claimant) securing PII cover following judgments against valuers.

Solicitor claims include defence against fraud and negligence in the context of a gold trading investment scheme (Addlesee v Dentons Europe LLP [2019] 3 WLR 1255 (CA), jr counsel on this leading side-dispute on privilege of insolvent companies, otherwise lead counsel until 2020), for the claimants in Challinor v Juliet Bellis & Co [2015] EWCA Civ 59 (CA), [2013] EWHC 347 & 620 (Ch) alleging Quistclose trust and related claims arising out of an airfield investment scheme (jr counsel, 4 week trial and appeal, led by Andrew Sutcliffe QC), and junior counsel defending the solicitors in Zambian embezzlement dispute Attorneey General of Zambia v Meer Care & Desai [2008] EWCA Civ 1007, [2007] EWHC 952 (Ch) (11 week trial, led by David Head, and by Andrew Onslow QC on appeal). Also Henderson & Jones Ltd v Barclays plc and others, lead counsel for the bank defending alongside solicitors, £40m claim, trial 2022.

Insurance broker claims include Gard Marine & Energy Ltd v Lloyd’s Syndicate 780 et [2012] Lloyd’s Rep IR (Comm Ct) (jr counsel for the brokers, led by Tom Weitzman QC, energy reinsurance) and leading decision on post-placement duties HIH Casualty & General Insurance Ltd v JLT Risk Solutions Ltd [2007] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 278 (CA) (jr counsel for the brokers, led by Tom Weitman QC and Jonathan Davies-Jones QC, film finance).

Adam also has construction experience, including recent adjudications, a London Underground sub-contractor dispute, and architect dispute as to the duty of care in the context of a reasonably foreseeable opportunity for intermediate inspection Pearson Education Ltd v The Charter Partnership Ltd [2007] BLR 324 (CA) (jr counsel for the architect, led by Colin Edelman QC).

He is affable and persuasive: a dangerous opponent”- Legal 500 2021

The Lawyer Awards 2022: Chambers of the Year