"calm under pressure and provides excellent support to those instructing him"

Leading Associate at a top City firm

Samuel Nicholls

Year of Call: 2006

"calm under pressure and provides excellent support to those instructing him"

Leading Associate at a top City firm

Samuel Nicholls

Year of Call: 2006

"calm under pressure and provides excellent support to those instructing him"

Leading Associate at a top City firm

Samuel Nicholls

Year of Call: 2006

Samuel Nicholls

"calm under pressure and provides excellent support to those instructing him"

Leading Associate at a top City firm

Samuel Nicholls

Year of Call: 2006

Samuel offers in-depth expertise in the following areas: Employment, Commercial and Personal Injury. 

Samuel is an expert in Employment Litigation.  He has a particular interest in sex discrimination / harassment and whistleblowing claims for both respondents and claimants.  

In March 2018 Samuel respresented a large employer in a seven day disability discrimination claim (alleged failure to make reasonable adjustments and discrimination arising from disability) in which his cross examination of the claimant (which was described as "devastating") resulted in the claim being withdrawn in full.

Samuel has notable experience in Employment Litigation in the context of the healthcare and financial services sectors. 

Other highlights of Samuel's recent experience include the following instructions:

  • a nine day whistleblowing case for a multinational financial company;
  • a six day race discrimination, harassment and victimisation case for an NHS trust;
  • a multi-day PH regarding multi-claimants' employment status;
  • a  mutli-day disability discrimination / unfair dismissal case for a claimant.
  • a number of unfair dismissal cases for clients including, NHS trusts and the Met Police;
  • a number of High Court breach of contract and restrictive covenant claims.

Samuel is called to the Bar in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) (a British oversea territory).  Samuel represented a number of European and American very high net worth individuals who had business interests located within the TCI.   He appeared on his own in the TCI Court of Appeal.

Between September 2014 and January 2017, Samuel practised at Misick & Stanbrook, the leading law firm in the TCI as an employed Barrister in the Dispute Resolution team. Samuel returned to Chambers in February 2017 and was immediately in the Privy Council: Akita Holdings Limited v The Honourable Attorney General of The Turks and Caicos Islands (Turks and Caicos Islands)

During his time in the TCI Samuel gained a wealth of experience across a broad range of work including Employment (having represented the local hospital in a number of employment related actions), Commercial Litigation and Judicial Review (as sole counsel and as a junior to Ariel Misick QC the leading public law silk in the Caribbean).  Samuel represented his clients up to Supreme Court (equivalent to the High Court) and Court of Appeal level.

In addition to his expertise in Employment Litigation, Samuel has significant experience in Commerical Litigation, including commercial contract disputes, insurance coverage disputes, professional negligence and telecoms related matters.

Samuel is security cleared to SC level.

He is direct access trained and will consider taking appropriate cases on this basis.

  • Recommendations

    "Sam is very good at getting to the nub of an issue quickly. He is very approachable and provides practical advice to clients in a friendly way. Clients are always impressed with his cross examination skills, as his careful and considered questioning often befuddles even the most prepared witnesses." - Alexandria Quigley, Senior Solictor, Lupton Fawcett, Leeds.

    "Sam is calm under pressure and provides excellent support to those instructing him. He is extremely client focused, pragmatic and commercial. In the case we worked on together, Sam showed particular skill in handling a challenging lay claimant and providing support to our witnesses." - Leading Associate in a top City firm.

    "Sam took a very practical and commercial approach to our case. He was very down-to-earth and approachable with both solicitors and clients and took the time to properly explain aspects of the case and the process to the clients in terms which they could understand." - Partner in a leading US firm.

  • Employment

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    Samuel represents both respondents and claimants.  He is well regarded by those that instruct him for his expertise in Employment Litigation.

    Between October 2014 and January 2017 Samuel practised in the Turks & Caicos Islands, he appeared in the Labour Tribunal on many occassions, and in the Turks & Caicos Islands Court of Appeal in a number of employment related appeals.  

