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  • DX: LDE 367 London
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Practice Profile

Sam is a specialist criminal barrister, instructed for both prosecution and defence. His practice is focused on serious and complex cases, usually involving violence, weapons, drugs, and fraud. He is a Level 3 CPS Advocate Panel member, and is on the Specialist Serious Crime, Fraud, and POCA Panels at Level 2.

As a committed advocate, Sam places great emphasis on thorough preparation and engaging with the real issues in a case, allowing for first-class advocacy before judge or jury. Formerly an IT developer, Sam is at ease conducting cases involving digital evidence. He draws on his experience to quickly analyse and present high-volumes of complex information. He has dealt with numerous cases involving vulnerable witnesses and defendants, including the use of section 28 pre-recorded cross-examination and intermediaries.

Recent instructions have included:
- Acting as sole and led junior in several EncroChat drugs cases, including a seven-handed conspiracy to supply cocaine
- Sole junior in a three-handed conspiracy to defraud a vulnerable victim of £170k
- Led junior in an allegation of attempted murder, witness intimidation and perverting the course of justice, involving young witnesses and defendants
- Led junior in a 16-week immigration ‘cash for visa’ fraud trial
- Led junior in a six-handed conspiracy to facilitate illegal entry into the UK, using improperly obtained ID documents

Sam has also been instructed in several long-term projects, including the Post Office 'Horizon' disclosure review and a secondment to one of the CPS Crown Court teams.

Sam's Privacy Policy can be downloaded here.


  • CPS General Crime Panel at Level 3.
  • 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.


  • MPhil, Criminology, University of Cambridge.
  • LLB, Law, University of East Anglia.

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.


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.

Recent Advisory Work

  • Secondment - CPS East of England Crown Court Unit.
  • Post-Conviction Disclosure Review - Post Office 'Horizon' Cases.
  • Disclosure Junior - Home Office 'Op Lexes'.


Bollywood ‘cash for visa’ fraud

21 December 2021

Rupert Kent and Sam Willis secured convictions this week at Prospero... Read More

Recent Cases

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Credit for Guilty Plea at PTPH

Since the Sentencing Council updated the guideline on ‘Reduction in sentence for a guilty... Read More