Described in Chambers & Partners as an "exceptional advocate”, and by The Lawyer as "one of the 50 outstanding individuals at the Bar .... deserving of elite status”, Sam is listed in Chambers & Partners and/or Legal 500 as a leading individual in Employment, Banking litigation and Sports Law. Recognised as "a real fighter”, Sam is said "to argue cases as a great conductor would lead an orchestra.”
Sam’s reputation is built on his expertise in complex, sensitive or high value commercial litigation (including claims over £1 billion), primarily in the fields of banking, insurance & finance, IT, health, education, and in the world of sport. Chambers & Partners 2012 commend Sam for his "strong commercial leaning" and how he is "able to get stuck into the detail of a case very quickly". His extensive experience in High Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords cases, coupled with his expertise in employment law, makes him especially sought after in commercial litigation cases with an employment law crossover. Sam has particular experience in cases with an international element, especially litigation involving the CIS.
"Particularly recommended for High Court injunctions” Sam has a thriving injunction practice in employment contract restrictive covenants, and in related confidential information and commercial law fields where he has extensive experience of "freezing” and "search and seize” applications.
In employment law Sam’s recognised expertise in discrimination claims is complemented by particular experience in whistleblowing cases, where he regularly represents major clients in high-profile claims.
A significant part of Sam's employment/disciplinary practice is in the field of medical law, where he regularly represents Trusts and individual doctors, in the GMC, and also in High Court and employment tribunal.
Sam’s recognition as a consummate oral advocate is supported by clients' references in the legal directories to his "lightning-fast ability at understanding key issues” and to "think outside the box". This is matched by his ability to "draft lucid written arguments based on complex facts in very little time”, coupled with a reputation as a "practical and down to earth team player whose client skills are second to none”. Prepared to go the extra mile at short notice, Sam is "a pleasure to work with”, "concise and approachable”, "straightforward and insightful”, understanding the importance of a sympathetic and practical approach to team-working and client relationships.
- "Highly responsive...and wonderful at making clients feel at ease": Chambers & Partners 2013
- "Sharp, user friendly...and readily identifies problems and gives clear, concise advise”: Legal 500 2012
Sam is regularly instructed on high value or complex director-level wrongful dismissals and other contractual/fiduciary duty claims, including notable recent victories in:
- Daley v ERT Plc & Anr  All ER D 241 (Court of Appeal), a cross-border CIS claim involving complex issues of company law, conflict of laws, and director’s fiduciary duties;
- Everett v University of East London  All ER (D) 38 (Court of Appeal): an injunction claim brought by a University vice-chancellor to prevent a disciplinary hearing going ahead;
- Lauffer v Barking Havering & Redbridge NHS Trust  Med. L.R. 68 (High Court): an injunction obtained by a consultant surgeon to prevent his dismissal.
- De Vere Group GmbH & Anr v Pearce  EWHC 1240 (High Court): a cross-border breach of contract/breach of confidence claim by a Financial Services Group against an agent involving complex issues of conflicts of laws and illegality, in which the Court awarded Sam's client damages of £3 million and indemnity costs.
- 20:20 London Ltd v Riley  EWHC 1912 (Ch): a claim by the purchasers of a business for repayment of the multi million purchase price relying on a clause in the contract which the Defendant vendor alleged was in restraint of trade.
- Threlfall v ECD Insight Ltd  IRLR 185: a wrongful dismissal claim in which Sam’s TV Presenter client succeeded in his claim for a £250,000 termination payment and defeated the Defendant’s £380,000 counterclaim alleging unlawful competition.
- Sam is a sought-after senior junior in a wide range of commercial litigation. He has invaluable experience of high value/document-heavy claims, instructed by liquidators, banks, and asset finance companies, as well as PLCs. Cases of note include:
- Fourie v Le Roux  1 All ER 1087 (House of Lords): £1 Billion cross-border corporate insolvency fraud claim
- Howe v Lloyds TSB Bank Plc  All ER (D) 131: defending the Bank against a multi-million pound claim
- 20:20 London Ltd v Riley  EWHC 1912: multi million pound business sale claim
- Orb a.r.l. & Ors v Ruhan: (Commercial Ct) acting for the defendant in a £250 million arising out of the sale of the Thistle Hotel Group
- Aspinal of London v Kiki James (London) Ltd: representing Aspinal in a High Court claim involving the alleged unlawful copying of its product range
- DeVere Group Ltd GmbH v AES International: representing global financial group claimant in a multi-million pound cross-border claim against a competitor
- Referred to in the directories as being "particularly praised for his excellent work in disability discrimination”, and having "acted in a number of high profile cases on age, race, sex and disability”, Sam is in demand for multi-day discrimination cases.
