Adam Richardson

Call: 2011

Adam enjoys a wide-ranging civil and chancery law practice, which has seen him develop a reputation as a leading data, privacy and reputation management barrister. In addition, he frequently takes on high-value commercial, contentious chancery, and employment work.

He has carved out a niche as an astute trial advocate, but also has a reputation for the excellent quality and clarity of his advisory work. His clients range from national political parties requiring assistance in matters of constitutional and electoral importance, to multi-million national and international cutting-edge technology firms seeking to implement GDPR compliant data strategies on technology which has clearly outpaced current jurisprudence.

Contentious court-based work remains at the centre of Adam’s practice. He has been before judges at all levels, up to and including the Supreme Court. He is known for being engaging, methodical and conscientious in his advocacy style.

Adam frequently receives employment law instructions, perhaps most notably a 14-day employment tribunal on behalf of an unfairly dismissed senior executive in a multi-million-pound employment tribunal matter brought against a leading financial services company. He excels at maintaining pressure over multi-day trials.

Adam has a strong command of all matters involving insolvency, including winding-up petitions, bankruptcies and advising insolvency practitioners. He frequently practises in this area, and led in one of the most high-profile insolvency cases of recent years, which received a great deal of press attention and a parliamentary inquiry.

He has acted for several well-known airlines in volume claims under EU 261 provisions, now transposed into domestic law. He recently had a case referred to the High Court for alleged dishonesty on the part of the opposition. Thousands of cases brought by the firm were stayed by the Court pending this determination, saving the airline millions of pounds.

He has found a firm place among the senior ranks of the civil Bar, representing everyone, from members of the general public to celebrities and politicians. He prides himself on giving the same care and attention to every client, no matter how big or small, to achieve the best outcome.

In addition, Adam also has full rights of audience, is Direct Public Access accredited and is qualified to engage in the Conduct of Litigation. This means that clients can approach him directly. He is known for being approachable and a good communicator. Adam recently was appointed to the expert panel for the All Party Parliamentary Group investigating the suitability of the law surrounding the victims of investment fraud and chaired a session in Parliament.

Commercial & financial law

A regular presence at the Royal Courts of Justice, Adam has built a positive reputation with judges, Masters, and staff by displaying a commitment to hard work, a quick grasp of the salient concepts and a willingness to go the extra distance.

He has appeared for individuals and banks in PPI-related hearings, post-Plevin, Plevin-plus, early neutral evaluations, dispute resolution hearings and final hearings.

In addition, Adam has drafted hundreds of advices on prospective claims for the rescission of loan contracts on the grounds that a lender had paid a fully secret commission to a broker or procured a broker’s breach of fiduciary duties for the purposes of Sections 140A – 140C of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Similarly, Adam has drafted numerous advices on prospects of success of Plevin/PPI/mis-selling claims for banks and individuals, occasionally assisting with obtaining litigation funding.

Recently, Adam litigated the scope of the legal duty of a recipient bank to check the details of the account sent against its own records to prevent fraud before this became a regulatory matter.

This experience has resulted in him acting on behalf of large companies (on and off panels) and individuals in large money disputes, particularly where there are allegations (or likely to be allegations) of impropriety, dishonesty, or misrepresentation.


Adam enjoys a busy chancery practice, whether contentious or non-contentious. He frequently advises and advocates on matters in the Higher Courts. He often is asked to write for Lexis on the field of breach of confidence.

Adam’s work in this area has recently included a multi-million pound intra-family dispute over the estate of a wealthy property owner, with the added complexity of an extant family trust containing Covid-impacted core assets.

Adam will always act in the best interest of his client, even if that means recommending alternative dispute resolution or negotiating an amicable settlement, and is never afraid to take a matter to full trial where the facts support it or the client is determined to do so.

Frequently instructed on urgent injunctions, freezing orders, asset recovery, tracing and disclosure orders, Adam is adept at using all the tools at the disposal of the chancery courts to give a sensible and positive outcome for his clients.

