Zac Sammour

Zac has a versatile practice encompassing all areas of commercial, employment, data protection, media, sport and public law. He is often instructed in cases at the intersect of those areas, and by clients whose business or wider interests straddle them. His clients range from social media giants to political parties, tennis stars to fund managers, academics to corporate executives.

The breadth of Zac’s practice is reflected in the Courts in which he appears. He has appeared in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, all divisions of the High Court, the Employment Appeal Tribunal, the Competition Appeal Tribunal and a number of specialist first-tier tribunals (employment, information law and immigration and asylum).

Zac is ranked in the legal directories (Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners) for employment and data protection law. He is described as a “star junior” and “superb barrister”, “an all-around intellectual and practical talent” who “demonstrates abilities well beyond his year of call.

Zac is comfortable working as sole counsel or as part of a larger team. His trial advocacy has been commented upon favourably in the directories, where he is described as “an excellent advocate”, a very effective cross-examiner” who “makes cogent oral submissions which effectively bring out the strength of his case”.

Specialisms

Commercial and Business Protection

Commercial and Business Protection

Zac accepts instructions in all areas of commercial dispute resolution. He has particular experience in claims for civil fraud or which concern the breakdown of shareholder, director or executive employment relationships. Zac is often instructed in commercial disputes which raise issues of privacy or data protection.

Zac is currently instructed as sole counsel in a number of matters in the High Court. He has also been instructed in proceedings in the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC).

Zac’s recent and current instructions include:

  • Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber & Ors v Salfiti & Ors (Chancery Division). Zac acted for five defendants in combined and complex multi-million-pound civil fraud proceedings involving allegations of identity theft, document manipulation, bribery and secret commissions. The claim settled at trial. Zac acted throughout the proceedings, and succeeded in discharging a freezing injunction obtained ex parte against Mr Salfiti with indemnity costs ordered in his client’s favor ([2018] 11 WLUK 46). Zac was led by Olivier Kalfon, of Maitland Chambers, and acted with Charles King (also of Maitland Chambers) and James Partridge (of 2TG).
  • MBI International & Partners Inc (in Liquidation) v Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, Salfiti & Ors (Chancery Division). Zac acted for Mr Salfiti in a cross-border insolvency claim for c.
    £250 million brought by the liquidator of a BVI company. The claim against Mr Salfiti was discontinued following the exchange of witness statements.
  • Allen & Anr v Rabobank (Commercial Court). Zac acts for the Claimants who seek indemnification from their former employer in respect of their legal costs in defending criminal proceedings arising out of the LIBOR scandal. The claim was the subject of an unsuccessful application for summary judgment ([2020] EWHC 1902 (Comm), in which Zac was led by Richard Leiper QC). Zac is instructed by Michelmores.
  • Rollingson v Hollingsworth & Ors (Queen’s Bench Division). Zac acted for the Claimant in a team move case involving claims for breaches of contract, breaches of fiduciary duty, dishonest assistance, unlawful means conspiracy and inducement. The claim settled before trial, following an unsuccessful application by the Defendants for strike out and/or reverse summary judgment on significant aspects of the claim which raised interesting questions as to the scope of without prejudice privilege in the context of negotiations to acquire a right of action ([2020] EWHC 3568 (QB)). Zac was led by Richard Leiper QC and instructed by Lewis Silkin.
  • Richard Pease v Henderson Administration Ltd [2018] EWHC 661; [2019] EWCA Civ 158. Zac acted for the claimant, an investment fund manager, who brought a claim against his former employers for breach of contract arising out of its failure to pay him c. £4 million in management fees and its failure to allow him to replace the manager of a £1 billion investment fund on termination of his employment. Mr Pease successfully defended Henderson’s counterclaim for c.£2 million in the High Court, a decision which was reversed on appeal to the Court of Appeal. Zac was led in both the High Court and Court of Appeal by Richard Leiper QC, and instructed by Michelmores.
  • SCDS Tofan Srl v Master Chem Oil Ltd [2018] EWHC 3564 (Comm). Zac appeared as sole counsel for the claimant in a contractual debt claim in the Commercial Court in which the Claimant obtained judgment for a seven figure sum.
  • A v B. Zac acted for the Defendants in a claim alleging fraudulent misappropriation of c £2 million arising out of a disputed declaration of trust of shares in the Claimant. The claim has settled (led by Richard Leiper QC).
  • Bartholomews Agri Food Ltd v Thornton [2016] IRLR 432, an application for an interim injunction enforcing the terms of a restrictive covenant contained in the respondent employee’s contract of employment. Zac acted for Bartholomews (led by Daniel Stilitz QC).
  • Acting as sole counsel for a defendant in a claim for an interim injunction to enforce the terms of restrictive covenants contained in a share purchase agreement.
  • Acting as sole counsel contractual adjudication between two NHS bodies worth in excess of
    £800,000.

