Sam Thomas

Year of Call: 2011  


Sam Thomas’ practice encompasses violent and financial crime, inquests and regulatory law.

Advocacy is at the forefront of Sam’s practice, and he regularly appears in the Crown Court to represent defendants and the Crown Prosecution Service. Sam is practised in questioning children, vulnerable witnesses and individuals with mental health issues. Recently Sam successfully represented a defendant with chronic schizophrenia who was accused of robbery, and he is often required to cross-examine those who have been the subject of violence and abuse.

Sam provides written representations, advice and advocacy to clients facing the prospect of regulatory sanction. His recent instructions include an optometrist accused of fraud, and a healthcare professional found in possession of sexual images involving children. Sam regularly presents and defends allegations of misconduct, as a result of clinical error, and deficient professional performance.

On a privately funded basis, Sam has acted as a led Junior and a Junior alone in complex confiscation and cash forfeiture hearings.

Sam has acted as Junior Disclosure Counsel for the Solicitor to the Hillsborough Inquest and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. He has acted as Independent Disclosure Counsel for investigations by HMRC and the Department of Justice. He is conversant with issues of Data Protection and Legal Professional Privilege in this jurisdiction and abroad.


On a direct access basis, Sam has drafted grounds of appeal against conviction and sentence, and applications to the Court of Appeal, in relation to a number of serious offences, including: unlawful act manslaughter; rape; historic sexual abuse; and conspiracy to supply controlled substances of class-a. Sam has also advised in relation to confiscation proceedings.

In Loake v Director of Public Prosecutions [2018] 2 W.L.R. 1159, Sam successfully argued that a conviction for harassment should be overturned following a preliminary ruling in the Crown Court. In doing so, Sam caused the law of insanity to be redefined, with the Administrative Court overturning decisions that had previously been in place for 30 years.

In Tan [2017] EWCA Crim 493, a case in relation to a conviction for harassment causing serious alarm or distress, Sam was granted leave to appeal following a successful application to the Full Court.

In relation to regulatory appeals, Sam has experience in advising on appeal to the Administrative Court and the First Tier Tribunal.

The appeal of ancillary orders is Sam’s speciality. He has experience in challenging the imposition of driving disqualifications; criminal behaviour orders; sexual harm prevention orders; football banning notices; and restraining orders.


Coroners Inquests

Working within large scale public inquiries, Sam has appeared before the Coroners’ Court to represent interested parties.

Sam is predominantly instructed by insurers to act for their clients, whether companies or individuals. In this context, Sam was recently instructed when a cyclist was killed by a large commercial vehicle. The inquest involved the exploration of the conduct of the driver but also liability for the condition of the surface of the road. The inquest extended to the responsibility of the Local Authority, Environment Agency, and several large commercial enterprises on a nearby site.

Sam has also undertaken inquests with regard to suspicious deaths. In a recent inquest, Sam represented the father of a boy who had died by positional asphyxiation. The inquest entailed exploration of police intelligence regarding gang affiliation and criticism of the forensic examination of the scene of death.

As Junior Disclosure Counsel, Sam has acted for the Solicitor to the Hillsborough Inquest and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.


Sam represents and advises professionals and regulators, primarily in the healthcare sector, in respect of disciplinary proceedings and NHS Performers List disputes. He regularly appears before the General Dental Council (GDC), General Optical Council (GOC) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

When representing Registrants, Sam has successfully defended those alleged to have committed misconduct including: negligent clinical performance; poor record keeping; inappropriate sexual conduct; and acts of dishonesty. Sam is adept at utilising expert evidence within his written and oral advocacy.

NHS Performers List disputes are a growing area within Sam’s practice. He regularly provides written representations for Performers List Decision Panels (PLDP), and has appeared in person before the PDLP when appropriate. Sam has also represented NHS contractors, both individuals and companies, in relation to alleged breaches of mandatory and additional services contracts.
In relation to regulatory appeals, Sam has experience in advising on appeal to the Administrative Court and the First Tier Tribunal.

Sam was seconded to an insurer of healthcare professionals where he provided advice on statutory and regulatory interpretation, judicial review of regulators decisions, and potential appeals.

He is a member of The Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers, and has contributed to ARDL publications.


  • Co-wrote GDPR: 5 Myths with Naureen Shariff (Solicitor at Blackfords)
  • Co-author of legal reference book Cyber Security: Law and practise.
  • Regularly contributes to journals in the areas of criminal and regulatory law.
  • Regulatory Appeals: An Alternative Forum was released in The Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers’ summer publication, and can be found within the Chambers website.
  • His analysis of the Supreme Court’s decision in R v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester and the impact of the decision on professional regulators, has been adopted into the guidance of several regulators including the Bar Standards Board.