Sam specialises in children law matters, both public and private law. He is regularly instructed on behalf of local authorities, parents, children, and interveners in complex care proceedings involving sexual abuse, non-accidental injury, and chronic neglect.
Sam is known for his very professional approach and his advocacy is highly skilled. He is now frequently instructed in cases beyond his year of call against senior members of the Bar. He has been praised by instructing solicitors for establishing himself as a formidable advocate who will vigorously defend the interests of his clients.
As a panel member of Advocate (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit), Sam also accepts pro bono instructions in appropriate cases.
In 2018, Sam was awarded a prestigious Pegasus Scholarship and worked for eight weeks in India, including time at the Supreme Court of India and the Delhi Commission for Women. He has written about his time in India here.
Outside of his court practice, Sam is the Chair of the Nottingham Bar Mess and was previously Junior to the Midland Circuit. He is a committee member of Young Legal Aid Lawyers – a group of lawyers campaigning for a sustainable legal aid system, and is currently part of JUSTICE’s Working Party considering how access to justice can be improved for separating families in private law proceedings. Sam also delivers family law training to solicitors’ firms.
Sam is committed to social mobility and diversity at the Bar. He sits on chambers’ pupillage committee and is a member of the Midland Circuit Social Mobility Committee. He is a mentor to law students and is involved with advocacy training at local universities. He previously tutored students as part of Big Voice London, a project giving young people a voice in legal policy, and has taught English in Uganda and South Korea.
Sam was called to the Bar in 2012 and is a Hardwicke and Eastham Scholar of Lincoln’s Inn. He studied law at the University of Leicester for three years with a further year spent at La Trobe University in Melbourne. Sam completed the Bar course at the University of Law where he was awarded prizes for achieving the top marks in family law, drafting and opinion writing. During his studies he volunteered for Victim Support, the Refugee Council, and Birmingham TUC Centre for the Unemployed.
After completing the Bar course, Sam spent three months at the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center in New Orleans where he assisted lawyers defending people facing the death penalty. His work included prison visits, mitigation research, and drafting. Following this he joined legal action charity Reprieve for five months as Clive Stafford Smith’s intern where he worked exclusively on the case of Kris Maharaj.
Sam was an intern at JUSTICE, a human rights charity, working to reform the UK justice system with a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalised in society. He then worked as a paralegal at John Ford Solicitors in London where he had his own caseload in community care, education, and public law.
Sam is well known as a calm and collected advocate when it comes to dealing with the most complex of issues with the ability to grasp new information quickly. He is often chosen by solicitors looking for counsel who will take a forensic approach to voluminous evidence and prepare for trials thoroughly, this was recognised in the Legal 500 2022, where Sam’s attention to detail is described as ‘second to none’.
Sam has gained a significant following for representing vulnerable clients due to his sensitive approach. He represents many clients assisted by an intermediary and tailors his approach to each individual client.
Sam is frequently sought after for reinstruction on cases from beginning to end and is happy to provide tactical advice to solicitors and lay clients throughout the proceedings.
In addition to complex finding of fact hearings with allegations including sexual abuse, serious violence, and non-accidental injury, Sam has experience of cases involving honour-based violence, radicalisation, and fabricated and induced illness. In private law proceedings he has acted in many cases involving parental alienation and cross-allegations of domestic abuse.
Sam is specifically pursued for instruction on cases involving complex legal arguments, often at High Court level, and has experience of:
Sam’s recent caseload include:
Re H and Others (Children) (Fact Finding: Rib Fractures)  EWHC 2041 (Fam)
Junior to Louise Sapstead in a complex six-week fact finding hearing before Mr Justice Poole representing a competent child.
Re ABCDEF (Fact Finding: Honour Based Violence)  EWHC 406 (Fam)
Representing the mother in a finding of fact hearing before Mr Justice Keehan where there were allegations of honour-based violence, forced marriage, and domestic abuse.
Senior Local Authority solicitor
“Sam Coe is a highly personable yet tenacious, professional and persuasive advocate who thoroughly researched his brief whilst happily providing additional advice and guidance. His input at a later stage of highly challenging care proceedings involving an extremely combative litigant in person revitalised and altered the course of those proceedings and ultimately resulted in a positive outcome for the child concerned supported by a comprehensive judgment.”
Legal 500 2023 – Child Law (Public and Private) Ranked: Tier 3
“Samuel is very good at adapting to the needs of a client and is a very patient person. He makes clients feel that they have been listened to and will make sure every client has understood and is OK before finishing his involvement with them. He is very knowledgeable, and this is always a benefit with clients.”
Legal 500 2022 – Child Law (Public and Private) Ranked: Tier 3
‘Sam’s attention to detail is second to none. He has a very professional and sympathetic approach with clients and his advocacy is highly skilled. I would have no hesitation in recommending him.’
Gemma Curtis – Johnson Astills
“Sam is a brilliant barrister. I always feel clients and their cases are dealt with professionally and in the most efficient manner when Sam is involved. Clients are always happy with Sam representing them and will often ask if he can help them with further hearings as well, frequently requesting Sam personally. Sam is brilliant at communicating with clients and manages to help put them at ease in the most difficult times in their lives. Sam is also easy to work with as a solicitor and always makes himself available to help when he can with issues before, during and after his involvement with a case.”
Senior Local Authority solicitor following a complex led case
“Sam is a personable advocate who gets his points over with skill. He has a meticulous and careful approach to his cases which together with excellent client care skills makes him a first choice.”