Zac also has experience of arbitration proceedings in partnership disputes.

Employment Law

Zac regularly appears as sole counsel in the Employment Tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunal in high value and complex claims. Zac has particular experience in whistleblowing and discrimination claims. He also has experience in appellate matters. Zac is regularly instructed against more senior counsel, including Queen’s Counsel.

In addition to the commercial employment work listed above, Zac’s recent employment law work includes:

  • Thompson v Informatica, EAT, 13 October 2021. Zac acted for the Respondent in both the Employment Tribunal and the EAT. Before the ET, the Respondent successfully defended a whistleblowing and ordinary unfair dismissal claim brought by a senior executive who had been dismissed for breaching the employer’s anti-bribery and corruption policies. The trial was heard over 6 days. The Claimant appealed the dismissal of his unfair dismissal claim to the EAT. That appeal was dismissed.
  • Successfully resisting an application for interim relief in a whistleblowing claim involving allegations of unpaid tax.
  • Fleming v East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust , EAT, 28 November 2017. Zac acted for the appellant, who successfully challenged a decision of the Employment Tribunal to exclude his covert recording of the private discussions of a disciplinary panel. The EAT ruled that the recordings were admissible, except those parts that were caught by legal professional privilege (led by Jane McCafferty, instructed by Steeles Law).
  • Successfully defending claims for maternity discrimination and unfair dismissal in a 5 day hearing. Those claims arose out of a global redundancy exercise carried out by the Respondent, a US-based Company.
  • Appearing as sole counsel for a respondent in a multi week trial during which the respondent successfully defended claims for victimisation, race discrimination and harassment;
  • Appearing and advising (both for claimants and respondents) on claims for breach of contract, unfair dismissal, race discrimination, disability discrimination, and whistleblowing.

Media, Data Protection and Information Rights

Zac has a broad media and data protection practice and has acted in a number of high profile and complex matters, including a number of large group actions. His recent and current (non-confidential) instructions include:

