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Hendersons - Barristers' Chambers

Christopher Adams


Christopher has a broad practice with a particular focus on commercial litigation, product liability and health & safety.

He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge with a Double First in English before studying at the Royal Academy of Music and working for several years as a classical singer. He speaks German and has a good working knowledge of French and Italian, which makes him well-placed to act in disputes with an international dimension.

Christopher was placed first in his year for the CPE in Legal Studies at London South Bank University, and was an Astbury Scholar of the Middle Temple.

He is also an accredited mediator.

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Health & Safety, Inquests and Public Inquiries

Christopher has a wide breadth of experience in health & safety matters including court proceedings and pre-trial advice, submissions and investigations. Having previously worked as a paralegal at an international firm of solicitors, he has experience of advising a range of clients on all aspects of the health & safety investigation and trial process, including those from the education, restaurant, transport and construction industries. In his previous role, Christopher supported clients in interviews with the HSE and local authorities.

Instructions include

  • Acting for the defendant (led by Prashant Popat QC) in a five week Crown Court trial, prosecuted by the Office of Rail and Road, arising from a double fatality in the course of work-related driving
  • Acting for a defendant company (with Prashant Popat QC and Oliver Campbell QC representing the co-defendants) in a nine week Crown Court trial prosecuted by the CPS, arising from a fatality during the renovation of Eastbourne pier in 2014
  • An application (led by Prashant Popat QC) to dispute the jurisdiction of the Office of Rail and Road, including an appeal before the Court of Appeal Criminal Division
  • Representing a defendant manufacturer of luxury yachts at a sentencing hearing in Leicester Magistrates’ Court for a breach of s.2(1) HSWA in a prosecution brought by the HSE arising from an incident during the carrying out of a lifting operation
  • Representing a defendant at a Crown Court sentencing for a breach of s.3(1) HSWA involving a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning arising from the accidental removal and bricking up of a live gas flue.
  • Pre-Trial Reviews in the Crown Court
  • Advising the port owner on a prospective HSE prosecution arising from a fatal accident to a security guard at the Port of Immingham (as a junior to Toby Riley Smith QC).
  • Advising the port owner on a prospective HSE prosecution in relation to a non-fatal accident at the Port of Ipswich (as a junior to Toby Riley Smith QC).
  • Representing corporate interested persons, including a Clinical Commissioning Group and the owners of a port and a care home, at inquest proceedings.
  • Advising in proceedings relating to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Assisting Malcolm Sheehan QC in carrying out an independent review into the regulation of BetIndex Ltd by the Gambling Commission and the FCA for the Department of Culture, Media & Sport, including producing a report dated 13 September 2021

Personal Injury

Christopher regularly advises and acts for claimants and defendants in personal injury claims, including in relation to the 2015 rollercoaster accident at Alton Towers, Beth Tweddle’s accident on the third series of The Jump in 2016 and for a nurse in a claim for bullying and harassment against an NHS Trust. He has particular experience of acting for German and Austrian defendants in personal injury proceedings, including reviewing documents in German and liaising with experts on foreign law.

Commercial Disputes & Chancery

Christopher has extensive experience of commercial litigation, arbitration and enforcement proceedings, frequently with an international dimension. He has advised and represented corporate clients in a range of commercial disputes involving issues of contractual interpretation, fraudulent misrepresentation, economic torts, conflict of laws, jurisdiction and foreign law. He has also advised in relation to contempt of court proceedings.

Instructions include

  • LCIA arbitration proceedings on behalf of 4 corporate carry vehicles in a
    £23 million dispute with a bank (as a junior, details confidential).
  • An application to compel German witnesses to give evidence in support of LCIA arbitration proceedings seated in London pursuant to the Arbitration Act 1996 and the Taking of Evidence Regulation, including attending hearings in Germany (details confidential).
  • Advising on jurisdiction in respect of a tortious claim for pure financial loss pursuant to the Rome II Regulation involving companies registered in both EU Member States and non-Member States (details confidential).
  • An LCIA arbitration for breach of a settlement agreement (as a junior, details confidential).
  • Acting for three claimants in a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of contract and unjust enrichment arising from investments in an air conditioning manufacturing business
  • Acting for a corporate seller of commercial vehicles defending a claim for alleged conversion of goods
  • Advising a haulage company and two of its directors on defending a claim for breach of an agreement for financing traffic management software
  • Acting for a property developer in a contractual claim against the purchasers of two properties for funds due under the purchase agreements upon completion of the building works
  • Acting for National Highways in a negligence claim against an insurer arising from an accident causing damage to roadside furniture
  • Acting for the claimant insurers in a subrogated negligence claim against a supplier of poultry litter arising from a fire at a farm
  • Advising in relation to implied contractual terms and the admissibility of foreign evidence of previous convictions in civil claims.
  • Applications for interim freezing injunctions, third party and pre-action disclosure, third party debt orders, non-party and interim costs orders, Jordan orders, strike out, summary judgment and relief from sanctions.
  • Insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings, including acting for the joint liquidator of a travel company in defending a claim brought under rule 14.8 of the Insolvency Rules 2016.
  • Applications to restore dissolved companies to the company register.
  • Advising foreign defendants in the USA and Spain in relation to validity of service out of the jurisdiction.

