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 two years for a top Auckland boutique civil litigation firm. He has appeared in over 60 trials as lead prosecutor, including in relation to fraud, drug, serious violence and sexual offending. Sam is a leading litigator of cases brought under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009. He also regularly provides advice to the Financial Markets Authority, Reserve Bank, the Police, and other government agencies.

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 trials including R v Murray, concerning the death of Connor Morris; R v Brackenridge, which has become the leading case on the interrelationship between drug-induce psychosis and insanity; R v Davies, a fraud case involving the theft of an employer’s trade secrets.
  • Acting for the prosecutor in the leading case relating to how a private prosecution may be commenced under the Criminal Procedure Act 2011.
  • Acting for the Financial Markets Authority in its first case brought under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009.
  • 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.

LLB (Hons)/BA, Victoria University of Wellington