Adam specialises in complex criminal litigation, investigations, extradition, public law, inquests and professional disciplinary proceedings.  He is recognised by Legal 500 as a leading fraud practitioner.  His recent high-profile criminal work includes the Serious Fraud Office’s first case under the Bribery Act 2010; the first prosecutions arising from the ‘horsemeat scandal’ and representing the former director of a prominent FX company accused of fraudulent trading.  His current extradition caseload includes representing a Russian businessman subject to corporate raiding and acting in a Brazilian request for murder.  Adam is also instructed for a major Core Participant in the Undercover Policing Inquiry.  In 2016, he was appointed to the Attorney General’s Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown.


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  • Criminal Litigation
  • Corporate Crime and Investigations
  • Restraint, Confiscation and Asset Forfeiture
  • Health and Safety
  • Fraud
  • Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance
  • Public and Administrative Law
  • Inquests and Public Inquiries
  • Prison law and the Parole Board
  • Disciplinary Tribunals
  • International Criminal Work

Corporate Crime and Investigations

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Adam is a specialist fraud practitioner recognised in Legal 500 as a leading junior “instructed alone in significant cases.”  His recent instructions include:

  • The first case brought by the SFO under the Bribery Act 2010. The case concerned a ‘Ponzi’ fraud involving the sale by the Sustainable Growth Group of biofuel investments in jatropha tree plantations in Cambodia.  Adam also acted in the subsequent confiscation proceedings (SFO v Whale, West & Stone [2016] EWCA Crim 742).
  • A judicial review claim seeking a mandatory order to terminate an SFO investigation, which raised issues under Article 8 ECHR and the EU Directive on the right to information in criminal proceedings (R (Soma Oil & Gas) v Director of the SFO [2016] EWHC 2471; CL&J 2016, 180(40)).
  • A similar claim in relation to the SFO’s investigation into possible money laundering arising from suspicions of corruption in Ukraine following the regime change in 2014 (Zlochevsky v SFO).
  • A judicial review challenge to a section 2 notice issued to an individual as part of the SFO’s investigation into ENRC Ltd.
  • Representing the ex-Mayor of Glastonbury and former director of Crown Current Exchange, one of the UK’s largest personal currency exchange businesses, accused of fraudulent trading (R v Edward James).
  • Acting for a major international company in relation to criminal allegations of voicemail interception, corruption and misuse of private information.
  • Acting for companies facing allegations of overseas bribery by their employees, including ALSTOM and GSK.  Adam has extensive experience of advising on compliance with section 2 notices and is acutely aware of the sensitivities of corporate bodies facing criminal litigation.

Criminal Litigation

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Adam is experienced in acting for individuals in all manner of criminal cases from multi-handed murder trials to health and safety matters.  Adam also acts for those charged with money laundering offences and assists clients with confiscation and enforcement proceedings, restraint orders and cash forfeiture matters. His recent work includes:

Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance

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Adam has a thriving extradition practice and regularly acts for requested persons, judicial authorities and foreign governments. His recent work includes:

  • Acting on behalf of the former president of the University College of the Cayman Islands in a cross-jurisdictional application for judicial review that sought to challenge an extradition request made by the Governor of a British Overseas Territory to Switzerland in the UK courts (R (Syed) v Governor of the Cayman Islands).
  • A habeas corpus application for an individual who was extradited from Spain to the UK subject to a re-trial guarantee, which the UK could not and did not observe (Tague v Governor of HMP Full Sutton [2015] EWHC 3576; Crim LR 2016, 6, 418-421).
  • Article 3 ECHR prison conditions arguments, including the leading cases on the Latvian (Brazuks [2014] EWHC 1021) and Romanian prison estates (Florea [2014] EWHC 2528 Admin; Times, August 14, 2014), as well as cases concerning detention in Brazil, Russia, Estonia, Cyprus and the Cayman Islands.
  • Key cases arising from the recent legislative changes to the Extradition Act 2003, including the new proportionality bar (Miraszewski [2014] EWHC 4261) and forum (Belbin [2015] EWHC 149).
  • The leading Divisional Court case on the correct approach to Article 8 ECHR and the standard of review on appeal (Celinski [2015] EWHC 1274).
  • Acting on behalf of a businessman wanted in Russia. The issues include political persecution, judicial independence, corporate raiding and allegations of torture.
  • Advising the SFO in relation to the extradition to the UK from several foreign jurisdictions of defendants in a bribery case.

Adam is experienced in mutual legal assistance matters including multi-jurisdictional disclosure issues.  He is well-versed in challenging INTERPOL red notices.