    Samuel has a particular interest in claims involving the health and financial services sectors.  He has represented a number of NHS trusts and financial institutions.  Samuel has an in-depth understanding of the financial markets as a result of his banking work in the TCI.

    Since returning to Devereux he has been instructed in the following matters:

    • a nine day whistleblowing case for a mutli-national financial institution;
    • a six day race discrimination / harassment claim for a NHS trust;
    • a seven day disability discrimination case for a quasi-public sector respondent;
    • a three day disability discrimination case for a claimant (successful on allegations of failure to make reasonable adjustments, discrimination arising from disability and unfair dismissal);
    • multiple cases for various NHS trusts;
    • an unfair dismissal case for the Met Police;
    • a multi-day employment status case for a number of claimants.

    In addition to Tribunal work Samuel has also been instructed in several restrictive covenant cases.

    Before departing for the TCI Sam was regularly instructed by some of the UK's leading solicitors both inside and outside of London.

    His respondent clients include: well-known financial institutions, blue-chip companies, City recruitment agencies, utility companies, public authorities and the Metropolitan Police.

    Samuel has particular expertise in insolvency issues of employment matters (which often involve TUPE points).  

    He has been led by Mohinderpal Sethi in a bonus claim.

    Samuel's notable cases include:

    • Hensman v MOD [2014] UKEAT/0067/14/DM: Samuel represented the Claimant in the EAT (he did not appear in the Tribunal below) on an appeal by the Respondent on all aspects of the Tribunal's decision.  The case is an important authority on the issue of justification in disability discrimination.
    • Langshaw v A CITY RECRUITMENT AGENCY: successfully represented a City based recruitment agency in a six day constructive unfair dismissal claim.
    • IO v Metropolitan Police: successfully defended the  Respondent in a seven day race and sex discrimination / harassment claim.  A costs order was also obtained against the Claimant.
    • MA v A SHARE TRADING COMPANY: Samuel successfully represented the Respondent in this four day constructive unfair dismissal claim.

    In May 2012, Samuel was Suzanne McKie QC's junior in the High Court case of Gelpack v Nexpack, an expedited final hearing, concerning enforceability of non-compete, non-dealing and non-solicitation clauses; resisting a springboard injunction.

    He has also appeared as sole counsel in the High Court to successfully defend an injunction application, on behalf of Action for Children, following an attempt by an employee to injunct the charity to prevent an internal disciplinary hearing from taking place:

    • Kirk & Ors, R (on the app'n of) v Action for Children [2010] IRLR 699

    Other examples of Samuel's employment tribunal cases include:

    • PB v BC & Co: Samuel successfully represented the Claimant in claims for unfair dismissal, failure to make reasonable adjustments and discrimination arising from disability.
    • Fitzke v AEG: successfully represented the Respondent in a discrimination trial listed for 5 days.
    • Leader v US: represented the Respondent in this two day redundancy case.
    • Dunt v A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION: successfully represented the Respondent in a pregnancy discrimination and unfair dismissal hearing.
    • Dunn v A BANK: represented the Respondent in an unfair dismissal claim.
    • Birney v Anglian Water: represented the Respondent in an unfair dismissal claim during which the Claimant withdrew his claim during cross examination.
    • M v AN AIRLINE: represented the Respondent in a disability discrimination case.
    • Scott v A POLICE FORCE: represented the Respondent in an action for unfair dismissal brought by a PCSO.
    • Simpson v A SCHOOL: represented the Respondent in an unfair dismissal and age discrimination claim.
    • Poole v A SCHOOL: represented the Respondent in an unfair dismissal case arising out of a redundancy.
    • Sinclair v IM: represented the Respondent in an unfair dismissal claim
    • MR L v Royal Mail: represented the Claimant in a multi-day unfair dismissal case.
    • Geddes v T: successfully represented the Respondent in a unfair dismissal claim.
    • A v A HOSPITAL TRUST: Samuel represented the Respondent Trust in a four day sex discrimination and unfair dismissal case.
    • Povey v A BANK: represented the Respondent bank in an unfair dismissal case.
    • IO v A POLICE FORCE: represented the Respondent at a three day PHR at which over 50% of the allegations were struck out or withdrawn (Sam subsequently successfully represented the force at the seven day substantive hearing).
    • Brokenshaw v AN INSURANCE COMPANY: represented the Respondent at a PHR at which the claim for disability discrimination, harassment and unfair dismissal was dismissed.

