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G. John Samms


Suite 1100, Cabot Place
100 New Gower St.
St. John’s, N.L.
A1C 6K3



Language(s) spoken: English

Bar Admission(s): Newfoundland and Labrador, 2016

Legal Assistant(s): Sharon Tucker

Ranked by Lexpert as a “Leading Lawyer to Watch” in Energy (Electricity), John is uniquely positioned to provide advice and advance client interests on some of the most complex matters facing the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. John is a thought leader in terms of legal aspects of the burgeoning hydrogen industry in Atlantic Canada and has led the provision of legal and strategic counsel to leading renewable energy and natural resource clients. John has expertise in regulatory compliance, labour law and public law, including constitutional and administrative law.

Beyond his increasingly busy natural resources and energy practice, John is also an experienced litigator as well as labour and employment practitioner. Some of his representative experience in these respects includes:

  • Successfully representing the Association of Seafood Producers in an arbitration relating to the illegal strike causing the temporary shutdown of the crab industry in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2023;
  • Successfully representing the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador against an application for a recount in the district of St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi after the 2021 Provincial Election;
  • Successfully representing the Toronto Maple Leafs ECHL affiliate, the Newfoundland Growlers, in a highly publicized lease dispute with St. John’s Sports and Entertainment Limited; or
  • Successfully defending against multiple challenges to a development in the St. John’s Battery region

Prior to joining Stewart McKelvey, John provided legal counsel to the Premier’s Office of Newfoundland and Labrador – some of his representative experience there included:

  • Member of the lead negotiating team as part of the $2.5 Billion Hibernia Dividend Backed Annuity Agreement – an aspect of the 2019 Atlantic Accord renewal.
  • Advising on provincial rate mitigation efforts to account for anticipated rate increases after the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project.

Education & Career


University of New Brunswick, JD, 2015
Memorial University of Newfoundland, MA, 2012
Memorial University of Newfoundland, BA, 2010


Member, Canadian Bar Association
Advisory committee member, Drug Treatment Court Feasibility Study: An Opportunity for Hope
Commissioner, City of St. John’s Assessment Review Court
Chairperson, Legal Appointments Board for Provincial Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Instructor, “Law, Governance and Public Policy” and “Constitutional Law”, Memorial University
Member, Judicial Council of the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador
Chairperson, Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee for the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador
Member, Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA), 2023
Board member – Choices for Youth
Board member – Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation


Winner of New Brunswick Trial Lawyers Association Prize for best performance in Trial Practice
Lexpert rating: Electricity, 2024

Thought Leadership

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