Featured cases

  • Vachha v Hamilton [2020] EWHC 3728 (Ch) This case concerned an application for speedy trial and 12 individual injunctions against 16 individual directors and a company itself. This was brought by a former director who was attempting to seize the company. This involved complex interactions between company law and the law of unincorporated associations. Upon having the application defeated in its entirety and having to meet a very comprehensive cost order the Claimant then discontinued the entire claim within an hour after losing the hearing effectively bringing the matter to an end.
  • Bay Mining Consultants Ltd v Patel and others [2021] EWHC 1607 (QB): This case concerned allegations of breach of various obligations between international corporate entities and individuals including breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duties, assignments and the inherent powers of the Court to make Civil Restraint Orders of its own motion.
  • Honnor v Honnor & Honnor [2020] EWHC (CH): This was an acrimonious Inheritance and trust dispute, involving allegations of tax fraud and theft. Family assets were measured in the millions and the instructions came just as Covid was wreaking havoc on the world economy, this added a layer of complexity around the properties involved.

Insolvency & restructuring

With an enviable record in defeating winding-up petitions, as well as acting in more complex advisory matters (including some complex recent work on the impact of the solicitors’ equitable lien where a company has entered administration), Adam is regularly instructed by insolvency clients and solicitors on their last roll of the dice, or to prevent them from getting to that point.

Adam’s keen eye and background in accountancy has led to him becoming preferred counsel for a number of insolvency practitioners wishing to pursue directors who have acted in breach of their duties, to recover funds for creditors and, in cases of fraudulent preference, transactions at an undervalue and dishonesty. He has advised in cases involving complex jurisdictional challenges.

Adam has saved a number of companies from insolvency with successful, urgent injunctions restraining either advertising in the Gazette or the laying of a petition. He retains flexibility in his practice in order to be able to act on a moment’s notice where circumstances require it.

Adam acted for the companies in the well-publicised administration of Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group at the peak of the scandal, and successfully secured an order for administration, in spite of the majority of the company’s assets being seized by the Information Commissioner’s Office, in a three day-long hearing in the Rolls Building.

Featured cases

  • VG Trustee (Jersey) Ltd v JPT [2020] FJ79/20
    This was a legally complex case involving the Foreign Judgments Act 1933, this matter saw Adam resist the registration of a six-figure debt on the rarely invoked ground of public policy.
  • Cambridge Analytica (UK) Limited, Scl Group Limited, Scl Analytics Limited, Scl Commercial Limited, Scl Social Limited, Scl Elections Limited, [2018] EWHC 3447 (CH)
    Over the course of a rigorous three-day hearing, Adam successfully obtained an administration order for several companies under the ‘Cambridge Analytica’ banner, after a significant media controversy and ICO seizure forced the companies towards insolvency. This was aggravated by matters that continued to unfold in the press at the same time as the hearing, which required quick thinking and dynamic advocacy.

Data protection & cyber law

With other members, Adam helped establish the 1 Essex Court Crypto Team, who regularly give lectures and seminars to solicitor’s firms and colleagues regarding the developing jurisprudence, and who are often the first port of call in urgent cases of digital asset fraud.

Adam has acted in a number of seminal cases involving the establishment of cyber principles, not least the much-publicised Cambridge Analytica matter, and he is counted amongst the UK’s most prestigious data protection and cyber law barristers. This reputation has been bolstered by co-authoring the leading academic text on cyber crime, now in its second edition. He is frequently asked for commentaries on developing cyber cases by Lexis and others.

With sanctions for data breaches becoming more expensive, and obligations in data processing more complex, Adam is at the digital coalface of this fast-developing field of practice. He has advised many companies, both nationally and internationally, on the application of historic legislation to cutting edge technologies where the law has not yet caught up.

Adam is a mainstay of many innovative and novel tech companies, as well as advanced marketing companies and national political parties seeking more compliant canvassing techniques.

Featured cases

  • UKIP v Information Commissioner (information notice) [2019] UKUT 62 (AAC):
    The first and only case to challenge the limits of the Information Commissioner’s powers to demand information through the use of Information Notices that carry sanctions. This case concerned the Data Protection Act 1998 and explored the requirements for a lawful information notice.
  • Cambridge Analytica (UK) Limited, Scl Group Limited, Scl Analytics Limited, Scl Commercial Limited, Scl Social Limited, Scl Elections Limited, [2018] EWHC 3447 (CH) Over the course of a rigorous three-day hearing, Adam successfully obtained an administration order for several companies under the ‘Cambridge Analytica’ banner, after a significant media controversy and ICO seizure forced the companies towards insolvency. This was aggravated by matters that continued to unfold in the press at the same time as the hearing, which required quick thinking and dynamic advocacy.
  • United Kingdom Independence Party Ltd V Richard Braine & Ors [2020] EWHC 1794 (QB) This concerned the grant of a without-notice, interim injunction to restrain the publication of any information that may have been taken by virtue of a data breach. This was underpinned by a claim based on breach of directors’ duties, breach of confidential information and conspiracy to injury by unlawful means.