In 2019 he co-authored an article in the Journal of International Arbitration on compelling evidence from witnesses located abroad in support of arbitration proceedings seated in London:


Group Actions & Mass Tort claims

Christopher is regularly instructed as a junior on behalf of major international companies in a wide range of multi-party product liability, mass torts and environmental claims. He has extensive experience of issues relating to service out of the jurisdiction, jurisdictional challenges and conflict of laws.

He was led by Charles Gibson QC and Geraint Webb QC in the Supreme Court in Vedanta Resources Plc & another v Lungowe & others [2019] UKSC 20, a landmark decision on parent company liability in the context of mass tort claims arising from the operation of a mine in Zambia.

Instructions include:

  • Acting for a German distributor of medical devices defending claims under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and in negligence (as a junior)
  • Representing an English-domiciled parent company defending mass claims arising from the operations of its subsidiaries in Kenya and Malawi (as a junior)
  • Acting for the defendants in the Volkswagen NOx Emissions Group Litigation (as a junior)
  • Acting for a defendant washing machine manufacturer in a negligence claim arising from a house fire

Representative cases

grid list
  • Vedanta Resources Plc & another v Lungowe & others [2019] UKSC 20
  • Volkswagen NOx Emissions Group Litigation


Christopher has experience of advising insurers on matters of coverage and contractual interpretation, including

  • Advising (as a junior) in relation to a major international coverage dispute valued at around £17 million arising from a food recall in the USA and Canada.
  • Advising whether a workplace incident causing personal injury to an employee fell within the employer’s liability insurance policy or motor insurance policy, and more generally on the effect in UK domestic law of the CJEU ruling in Vnuk v Zavarovalnica Triglav D.D. (C-162/13).

Professional Negligence

Instructions include

  • Acting for a claimant in a professional negligence claim against a firm of solicitors arising from a personal injury claim
  • Advising a claimant on the merits of a professional negligence claim against a firm of solicitors arising from a second legal charge over the claimant’s property held on trust for the claimant’s parents as beneficiaries
  • Acting on behalf of a supplier of pharmacovigilance services in a dispute involving issues of breach of contract and a counterclaim for alleged professional negligence.
  • Acting for a car dealership defending a claim for breach of contract and negligence arising from the theft of a vehicle in which a tracker had not been activated
  • Acting for a defendant damp proofing company in a professional negligence claim involving alleged damage to property
  • Acting on behalf of a provider of agronomy services defending a claim for breach of contract and/or professional negligence and/or fiduciary duty (as a junior).

EU, Competition & Public Law

Christopher has been instructed as a junior to Alan Dashwood QC on a range of EU, competition and public law matters.

Instructions include

  • Advising on the effects of the CJEU decision in Slovak Republic v Achmea BV on the enforceability of ICSID awards made pursuant to intra-EU arbitrations arising under the Energy Charter Treaty.
  • Advising on the alleged anti-competitive effects under EU law of an exclusive purchasing obligation in a contract for the supply of biofuel.
  • Advising on the scope and jurisdictional reach of the European Arrest Warrant system and Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA on the application of the principle of mutual recognition for judgments imposing custodial sentences or measures involving deprivation of liberty.
  • Advising a foreign businessman on an application to the European Court of Human rights in respect of infringement of his Article 6 rights during a criminal trial in Romania.


Christopher acted as a junior to Charles Gibson QC and Geraint Webb QC in the Supreme Court in Vedanta Resources PLC v Lungowe, an appeal in relation to a jurisdictional challenge arising from an environmental mass tort claim originating in Zambia.

Landlord & Tenant and Property

Christopher is regularly instructed on behalf of public sector and private clients in a range of landlord and tenant disputes. He has extensive experience of real property proceedings in the courts and the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) involving breach of covenant, rights of way, boundary disputes and adverse possession. He has also appeared in the Magistrates’ court in statutory nuisance proceedings under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 arising from a dispute between neighbours.

