Sam acts in commercial, regulatory and criminal cases. He has over 15 years’ litigation experience in New Zealand and abroad, with particular expertise as trial counsel.


  • LLM - Columbia University School of Law (James Kent Scholar), 2007
  • BA/LLB -  University of Auckland, 2003


Sam acts in commercial, regulatory and criminal cases. He has practiced since 2004 and has particular expertise as trial counsel. Sam is one of few counsel equally at home in the commercial and criminal jurisdictions, with a record of success in both.

Sam’s commercial practice is varied, and includes cases regarding negligence, fraud, breach of contract, building defects and property claims. Sam is regularly instructed on applications for urgent relief, including freezing orders and interim injunctions. In regulatory matters, Sam has prosecuted and defended cases involving fraud, insider trading, cartel conduct and health and safety. In the criminal jurisdiction, Sam is a former Crown Prosecutor and has conducted a large number of jury and judge-alone trials. Sam is often instructed by targets of Police or regulatory investigations and has an established record of assisting clients to avoid charges or enforcement action.


Sam’s international experience spans both the commercial and criminal spheres. For several years, Sam practiced in New York at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a premier U.S. law firm. At Cravath, Sam acted in high stakes litigation matters for clients including JP Morgan Chase, Xerox Corporation and Qualcomm. From 2011-2015, Sam served at the International Criminal Court in The Hague where he prosecuted war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the prosecution of the first sitting head of state.


Sam’s experience and commercial judgment helps clients avoid litigation where possible. His courtroom expertise provides clients with a skilled advocate where litigation is necessary.

Case Highlights

R v Zhang &Ors [2022] 2541

Cousel for defendant in seven-week, seven defendant Serious Fraud Office prosecution alleging electoral donation fraud. Secured the client's acquittal on all charges and permanent name suppression.

Herbert & Ors v USAR Napier Limited [2022] NZCA 288

Acted for successful party in proceedings for breach of settlement agreement arising from injunction proceedings. Secured full recovery for the client.

Haven Insurance Limited v Lombard & Ors [2020] NZHC 1248

Counsel in trade secrets trial. Obtained judgment against all defendants and pre-judgment freezing orders.

Regulatory Investigation

Acted for targets of regulatory investigation with exposure to criminal and civil liability. Navigated clients through the investigation with no enforcement action being taken.

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc v Airgas, Inc 16 A.3d 48 (Del. Ch. 2011)

Represented the bidding company at trial in a landmark “poison pill” case arising from a USD 5.7 Billion hostile takeover bid in Delaware, United States.

Prosecutor v Uhuru Kenyatta ICC-01/09-02/11

International Criminal Court prosecution of the sitting President of Kenya for alleged crimes against humanity.

What Others Say


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  • New Zealand Bar Association
  • New Zealand Law Society
  • New York State Bar