Barrister Adam Clemens

Adam Clemens

Year of call: 1985  

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“Deadly advocate who adopts such a pleasant approach that, before you know it, he has beguiled the Judge and crucified you.”

Chambers & Partners

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Overview


Adam specialises in clinical negligence, personal injury and police law/judicial review. He has substantial trial and inquest experience. He also has a niche practice in bailiff law, and has guided some of the main players through the sea change in the law of road traffic penalty recovery introduced in April 2014 by the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. He has represented the Metropolitan police in a series of human rights and judicial review challenges brought by the late Brian Haw to the legislative regimes covering demonstrations in Parliament Square. He advises on policy matters, including human rights, data protection and information sharing.

He is currently active in judicial review challenges to entry and search warrants in the counter-terrorism sphere, and recently appeared in an Upper Tribunal test case on the construction of the 2008 Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme with implications for cases of historic sexual abuse.

Described as a “deadly” advocate, he has excellent trial management skills with an attractive, yet destructive, cross-examination style.

Adam is married with two teenage daughters. Fitness and time-permitting, he will ride the Vatternrundan in 2015, a 300km 24hr cycle race in Sweden.

Clinical Negligence Personal Injury Public Law

Clinical Negligence


Adam’s practice is Claimant focused and includes birth, and acquired, brain injury. Substantial interim payment applications are a regular feature of his work where present and future capital needs are delicately balanced. Where several parties may be liable -GPs, specialists or in the prison setting where responsibility for medical provision is often blurred – he is decisive on which parties, and issues, should be pursued.

He regularly speaks at AvMA events, has a particular interest in the human rights components of clinical negligence and recently chaired an Obstetrics and Gynaecology conference. He establishes an excellent rapport with clients, allows them to have their say, and gives whatever time is necessary for them to understand legal and medical jargon. His trial management skills, and handling of experts, takes the pressure off both his clients and solicitors.

As a highly experienced trial advocate, he is ideally suited to inquests, particularly infant deaths, where tact and subtlety, as well as an ability to get to the real issues, are key.

Memberships


  • AvMA

Inquest & Judicial Review

Inquest & Judicial Review


Adam regularly represents families at Coroners inquests with a focus on infant and elderly deaths. He is familiar with “track and trigger” protocols where scores on vital signs should lead to an escalation and involvement of medical staff, but frequently do not.

He has a broad judicial review practice.

Clinical Negligence Cases


  • Halston (on-going): Application for a substantial interim payment where balancing present and future capital needs in Eeles terms was the principal issue.
  • Gregory-O’Neill (2014): High Court trial alleging a negligent move to a Caesarian Section, with complex arguments on the development of a perforated colon and Ogilvie’s syndrome.
  • Hardwick (2013): Approval of settlement for a protected party and beneficiary and examination of the tension between lump sum and periodical payments.
  • Gill (2014): Failure to pick up a cataract in a baby at her eight-week check, resulting in permanent loss of vision.

Personal Injury


Adam’s practice is roughly an equal Claimant/Defendant split in terms of workplace and road traffic accidents. He represents claimants where the injury is sustained abroad. He acts in high value road traffic accidents, often for the Metropolitan Police, where officers on emergency calls – and so exempt from normal traffic regulation – collide with, and injure or kill, other road users.

Actions Involving The Police Inquests Fraudulent Claims

Actions Involving The Police


Adam is a recognised leader in the field of police law. He represents the police in civil actions alleging assault/battery, personal and psychiatric injury, usually Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. CS spray and Taser injuries are common. Unlike a conventional personal injury trial – which is Judge only – civil actions against the police are often heard by a jury, and require a more subtle approach. That is so because the jury has a power to award aggravated or exemplary damages to reflect the circumstances in which the injury happened.

Adam also represents the police in fatal/non-fatal road traffic accidents.

Inquests


Adam represents families of those killed in workplace accidents such as falls from height and releases of toxic gas. He appears for the Metropolitan Police in fatal road traffic accidents.

Fraudulent Claims


Adam acted pro bono for the claimant in a personal injury action where he fraudulently claimed that his serious ankle injury was caused by tripping in a pothole. He had in fact fallen from a wall when drunk; a matter discovered late and only after an admission of liability. The case is reported: Havering London Borough Council v Mark Bowyer [2012] EWHC 2237 (Admin). The claimant was sentenced to a short term of immediate imprisonment.

Adam has advised the Metropolitan Police in a series of alleged “crash for cash” claims.

Personal Injury Cases


  • Russell v West Sussex County Council [2010] EWCA Civ 71: Representing Claimant in a Highways Act case where she skidded and collided with a tree, suffering brain damage.
  • Kelly and others v Tesco (2014): Representing Tesco in a series of consolidated cases where a chiller unit gas coolant fitting failed, causing an explosion and alleged personal injury. Outcome will turn on litigation between the manufacturer and installer of the component in the TCC.
  • Baker v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (2014): Officer on emergency response in collision with a cyclist who survived, but with serious eye orbit injury and double vision.
  • Sezer v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (2014): Successful defence of the police where the Claimant alleged repeated gratuitous assaults – blows to the head and body – whilst handcuffed. Case complicated because the claimant, for wholly unconnected reasons, suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Public Law


Adam is a recognised leader in the field of police law. He is part of a core group which is able to draw on the talent and expertise of established criminal and public law teams.

His practice spans:

  • Licensing.
  • Inquests into deaths in custody.
  • Civil actions: false imprisonment, assault, malicious prosecution, misfeasance and negligence.
  • Human rights claims.
  • Data protection and information sharing agreements.
  • Acting as independent counsel on searches to consider potentially legally privileged material.
  • Judicial review (both the police and police and crime commissioners).

His public law practice, generated substantially by his police work, has expanded to include a wide range of judicial review challenges.

Judicial Review Article 2 Inquests

Judicial Review


Adam’s judicial review practice developed from his appearance for the Metropolitan Police in the series of challenges by the late Brian Haw, and those who took over his demonstration, to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 and then the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. Those cases went directly to the tension between Article 10 and 11 rights of freedom of expression and assembly, and the political will to regulate those rights, and impose restrictions on demonstrations in Parliament Square. There is ongoing litigation.

His judicial review now spans:

  • Challenges to exclusions from licensed premises.
  • Legal aid entitlement.
  • Nursing & Midwifery Council decisions.
  • Possible challenge to the Local Government Ombudsman and her jurisdiction to intervene in, and make findings against bailiffs, in maladministration complaints agasint local authorities.
  • The legality of search warrants where complaint is made that the tribunal either did not have the power to issue in the first place, or where the warrant is bad on its face for lack of particularity or inadequate drafting.
  • The legality of seizure of property under the Criminal Law Act 1967 from demonstrators in Parliament Square.

Article 2 Inquests


Adam regularly represents families at inquests into deaths in custody. Recent inquests include a case of a man smuggling strychnine into custody at a Crown Court, having been sentenced to a term of imprisonment, and a female lifer hanging herself a matter of days before release. Adam has recently been instructed by G4S after a death in a private prison where the cause of death is presently unknown, but may be epilepsy related.

Public Law Cases


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