Samir Adam is a partner at May Irwin Adam. His practice is heavily focused on criminal and quasi -criminal litigation at both trial and appellate levels. He has argued at the Ontario Court of Justice, the Superior Court of Ontario and the Ontario Court of Appeal, as well in both the Quebec Court of Justice and Quebec Superior Court. Mr. Adam’s practice has included representing clients in all manner of cases including murder, sexual assault, robbery and impaired driving causing death. He has also advised government agencies with respect to criminal investigations and has represented police officers involved in investigations before the Special Investigations Unit (SIU).
Mr. Adam was born in London, England, grew up in Ottawa, and received his LL.B in 2009 from the University of Ottawa following an Honours BA in Criminology from the same institution. While in University, Mr. Adam worked with Correction Service Canada’s International Transfers division where he worked with US Federal and State institutions to advocate for and facilitate the transfer of US-based Canadian offenders back to Canada. He has also worked within the Canadian Border Service Agency’s National Security division where he researched conflict zones around the world. He is currently a member of the County of Carleton Law Association, the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa and the Law society of Upper Canada.
Why did you become a lawyer?
Parents often play an influential role in shaping their children’s life decisions. I gravitated to law influenced in large part by my father’s life story as a politician, journalist and contrarian.
In the late 70s, my father was the Press Secretary to the President of Ghana. On December 31, 1981, the army staged a coup and seized control of the nation and banished the rule of law. The military government became oppressive, and concerned about his safety, my father fled the country accompanied by my mother. They settled in London, England, where I was born.
This was a trying time for my family and the experience inspired countless debates on personal freedom, the dangers of excessive government power, and the importance of the rule of law in society. Over time, these debates came to define my life. I learned the importance of standing up for personal freedom and security. I understood how government power can be abused and why individual rights such as the right to not be arbitrarily arrested has to be defended and preserved. I learned that government power is not always used for the greater good and someone has to stand up for those at the receiving end. I have never forgotten those lessons. They inspired me to go to law school. But let’s be clear – long before law school, my skills of critical thinking, empathy and ability to stand up to for what’s right, had been honed in relentless debates in the family living room.
The Law Society of Upper Canada may have sanctioned my credentials as a lawyer in 2009, but I’ve been playing the devil’s advocate most all my life. Becoming a defence attorney was always meant to be.
How do you represent criminals?
I don’t represent criminals. I represent people of all shades and from all walks of life who find themselves on the wrong side of the criminal justice system for one reason or another. We believe as a society that no matter your station in life, no matter the circumstance, everyone deserves their day in court. Everyone charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Everyone deserves the best defence that can be mounted. I am a passionate advocate for these people and their families. I am here to provide them with a strong, committed defence and I never lose sight of the human element at play in every case.
What motivates you to fight hard in each and every case?
I have an awesome responsibility as a defence attorney and it is a responsibility I do not take lightly. I have clients who look to me to defend them against unfounded allegations that can have irreparable damage to them and their loved ones. I have clients who are facing long jail sentences and are looking for a chance to get their lives back. I have clients who have been let down by the criminal justice system and need someone to champion their cause. These clients are putting their lives in my hands because they trust that I will do right by them. It is that trust that motivates me to leave no stone unturned in the defence of my clients.