- Recent high-profile clients in discrimination claims have included the major NHS Trusts, Aston Villa FC, Al-Jazeera, IBM, a "Top 20” City solicitors’ firm facing sex discrimination claims by two female equity partners, the Global Sports Editor of Reuters, and in Rinaldi v Rugby Football League, Sam was instructed in a European discrimination law test case on the legality of the RFL’s overseas players quota system.
- Sam has particular expertise in Whistleblowing cases, where he is regularly instructed by household name clients in high profile claims. Recent instructions include notable victories for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Theatre Group in a whistleblowing tribunal relating to the West End production of Warhorse, and for Historic Royal Palaces in a whistleblowing unfair dismissal claim brought by the former Governor of the Tower of London, both of which achieved international publicity. Other recent "City” whistleblowing instructions include acting for a former BGC Desk Head, and for a Lloyds Insurance Broking firm defending a claim brought by its former Managing Director.
- Sam is also regularly instructed to give high-level industry-wide strategic advice. Examples include advising on:
- TUPE issues in various sectors of industry, including the banking sector;
- working time issues in the British University system, the sea fishing, and building industries, following on from his appearance in the leading working time case of Redrow Homes v Roberts & Anr  ICR 1126 (CA).
- Sam’s experience in medical law has resulted in a thriving court and disciplinary/regulatory practice, representing both trusts and individual doctors, both in the GMC, High Court, and employment tribunal.
- Sam is counsel of choice for both doctors and Trusts in internal disciplinary matters. A recognised expert in MHPS, Sam regularly represents consultants in injunction applications to prevent dismissal or enforce contractual disciplinary and capability procedures, such as Lauffer v Barking Havering & Redbridge NHS Trust  Med. L.R. 68 and A. v An NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 659.
- As well as regularly representing NHS Trusts in employment tribunal whistleblowing and discrimination claims, Sam is regularly instructed to advise NHS trusts and represent doctors and other NHS workers in internal disciplinary hearings, and is sought after in internal disciplinary matters in the business and industry world outside the NHS.
- Sam is also instructed on matters of national importance in the medical profession, including:
- payment of doctors while suspended by the GMC, and
- the rights of junior doctors to free hospital accommodation.
- Having formerly boxed, played football, and run at a high level, Sam’s extensive experience and expertise in Sports Law is backed up by a thorough knowledge and understanding of Sport from the client’s perspective.
- Listed by the legal directories as a leader in the field of Sports Law, Sam was for many years Legal Adviser to the Amateur Boxing Association of England, advising on a wide variety of matters, including the discrimination implications relating to licensing women boxers.
- Sam is regularly instructed by top-level players, agents and agencies, promoters, coaches and managers, clubs, Formula 1 teams, and bodies and associations, and was recently instructed to act for a number of overseas rugby league "Superleague” players in a European law test case on the legality of the Rugby Football League’s overseas player "quota” system.
- Clients have included the Red Bull and Force India formula 1 teams, former England boxing Olympic Gold medallist James de Gale, top boxing promoter Chris Sanegar in his dispute with European Champion Dean Francis, Worcester Rugby Union club in its dispute with England international Andy Gomarsall, Sri Lankan Cavaliers Cricket Club, as well as football clubs such as Aston Villa, Coventry City and Watford. He has also advised as to the entitlement of a jockey to ride in the Agra Diamond Stakes at Royal Ascot.
House of Lords
- Johnson v Unisys Ltd  AC 568 landmark employment case dealing with the interrelationship between contractual and statutory employment protection.
- Fourie v Le Roux & Ors  UKHL 1: leading case on freezing injunctions, and the jurisdiction of the English High Court to grant interim injunctions.
Court of Appeal
- Kapadia v London Borough of Lambeth  IRLR 699: disability discrimination.
- Wilson v Post Office  IRLR 834: substitution and remission in EAT appeals
- Cave v Borax Ltd  All ER (D) 287: committal, indemnity costs.
- Hayes & Ors v Transco Plc  All ER (D) 104: interpretation of collective agreement terms in individual employment contracts.
- Robert & Ors v Redrow Homes (NW) Ltd  IRLR 740: Working Time Regulations interpretation.
- Daley v Environmental Recycling Technologies Plc & Anr  All ER (D) 241, directors’ duties, company law, burden of proof and drawing of inferences in fiduciary duty cases.