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Adam Feest QC

Adam Feest QC

Call 1994
Silk 2016

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Specialising in criminal law and associated quasi-criminal areas, Adam’s practice covers the whole spectrum of criminal cases.  Based in Winchester, his expertise and reputation have led to him being instructed in complex and important cases all over the country, including Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, South Wales and Devon. He also appears in the Central Criminal Court and the Court of Appeal. 

Adam's practice areas of expertise include:

  • Homicide and other cases involving death;
  • Serious violence and public disorder;
  • Serious sexual offences;
  • Complex fraud and money laundering;
  • Drug trafficking;
  • Cases involving vulnerable participants.

Adam's advocacy, advisory and case presentation skills were publicly recognized by his appointment as Queen’s Counsel in 2016.

He has already been instructed in a number of cases as Leading Counsel.  These include cases involving allegations of gross negligence manslaughter, and a two-handed murder by stabbing.  He has also been asked to advise at an early stage in a case involving the non-accidental death of a toddler.

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 8-handed conspiracy to steal and burgle. 

In the year or so prior to taking Silk, Adam was 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 allowed him to use the expertise he has acquired in this regard due to his involvement with the Western Circuit and ATC training programme teaching advocates how best to deal with such witnesses.  Adam has also been involved in cases which involved allegations of murder by running down with a speed boat, gang-related attempted murder and other firearms offences, a single blow manslaughter dealing with causation issues, and a three-handed murder by members of the travelling community.  He was also instructed in a case involving allegations of section 18 and false imprisonment within a relationship where the victim was too scared to make a complaint, and a serious aggravated burglary by an organised gang.

Of particular note, Adam was instructed as the prosecution junior in Operation Waterloo, a complex multi-cut throat murder with four defendants.  Involving difficult hearsay issues relating to a main witness, wide-ranging pathological and forensic evidence, and a large volume of CCTV and telephone evidence.  At a trial lasting 6 weeks in 2012 and 11 weeks in 2013, Adam conducted much of the case himself and successfully resisted the appeals against conviction in the Court of Appeal, appearing against four leading QCs.

In April 2010, Adam dealt with a three-month case which 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 sixteen 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 CPS dealing with the protection and 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.  He regularly receives instructions in such cases across the country.

Being involved in Operation Orr in Hampshire, dealing with cases involving indecent images of children downloaded from the internet, he has acquired particular knowledge and expertise in relation to computer and internet evidence and its presentation to a court.

Recent Cases of Note include:

