'An exceptional young barrister'
Sam has a broad chancery practice, with particular emphasis on trusts and probate (both contentious and non-contentious), the work of the Court of Protection, and contentious tax litigation. He was appointed to the Attorney General’s “C” Panel in 2018. He is ranked as an “Up and Coming” junior for Traditional Chancery in Chambers and Partners, HNW 2020 and HNW 2021.
He has particular experience in high value and long running litigation, including, most notably, through his involvement in a number of large scale tax avoidance cases, including the £1 billion Ingenious litigation (led by Malcolm Gammie CBE QC), which resulted in a 44 day trial in the First-tier Tribunal in 2013-2015, 22 days in the Upper Tribunal in 2019, and 6 days in the Court of Appeal in 2021. He was also involved in the well-known Icebreaker litigation, as well as a recent four-week trial in the First-tier Tribunal (Gala Film Partners LLP v HMRC) regarding an LLP’s claim to loss relief of c. £100 million. He is also involved in litigation surrounding the “Loan Charge” legislation, led by Sir James Eadie QC, as well as a long running capital allowances case (London Luton Hotel BPRA Property Fund LLP v HMRC) which is listed for a five-day hearing in the Court of Appeal in March 2023.
In terms of the trusts and estates and Court of Protection work at the core of his practice, Sam is currently acting in complex High Court litigation involving allegations of self-dealing in connection with a number of property transactions, a claim for rectification in respect of a settlement in respect of assets worth several hundred million pounds, and a multimillion-pound tax appeal in the First-tier Tribunal regarding the IHT treatment of a wedding business. He is also providing ongoing advice to the corporate trustee of two high value Jersey settlements and is instructed in a number of claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
Recent reported cases include:
- Mathieson v HMRC  UKFTT 11 (TC). Sam was instructed by HMRC (as sole counsel) in this case involving the operation of the TMA 1970 so far as it applies to LLPs. The decision of the FTT was handed down in favour of HMRC in December 2021.
- Ingenious Games LLP & Ors v HMRC  EWCA Civ 1180. Sam has acted for HMRC (led by Malcolm Gammie CBE QC) in this high profile and long running tax litigation concerning the investment by various LLPs in films and games. Pending application for permission to the Supreme Court.
- Penntrust Limited v WBDC & Anor  EWCOP This was a Court of Protection case involving the operation of the fixed costs regime set out at Practice Direction 19B of the Court of Protection Rules 2017. Sam acted for the successful applicant, Penntrust Limited (instructed as sole counsel by Penningtons Manches LLP).
- Gareth Clark v HMRC  EWCA Civ 204. This Court of Appeal decision considers the legislative regime relating to registered pension schemes. Sam acted for HMRC (led by Jonathan Davey QC).
- Gaskin v Chorus Law Limited & Anor  EWHC 616 (Ch). This decision concerned the incidence of costs arising in connection with long running contentious probate and removal proceedings. Sam acted for Chorus Law (sole counsel).
- The Pensions Regulator v Payae & Ors  EWHC 36 (Ch). This decision followed the trial of a claim by the Pension Regulator for the recovery of £13.7 million lost in a pensions liberation fraud. It was the first time that the Regulator has obtained an order for statutory restitution under s.16 Pensions Act 2004. Sam acted for The Pensions Regulator (led by Jonathan Hilliard QC).
Other experience includes:
- Advising the taxpayer in a domicile dispute against HMRC.
- Acting (as sole counsel) in multimillion-pound Jersey proceedings against the directors of an offshore company.
- Regularly instructed in rectification / rescission proceedings concerning trusts and wills, and also in numerous applications under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958.
- Acting in numerous contentious probate claims concerning the formal or substantial validity of wills.
- Acting in numerous claims for the removal of trustees or executors.
- Numerous cases involving financial abuse, involving both Court of Protection elements (claims for removal of deputies and attorneys) and High Court elements (for recovery of assets, or setting aside vulnerable transactions).
- Regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor and the Office of Public Guardian in Court of Protection proceedings.
- Three-month secondment with a leading law firm in the Channel Islands.