Samantha Presland accepts instructions from members of the public under the Bar Council’s Public Access (i.e. Direct Access) scheme in the following areas of specialism: Court of Protection, Inherent Jurisdiction (High Court) including Serious Medical Treatment, as well as Inquests of all types. She has a particular interest and expertise in aspects of mental capacity law and in psychiatric injury cases.

Sam is glad to receive instructions by parties who wish to make applications to the Court, or who seek representation in ongoing proceedings.

In her Public Access practice, Sam acts primarily for claimants and families. However, she brings to this work a wide range of experience not only being instructed by solicitors for families, but also by solicitors to represent insured defendants, NHS Resolve, the Official Solicitor, the Office of the Public Guardian, Health Trusts and Local Authorities.

She is extremely approachable in her communications with Public Access clients. She is happy to discuss matters on an urgent basis, in order to advise clients as to their options, as well as about Legal Aid financial assistance, where that is potentially available. Depending upon the nature of the case, she may recommend the use of expert solicitors with whom she works frequently.

Sam brings to each and every case an analytical approach, attention to detail, practical solutions and a client focused, open and sensitive manner.

She is a qualified mediator and a member of the Civil Mediation Council, acting as a mediator in civil and community matters. She finds her mediation experience and skills of particular value when acting in Court of Protection/mental capacity/medical treatment matters, where compromise and problem-solving are preferable to combative litigation, in order that best interests are met in a constructive way. She has a genuine ability to relate compassionately but constructively with distressed families, as well as working to achieve pragmatic results with professional parties.

Sam sits in the Crown Court as a Criminal Recorder and chairs Youth Offender Panels in Brixton under the government’s restorative justice programme.

Although Sam also has deep experience in Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury cases, she is unable to accept Public Access instructions in such matters, unless they are Inquest-related. Nevertheless, she is happy to discuss all types of Clinical Negligence or Personal Injury instructions with potential clients, in order to recommend appropriate solicitors to contact according to the nature of the case.

Court of Protection/Mental Capacity & Best Interests Applications

Sam is particularly skilled in healthcare and public law cases with a medical aspect. She also has extensive experience in working to obtain the best outcomes possible in cases with complex psychological/psychiatric/behavioural difficulties.

She is able to relate well to clients and is tactful in dealing with cultural, religious and individual sensitivities. She combines an awareness of these with her ability to read the judge, in order to best influence results for those involved.

Sam has been instructed in a wide range of cases involving adult health, welfare and finances in the Inherent Jurisdiction (High Court) and before the Court of Protection, including cases involving urgent medical treatment, injunctions, deprivation of liberty, physical and financial abuse, as well as in combined Court of Protection and judicial review proceedings.

Recently, Sam’s work has included:

A Serious Medical Treatment matter concerning the administration of anti-epileptic medication to an adult lacking in capacity when the parents objected.

Several successful applications for families of young autistic adults deprived of their liberty by Local Authorities after having been taken into residential homes initially only for brief periods of respite, but then not allowed back to the family home.

An application by an Afro-Caribbean family wanting to care for a P at home following a severe stroke, in which they was successful after a 5 day contested hearing, where there was significant argument about the cultural importance of caring for elderly and ill relatives within the Afro-Caribbean community. The decision as first instance was appealed, in which the family was again successful in front of Mr Justice Baker.

An urgent application for a P diagnosed with terminal cancer who wished to be cared for in her last few weeks at her own home rather than at the care home she was in.


Sam often appears in inquests involving aspects of medical care and treatment. In particular, she has been instructed in several Article 2 inquests where psychiatric patients have committed suicide whilst sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983. She has also acted in Article 2 inquests involving prison deaths.

Sam is happy to appear in any inquest, whether medical related or otherwise, having already been instructed on inquests related to accidents at work, road traffic accidents and product liability. She is compassionate and able to support families through the inquest process sensitively, whilst ensuring that the best possible outcome is obtained from the process, including information about the causes of the fatality.

She is willing to advise after inquests on potential routes for further litigation and to recommend suitable solicitors to pursue possible claims. She is happy to allow her inquest notes to be passed to solicitors afterwards.

Appointments & Memberships

Criminal Recorder

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