Sam McMullan


Sam is an experienced litigator. He began his career as a Judges’ Clerk at the Wellington High Court, before working for Meredith Connell for a number of years and for two at a top Auckland boutique civil litigation firm. He has appeared in over 40 trials as lead prosecutor, including in relation to fraud, drug, serious violence and sexual offending. He has also provided advice to insurers, government agencies and Police. He has also appeared as second counsel on numerous High Court civil trials, including in relation to construction and insurance matters.

Sam is on the Courts Martial defence counsel panel and has received numerous awards, including the New Zealand Law Foundation Cleary Memorial Prize (awarded to recently-admitted practitioners judged to show the most promise of service to and through the profession). Sam was a finalist for the Wellington Community Trust Young Leaders Award in 2009, and was awarded a Pegasus Scholarship in 2015 to work at barristers’ chambers in London. Sam has also published legal articles on a wide range of topics including criminal law and legal ethics.

  • High profile concerning the death of Connor Morris (R v Murray), the murder conviction that resulted was upheld on appeal.
  • Acted for a surveyor of an international engineering and infrastructure consulting firm in a two week long trial concerning an application for declaratory relief and judicial review concerning the survey of a parcel of land in the Hokianga (Hojsgaard v Chief Executive of Land Information New Zealand). The case required voluminous evidence from surveyors, geologists, an archaeologist and a coastal processes expert to determine the historic course of a stream in Omapere.
  • Acted for TOWER in Myall v Tower Insurance, a claim under a policy for fire insurance involving a historic Christchurch mansion that was damaged in the Canterbury earthquake sequence. The owner claimed that it would cost $6.9m to rebuild. The insured’s claim was ultimately concluded when he was declined leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.

LLB (Hons)/BA, Victoria University of Wellington