    In addition to his tribunal advocacy experience, Sam has also appears in the Employment Appeal Tribunal on both rule 3.10 and full merits hearings. 

    He appeared in the EAT in Olubodun v Total Stay Group Ltd (UKEAT/0204/09/DA): an appeal against a Tribunal's decision on victimisation. 

  • Personal Injury

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    Samuel acts for both defendants and claimants.  He has substantial trial advocacy experience in personal injury matters in both the Fast and Multi tracks.

    Whilst in the Turks and Caicos Islands Samuel advised on a number of personal injury actions including medical negligence claims.  He is currently instructed in a numbers of multi-track claims including claims for serious knee and shoulder injuries.

    Since returning to London Samuel has immediately returned to a healthy personal injury practice both on in an advisory capacity and in court.  Samuel regularly appears in CMCs and CCMCs across the country.

    Samuel has been instructed in a large number of multi-track actions in cases worth up to £225,000.  He was led by Steve Killalea QC in a high value spinal injury case in a case which settled for a substantial sum of money.

    He achieved a settlement for a former prisoner in a ground-breaking claim utilising the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 after the prisoner was injured whilst working in the prison.

    Latterly, Samuel settled two notable work place accident claims in the sum of £110,000 and £85,000 respectively.

    Samuel also appears at inquests.

    Some notable cases Samuel has advised in include:

    • For a client injured by acid utilising the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations.
    • A case involving serious burns sustained by an employee whilst at work.  
    • A number of cases involving serious hand injuries. 

    He has an excellent manner with lay clients with the ability to put them at ease immediately.

    Some of Samuel's cases include:

    • Finch v Kent County Council: liability of a school for injuries to a child in a PE lesson.
    • Tetley v Associated British Ports: successfully represented the Claimant in a multi-track manual handling trial.
    • Ward v Potterton & other: successfully represented the Defendant in an action brought under the Occupiers' Liability Act.

    Samuel considered fraud in insurance and fraud on insurers and the implications of the decision of the Supreme Court in Fairclough Homes Ltd v Summers [2012] UKSC, in an article with Alison Padfield entitled Watch this Space.

  • Clinical Negligence

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    Whilst in the Turks and Caicos Islands Samuel advised on a high value medical negligence claim for a defendant.

    In London Samuel has been instructed to advise on a number of medical negligence actions.  Most recently he advised a claimant on a claim arising out of a doctor's misdiagnosis of a skin lesion resulting in the patient's eventual death.

    Samuel has also advised and drafted pleadings in a number of surgical negligence cases.

  • Commercial Litigation

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    Samuel has recently returned from two years working in the Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI) for the leading law firm there.  He was involved in some heavy-weight commercial litigation as a junior to Ariel Misick QC, and in his own right.  

    Samuel's experience in the TCI includes:

    • Junior to Ariel Misick QC on a cross border (USA, UK and TCI) contractual dispute involving and on behalf of a well-known international recording artist. The action was worth circa USD$12 million. 
    • Successfully acted (as sole counsel) for the Securities and Exchange Commission on a cross border fraud related to a Ponzi scheme which defrauded investors of circa USD$600 million.  One individual was alleged to have hidden multi million dollars of assets in the TCI.  The case involved asset tracing through multiple bank accounts in the US and through a Cook Islands' Trust and eventually into real estate in the TCI.
    • A Supreme Court (equivalent of the High Court) commercial matter involving an international hotel brand against whom a claim has been brought by 60 claimants.  The claim is said to be worth in excess of USD$8million.
    • Junior to Ariel Misick QC on a cross border Mareva injunction.
    • Acting for a Lloyd’s insurer in a coverage dispute.
    • Obtained an emergency injunction preventing the issuing of a winding up petition against the largest company in the TCI and a global international brand, following an adverse judgment.  Successfully obtained a stay of execution in relation to another judgment.
    • Sole counsel defending an action brought by a developer against a home owner for breach of contract (the home owner is an executive with a New York bank).
    • Acted against a utilities provider in an action involving the alleged over-charging.
    • Acted for the Regulator against a number of financial organisations in relation to money held in bank accounts.
    • Involved in a number of disputes in which allegations of breach of fiduciary duties were at the fore.  Most recently before the Privy Council in the case of Akita Holdings Limited v The Honourable Attorney General of The Turks and Caicos Islands (Turks and Caicos Islands).