Election law

With almost a decade’s experience of advising political parties, both local and national, Adam has established himself as the first point of contact in advanced politico-legal disputes. From actions based on breach of terms between parties and members, to election petitions, to leave to pay applications, and everything in between, Adam has been leading counsel on a number of large political matters and has helped the law develop.

With a strong advisory practice, political parties value Adam’s sensible input which always advises the law with an eye to the politics of any given outcome. Adam has defended political parties from actions by its own members and is also able to advise on how best to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. He regularly advises on matters involving the Electoral Commission or the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Since 2014 onwards the field of data protection has never been so relevant in politics today. Adam was at the forefront of advising stakeholders on how best to comply with the new data protection regulations in campaigning, and has assisted in liaising with the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Electoral Commission throughout the process.

Adam has also assisted in many cases involving political parties bringing actions against each other, and has assisted in setting the law in that field.

Featured cases

  • Barron MP & Ors v Collins MEP & Anor [2018] EWHC 253: This case regarded a protracted dispute between two political parties after a defamation case ended and asked whether a third party costs order should be made. Ultimately the judge decided that political benefit is a valid consideration under Section 51 – Senior Courts Act 1981.


Adam has acted for both employers and employees in a number of employment matters and has an estimable record in appealing to judges and lay tribunals.

Adam also advises on prospects of employment cases both before and after issue. He has a great ability to separate important facts for the tribunal while administering days-long cross-examination and submissions.

He has advised in-house lawyers, HR functions and independent HR experts on the adequacy of internal protocols for dealing with matters that arise within Employment Law, and always has an eye to commercially sensitive decisions such as settlement to minimise reputational or legal impacts.

Featured cases

  • John Martin v Prudential Distribution Ltd and others [2020] UKET 1305866/2019: This was a two week-long, fact-heavy Employment Tribunal matter, involving age and disability discrimination, unfair dismissal, victimisation, protected disclosures (whistleblowing), and breach of contract against a senior executive valued at £2.5 million.
  • Mr P Broome v Sally-Ann Gosling t/a Riding Farm Equestrian Centre: Adam defended an equestrian centre against claims of harassment, discrimination, and failure to make reasonable adjustments in a 6-day hearing.
  • Mr Michael Fuller v ACASA Limited (1) & Apex Prime Care Limited (2): In this matter Adam defended two Respondents who managed care homes against a former employee who brought an action based on direct discrimination due to sex, sexual orientation and disability as well has harassment, victimisation and protected disclosures 7-day hearing.


Articles for LexisNexis

10.07.2023 – Invasion of privacy, contempt of court, and unjustified interference with the right to a fair trial prior to charging decisions (WFZ v British Broadcasting Corporation)

26.06.2023 – Anonymity, privilege and the law of unincorporated associations (Taylor and others v Evans (as representative of the Labour Party))

01.03.2023 – Breach of confidence and fiduciary duties — a matter of evidence (Clements v Frisby)

07.12.2022 –A sobering reminder of the obligation on parties’ lawyers to read very carefully and to understand the effects of injunction orders.’ (QRT v JBE)

15.11.2022 – Breach of confidence is equitable wrong even without positive harm (Weiss Technik UK Ltd v Davies)

25.08.2022 – The sealing of Royal Wills vs principles of open justice (Executor of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh (Deceased) v Guardian News and Media)

07.07.2022 – The Investigatory Powers Act 2016—still incompatible with European jurisprudence (R (on the application of National Council for Civil Liberties (Liberty)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and another)

09.05.2022 – Consumer protection associations can bring representative GDPR actions in EU (Meta Platforms Ireland Ltd v Bundesverband der Verbraucherzentralen und Verbraucherverbände)