  • Facebook v Information Commissioner (EA/2018/0256). Zac acted for Facebook in its appeal against a monetary penalty notice issued by the Information Commissioner in connection with the Cambridge Analytica matter (led by Anya Proops QC with Robin Hopkins, instructed by Baker McKenzie).
  • Oldknow v Evans [2021] EWHC 1028 (QB). Zac acts for the Labour Party in ongoing, high-profile proceedings brought by a former senior Labour Party official in connection with the leak of an internal report concerning the Party’s handling of anti-semitism complaints (led by Anya Proops QC, instructed by Greenwoods GRM).
  • Various Claimants v Labour Party. Zac acts for the Labour Party in ongoing, high profile proceedings arising out of the leak of the Party’s internal report. The Labour Party has brought a Part 20 Claim against the individuals whom it says are responsible for the leak of that report in these proceedings (led by Anya Proops QC, instructed by Greenwoods GRM).
  • Whyte v CBS Interactive Inc & Anr (Media and Communications List), a claim by the well- known boxer Dillian Whyte arising out of the publication of an article discussing Mr Whyte testing positive for a banned substance in advance of a high profile fight. Zac acts for the Defendants (led by Anya Proops QC, instructed by Howard Kennedy).
  • Newman v Southampton City Council [2020] EWHC 2148 (Fam); [2021] EWCA Civ 437. Zac acted for Ms Newman, a journalist seeking access to court documents in relation to care proceedings. Her application for access to the Court file was rejected at first instance, and her appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed. The claim has contributed to the ongoing debate within the Family Courts as to the proper scope of journalistic (and public) access to public law hearings, and has attracted judicial and extra-judicial comment (Led by Anya Proops QC with Kate Temple-Mabe, instructed by Howard Kennedy).
  • Neil Gerrard v ENRC & Diligence. Zac acts for Diligence in a privacy/harassment claim brought by a City lawyer in connection with surveillance activities. The claim is ongoing.
  • Acting for a prominent newspaper editor in High Court proceedings involving an alleged misuse of private information (led by Anya Proops QC).
  • Acting for a number of large and well-known entities in relation to widely publicised data breach issues.
  • Providing data protection advice to very high profile individuals.

In addition to the cases above, Zac is regularly instructed in significant data breach cases, many of which remain confidential.

Zac has appeared, both as sole and junior counsel, in a number of information law cases, including Galloway v Information Commissioner (2017) and All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones v ICO and Ministry of Defence (2017) (led by Timothy Pitt-Payne QC). He has also advised on a range of data protection issues, and has appeared in the county court in data protection matters.

Zac has also acted for the Information Commissioner in a number of cases, including in Department for Works and Pensions v Information Commissioner, a case in which the Department for Works and Pensions called evidence from Sir Oliver Letwin.

Public Law

Zac has a broad public law practice, and has appeared in a number of claims for judicial review. His work encompasses human rights, local government, asylum and constitutional law. His current and recent work includes:

  • Acting for the Claimant in R (on the application of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in the High Court ([2017] EWHC 1502 (Admin)), the Court of Appeal ([2018] EWCA Civ 1284) and the Supreme Court ([2020] UKSC 16; [2020] 1 WLR 1774), a challenge to guidance from the defendant Secretary of State which sought to prohibit the administering authorities of the local government pension schemes from adopting policies of boycott, divestment and sanction against foreign nations (led by Nigel Giffin QC, instructed by Bindmans). The Supreme Court held that the challenged part of the guidance was contrary to the Padfield principle.
  • Acting for the Claimant in Good Law Project v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, a challenge to the lawfulness of the Secretary of State’s award of a number of high value contracts for the supply of PPE during the Covid-19 pandemic. The claim raised important questions as to the scope of the duties of equal treatment and transparency in the context of contracts awarded under regulation 32 of the PCR 2015, and resulted in a number of judgments on matters of procedure ([2021] 5 WLUK 226; [2021] 5 WLUK 316). Judgment on the substantive challenge is awaited.
  • Acting for the Claimant in (R on the application of Tirkey) v the Lord Chancellor & the Director of Legal Aid Casework [2017] EWHC 3403, a challenge to the operation of the statutory charge (led by Peter Oldham QC, instructed by the Anti-Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit).
  • Acting for Leicester City Council in R (on the application of Jewish Human Rights watch) v Leicester City Council in both the High Court ([2016] EWHC 1512 (Admin)) and the Court of Appeal ([2018] EWCA Civ 1551), a challenge to a resolution of the Council calling for a boycott of goods produced in Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Council successfully defended that claim in the Divisional Court and in the Court of Appeal (led by Andrew Sharland QC).
  • Acting for the Claimant in Gulf Center for Human Rights v the Prime Minister in both the High Court ([2016] EWHC 1323 (Admin)) and the Court of Appeal ([2018] EWCA Civ 1855), a challenge against changes to the Ministerial Code (led by Jason Coppell QC and Hannah Slarks, instructed by Deighton Pierce Glynn).
  • Acting for the Claimant in a claim for judicial review against the Secretary of State for the Home Office’s refusal to grant her temporary leave to remain in the United Kingdom on grounds of her statelessness. The claim settled in 2018.

