Zac Sammour

Zac has experience in substantial and complex litigation across the main areas of Chambers’ work.  He has appeared in the Court of Appeal, the High Court (Commercial Court, Administrative Court, TCC and Chancery Division), the Employment Appeal Tribunal, the Competition Appeal Tribunal and a number of specialist first-tier tribunals (employment, information law and immigration and asylum). Recent and on-going instructions include:

  • Facebook v Information Commissioner (EA/2018/0256). Zac acts for Facebook in its appeal against a monetary penalty notice issued by the Information Commissioner in connection with the Cambridge Analytica matter. The appeal is ongoing (led by Anya Proops QC with Robin Hopkins, instructed by Baker McKenzie).
  • Serco v Secretary of State for Defence [2019] EWHC 549 (TCC) & [2019] EWHC 515 (TCC). Zac acted for Serco in its challenge to the outcome of a sizeable procurement for a contract worth c. £1.1 billion. Earlier this year, Serco successfully defended an application to strike out a large part of its case and succeeded on an application for specific disclosure. The claim recently settled (led by Joseph Barrett with Edward Capewell, instructed by DWF).
  • R (on the application of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Zac acted for the Claimant in both the High Court ([2017] EWHC 1502 (Admin)) and the Court of Appeal ([2018] EWCA Civ 1284) in a challenge to guidance from the defendant Secretary of State prohibiting the administering authorities of the local government pension schemes from adopting policies of boycott, divestment and sanctions against foreign nations. The Claimant succeeded at first instance, judgment reversed by the Court of Appeal. The Claimant has been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court (led by Nigel Giffin QC, instructed by Bindmans).
  • Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber v Salfiti & Ors [2018] 11 WLUK 46. Zac acts for the respondent who succeeded in discharging a freezing injunction obtained ex parte in a claim alleging fraudulent misappropriation of funds and identity theft, and who was awarded costs on the indemnity basis (led by Olivier Kalfon).

Specialisms

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 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 instructions include:

  • Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber v Salfiti & Ors (Chancery Division). Zac acts for the Defendant in a claim alleging fraudulent misappropriation of c £3 million, identity theft, and document manipulation. Zac appeared at the return date of a freezing injunction obtained ex parte against the Defendant at which the injunction was discharged in its entirety and indemnity costs ordered against the Claimants ([2018] 11 WLUK 46) (led by Olivier Kalfon).
  • Allen & Anr v Rabobank (Commercial Court). Zac acts (as sole counsel) 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 (instructed by Michelmores).
  • Rollingson v Hollingsworth & Ors (Queen’s Bench Division). Zac acts (as sole counsel) 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 (instructed by Lewis Silkin).
  • Zverev v Ace Group International (Chancery Division). Zac acts for the Claimant, a prominent tennis player, in his dispute with his former manager. The claim raises issues of restraint of trade and breaches of fiduciary duty (led by Anya Proops QC, instructed by Howard Kennedy).
  • Richard Pease v Henderson Administration Ltd [2018] EWHC 661; [2019] EWCA Civ 158. Zac acted for the successful 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 reversed on appeal (led by Richard Leiper QC, 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.
  • A multi-million pound contractual adjudication arising out of a joint-venture dispute (led by Julian Milford).
  • Acting as sole counsel contractual adjudication between two NHS bodies worth in excess of £800,000.
  • Acting as sole counsel in a six figure commercial debt claim in the High Court.
  • Arbitration proceedings between a prominent solicitors’ firm and one of its former partners (led by Amy Rogers).
  • Advising on quantum in a multi-million-pound claim in the High Court arising out of an employee share scheme.

Zac also gained a range of experience in commercial dispute reoslution during his pupillage, where he worked on Thai Airways International Public Co Ltd v KI Holdings Co Ltd (formerly Koito Industries) [2015] EWHC 1250 (Comm), a 3-week quantum trial in the High Court (assisting Hilary Heilbron QC and David Scannell) and Hinduja Automotives v BMW, a multi-million pound claim for breach of a contractual indemnity provision (assisting Gerard Rothchild).

Employment law

Zac regularly appears as sole counsel in the Employment Tribunals in high value and complex claims. Zac has particular experience in whistleblowing and discrimination claims. He also has experience in appellate matters.

Zac’s recent work includes:

  • 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).
  • Appearing as sole counsel for a respondent which successfully defended 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.

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 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 the Claimant in R (on the application of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in both the High Court ([2017] EWHC 1502 (Admin)) and the Court of Appeal ([2018] EWCA Civ 1284), 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 Claimant succeeded at first instance, a judgment which was then reversed by the Court of Appeal. The Claimant has been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.
  • 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.

Zac has also advised on: the human rights implications of the Data Protection Bill (as it then was, led by Jason Coppel QC); on issues related to the amendment of a local authority’s constitution (led by Anya Proops) and the merits of a claim for judicial review by a business alleging breach of its rights under A1P1 (led by Amy Rogers).

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 (led by Joseph Barrett with Edward Capewell, 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 broad ranging experience with EU law issues. 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.

Data protection and information rights

Zac is currently instructed in Facebook v Information Commissioner, a large and very high profile data protection matter. He has recent experience in a high profile data breach matter, and has also recently provided data protection advice to high profile individuals (led in all cases by Anya Proops QC).

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.

Zac is also developing a growing privacy practice. He is currently instructed by a prominent newspaper editor in High Court proceedings involving an alleged misuse of private information (led by Anya Proops QC).

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.

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 Turkish subsidiary on sanctions lists, relying on the countermeasures doctrine under international law (as a pupil assisting Maya Lester).

Recent Cases

Zac’s recent, notable cases include:

  • 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] 11 WLUK 46
  • 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 in the High Court [2017] EWHC 1502 (Admin) and in the Court of Appeal [2018] EWCA Civ 1284
  • 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

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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