"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: Commercial, Employment, Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence, Judicial Review, Insurance, and related Professional Negligence claims.  He has extensive practical commercial experience and offers common sense advice. He has been described as having an "impressive" manner with clients. 

Between September 2014 and January 2017 Samuel practised at Misick & Stanbrook, the leading law firm in the Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI) as an Attorney in the Dispute Resolution team.  Samuel returned to Chambers in February 2017 and was immediately in the Privy Council.  

During his time in the TCI Samuel gained a wealth of experience across a broad range of work including Banking and 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 also maintained a practice in Employment Litigation (becoming known as the "employment specialist" on the islands) and Personal Injury, advising on a number of personal injury actions and a high value clinical negligence claim. 

Some highlights of Samuel's experience in the TCI include:

Banking and Commercial

  • 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 Island’s Trust and eventually into real estate in the TCI.
  • A Supreme Court (the equivalent of the High Court) commercial / employment claim 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.
  • Successfully argued that the Supreme Court of the TCI has a wasted costs jurisdiction – prior to this case it was thought that there was no such jurisdiction.
  • 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, which is part of a well-known international hotel chain, following an adverse 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)

Clincal Negligence and Personal Injury

  • High value cross border (TCI, California and UK) personal injury action. 
  • Advising on a high value fatal accident claim for a defendant arising out of alleged medical negligence.
  • Represented the Defendant in a complex interest and costs dispute.  The case set the standard interest rate on personal injury judgments in the TCI, and established that the Supreme Court of the TCI had a wasted costs jurisdiction, following Samuel's submissions to that effect.

Employment

  • Sole counsel in an appeal to the Court of Appeal against a decision of the Labour Tribunal.
  • Junior counsel to Ariel Misick QC in an appeal to the Court of Appeal against a decision of the Labour Tribunal regarding corporate issues and the lifting of the corporate veil.
  • Advised on proposed employee industrial action for a large international hotel brand.
  • Junior to UK silk on a Court of Appeal matter for the largest employer in the TCI in relation to multiple employment claims.
  • Numerous Labour Tribunal matters.

Judicial Review / Public Law 

  • Successfully acted in a judicial review action against TCI Government in relation to a hotly disputed planning matter involving important and complex considerations of the marine environment.  Obtained substantial costs order.
  • Successfully acted in a judicial review against TCI Government in relation to the refusal to grant multiple business licenses.
  • Acted in a judicial review against a regulator on a complex telecoms matter.

Samuel was also instructed in other diverse areas in the TCI, including an international child abduction case, white collar and blue collar crime (including allegations of armed robbery).  He is therefore willing to consider taking instructions in matters outside of his core areas.

  • 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

    Add to Portfolio

    Samuel represents both respondents and claimants.  He is well regarded by those that instruct him. 

    During two years working in the Turks & Caicos Islands, he became known as the "employment expert" in the 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 also drafted a number of contracts of employment and staff handbooks for employers in the TCI.  

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

    Since returning to London Samuel has acted in a number of Tribunal matters, including disability discrimination, whistleblowing and unfair dismissal claims.  Samuel has also advised on a number of claims for alleged breaches of restrictive covenants.

    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

    He has recently been instructed to advise in a number of restrictive covenant cases, including the issue as to whether injunctive relief should be sought.

    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

    Add to Portfolio

    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.

    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.

    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

    Add to Portfolio

    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

    Add to Portfolio

    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 Island’s 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

    Add to Portfolio

    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

    Add to Portfolio

    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

    Add to Portfolio

    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

    Add to Portfolio

    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

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)