Procurement/Competition

Zac acted for the Claimant in Serco v Secretary of State for Defence , a large and complex procurement challenge relating to a substantial contract worth c. £1billion. The claim settled before trial, and following a successful application by the Claimant for specific disclosure (on which the Claimant was awarded its costs on the indemnity basis: [2019] EWHC 515 (TCC)) and an unsuccessful application by the Defendant for strike out ([2019] EWHC 549 (TCC)). Zac acted for Serco throughout the proceedings, led by Joseph Barrett and instructed by DWF.

Zac also has experience in competition law. He acted for the Claimant in Balmoral Tanks Limited v CMA in both the CAT ([2017] CAT 23) and the Court of Appeal ([2019] 4 CMLR 25; [2019] EWCA Civ 162)), the first decision of the UK courts on information exchange infringements.

Zac has experience with EU law issues outside of the context of procurement and competition law. Zac acted for a claimant in a claim for judicial review which argued that guidance issued by the Secretary of State was contrary to the IORP Directive (R (on the application of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (led by Nigel Giffin QC).

During pupillage, Zac gained extensive experience on competition cases, including Sky v Ofcom [2015] CAT 9 (assisting David Scannell) and Speed Medical Examination Services v Secretary of State for Justice [2015] EWHC 3585, a judicial review challenging reforms to the process for handling soft tissue whiplash claims on the basis (inter alia) that they gave rise to breaches of competition law (assisting Gerard Rothschild).

Zac also gained experience during pupillage in the following areas:

  • EU sanctions;
  • The Common Agricultural Policy and;
  • Challenges to decisions of the European Medicines Agency.

Sports Law

Zac has recent experience in substantial sports-law cases.

  • Zverev v Ace Group International (Chancery Division). Zac acted for the Claimant, a prominent tennis player, in his dispute with his former manager. Mr Zverev alleged that his representation agreement with his manager was an unenforceable restraint of trade, and sought declaratory relief to that effect. The claim settled at trial (led by Anya Proops QC, instructed by Howard Kennedy).
  • Whyte v CBS. Zac acts for the Defendant to a claim brought by high-profile boxer, Dillian Whyte. The claim raises issues as to the confidentiality and privacy of anti-doping tests undertaken by professional athletes.

Public International Law

Zac maintains a keen interest in public international law. He was involved in human rights litigation conducted in a key African jurisdiction which raised a number of important public international law and human rights law issues, and which ended successfully for his client at appellate level. He is currently instructed in matters raising public international law issues in relation to a Middle Eastern state.

His other public international law experience includes:

  • Al Waheed v Ministry of Justice ; a leapfrog appeal to the Supreme Court on the scope of Article 5 in the non-international armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan (as a pupil assisting Karen Steyn QC and Julian Blake).
  • Assuranceforeningen Gard Gjensidig v International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund [2015] EWHC 2117 (QB), a case involving the scope of the immunities of non-international organisations (as a pupil assisting Oliver Jones).
  • Challenging a decision by the Council of Europe placing a major Russian Bank and its international law (as a pupil assisting Maya Lester).

