Sam Stein QC

Called: 1988

Silk: 2009

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Sam Stein QC is a specialist Criminal Defence and Inquiry/Inquest Advocate. Sam has spent 30 years defending people before the Courts in all areas of criminal work and for many years Sam has also been taking part in campaign work leading him to represent people before Inquiries and Inquests.

He appears in the Crown Court, Court of Appeal, Inquests and before Inquiries.

He sits regularly as a Police Appeal Tribunal Chair and is the Chair of the LAA High Cost Panel. Since inception Sam has been a Governor of the Inns of Court College of Advocacy and is a highest ranked advocacy trainer.

Sam was appointed as a Bencher of the Inner Temple in 2008 and with Michael Mansfield QC is the co-head of Nexus Chambers.

Sam also has long experience as a regulator and was a board member of the Bar Standards Board and over the years chaired Pupillage and Training, Quality Assurance and Standards.

Sam is direct access qualified and often advises individuals regarding their chances of successful appeal against conviction and sentence.

Current Commitments
The Grenfell Tower Inquiry
Infected Blood Inquiry
Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse ( IICSA ) Press Quotes
Postmasters Appeal
Post Office Inquiry

Criminal Work

Sam’s practice has covered all areas of criminal work; Murder, Manslaughter, Terrorist, All sexual offences, fraud, money laundering and drugs offences.  Sam has often been instructed in and enjoys cut-throat defences, large scale and heavy weight cases and likes leading with and working with a team.  Sam, it is said, uses “advocacy that is like a stiletto in a velvet glove” and has “Encyclopaedic legal knowledge combined with street wise savy”.

Many client say that Sam “has saved their lives”.

Ranked in Chambers & Partners (Queens Counsel – Crime) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014.

Inquiries & Inquests

Currently Sam is instructed in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the Independent Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry (IICSA).  Both of these have has a lead time before they were established which Sam believes is key to getting justice and change made in the future.  Sam says “If people want to get an Inquiry going or get and Inquiry to consider the things that really matter and then get an justice at all they must be worked on and shaped before they start”.

Sam believe that getting an Inquiry right is all about getting it “started right, campaigning right and never giving up”.

Recently Sam has also broadened his work to include dedicated advice regarding the setting up and delivery of redress schemes. This work has grown out of the many clients Sam represents before IICSA and his repeated submissions that a national redress scheme must be developed to recognise the institutional failures over decades to protect children from abuse. Sam and Alan Barker, also from Nexus Chambers, have been instructed by Leigh Day to represent the Islington Survivors Network.

Notable Cases

Of the many high profile cases Sam has conducted over the years these are the ones that people most remember:

The Dome Robbery – Arguably the most audacious robbery since the Great Train Robbery. The result of a massive police operation and lengthy investigation.
The First Non-Jury trial – R v Hibberd: The ‘Heathrow Robbers’ following allegations of jury tampering, this became the first trial in England and Wales to take place without a Jury before Mr. Justice Treacy at the Royal Courts of Justice.
The Railway Murders  – The longest ever single defendant murder trial in English legal history. The result of three separate police investigations with the original investigation being the largest police manhunt since the Yorkshire Ripper.
The Blue Lagoon Murder
The Asset Land Fraud Case


R v Kusi-Appiah: Mortgage frauds dealing with 47 residential properties: On instructions negotiated a plea ensuring that wife would not be proceeded against.

R v Cohen – land banking fraud allegation – acquitted.

R v N: Representing Chairman of Aston Rothbury Co Ltd on allegations of laundering the proceeds of frauds on UK clearing banks.

R v Blanchard – massive and long running confiscation case

R v Cornish – VAT and tax diversion fraud

R v Hammond – charity fraud, successfully negotiated a plea and avoided a prison sentence

Youths Murder / Manslaughter

R v B: Represented first defendant alleged to have murdered a stall holder in a market as part of a ‘joint enterprise’ revenge attack. Successfully argued that the Defendant should be entitled to rely upon the fact that he suffered from a severe type of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder [ADHD] called hyperkinetic disorder when presenting his defence of self-defence as well as in support of the alternative defence of diminished responsibility.

R v D: Successfully represented first defendant in ‘joint enterprise’ robbery of an elderly man targeted as he was suspected of having kept gold at his premises. Only defendant acquitted in this multi-handed case.

R v P: Manslaughter and robbery allegation involving youths and a ‘joint enterprise’ attack on another youth who when being chased and then died under the wheels of a bus.

R v SH: Attempted murder of another youth, Sam advised that psychiatric and psychological evidence be obtained relating to the victims memory of the incident and the effect of the trauma and treatment leading to memory loss and possible confabulation. Defendant successfully acquitted.

R v B: The manslaughter by ‘stoning a man to death’ of a man in his 60’s playing cricket with his son by a gang of 10-13 year old boys. This was the centre of huge public and media interest before and during the trial. Sam argued that the fatal cardiac arrhythmia was not necessarily connected to throwing of stones by the boys as his fatal symptoms have been initiated at the start of the arguments between the parties. Conviction successfully overturned on Appeal.

R v H: Joint enterprise manslaughter allegation suggesting that a group of youths intimidated another and then chased him onto the tracks of the Docklands Light Railway where he was instantly killed by a train.

Non-Jury Trial Cases

Appeal of Guthrie: Consolidated Appeal, representing all appellants. Jury tampering, trial judge ruled that trial should continue to verdicts without a jury. This matter is subject to an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
R v Hibberd: The fourth trial of the ‘Heathrow Robbers’ following allegations of jury tampering, this became the first trial in England and Wales to take place without a Jury before Mr. Justice Treacy at the Royal Courts of Justice.

