Adrian Waterman QC - Matrix Chambers

Adrian Waterman QC

“He’s probably the cleverest barrister I’ve ever met, he’s super bright."

Chambers & Partners
Called: 1988 | Silk: 2006

Adrian Waterman QC is an adaptable and skilled advocate who is highly recommended. His practice principally focuses on the following areas: (1) financial and business crime; (2) privacy and media law, including GDPR; (3) general crime, particularly homicide and sexual offences; (4) public and administrative law; (5) inquests; (6) civil actions for or against the police; (7) security-related cases (he is developed vetted).

Adrian has been practising in London for approximately 4 years, having previously practised in the North East. He started practice in a 11 King’s Bench Walk Chambers, the set of the former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Taylor. He took silk in 2006, after 12 years’ practice. Following his move to London, he has rapidly established himself as a go to silk.

Examples of recent work (last 3 years):

  • The SFO investigation into Rolls Royce employees
  • The SFO investigation into ENRC and others
  • Lead counsel in a team conducting an internal investigation at a billion pound hospitality company
  • A trans-national investigation into international corruption, particularly in Southern Africa
  • Trans-national criminal advice to UK mining company in relation to the acquisition of a South American mine
  • R v Murrell (a solicitor, tried for a multi-million pound land banking fraud)
  • R v Ohmura (alleged fraud against the Libyan Sovereign Wealth Fund)
  • R v Hatfield (tax fraud alleged against a well known Sheffield businessman)
  • R v Piracha (accountant, and Chief Financial Officer, charged with tax fraud in relation to Greenwich Inc group of hospitality companies)
  • Private prosecution cases:
    • R v Asplin (Chief Executive Officer of a large insurance company, privately prosecuted for fraud against the company)
    • R v Lawless (Chief Financial Operating Officer of a group of marketing companies, privately prosecuted for fraud against the company)
    • R v H (a private client solicitor, privately prosecuted for fraud upon a client

Examples of recent work (last 3 years):

  • Retained by The Sun to provide general criminal advice, particularly relating to bribery issues
  • Judicial review by The Telegraph, relating to non-disclosure of information advice given to Tony Blair by the Cabinet Office quango, ACOBA, following him ceasing to be a Minister
  • The Times, relating to the conduct of undercover investigations
  • The Sunday Times, relating to the Terrorism Act and the duty of disclosure
  • RTE (the Irish public service broadcaster) relating investigative agency powers, duties to disclose and trans-national liability of journalists
  • Shamima Begum (the “Jihadi Bride”), in relation to an application for journalistic material, pursuant to Terrorism Acts

Examples of recent work (last 3 years):

  • R v Zala (a doctor charged with historical sexual abuse of patients)
  • R v Miller (gangland murder)
  • R v van Hasselt (a young man with Asperger’s syndrome, charged in relation to planting incendiary devices and blackmail in relation to Animal Rights and Huntingdon Life Sciences)
  • R v Ndudim (a 14 year old charged with murder)
  • R v Thorpe (domestic murder)
  • R v Cooper (15 year old charged with murder)
  • R v Varley & Gath (murder of a disabled man with learning difficulties)
  • R v Conn (1970s music impresario, charged with historical sexual allegations)
  • R v Harper (1970s rock singer, charged with historical sexual allegations)

Examples of recent work (last 3 years):

  • Judicial review of the issue of a summons in a private prosecution for fraud
  • Judicial review of refusal a Freedom of Information Act application
  • Judicial review of the issue of a warrant in a multi-national fraud
  • Judicial review of the directions judge’s decision to admit the ruling of the High Court trial judge in a subsequent professional discipline case

Examples of recent work (last 3 years):

  • Donnygate (a series cases of corruption by local councillors)
  • R v Woodgate and others (Leeds United and England footballers charged with assault on an Asian student)
  • Anatomy of Crime (the first cradle to grave fly on the wall documentary of a real cases by the BBC)
  • R v Dunlop (the first double jeopardy case following reform of the law)
  • R v George O’Dowd (singer Boy George, tried for false imprisonment)
  • R v Young (the longest period between original incident and death (12 years) following the abrogation of the year-and-a-day rule, in which a father was initially convicted of section 20 OPA 1861 and later charged with manslaughter, following the child’s later death)
  • R v Mendez (a thorough review, pre-Jogee, of the law of parasitic joint enterprise liability)
  • Pre-silk, the only junior barrister authorised by the DPP to advise and to prosecute cases involving Article 2 or 3 violations by state agents (eg deaths in custody, police shootings)
  • SFO investigation into Balfour Beatty
  • SFO investigation into BAE
  • Investigation into a journalist for breach of the Official Secrets Act 1989
  • Many inquests (including a coal mining death, deaths in police custody, suicides of “sectioned” patients)
  • Many homicide trials
  • Many rape and other serious sexual assault trials

Adrian is regulated by the Bar Standards Board and accepts instructions under Standard Contractual Terms. To find out more information on this and the way we work at Matrix, including our fee transparency statement, please see our see our service standards.


"He’s client-focused in all areas of work . He is a totally safe pair of hands, committed to his clients, works the jury and judge really well, and achieves fantastic results . He is wonderful to work with."

"He’s probably the cleverest barrister I’ve ever met, he’s super bright . In one sexual offence case, he managed to come up with more legal arguments than I thought were possible."

"He’s exceptionally good. He was outstanding in a difficult case."

"His legal analysis is very sophisticated, but he also manages to speak to juries in a way that evokes sympathy and understanding."

Chambers & Partners