Sam is a specialist criminal barrister. He is instructed for both prosecution and defence, and has experience across the full range of criminal proceedings. He has appeared in the Magistrates' Court, Crown Court and Court of Appeal.
As a committed advocate, Sam places great emphasis on thorough preparation and first class advocacy.
Formerly an IT developer, Sam is at ease conducting cases involving digital evidence e.g. mobile phone downloads, computer forensics and CCTV analysis. He draws on his experience to quickly analyse and present high-volumes of complex information.
His most recent instructions have included defending in a high-profile stalking case involving 90,000 pages of digital evidence, prosecuting a defendant for multiple county-lines drug supply operations, and defending in a 12-handed tobacco importation matter.
Sam publishes a free weekly 'updater' of criminal law news - intended for practitioners, law students, and anyone with an interest in the criminal justice system of England and Wales. You can subscribe to Witness here.
Sam has also developed a free criminal legal aid calculator for barristers and solicitors. The app, Crime Fees, can be downloaded here for iOS and Android.
MPhil, Criminology, University of Cambridge
LLB, Law, University of East Anglia
CPS General Crime Panel at Level 1
CPS Specialist Serious Crime Group Panel at Level 2
CPS Specialist Fraud Panel at Level 2
Scholarships and Prizes
2017, Levitt Scholarship - Lincoln’s Inn.
2017, Third Prize, Kalisher Essay Competition - The Kalisher Trust.
2016, Clare Hall Bursary - Clare Hall, University of Cambridge.
2015, Sir Louis Gluckstein Prize for best student advocate - Lincoln’s Inn.
2015, Buchanan Prize - Lincoln’s Inn.
2013, Runner-Up, Law Reform Essay Competition - Bar Council.
Sam Willis, led by Paul Walker, defended in this five-week trial involving allegations of stalking. The prosecution evidence consisted of 74,000 pages of Facebook extracts and computer downloads. The ability to analyse large quantities of digital evidence was crucial to the defence case - it led to a 40-page defence bundle being placed before the jury to provide context and balance to the 550-page prosecution bundles.
Sam Willis acted for this defendant who was acquitted after a three day trial. The defendant was of good character and was seen on police 'bodyworn video' striking a police constable to the throat. The issue for the jury was self defence.
Sam Willis prosecuted this assault allegation, where the defendant was unfit to be tried. After legal submissions on the correct procedure to follow, the Magistrates heard the evidence and found that there had been a physical assault as alleged. Further submissions were then made on the proper disposal of the case.
Sam Willis acted for this defendant, accused of obstructing a police officer during a stop and search. Following submissions on the grounds required before an individual can be searched, the District Judge acquitted the defendant.
Sam Willis acted for this defendant, accused of a commerical burglary based solely on DNA evidence. Following an application to dismiss, the prosecution conceded that the forensic evidence was insufficient for the matter to proceed to trial.