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Chambers of William McCormick QC

Work 020 7400 9600
Fax 020 7400 9630

John Samson

Work 020 7400 9600
Ely Place Chambers (Chambers of William McCormick QC)


John represents a broad spectrum of claimants and defendants. His media and information law work includes confidential information, data protection, defamation, freedom of information, harassment, human rights, injunctive relief, malicious falsehood, media law and privacy. His employment practice covers bonus claims, contract shams, discrimination, equality, redundancy, restrictive covenants, TUPE, unfair dismissals and whistle-blowing. He has appeared in the Privy Council, Appeal Court, High Court and County Courts as well as the Employment Appeal Tribunal, Employment Tribunals and Information Tribunal. John currently represents construction workers in the blacklisting litigation (2014/15) in claims for misuse of private information, breaches of the data protection act, defamation, breach of confidence and conspiracy for the secret vetting of their political and trade union activities by building industry employers. John is counsel of choice for a nationwide employment consultancy and recently represented former Alitalia employees in a High Court breach of contract claim, the Motor Insurers Bureau in a libel matter against the Daily Mail, Independent and Daily Telegraph and a university lecturer in a long-running libel action. John’s time at the Bar follows an extensive career in media production, business and the arts, including senior editorial stints in current affairs for the BBC and as head of his own award-winning TV production company. He has subsequently acted as legal adviser on feature length documentaries and regularly advises on pre-publication matters. He now has a wide advocacy and advisory practice for among others New College, Oxford, the Ecuadorian Embassy, celebrity actors, CEOs, academics, politicians, doctors, brokers, high-net-worth individuals, publishers, film and TV production companies, local authorities, law firms, food manufacturers, public authorities, charities, trade unions, private companies and public corporations.


Called 2001; Inner Temple; former TV programme maker and editorial executive; retained counsel, specialist media law practice 2002-05; in-house lawyer Guardian Newspapers 2005; Ely Place Chambers 2005 to date.


Stationers’ Company’s School; Birkbeck College, University of London (LLB first class); College of Law (Bar Vocational Course very competent); CEDR-accredited mediator.


Photography, guitar, building, skiing.

London Bar

Defamation and privacy

Within: Defamation and privacy – Leading juniors

John Samson - Ely Place ChambersVery hardworking and leaves no stone unturned.

Within: Defamation and privacy

Ely Place Chambers has increased experience in pre-publication, advisory and costs-related work. William McCormick QC was involved in the Miller v Associated Newspapers Limited test case on the recoverability of additional liability in publication cases. In Smith v Skanska & Others, John Samson represented 150 construction workers who were secretly vetted and ‘blacklisted’ by the industry over a 40-year period; claims were brought for breach of the Data Protection Act, defamation and misuse of private information. Meanwhile, David Mitchell deals with a substantial amount of defamation work for government departments and public bodies.

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