Sam was appointed Director of Pro Bono in March 2020. Prior to that he spent 12 years in the firm's Dispute Resolution team during which time he was promoted to Senior Counsel, ranked by Legal 500 as a 'Rising Star' and co-led the team which won Commercial Litigation Team of the Year at all three major legal awards.
Earlier in his career he was selected as a judicial assistant in the Court of Appeal (ultimately working for the Lord Chief Justice) and also seconded to the Serious Fraud Office in a high-profile role in one of the regulator’s blockbuster investigations where he was described by the Director of the SFO as a “major asset”.
Throughout his career Sam has played a significant role in the firm's pro bono practice, with a particular focus on acting for victims of domestic violence and international development work. He has taken a lead role in shaping the firm's pro bono work, including creating the Domestic Violence Advocacy Unit (DVAU) and a team to act for victims of human trafficking. He also runs the firm's partnerships with a number of pro bono brokerages and with human rights organisation JUSTICE (looking into the over representation of BAME youth in the criminal youth justice system).
Since moving into the role as Director of Pro Bono, Sam has re-configured the firm's pro bono strategy to focus on four key areas:
- Climate, Environment and Sustainability
- Diversity, Inclusion and Social Mobility
- Vulnerable Groups (Domestic Violence, Refugees etc)
- Rule of Law
Sam is also the founder of the Cottman Foundation, a charity which tackles domestic violence, knife crime and human trafficking and funds clean water projects, homes for abandoned children and youth sports programmes.