He has lectured at City firms on the impact of the new forum bar on cross-jurisdictional fraud cases and the proposed UK opt-out from EU criminal justice measures.  He is an author of EU Law in Criminal Practice (Oxford University Press).

His recent publications include ‘Recent developments in extradition law – some practical implications’ Crim LR 2015, 7, 504-521 and ‘Extradition law – recent developments and the potential impact of Brexit’ Crim LR 2016, 10, 743-764.

Public and Administrative Law

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Adam was previously employed by Liberty to advise members of the public on civil liberties and all aspects of the Human Rights Act 1998.  He advised on issues including data protection; prison law; actions against the police; the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000; inquests and the right to peaceful protest. He was formerly an elected member of Liberty’s Policy Council.

Adam has a flourishing public law practice. His recent instructions include:

  • A successful judicial review challenge to a police decision to disclose intelligence data to an employer following an enhanced DBS check.
  • Advising on a judicial review claim following the Secretary of State’s refusal to allow a prisoner access to artificial insemination facilities.
  • Advising a prisoner on a judicial review claim following the Secretary of State’s decision to detain him in the restrictive regime of a Closed Supervision Centre.
  • Advising on a claim for damages under the Human Rights Act 1998 following a breach of the requirement for a trial within a reasonable time.
  • Advising on a claim for damages for false imprisonment and misfeasance in a public office following an alleged failure by the NCA to inform Westminster Magistrates’ Court that an EAW had been withdrawn.
  • Advising a company on a challenge to search warrants obtained by the police to search the company’s offices.
  • Successfully appealing a decision by the CICA to the First-Tier Tribunal on the basis that the 2012 criminal injuries compensation scheme imposed a retrospective obligation to report the crime to the police and did not guarantee “fair and appropriate compensation for victims” within the meaning of the relevant EU Directive.
  • Advising on the prospects of success of applications for habeas corpus and judicial review in the context of deportation proceedings.

Inquests and Public Inquiries

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Adam is currently acting for a key Core Participant in Sir John Mitting’s Undercover Policing Inquiry.  He has advised on matters including the admissibility of spent convictions and the Inquiry’s human rights obligations in relation to the former practice of using deceased children’s identities in cover identities.

Adam has experience of Article 2 ECHR inquests, acting for bereaved families and those at risk of criticism.  His recent cases include:

  • Successfully acting on behalf of a family seeking an order to exhume the body of relative for an autopsy following a death in suspicious circumstances.
  • Representing a cosmetic surgeon at an inquest into the death of a patient following treatment at a private clinic.
  • Acting in an inquest following the death of a man who had been sectioned and died from a condition related to his mental health diagnosis.
  • Representing a family at an inquest into the death of a disabled man who had been in police custody and the care of two NHS Trusts.
  • Acting for the family of a man who died at night in prison in which concerns were raised about the quality of prison healthcare and the level of care provided by the prison guards at night.

In each concluded case where Adam acted for the family, the Coroner issued a Prevention of Future Death report.

Disciplinary Tribunals

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Adam is instructed by individual registrants, unions (e.g. RCN and MDU) and regulators (e.g. NMC, GMC and BSB) in the full range of fitness to practise hearings including conduct, competence, and health cases, High Court applications and registration appeals.  Adam recently acted in cases concerning the death of a patient in a care home; the sexual exploitation of a patient with mental health issues; and medication overdoses.

International Criminal Work

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In 2008, Adam was a Judicial Assistant to the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.  He worked on the case of Popovic et al. (IT-05-88), the seven-handed genocide case concerning the Srebrenica massacre.


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  • Attorney General’s Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown (C Panel)
  • Crown Prosecution Service – General Crime and Extradition (Level 3)
  • Serious Fraud Office – Prosecution (B List)
  • List of Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law (C Panel)
  • Justice of the Peace, Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court (2008-2011)


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  • Cardiff Law School Bar Vocational Course (Outstanding);
  • Awarded the Lincoln’s Inn Wolfson Scholarship, Hardwicke Award & Buchanan Prize;
  • Winner of the Kalisher Essay Competition 2010;
  • University of Nottingham, LLB (Hons), Law;
  • BVC (Outstanding).


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In 2015, Adam was nominated for the Sydney Elland Goldsmith Bar Pro Bono Award, in recognition of outstanding commitment to pro bono work.  He is now a Bar Pro Bono Unit case reviewer.

During his studies, Adam was awarded the Lincoln’s Inn Wolfson Scholarship, Hardwicke Award and Buchanan Prize. During pupillage, Adam won the Kalisher Essay Competition 2010, with an entry entitled: “Should a defendant be given the right to opt out and be tried by judge alone or judge and lay assessors?”