13.12.2021 – Advocate General’s opinion—standing of consumer group to bring claims under the EU GDPR (Facebook Ireland Ltd v Bundesverband der Verbraucherzentralen und Verbraucherverbände—Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband eV)

08.11.2021 – The investigatory powers tribunal declines to give general guidance, but Legal Professional Privilege endures (Privacy International v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

27.01.2021 – Are confidential information protections still fit for purpose? (Travel Counsellors Ltd v Trailfinders Ltd)

24.03.2020 – Trade Secrets—Our first look at the Regulations in action?—Trailfinders Ltd v Travel Counsellors Ltd and others [2020] EWHC 591 (IPEC)

20.08.2019 – Lawfulness of bulk hacking powers under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (R (Liberty) v Secretary of State for the Home Department)


Cyber Crime: Law and Practice 1st and 2nd Editions

Cyber Crime: Law and Practice, now in its second edition, tackles the fast-growing topic of cyber crime and covers a wide range of issues from electronic fraud, data, interception of communications, cyber stalking, online theft and intellectual property to more involved topics like malicious communications and the rules of evidence relating to cyber crimes and computers.

The second edition contains updated information on: New offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990, Investigatory Powers Act 2016, Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR, and new CPS guidance on prosecution of offences relating to social media.

Using detailed case studies, examples and statutory extracts, the author explains all aspects of cyber crime and computer crime. Cyber Crime: Law and Practice provides a practical, easy-to-follow guide for practitioners in the field, as well as those in law enforcement and academia.

With Foreword by Ian Dyson, Commissioner of the City of London Police, National Lead on Cyber-Crime.

Memberships & associations

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Standing Counsel to the Momentum Performing Arts Academy
  • Standing Counsel to Invicta Capital Litigation fund
  • Board member and Trustee of Neurodiversity in Law Charity
  • Panel Expert to the Investment Fraud All-Party Parliamentary Group

This is the Privacy Policy for:

Barrister: Adam Richardson

Address: 1EC, 3 King’s Bench Walk North, Inner Temple, London, EC4Y 7HR

The Purposes for which Personal Data is Processed:

Personal data will be processed in order to enable the provision of legal services, ie:

  1. advice;
  2. representation in court;
  3. the drafting of legal documents.

It may also be necessary to retain personal data for conflict-checking purposes or for use in the defense of potential complaints, legal proceedings or fee disputes.

The Lawful Basis for Processing Personal Data

In some cases the subject of the personal data will have given consent to the processing of his or her personal data. Where explicit consent has not been given, personal data will be processed only when:

  1. it is necessary for the performance of a contract with the person whose personal data is processed (or prior to entering such contract, in order to take steps at the request of the person whose personal data is processed); or when
  2. it is necessary for the purposes of providing legal services.

Special Categories of Personal Data

It may be necessary to process personal data which constitute particularly sensitive special categories, ie personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation.

Such data will only be processed where processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defense of legal claims.

Who will receive Personal Data

The recipients of the personal data processed will be:

  1. instructing solicitors and clients;
  2. courts and other tribunals to which documents are presented;
  3. witnesses and potential witnesses, including expert witnesses;
  4. other barristers, pupil barristers and other legal representatives;
  5. regulatory authorities.

Retention Periods for Personal Data

Personal data in case files will generally be kept at least the end of one year after the maximum relevant limitation period has expired. The limitation period will be measured from the latest date it is possible to bring any appeal.

The retention period will be reviewed when the work has been completed. The retention period may be adjusted at that time.

International Data Transfers

In cases involving international disputes, it may be necessary to transfer personal data to countries outside the European Economic Area which have different data protection standards to those which apply in the European Economic Area. This will only be done for the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy. In the event this is necessary, appropriate safeguards will be in place to protect personal data, such as European Commission approved standard contractual clauses or the EU-US Privacy Shield. You have a right to ask for a copy of the relevant safeguard.

Individual’s Rights

If your personal data has been processed or held, you have a right to request access to (and rectification or erasure of) personal data; or to request restriction of processing concerning the data subject; or to object to processing; as well as the right to data portability. These rights may be limited where there is a legal requirement, or other legitimate grounds, to process your data.

If you wish to exercise these rights, please use the contact details above.

If you have unresolved concerns you also have the right to complain to data protection authorities.