Instructions include

  • Acting for the freeholder of a block of flats in a claim for breach of contract and unjust enrichment against a managing agent arising from the non-payment of rent
  • Acting for a corporate freeholder of a block of flats in a claim against a previous director for breach of statutory and fiduciary duties involving misappropriation of company assets
  • Acting for a claimant corporate tenant in an application for the grant of a new tenancy pursuant to s.24(1)(b) and Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
  • Acting for the tenants of a residential property in a claim against the landlord pursuant to s.214 of the Housing Act 2004 for breach of the landlord’s duty to deal with the tenancy deposit in accordance with an authorised scheme.
  • Advising the owners of a residential property in relation to a possible claim against the property developer arising from breach of building regulations relating to fire safety
  • Advising in relation to health & safety duties, building regulations and breach of freehold covenants in a dispute over the obstruction of a supermarket’s fire escape route over a neighbouring property.
  • Possession claims, including against trespassers and those involving housing disrepairs.
  • Defending clients in a private prosecution for statutory nuisance brought in the Magistrates’ Court in the context of a neighbour dispute.
  • Applying to restore dissolved companies to the company register in order to transfer real property assets.
  • Advising a leaseholder in relation to a claim against the freeholder for unreasonably withheld consent to assignment of the property and mismanagement.
  • Acting for a party to a boundary dispute involving non-registered land, including a claim for adverse possession
  • Acting for the purchasers of a residential property in a claim against the sellers for misrepresentation and breach of contract arising from a failure to declare the presence of Japanese Knotweed.

Consumer Credit

Christopher is regularly instructed in a range of consumer credit matters. He is also a contributor to Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law.

Instructions include

  •  Acting for a lender seeking possession of a commercial property under the terms of a guarantee in a claim raising issues of sham agreements
  • Acting for credit card companies in proceedings under the unfair relationships provisions of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 arising from the payment of secret and half-secret commission, and in defending claims brought pursuant to s.75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
  • Representing the Defendant in a claim for breach of a merchant services agreement involving issues under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
  • Acting for banks in claims for unpaid credit card debts.
  • Credit hire proceedings.
  • Advising in respect of non-commercial agreements.
  • Advising on rights of third party purchasers in relation to fraudulently-obtained vehicle hire-purchase agreements (as a pupil).

Court of Protection

Christopher appears regularly in the Court of Protection in a wide variety of proceedings under the Mental Capacity, Mental Health and Care Acts. He has particular experience of the interplay between the Mental Health and Mental Capacity Acts in respect of sexual offenders discharged under community treatment orders. He has appeared in the High Court in related passport seizure applications, and advised in relation to applications for orders for the protection of vulnerable adults under the High Court’s inherent jurisdiction, revocation of Lasting Powers of Attorney, appointment of deputies and interim injunctions.

Mediation & Alternative Dispute Resolution

Christopher has appeared as junior counsel in international arbitration proceedings under the LCIA rules. He has also represented parties in a wide range of mediation proceedings, achieving successful settlements of claims in fields ranging from pharmacovigilance to exclusions from school and discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. He is also an accredited mediator.


Instructing Christopher Adams

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  • Accredited Mediator


  • Contributor to Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, March 2017
  • Contributor to Safety & Health Practitioner, August 2015 (co-authored)
  • Contributor to Safety & Health Practitioner, July 2015 (co-authored)
  • Contributor to the Journal of International Arbitration May 2019
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Health & Safety Lawyers’ Association
  • Administrative Law Bar Association
  • BA in English, Trinity College, Cambridge (Double First)
  • Postgradute Diploma in Singing, Distinction and DipRAM, Royal Academy of Music
  • KA Gesang (Singing), Distinction, Hochschule für Musik, Köln
  • CPE in Legal Studies, Distinction (1st in Year), London South Bank University
  • Astbury Scholar, Middle Temple
  • Excellence Award, BPP Law School
  • Routledge Cavendish Book Prize for Best Performing Student, London South Bank University
  • BPTC, BPP Law School
  • ADR Group Accredited Civil & Commercial Mediator
Regulatory Information

All members of Chambers are registered with the Bar Standards Board of England and Wales. For our standard contractual terms click here.

For more information about the way barristers at Henderson Chambers work, including our fee transparency statement and our complaints process, please click here.

Bar Council Number: 63295

VAT Registration Number: 248 8321 84

Legal Status: Barrister

Professional Insurance: All members of Chambers have professional liability insurance provided by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund Ltd. Territorial coverage is world-wide and subject to the term of the Bar Mutual. Click here for details.

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board.

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