Adam Feest QC

Year of call:1994
Expertise: Crime, Regulatory
Adam Feest
Appointments:Tutor Judge for the Judicial College 2016, Recorder 2009 - authorised to try cases involving serious sexual allegations 2014, General Medical Council (GMC) legal assessor 2010-2016, Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) legal assessor 2010-2016, Attorney General's List of Special Advocates 2005
Memberships:Criminal Bar Association, Western Circuit
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  • Took silk: 2016

Practice areas

  • Serious crime
  • Regulatory crime
  • Financial crime

What others say

‘An excellent barrister: a formidable opponent with a charming manner.’

Legal 500 2022 Leading Silks

‘Silk who both defends and prosecutes serious violent and sexual offences. He has additional experience acting in cases of drugs, fraud and deception’


‘He is incredibly thorough, and he charms the judges and the jury’


‘His strengths are his wealth of experience, his communication skills and ability to make the victims and witnesses feel at ease. He is excellent on his feet’



Adam is an associate member of Devon Chambers. Specialising in criminal law and associated quasi-criminal areas, Adam’s practice covers the whole spectrum of criminal cases. His expertise and reputation have led to him being instructed to deal with complex and important cases all over the country, including the Central Criminal Court, the Midlands, Winchester, Bristol, South Wales and the West Country. He also appears in the Court of Appeal. His advocacy, advisory and case presentation skills were publicly recognised by his appointment as Queen’s Counsel in 2016.

Adam has established himself as one of the leading criminal silks on the Western Circuit. Appearing for both the defence and prosecution, he has conducted cases involving complex expert medical and scientific evidence, particularly those involving the deaths of very young children, murders involving firearms and difficult issues of joint enterprise, and cases requiring sensitive handling of both vulnerable witnesses and defendants. His thorough preparation and detailed knowledge of the factual and legal aspects of the case in hand, coupled with his personable yet tenacious style in court, ensure that his case is put fairly, forcefully and to maximum effect.

In his earlier months in silk, Adam prosecuted in a case involving the traumatic death of a toddler at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend, and a gross negligence manslaughter revolving around the duty of care owed by one partner to the other during and after extreme consensual sexual activity. Both cases attracted national media coverage. He has also defended in cases involving serious and historical sexual allegations in combination with more recent predatory sexual assaults, and in a rape which copied internet pornography downloaded by the defendant.

Prior to taking silk, as a junior Adam spent most of his time involved in cases consisting of serious violence and public order; rape and serious sexual allegations (against both adults and children); multiple defendants, drugs, fraud and deception. He has also acted as junior counsel in murder cases. He was regularly instructed as a leading junior in complex, multi-handed cases and, in the last few years, was instructed in a case involving the supply of cocaine and money laundering charges against 11 defendants; a 16-handed Vietnamese cannabis growing and money laundering conspiracy; a nationwide heroin supply conspiracy involving undercover officers; and eight-handed conspiracy to steal and burgle.

Adam has also been involved in a number of cases involving allegations of serious sexual assaults and rape, often involving vulnerable and young victims, as well as historical complaints. This has allowed him to use the expertise he has acquired through involvement with the Western Circuit and Advocacy Training Council (ATC) training programme teaching advocates how best to deal with such witnesses.

In 2010, Adam dealt with a three-month trial that involved allegations of neglect of mentally incapacitated adults who were resident in a home at the time, in what is believed to be the first prosecution of its kind nationally. Complex medical, psychiatric, social care and other technical evidence had to be presented to a jury in relation to a total of 16 residents who, it was said, had been neglected. As well as dealing with criminal offences under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, this case also dealt with Health and Safety and regulatory issues. As a result of his involvement in this case, Adam was asked to speak at a multi-agency conference organised by Hampshire Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), dealing with the  prosecution of this type of offence, a seminar which was attended by representatives from CPS nationally, social services, local authorities, regulatory bodies and the police.

Adam is regulated by the Bar Standards Board.

Recent cases

  • Operation Metre (2021).  A case of infanticide involving the death of a baby within hours of birth
  • R v Z (2020).  A double murder of wife and teenage daughter by estranged father suffering from psychiatric issues
  • R v B and C (2020).  In a case involving the stabbing of a local Falmouth man and involving issues of joint enterprise, Adam led Sally Daulton
  • Operation Manner (2019). This involved the death of a 77-year-old who was run down by a car fleeing the scene of an earlier road traffic accident. Leading Gemma White, Adam had to deal with a series of abuse of process arguments alleging corruption and bad faith against the Police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
  • Operation Quantum (2018-2019). The nationally reported case of Bob Higgins, an ex-Southampton FC youth team coach, prosecuted for decades of sexual abuse of 24 different victims.
  • Operation Rosette (2019). A case involving two brothers stabbing another man to death.
  • R v H (2019). A murder case involving the defendant breaking into a house and stabbing the deceased (a man unknown to him), and then sexually assaulting a girl in a nearby house.
  • R v P and S (2018). A 16-year-old father caused fatal head and other injuries to his six-week-old son, in a situation partially caused, and then aggravated, by the neglectful actions of the child’s young mother.
  • Operation Endorse (2018). Adam led Jodie Mittell in a case of a drug-related revenge shooting where the surviving victim and only other eyewitness named two innocent local men as the culprits.
  • R v D and others (2017/18). A case involving the shooting, during a planned burglary, of a householder.
  • R v A (2017). Gross negligence manslaughter arising out of extreme consensual sexual activity.
  • R v E (2017). The murder of a toddler by the infliction of catastrophic abdominal injuries.
  • R v B (2017). The attempted murder of a stranger with a knife.
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