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Practice Profile

Sam specialises in Crime, both prosecuting and defending. He has experience across the full range of criminal proceedings, and has appeared in the Magistrates' Court, Crown Court and Court of Appeal. Recent cases include allegations of burglary, serious violence and drugs supply.

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.

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 Advocate Panel at Grade 1

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.
2013, Lord Denning Scholarship - Lincoln’s Inn.
2013, Hardwicke Scholarship - Lincoln’s Inn.

Recent Cases

  • R v K [Lewes] 2019


    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.

  • R v M [Woolwich Crown Court] 2019

    Assault on an Emergency Worker

    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.

  • R v G [Cambridge] 2019


    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.

  • R v S [Reading] 2019

    Obstructing a Police Constable

    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.

  • R v T [Ipswich] 2019


    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.

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