Practice overview

Sam joined Chambers as a tenant in September 2022. He regularly appears in both the High Court and the County Court on his own account, and also enjoys working as part of a team.

Before joining Wilberforce, Sam practised in New Zealand as a barrister, and as a solicitor in one of New Zealand’s leading litigation firms. He had a broad practice and frequently acted on large cases involving difficult contractual and equitable issues. In one such case Sam acted for PwC as liquidator of Ross Asset Management, New Zealand’s largest Ponzi scheme – a matter which raised novel questions about the intersection between equitable and insolvency principles.

Sam has also lectured in contract law and tutored the property law (and equity) module at the University of Otago. He is currently co-authoring chapters in Thomas on Powers with Robert Ham KC.

Sam’s practice spans all of Chambers’ key areas, including trusts, commercial disputes, property, pensions, and insolvency.

Samuel's expertise

Trusts, probate and estates

  • Acting in a contested proposal to restructure offshore trusts worth approximately $1bn, led by Jonathan Hilliard KC;
  • Acting in a contested offshore trusts dispute, led by Robert Ham KC and Michael Ashdown;
  • Acting for Guernsey offshore purchasers of a trustee business, who allege breaches of warranties and restraint of trade provisions by the seller;
  • Acting for executors who were the subject of removal proceedings, set down for a one-day hearing in the High Court (settled on the door of court).

Commercial disputes and Civil fraud 

  • Acting for an investor in a tech startup, seeking repayment of the fair value of his equity stake in the business following breach of contract by the company;
  • Acting for an individual on the English dimension of foreign proceedings which seek to recover stolen diamonds worth tens of millions of US dollars;
  • Acting in a pair of cases in New York, both worth $100m, assisting Graeme Halkerston in giving expert advice on issues of Cayman law, including on issues of fraud/breach of fiduciary duty;
  • Acting for a private client who seeks repayment of debts totalling over £30m;
  • Acting for claimant owners of a valuable classic Jaguar, bringing claims against the defendant engineers who worked on the car prior to it suffering catastrophic engine failure at Silverstone;
  • Advising and drafting in relation to a number of commercial disputes in the Bahamas, including claims relating to breach of an alcohol distribution agreement, a partnership agreement, and pre-incorporation contracts;
  • Acting in an application for a freezing injunction against an individual who allegedly misappropriated sums from the claimant metals products manufacturer (and the companies, now in liquidation, of which he was a director), led by Graeme Halkerston; and
  • Acting for a business bringing claims against its bank for breach of mandate, seeking repayment of sums misappropriated by thieves (led by Jonathan Chew).


  • Acting for an electricity distribution network operator, successfully applying for strike out of proceedings relating to ownership of land beneath a highway, and arguing a subsequent appeal;
  • Acting in Ensign House v Ensign House (FEC) Limited, a development dispute about a property in Canary Wharf which culminated in a month-long trial in the Chancery division in November 2022 (assisting a team from Wilberforce Chambers led by Jonathan Seitler KC);
  • Acting in Adjoin Ltd v Fortytwo House SarL [2022] EWHC 2710 (Ch), a rights to light dispute relating to a new development in the City, led by John McGhee KC and Harriet Holmes;
  • Acting for the claimant leaseholder in proceedings involving nuisance and trespass claims relating to water ingress caused by the defendant freeholder’s works;
  • Acting for landlords in proceedings in the Upper Tribunal in a claim by tenants for repayment of rent;
  • Acting in a contractual leasehold dispute concerning responsibility for improvement works and issues of contractual interpretation;
  • Possession proceedings (on behalf of both claimants and defendants), including advising on complex issues that arise in atypical leasing arrangements; and
  • In a matter in the Business and Property Counts, seeking to protect the rights of a leaseholder whose investment in the subject property was being threatened by applications made by a liquidator, led by Zoë Barton KC.


  • Appearing in bankruptcy applications and winding up petitions on behalf of both creditors and debtors;
  • Advising, and appearing on behalf of, both applicants and defendants in injunctions to restrain winding up petitions;
  • Appearing on behalf of directors of a company seeking permission to trade under a prohibited name; and
  • Acting for claimants who seek repayment of sums misappropriated by directors of the defendant companies (now in liquidation) as part of a tax avoidance scheme, led by Lexa Hilliard KC.

Samuel's insights & events View all thought leadership View all events

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    Events / Webinars

    Wilberforce Insolvency Conference & Dinner 2024

    Thursday 1st February 2024 | 12.30pm - 5.55pm, followed by drinks and dinner
    The Carlton Tower Jumeirah, London

    £130 - £185 + VAT | 4 CPD

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    Events / Webinars

    Wilberforce Trusts Litigation Day 2024

    Monday 29th January 2024 | 9am - 5.35pm, followed by drinks and dinner
    InterContinental Park Lane, London

    £299 - £360 + VAT | 5.5 CPD

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    Events / Webinars

    Wilberforce Fraud, Trusts & Asset Recovery Conference 2023

    Wednesday 8th November 2023 | 12.45pm - 5.30pm, followed by drinks
    Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch, London

    £120 + VAT | 3.5 CPD

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    Events / Webinars

    Wilberforce Guernsey Conference 2023

    Thursday 19th October 2023 | 3.30pm- 6.20pm, followed by a drinks reception
    The Old Government House Hotel & Spa, St Peter Port

    Free to attend | 2.0 CPD

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Samuel's Details

BSB/VAT information

Registered name: Mr Samuel Cathro
VAT number: 430024262

Privacy Notice pdf

Qualifications and Appointments

  • LLM (first), University of Cambridge
  • LLB (Hons, first class), University of Otago, NZ
  • BA in English, University of Otago, NZ


  • Thomson Reuters Prize for best undergraduate dissertation in law at the University of Otago
  • University of Otago Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship
  • University of Otago Scholarship in Law
  • University of Otago Scholarship in Arts
  • Richard Sutton Memorial Prize
  • Sir Harold Barrowclough Scholarship


  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Property Bar Association
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Contentious Trusts Association


  • Sam Cathro and Simon Connell “New Variations on the Rule Against Penalties: Options for New Zealand” (2017) 27 New Zealand Universities Law Review 1033 at 1087
  • Sam Cathro and Simon Connell “Radical Change to the Rule Against Penalties in England” (2016) 7 New Zealand Law Journal 247 at 271

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