Adam has experience of providing pre-publication advice on aspects of media law, including defamation, copyright, privacy and confidence and reporting restrictions.

Adam is qualified to accept direct instructions from individuals and companies.


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  • Former Treasurer and Chair of the Young Fraud Lawyers’ Association.
  • Member of the Criminal Bar Association; Extradition Lawyers’ Association; Defence Extradition Lawyers’ Forum; Fair Trials International’s European Young Defenders’ Network, INQUEST Lawyers’ Group, Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers.

Notable cases

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Florea v Carei Courthouse, Satu Mare County, Romania

The leading Divisional Court case on Romanian prison conditions and assurances.

Brazuks v Prosecutor General’s Office, Republic of Latvia

The leading Divisional Court case on Latvian prison conditions.

Brodziak v Polish Judicial Authorities

Divisional Court case on specialty and the approach to EAWs which contains aggregate sentences and the conduct for one of the offences is not an extradition offence.

Jama v Senior Public Prosecutor, Gera, Germany

Divisional Court case concerning the definition of offences within the Framework List and the drug ‘khat’.

AT v Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

Article 6 ECHR challenge to surrender where the defendant had been refused access to a lawyer in his police interview in Luxembourg.

Belbin v France

Double jeopardy case where the requested person had already been prosecuted in England for related offences.

R (on the application of Zmijewski) v Westminster Magistrates Court

Judicial review challenge following a District Judge’s decision refusal to hear evidence in an extradition case following a failure to comply with court directions.

Dowd v Spain

Abuse of process extradition case where the EAW was ambiguous as to the offence for which the defendant was sought for.

HSE v West Herts Hospital NHS Trust

Prosecution of a NHS Trust in relation to asbestos.

HSE v McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd

Prosecution of a building company following a crane collapse at a construction site in Essex.

R v DB

Represented the only protestor to be found not guilty by a jury of violent disorder in relation to events at Millbank Tower during the student fees protest in November 2010.

R v RR

Secured the acquittal of a transgender defendant accused of possessing items including spray paint and a knife with intent to cause criminal damage at a protest.

R v LB

Represented a protestor accused of aggravated trespass in Millbank Tower. Following legal argument about the elements of the offence, a submission of no case to answer was accepted.


Multi-handed misconduct case arising out of events in a nursing home where neglect and physical abuse resulted in the death of an elderly resident.


Concerning the sexual and financial exploitation of a vulnerable mental health patient.


Lack of competence case which concerned the maladministration of medication resulting in patients suffering overdoses of controlled drugs.

Celinski & Others v Polish and Slovakian Judicial Authorities

Divisional Court case on the correct approach to Article 8 and the standard of review on appeal.

Miraszewski & Others v Polish Judicial Authorities

Leading Divisional Court case on the standalone proportionality bar.

R v Bloom & Others

Four defendants acquitted of charges arising from fox hunt monitoring.

R v Boddy & Moss; R v Raw-Rees & Patterson

Food fraud and forgery arising from the horse meat scandal.

R v Blackmoor Estate Co & Andrew Stocker

Workplace gross negligence manslaughter

R v Edward James

Defence of a former director of one of the UK’s largest currency exchange businesses accused of fraudulent trading.

Serious Fraud Office v West, Whale & Stone

The first case brought by the SFO under the Bribery Act 2010.

Related news

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13 October

Application to terminate SFO investigation

The High Court (Gross LJ and Andrews J) yesterday handed down judgment in R (ota Soma Oil & Gas) v Director of the Serious Fraud Office. The case concerned an application for a mandatory order...

8 July

Gross negligence manslaughter trial

A paediatric nurse is on trial for gross negligence manslaughter following the death of a 10-year-old girl at Weston General Hospital in 2012.  Sarah Whitehouse QC and Adam Payter are...

15 September

Sydney Elland Goldsmith Bar Pro Bono Award

Adam Payter has been nominated for the Sydney Elland Goldsmith Bar Pro Bono Award, which recognises outstanding commitment to pro bono work. The winner will be presented with the Award by Alistair...

19 June

Workplace gross negligence manslaughter

Mark Dennis QC and Adam Payter were instructed in a case concerning the death of two young men who were sent by their manager into an oxygen-derpived fruit storage unit to collect apples...

25 March

Horsemeat Scandal Trial

Adam Payter is instructed in the first criminal prosecution relating to the 2013 horsemeat scandal. Following a Food Standards Agency investigation, it was discovered that Peter Boddy, a...