Murder / Manslaughter

R v Taylor: Successful defence of a man with severe mental health problems acquitted of a murder with over 30 stab wounds.

R v Thorpe: Young man with mental health issues who was taken in by a Svengali figure and acted with him to stab another man to death, the original sentence was a sex year minimum term.

R v Bulman: successfully defended against allegations of murder of father during the night and GBH of neighbour the next morning.

R v Abu: Successfully defended man alleged to have beaten his girlfriend to death, the Crown offered a plea to manslaughter after Sam’s cross-examination of the Prosecution pathologists.

R v Brown: ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ murder of ex-girlfriend, six pathologists were instructed on behalf of the Crown requiring detailed cross-examination on the possible signs left in the internal structure of the brain from an alleged smothering of the deceased.

R v James: Murder, argued on behalf of the defendant that his mother’s long-term sexual abuse of him since he was a child was a ‘trigger’ for new defence of ‘loss of control’.

R v S: Argued that a defendant’s long term alcohol addiction was a recognised mental health basis for his defence of diminished responsibility.

R v Khaleel: Murder, bad character evidence challenged before the jury and the court was persuaded to call a crucial witness from the first trial (manslaughter conviction in similar circumstances), which formed the basis of the bad character application.

R v P: Successful defence of a drug addict alleged to have murdered another in an argument about a drug deal.

R v Hong: Murder allegation; Diabetic hyperglaecamic defence raised to explain the defendant’s memory loss at the time of the stabbing.

R v Turauskaite: Murder allegation involving lengthy cross examination of ‘best friend’ to show that he was responsible for the death.

R v Gayle & Others: ‘Joint enterprise’ alleged gangland Murder – Central Criminal Court – acquitted.

R v Ramanlal: Murder allegation; argued diminished responsibility defence.

R v K: Successful defence of two sisters alleged to have killed their grandmother for her funeral money.

R v Grant & Others: Multi-handed conspiracy to murder – acquitted.

Drugs / Money Laundering

R v Carden: Successful defence of first defendant in money laundering and drug supply allegations involving analysis of the Defendant’s business interests and cash flow over a period of about 5 years.

R v Crocker: Successfully represented first defendant in extensive money laundering allegations covering 7 years of a building firms operation and financial analysts evidence which was the subject of detailed cross- examination by Sam leading to the successful half time submission. Court of Appeal refused the Crown’s application to challenge the Judge’s decision.

R v Evans: Money laundering and drugs smuggling case involving the importation of substantial quantities of cocaine concealed in a specially adapted vehicle.

R v S Operation Zambezi: First on indictment, multi-handed attempted murder, money laundering, firearms, cocaine and cannabis conspiracy; with voluminous Queen’s Evidence – 107 page statement following 80+ interviews of QE Witness. Legal submissions resulting both in the exclusion of background violence and in the finding of an implicit waiver of privilege over solicitor’s material on the part of the QE Witness.

R v Zachariah: Multi-Million Pound Drug and Money Laundering Conspiracy, argued disclosure and RIPA points relating to 7 months of recorded material amounting to thousands of pages of transcripts.

R v Dixon & Others: Conspiracy to Supply Class A and money laundering – Ipswich Crown Court – successful plea bargain negotiated.

R v Tran: Drugs and Money Laundering. Sam’s successfully opposed the Crown’s application to introduce hearsay evidence using the decided case of Al Khawaja and which resulted in the acquittal of all 5 defendants.
Sexual Offences

R v Khan: The defendant was acquitted of rape following a 5 month trial where co-defendants were alleged to have groomed vulnerable young women.

R v P: Successfully defended a series of rape allegations alleged to have been committed with the context of a violent marriage.

R v D: Historic homosexual rape allegations successfully stayed as an abuse of the courts process.

R v P: Successful defence of a series of alleged ‘revenge’ rapes of very young children.

R v M: Incest case historic allegation suggesting very long-term rapes of the defendant’s own children.

R v T: Successfully negotiated a plea to sexual touching after lengthy negotiations with the prosecution regarding the Defendant’s youth, status as a victim of abuse, Autism and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

R v M: Scoutmaster accused of indecent images and sexual assaults successfully negotiated a plea to limited offences leading to a much reduced sentence.

R v K: Successful plea negotiation in a case involving Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSM) mitigation presented included argument about the research in this area and the surprising number of individuals who have been affected by this condition.


R v Momo: Successful appeal against conviction as a result of admission in trial of co-defendants character.

R v Senior & Senior: Leading case in relation to questioning when carrying out stop and search powers.

R v Walker: Successfully argued that there should be no confiscation of Appellant’s trust monies despite his conviction for possession of class A drugs with intent to supply.

R v SC,AT,AB & NC – Court of Criminal Appeal: In relation to issue of whether nitrous oxide is an exempt substance under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016


Appointments & Memberships

Advocacy Trainer, Inner Temple Bencher, Inner Temple
Chair of Standards for the BSB Criminal Bar Association South Eastern Circuit

Education & Qualifications

Keble Advanced Advocacy Course


Sam has delivered a lecture dealing with Joint Enterprise for a number of solicitors firms and chambers over the last few years. This is a careful examination of the law, the best suggestions for the successful defence against these allegations.

Sam also provided written submissions to the Law Commission who’s work led to the change in law of Joint Enterprise and the case of Jogee. The Law Commission published these submissions.

The Use of Psychiatric Evidence in Cases of Self-defence – this lecture is available as an analysis of the law of self- defence and the use of psychiatric evidence in support of both the first limb of the defence i.e. whether the defendant believed that he needed to act in self-defence and in support of the second question that arises in self-defence ‘the reasonableness of the force’ used.

Recent News involving Sam Stein QC

Islington Survivors redress scheme – some progress

Sam's Privacy Notice

Fees Transparency


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