Recent Cases

Zac’s recent, notable cases include:

  • Thompson v Informatica Software Ltd [2021] 10 WLUK 171
  • Various Claimants v Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority [2021] EWHC 2020 (QB)
  • Good Law Project v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care [2021] 5 WLUK 226
  • Newman v Southampton City Council [2021] 1 WLR 2900
  • Oldknow v Evans [2021] EWHC 1028 (QB)
  • Rollingson v Hollingsworth [2020] EWHC 3568 (QB)
  • Allen v Co-operative Rabobank UA [2020] EWHC 1902 (Comm)
  • Newman v Southampton City Council [2020] EWHC 2103
  • Facebook v Information Commissioner (EA/2018/0256)
  • Serco v Secretary of State for Defence [2019] EWHC 549 (TCC) & [2019] EWHC 515 (TCC)
  • Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber v Salfiti & Ors [2018] EWHC 3038 (Ch)
  • SCDS Tofan Srl v Master Chem Oil Ltd [2018] EWHC 3564 (Comm)
  • R (on the application of Jewish Human Rights watch) v Leicester City Council in the High Court [2016] EWHC 1512 (Admin) and in the Court of Appeal [2018] EWCA Civ 1551
  • R (on the application of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government; High Court [2017] EWHC 1502 (Admin); Court of Appeal [2018] EWCA Civ 1284 and Supreme Court; [2020] UKSC 16; [2020] 1 WLR 1774
  • Richard Pease v Henderson Administration Ltd [2018] EWHC 661; [2019] EWCA Civ 158
  • Balmoral Tanks Limited v CMA [2017] CAT 23; [2019] EWCA Civ 162
  • Fleming v East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust EAT, 28 November 2017
  • (R on the application of Tirkey) v the Lord Chancellor & the Director of Legal Aid Casework [2017] EWHC 3403
  • All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones v ICO and Ministry of Defence (2017)
  • Bartholomews Agri Food Ltd v Thornton [2016] IRLR 432
  • Gulf Center for Human Rights v the Prime Minister in the High Court [2016] EWHC 1323 (Admin) and in the Court of Appeal [2018] EWCA Civ 1855

Recommendations

“He does an excellent job and is very bright” Chambers & Partners 2021- Employment

“He’s a superb barrister, who gets up to speed very quickly with the issues in the case and has a very thorough, detailed knowledge of the law” Chambers & Partners 2021- Employment

“Forensic in his examination of the brief, and does not let anything go or leave any stone unturned. A rising star” Chambers & Partners 2021- Data Protection

“Absolutely outstanding” Legal 500 2021- Data Protection

 ‘ An excellent advocate who demonstrates abilities well beyond his year of call. Both a razor-sharp mind and a natural manner with clients. A barrister who solicitors always trust to do a good job – a real star of the employment Bar. ’ Legal 500 2022- Employment 

An all-round intellectual and practical talent, a future star of the bar and a pleasure to work with. Legal 500 2022- Data Protection 

“He is very impressive: he gets straight to the point and is a very effective cross-examiner.” Chambers & Partners 2022, Employment

“He is excellent on paper, offering a thorough review of relevant law, and he makes cogent oral submissions which effectively bring out the strength of his case.” Chambers & Partners 2022, Employment 

“He’s a very responsive barrister, who is hard-working and easy to work and deal with.” Chambers & Partners 2022, Data Protection

“Invaluable on every case we’ve worked on with him. A star junior.” Chambers & Partners 2022, Data Protection

Education

London School of Economics, LLB (First Class)

Oxford University, BCL (Distinction)

Awards

  • Sweet and Maxwell Prize for Best Performance in final year exams (LSE)
  • Clifford Chance Prize for Best Performance in Property II (LSE)
  • Archibald Jackson Prize (Somerville College, Oxford)
  • Denning Scholarship (Lincolns Inn)
  • Hardwicke Entry Award (Lincolns Inn)

Other

Zac enjoys combat sports and competed for a number of years at an amateur level in boxing and Muay Thai. Zac competed for Oxford in the 2013 Varsity Match, where he beat the Cambridge captain and won Oxford’s award for Best Technical Boxer. He is a long-suffering fan of Newcastle United FC.

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Professional title: Barrister

Full name (as registered with Bar Standards Board of England and Wales): Zac Sammour

VAT Number: GB 234605033

Legal Status: Sole Practitioner

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