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Sam Harkness


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

Sam advises individuals, companies and local authorities with criminal and regulatory investigations and court proceedings, specialising in rural crime, road traffic matters and local authority prosecutions.

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 litigation and agricultural property litigation. He is based in our Taunton office.

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

Sam advises private clients, agricultural clients, businesses and local authorities on a wide range of contentious matters. Since joining Clarke Willmott, Sam has developed a strong practice within the crime and regulatory team and has been individually recommended in the 2024 Legal 500 as “a very diligent, bright solicitor who has a bright future ahead of him”. Chambers and Partners also named Sam as an Associate to watch in their 2024 guide.

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:

  • Environment Agency investigations and prosecutions;
  • Animal welfare prosecutions;
  • Traffic and motoring offences, including Public Inquiries by the Traffic Commissioner;
  • Hunting Act issues;
  • Trading Standard disputes;
  • Planning law breaches and enforcement;
  • Firearms licensing;
  • 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. Sam also regularly represents clients in the Magistrates’ Court.



He offers excellent client care and is able to discuss the finer tactical detail.

Chambers 2024

Sam Harkness is a dedicated, intelligent solicitor for whom nothing is too much trouble. Infinitely reliable with insightful input.

Legal 500 2024

Articles by Sam and his team


The worry of slurry

Our team are increasingly instructed by farmers in respect of allegations of slurry-related pollution into streams and tributaries. Sam Harkness outlines the steps which farmers can take to mitigate the risk of any pollution and prosecution.
Read more on The worry of slurry

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