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Sam Harkness


Home office: Taunton
Additional languages spoken: French
Sam Harkness - Commercial Litigation - Clarke Willmott Taunton

Sam specialises in criminal and regulatory litigation, advising clients across a diverse range of sectors throughout the criminal and regulatory process, with a broader litigation practice in property, probate and agricultural matters.

Sam is a solicitor in the Commercial and Private Client Litigation Team specialising in criminal and regulatory litigation, with a wider practice that incorporates civil litigationagricultural property litigation and contentious Wills, trusts and probate. He is based in the Taunton office.

Sam joined Clarke Willmott as a paralegal in August 2019 and began his training contract with the firm in March 2021. Sam qualified with the firm in November 2022.

Sam advises private clients, agricultural clients and businesses on a wide range of contentious matters. Since joining Clarke Willmott, Sam has developed a strong practice within the crime and regulatory team, which is ranked Tier 1 by Legal 500 for its “thoughtful, pro-active and very high quality” work.

How Sam can help you

Criminal / regulatory matters

Sam’s practice in this area includes advising and representing individuals, businesses, and local government bodies in a wide range of criminal and regulatory matters, including in the following areas:

  • Environmental and pollution;
  • Agricultural regulatory matters;
  • Animal welfare;
  • Health and safety;
  • Trading standards;
  • Hunting Act issues;
  • Planning law breaches and enforcement;
  • Fraud;
  • Firearms licensing;
  • Traffic and motoring; and
  • Offences against the person.

Sam can assist clients at all stages of the regulatory and criminal process and regularly assists clients during investigations, with interviews, and with preparation for Court proceedings.

Contentious trusts and inheritance disputes

Sam assists colleagues within the Commercial & Private Client Litigation team in respect of bringing and defending claims relating to:

  • Contesting the validity of Wills;
  • Breach of executors’ and trustees’ duties; and
  • Professional negligence claims regarding Will drafting and estate administration.

Agricultural property litigation

Sam assists colleagues within the Commercial & Private Client Litigation team operating in the commercial and agricultural sectors on contentious property matters relating to:

  • Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 tenancies and Farm Business Tenancies (including notices to quit, succession and breaches of covenant);
  • Boundaries;
  • Trespass;
  • Nuisance;
  • Easements – including rights of way;
  • Farming partnerships; and
  • Proprietary estoppel.

Commercial / Private Client Litigation

Sam also assists colleagues in advising businesses and individuals in all sectors, including the agriculture sector, on issues such as:

  • Contractual disputes;
  • Judicial review; and
  • Professional negligence



Articles by Sam and his team

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