Barrister Adam Clemens

Adam Clemens

Year of call: 1985  


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

Chambers & Partners



Adam specialises in clinical negligence, personal injury and police law. He has substantial trial and inquest experience, and is used as an independent adviser to a leading insurance provider on funding issues in very high value cases. He also has a niche practice in enforcement law, having guided some of the main players through the important changes in this area of law, and drafting guidance/the Code of Practice for CIVEA, the industry trade body.

He has recently been active in the appellate courts in Brown v Commissioner of Police [2018] EWHC 2016 (QB) and Pal v Commissioner of Police [2018] EWHC 2988 (QB) which looked, respectively, at exceptions to QOCS, and freedom of expression in a social media context.

Adam has excellent trial management skills, and is comfortable in multi-expert cases. At his suggestion in a recent case, audio-vestibular experts were “hot-tubbed” on the basics of audio-vestibular medicine, cutting down cross-examination time significantly. He regularly speaks at AvMA events, most recently on data protection issues.

Clinical Negligence

Clinical Negligence

Adam’s practice is focused on acquired brain injury, and cases where amputation has resulted, or is threatened. Increasingly – and in parallel with brain injury – he has wide experience in audio-vestibular medicine and PoTS (positional orthostatic tachycardia syndrome). He is familiar with many of the experts in those fields. Audiovestibular medicine, which is poorly understood, will become an increasing feature of brain injury cases.

He regularly appears for families at inquests, and builds an excellent rapport with them. 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.


  • 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

  • Mohamed – acquired brain injury with complex radiological issues
  • Ton – serious brain injury with issues as to where care should be provided (C is Brazilian)
  • Joseph – brain injury with a heavy audio-vestibular component
  • Gunning – complex causation issues in an amputation case
Personal Injury

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.


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

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

How to get in touch

For more information please contact our clerks by calling +44 (0) 20 7242 3555 or by email.


Privacy Notice

Adam is committed to protecting and respecting the privacy of individuals. In order to provide legal services, including advice and representation services, Adam needs to process personal data. This will include client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the course of any matter upon which he is instructed.

Adam will process personal data in accordance with his Privacy Policy.

Please click here to see how Adam will, absent any other arrangement with those instructing him, fulfil any Joint Controller responsibilities he may have under relevant data protection legislation.

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