Sam Roake

Year of Call: 2011
Inn of Court: Gray’s Inn

Sam Roake

Sam is a specialist in fraud and financial crime, with a particular focus on investigations.

He has extensive white-collar criminal litigation experience, often in extremely large and complex cases involving multi-jurisdictional issues, and challenges to disclosure and legal professional privilege.

He has provided strategic advice to the SFO in a multibillion-dollar bribery & corruption investigation, and to both prosecution and defence in multimillion pound conspiracy to defraud investigations.

Sam is a compelling and highly persuasive advocate; a natural strategist and creative thinker who identifies the route to success in a case and gets results, often very much against the odds.

His user-friendly and collaborative approach is often noted when working in a team setting. One professional client has described him as “first rate…[with] ability well beyond his level of call”; in the words of another he is “an absolute pleasure to deal with”.

Significant fraud & white collar criminal cases
  • SFO bribery & corruption investigation into former FTSE100 company [ongoing]
  • R v. M & Others [ongoing] – Led junior in investigation into alleged international money laundering conspiracy
  • R v. A & others [2016] – Advised prosecution re investigation into multimillion pound conspiracy to defraud
  • R v. M [2016] – Privately instructed for defence in case of former company director accused of multiple VAT frauds
  • Operation Steamroller [2015] – Instructed by SFO Proceeds of Crime Division at confiscation stage re UK’s largest ever Boiler Room fraud
Significant general criminal cases
  • R v. M [2016] – Successfully prosecuted man accused of £50,000 robbery
R v. G [2015] – Privately represented former World Champion boxer charged with affray involving serious violence
  • R v. H [2015] – Defended client accused of conspiracy to import drugs, phones, knife etc into HMP Wormwood Scrubs
  • BA (Hons) Modern and Medieval Languages, University of Oxford
  • Bar Vocational Course, College of Law
  • Graduate Diploma in Law, London Metropolitan University
  • Lord Justice Holker Award, Gray’s Inn
  • SFO Prosecution Panel
  • Young Fraud Lawyers Association – Committee Member
  • Young Barristers’ Committee of the Bar Council
  • Pro Bono Committee of the Bar Council
  • South Eastern Circuit Access to Justice Working Group
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
  • CyberCrime Practitioners Association
  • Young Legal Aid Lawyers
  • Criminal Bar Association

Areas of Specialism


He is increasingly instructed in large and complex financial investigations into corporates and individuals, both for prosecution and defence. He is also privately instructed as junior counsel for the defence in an investigation into an alleged international fraud/money laundering conspiracy.

In 2015-2016 he advised a private prosecution firm at the pre-trial stage in an alleged multi-million-pound conspiracy to defraud. He has been instructed by the SFO’s Proceeds of Crime unit (Operation Steamroller, a £70m boiler room fraud and the largest of its kind ever prosecuted in the UK).

In the Crown Court he has recently acted for a former company director accused of VAT fraud, and an individual accused of money laundering offences linked to a large shopping fraud conspiracy. Many of his instructions are on a private basis.

He has worked in overseas jurisdictions and has experience of the Mutual Legal Assistance regime, both as a defender and prosecutor. In addition, he has received formal training in civil litigation & procedure.


He has enjoyed a busy Crown Court practice, acting for both defence and prosecution (as a CPS Panel Advocate). His work has included fraud & dishonesty offences (including POCA), drugs, and serious violence and public disorder.

Regulatory Crime/Licensing

He has regularly acted for private clients accused of driving offences (e.g. drink driving) and quasi-criminal matters (e.g. licensing offences).

Professional Discipline & Regulatory Law

Sam has been instructed by Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a case presenter in the full range of hearings.

Other Details

Before becoming a lawyer he worked in digital media, notably at Google and as the internet strategist of a major UK political party.

Prior to pupillage he completed a prosecution internship at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague.