Sam is a specialist criminal barrister. He is instructed for both prosecution and defence, and has experience across the full range of criminal proceedings.
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.
To view the privacy notice for Sam Willis please click here.
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 two apps for criminal lawyers.
Crime Fees is a free criminal legal aid calculator for barristers and solicitors. Available for iOS, Android and macOS, it can be downloaded here.
Crime QRH is an easy to use guide to criminal offences for criminal lawyers and court advocates - a searchable database providing quick access to key details e.g. max sentence, guidelines, class of offence, dangerousness provisions. Available for iOS, Android and macOS, it can be downloaded here.
MPhil, Criminology, University of Cambridge
LLB, Law, University of East Anglia
CPS General Crime Panel at Level 2
CPS Specialist Serious Crime Group Panel at Level 2
CPS Specialist Fraud Panel at Level 2
CPS Specialist Proceeds of Crime Panel at Level 2
The Bar Council IT Panel
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 was instructed by the specialist fraud unit to prosecute this case of ‘tobacco smuggling’. The defendant had been importing, storing and selling cigarettes for over three years, without paying any import duty or VAT on them.
Sam Willis defended in this computer misuse and money laundering case. The offences involved the supplying of software used to 'DDOS' websites and gaming servers (temporarily disabling them). The served evidence consisted of 30,000 pages of computer logs, and links to other defendants in the USA introduced additional complexity.
Sam Willis was instructed as led-junior in this 12-handed tobacco importation matter. The overall duty evaded was calculated to be over £2.6 million. Preparation for the case required extensive analysis of mobile telephone billing data.
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.