Adam Riley has a diverse and busy practice across all of Chambers core areas of work, with a focus on commercial disputes, international arbitration, company and insolvency, travel, and public & constitutional law.
He has appeared in 10 appeals as junior counsel in the Privy Council representing governments, businesses and individuals as clients across the Commonwealth (including from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda), and is an experienced trial advocate in his own right, frequently handling trials, appeals, interim applications, preliminary hearings, and costs and case management conferences as sole counsel in the County Court and High Court. He is recognised in the Legal 500 as a Rising Star (Tier 1) in two categories: ‘Administrative Law and Human Rights’, and ‘The English Bar (Offshore)’, which describes him as “thoughtful, comprehensive and analytical” in his approach. He also appeared as junior counsel in the Supreme Court in the landmark appeal Lifestyle Equities C.V. and anor v Ahmed and anor which, when handed down, will revisit various first principles in company law.
Adam is on the Attorney General’s Junior Junior panel of counsel and is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (ACIarb). He is a member of the International Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Committee, and also sits on the Commonwealth Lawyers Association’s Human Rights and Rule of Law committee and Public Law committee. He is strongly committed to pro bono work, having worked on asylum claims with an international NGO in Greece before commencing practice. More recently, he appeared as junior counsel in an environmental judicial review challenge concerning the construction of an airport runway in Barbuda. Adam is also a contributor to various legal journals and has written for the Jamaica Bar Association’s journal as well as the Commonwealth Lawyers Association journal.
Adam regularly appears as junior counsel in appeals originating in the Commonwealth Caribbean. In particular, he has appeared in appeals from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and The Bahamas.
His interests and experience in this area of practice includes constitutional law, human rights, judicial review, election law, commercial law, general common law and criminal appeals.
Recent cases in which Adam has been instructed and appeared as junior counsel include:
Adam has a particular interest in legal developments in the Commonwealth Caribbean and has written articles for both the Jamaican Bar Association Journal as well as for the Commonwealth Lawyers Association Journal. He is also a member of the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association Public and Administrative Law Committee, as well as the Association’s Human Rights and Rule of Law Committee.
Adam has a broad practice encompassing all aspects of commercial and chancery dispute resolution and international arbitration. He regularly appears in and advises on a range of general commercial matters and is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (ACIarb).
Adam accepts instructions across the full spectrum of company and insolvency litigation and advisory work and is regularly instructed to appear in winding up and bankruptcy petitions.
He was recently led as junior counsel in the Supreme Court by Peter Knox K.C. in the landmark appeal Lifestyle Equities C.V. and anor v Ahmed and anor 2021/0147, in respect of which judgment is outstanding. The case revisits various first principles in company law. It addresses questions crucial for all directors such as the nature and extent of the liability of a director, or senior employee, who causes a company to commit a civil wrong in addition to querying whether such a person, if legally responsible for a tort, can be made to pay profits made as a result of the tort even if the relevant profits were not personally received by them.
Further highlights include:
Adam’s expertise in public law matters is informed by his experience being led as junior counsel in numerous appeals before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. He is able to draw additionally on his background working in civil liberties, social security and immigration matters across a range of contexts, in addition to his experience working in social policy before coming to the bar.
He is a member of the Attorney General’s junior junior panel of counsel. In that capacity he has accepted instructions to advise government departments on various technical issues concerned with the passage of the new Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill in the House of Lords.
Recent public and constitutional law cases in which Adam has been instructed and appeared as junior counsel include:
Adam was formerly instructed as junior junior counsel to the Undercover Policing Inquiry.
Adam is also a member of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association Public and Administrative Law Committee, as well as the Association’s Human Rights and Rule of Law Committee.
Adam is instructed in a range of professional negligence claims. He is particularly well placed to advise on claims involving underlying commercial, company or public law considerations. Recently he advised a Claimant in a claim against former legal advisors where the Claimant had intended to appeal a planning decision, only for their legal team to miss the statutory deadline for doing so. As a pupil he additionally assisted in a claim for damages due to misconduct of litigation and settlement at an undervalue in a case involving a high-value equal pay claim.
Adam is instructed in matters involving the Package Travel Regulations (both the 1992 and 2018 iterations) as well as in claims for compensation pursuant to the Montreal Convention, the Athens Convention and under EC Regulation 261/2004. He regularly appears in trials and drafts advices and pleadings in disputes involving jurisdictional and conflict of laws issues.
Adam also maintains a busy personal injury practice. He accepts instructions to advise on matters relating to liability, causation, quantum, evidence, costs and related procedural issues. He is developing particular expertise in defending matters which involve exaggerated, dishonest and fraudulent claims which raise issues of fundamental dishonesty.
Adam accepts instructions across the full spectrum of employment law matters. He has appeared in the County Court and Employment Tribunal, and as sole counsel before the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
During pupillage he assisted Tom Poole K.C. in a complex 10-day Employment Tribunal hearing which involved allegations of sexual harassment, unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, constructive dismissal, discrimination, harassment, victimisation, and issues relating to contributory fault: A v (1) The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2) B Case Number: 2200417/2019. He also assisted Tom Poole K.C. in an Employment Tribunal hearing involving unlawful deduction from wages.
'He is enthusiastic and articulate on his feet and is particularly impressive before the Privy Council.' - The English Bar Offshore
Legal 500 2024
'Adam is thoughtful, comprehensive and analytical. His attention to detail and command of language is shown through his cogent and thorough arguments.' - Administrative law and human rights > Rising stars
Legal 500 2024