    Since returning to London Samuel successfully represented the Claimant in a cross border asset recovery dispute, worth circa £250,000. 

    Prior to leaving for the TCI, Samuel's commercial experience included:

    • Instructed in a multi-million pound insurance case in the High Court (Colin Edelman QC and Richard Harrison instructed).
    • Represented a Defendant builder in a professional negligence action;
    • Advised in a contractual dispute relating to the development of commercial property.
    • Instructed to advise on a complex matter revolving around the construction of a contract of insurance as to the meaning of the word "accident".
  • Insurance & Reinsurance

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    Samuel was instructed in a multi-million pound insurance case in the High Court (Colin Edelman QC and Richard Harrison instructed).

    • In 2014 Samuel advised a hotel chain on a six figure coverage and disclosure issues arising out of claims against property insurance policies. 

    As an off-shoot of his personal injury practice Samuel was instructed to advise on a complex matter revolving around the construction of a contract of insurance as to the meaning of the word "accident".

    Samuel is an editor of Atkin's Court Forms Insurance title (with Alison Padfield) - published in 2016.

  • Professional Negligence

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    Samuel was instructed in a multi-million pound insurance case in the High Court (Colin Edelman QC and Richard Harrison instructed).

    He has represented a Defendant builder in a professional negligence action.

    Samuel has advised in a contractual dispute relating to the development of commercial property.

  • Health & Safety

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    Samuel has experience of defending health and safety prosecutions.

    He is able to provide advice, draft documents, such as Friskies Schedules, and represent clients at hearings. 

    • The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) v A Hotel Chain (April 2014): the Defendant, the owner of a number of hotels in West London, was prosecuted by the RBKC under s.2(1) and s.3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and regulation 4(8) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.  The Defendant had instructed an unlicensed contractor to remove asbestos from one of its hotels.  The unlicensed contractor caused a number of the rooms to become seriously contaminated with asbestos potentially exposing a number of guests and staff to asbestos fibres.  The RBKC instructed James Ageros (now QC), the leading health and safety junior counsel.  The matter came before the Hammersmith Magistrates Court in March 2014, where the Defendant pleaded guilty.  However, Hammersmith Magistrates refused to accept jurisdiction on the basis that their sentencing powers (£60,000 in total) were insufficient given the seriousness of the offence.  The case was therefore committed to the Isleworth Crown Court for sentence, where following Sam’s plea in mitigation, the Defendant was fined £39,000 and ordered to pay the RBKC’s costs
  • Regulatory & Professional Discipline

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    Samuel gained extensive experience of both General Medical Council and Nursing and Midwifery Council prosecutions whilst working for Field Fisher Waterhouse in their Professional Regulatory Department.

    Samuel is willing to take instructions in this area defending medical and other professionals who have been prosecuted by their regulatory bodies.

Memberships and Associations

Industrial Law Society

Employment Lawyers Association

Personal Injury Bar Association

Professional Negligence Bar Association

Awards and Scholarships

Faculty of Law Prize for Top First Class degree in year

Victoria Chambers Prize for Top First in Evidence Examination

Inner Temple Scholarship

Academic

LLB First Class (top First in year)

LLM, Queen’s Cambridge (Upper Second)

Bar Vocational Course Very Competent (top Very Competent in year)