Samantha is a versatile and established junior recommended in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 with a broad practice but focusing on commercial litigation, immigration and asylum, public law, and international law. Her cases have involved ground breaking developments in law before the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, European Court of Human Rights and Court of Justice of the European Union.
She is instructed in a wide range of complex cases involving refugee, immigration and nationality law and has been involved in a number of test cases on asylum law before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court and CJEU. A number of her nationality cases involve a national security case and are before SIAC in which novel points of law are in issue.
She has appeared in a number of high-profile claims arising from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts including cases concerning the protection of individuals fleeing from conflict zones, liabilities of the British government for locally engaged workers, and cases involving national security issues. She has been instructed in a number of international group litigation claims including an action against a Tanzanian gold mine for liability for shot and injured trespassers, and claims on behalf of Cambodian villagers against a British sugar company based on conversion and unjust enrichment arising from land concessions granted by the Cambodian government. These claims raise complex issues including conflicts of law, Act of State doctrine, and foreign law torts.
Samantha also has a wide-ranging commercial and arbitration practice with expertise in insolvency (having practised insolvency law for seven years prior to joining Matrix). She has considerable experience of high-profile complex international actions including the Thyssen-Bornemisza trust litigation in Bermuda, arbitrations and litigation involving Russian and Kazakh clients and entities, and the Al-Zayat litigation involving commercial and criminal proceedings in Iran and the UK.
She is consistently recommended in the directories. Chambers & Partners 2010 noted her “readiness for the fight” and her “fine written work and astute advocacy” in Civil Liberties. Chambers & Partners 2011 noted her “incredible commitment and ability to take on challenging human rights cases” in the area of Immigration. “Hugely impressive” stated Legal 500 for 2011 in Civil Liberties. Chambers & Partners 2012 Immigration described her as a “smart operator” who received “much praise for her measured courtroom manner” and noted “her outstanding preparation and concise manner mean that she commands respect in the court at an early juncture in proceedings”. Legal 500 2013 recommends Samantha in Civil Liberties and Human Rights and Immigration; her “determination ensures that outcomes are achieved, often against the odds”. Chambers & Partners 2013 also recommends Samantha Knights in Civil Liberties and Human Rights and Immigration, praising her “skill at unravelling complex facts and arguments in unusual human rights cases” and suggest that “her level of preparation is noticeably different; she is remarkably thorough and precise”. Chambers & Partners 2014 comments that “Samantha’s written work is outstanding” and that “she has a wealth of experience.” Legal 500 2014 ranks Samantha in Immigration and Civil Liberties and Human Rights where she is “willing to push the boundaries within a realistic setting.” Chambers & Partners 2015 recommends Samantha in Civil Liberties and Human Rights “She focuses her human rights practice on issues relating to immigration, refugee status and deportation. She is also interested in the expression of religious rights, and has written a textbook on the subject” and Immigration “Her keen interest in human rights, specifically the freedom of religion and religious discrimination, allows her to excel in European Court matters.” Legal 500 2015 describes Samantha as “a very tenacious fighter; well prepared and highly regarded.” “She has notable experience in high profile international human rights cases.” Chambers & Partners 2016 recommends Samantha in Immigration and Civil Liberties and Human Rights. She is noted to be a “greatly experienced immigration practitioner” who is “sought after for her expertise in citizenship, refugee and human rights law.”