  • R v Lester (2016) – Leading Counsel in multiple historical rape and sexual assaults against young girls, with first generation indecent images
  • R v J… (2016) – Historical sexual offences going back 40 years on close family members
  • R v D….(2016) – Multiple complainants of historical rape and sexual offences
  • R v Y.. (2016) – Instructed by NCA in case involving the alleged ordering of gun parts from abroad on the dark web
  • Operation Mohican (2015-16) – Leading Junior in multi-handed drug and money laundering conspiracy
  • Operation Sheraton (2015-16) – Leading Junior in multi-handed conspiracy to steal and burgle by an organized crime group across Southern England
  • R v Wilson and Dennis (2015-16) – Large scale conspiracy to import drugs, from mainland Europe, involving probe and other internationally obtained evidence
  • R v Purvis (2015) – Sexual assaults and distribution of indecent images by a convicted sex offender
  • R v P (2015) – Child cruelty by a mother on her own child
  • R v Doughty (2015) – Aggravated burglaries of vulnerable, elderly victims by a masked gang
  • R v Smithers (2014) – Manager of a nursing home charged with wilful neglect of an elderly and vulnerable resident
  • R v Old (2014) – Section 18 and false imprisonment by boyfriend within the context of an abusive and controlling relationship
  • R v Gerlach (2014) – Murder by running down in a speed boat
  • R v Perkins and Champion (2014) – Drug related false imprisonment, assault and torture
  • R v Redhead (2014) – Drug and gang related firearms offences and attempted murder
  • R v A (2013) - Historic allegations of serious sexual abuse, with associated bad character showing paedophile tendencies.
  • R v Mohammed and others (2013) - Eight-handed drugs and money laundering conspiracy.
  • R v Gilliver (2013) - Single blow manslaughter between serving soldiers, involving complicated expert evidence relating to brain trauma and alcohol.
  • R v G (2013) - Murder with knife where deceased survived incident and discharged himself from hospital, but later died of complications.
  • Operation Waterloo (2012/2013) – Four-handed cut-throat murder involving torture of the victim, and the disposal and setting light of the body.  Re-trial occurred after main defendant pleaded having given evidence.
  • R v James (2012) - R v Cramp (2012), R v Heaney (2011) – Ill-treatment of elderly residents of care homes in Leicestershire.
  • R v Thorn (2012) – Serious and life-threatening section 18 occurring during a pre-arranged fight where a knife was produced
  • R v Cannell (2012) – Historic allegations of serious sexual abuse on a complainant with significant and ongoing alcohol and mental health issues
  • Operation Paynter (2012) – Multi-handed conspiracy to produce and supply large quantities of cannabis, and connected money laundering and mortgage fraud offences involving a number of properties
  • R v Chambers and others (2012) – Three-handed murder and disposal of the body
  • Operation Hollow (2011) - A seven-handed conspiracy to steal involving the theft of cigarettes from a bonded warehouse worth over one million pounds
  • Operation Texas/Operation Madison (2011) - Two large drugs conspiracies involving class A, B and C drugs being trafficked from Manchester to South Wales
  • R v W (2011) - Possession of extreme pornography
  • Operation Cinders (2011) - Six defendants charged with conspiracy to burgle commercial premises across the South of England, and associated money-laundering offences
  • R v Edwards (2011) – Fatal accident of pedestrian walking on M4 at night
  • R v B (2011) - A man charged with historic and multiple rape and indecency, and taking indecent images
  • R v Bayton and others (2011) - A drugs conspiracy stretching from Devon to Manchester
  • R v Dobney (2011) - The Chief Druid of Avebury in relation to benefit fraud
  • R v Tee [2011] All ER (D) 231 (Feb) - Series of mortgage, benefit and credit card fraud
  • Operation Fawley (2010) - Leading Junior in a case involving allegations of neglect against the owner and manager of a residential home of sixteen mentally incapacitated residents under their care
  • Operation Approve (2010) -  Junior Counsel in murder case involving an assault in a house where the victim remained in a coma for five months.
  • R v Belton [2010] All ER (D) 88 (Nov) – Misfeasnace in a public office
  • R v D [2010] - A teacher alleged to have sexually abused multiple victims over many years.
  • R v C [2008] All ER (D) 370 (Apr)
See also
  • General Information

Practice Groups

  • General Information

Areas of Expertise


October 11 2016:

Adam Feest QC and Jodie Mittell of 3PB prosecute in manslaughter case more

July 11 2016:

Life sentence - Bristol Crown Court more

March 17 2016:

Adam Feest QC, David Richards and Sunyana Sharma were invited to give a criminal law seminar to the Hampshire Incorporated Law Society at the Offices of Irwin Mitchell more

... more news

Academic Qualifications

BA (Hons) in Jurisprudence, Keble College, Oxford University 1989-92

Professional Qualifications and Appointments

  • Bar Vocational Course, 1992-93
  • Called to the Bar (Inner Temple), February 1994
  • Pupil Supervisor since 2003
  • Appointed to Attorney General's List of Special Advocates 2005
  • Recorder 2009, authorised to try cases involving serious sexual allegations 2014
  • Tutor Judge for the Judicial College 2016
  • GMC Legal Assessor from 2010
  • NMC Legal Assessor 2010-2016

Professional Bodies

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Western Circuit