James Eadie QC

Called to Bar:
1984
Appointed to silk:
2008
Practice areas:
Degree:
MA: Magdalene College, Cambridge, 1986
Languages:
French (working knowledge)

James Eadie QC is recommended as a leading silk in the independent legal directories.

Chambers UK 2015

James Eadie QC is ranked as a ‘Star at the Bar’ and in six practice areas:

  • Star at the Bar – “a brilliant advocate” who “commands the respect of the court.” He has an “unbelievably thorough approach,” according to sources, who explain that “he is phenomenally well prepared,” and that “he is able to get on top of a case in an unbelievably short amount of time.” He is recognised for the impressive scope of his practice, and the “rare talent” required to have “an absolute mastery over every case that he does.” Universally respected, he is known to instructing solicitors as a “really engaging” and “easy-to-use” silk, who is “very bright, but also someone who wears his knowledge lightly.”
  • Administrative & Public law – Top ranked. “He is a brilliant advocate. Like no one else, he is able to get on top of a case in an unbelievably short amount of time and present it in the most straightforward way.” “He is phenomenally well prepared, and he's so quick. He is absolutely formidable, and evidently commands the respect of the court.”
  • Civil Liberties & Human Rights – James has a ‘star’ ranking. “He is just an incredible advocate - really, really brilliant.” “He is very good, very authoritative and he has to be listened to.”
  • Data Protection – “Really engaging, easy to use and likeable. He's also very bright, but wears his knowledge lightly.”
  • Financial Services – “He has an enormously broad practice and has to advise quickly on a broad range of very difficult issues. That requires a rare talent. He's also not at all stuffy or self-important, which makes him a real pleasure to work with.”
  • Inquests & Public Inquiries – Top ranked. “He is absolutely superb and an advocate that the court loves.” “He is conversational without being impertinent, and is also very clever and hard-working."
  • Tax: Indirect – “Enjoys an excellent reputation for his work representing the Treasury.”

Legal 500 2014

James is recommended in eight practice areas:

  • Administrative & Public law – “Outstanding; always has the ear of the court.”
  • Banking & Finance – “As first treasury counsel he handles government, SFO and FCA work.”
  • Civil Liberties & Human Rights – “Knows how to put a case.”
  • Data Protection – “An outstanding advocate and brilliant litigator.”
  • Environment – “Technically excellent.”
  • EU & Competition – “He is currently first treasury counsel to the government.”
  • Public Procurement – “The highly respected first treasury counsel.”
  • Tax – “Recommended for his experience in representing HMRC in complex litigation.” 

Chambers UK Top Silk Bar 100

In December 2013, James was ranked as one of Chambers UK’s Top Silk Bar 100, in their inaugural listing of the top barristers practising at the Bar of England & Wales. “A frighteningly superb opponent,” and as an advocate whose “strongest quality is that he persuades the court that he is being reasonable."

James was named in The Times Law 100 2012 listing the most influential lawyers in Britain. He has appeared in the list in previous years.

Professional Experience

(2009-)

First Treasury Counsel

(1997-2008)

Junior Counsel to the Crown, Common Law (“A” Panel)

James Eadie QC was appointed First Treasury Counsel in January 2009, breaking the tradition of appointing Junior Counsel to this role.  In the profession, he is called the ‘Treasury Devil’.  As such, he is the QC to whom the Government turn first for their major pieces of advice and litigation.
 
In the last three years he has advised the Government across the range of Government activity from terrorism, to the legal fall out of military operations, to the environment, to the financial crisis.  He has acted in much of the major litigation brought against the Government (frequently in the Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights), including for example:

Inquiries:

  • The Leveson Inquiry - acting for and advising the Government.
  • The 7/7 bombings inquest - acting for the Security Service (in relation to the handling of sensitive material see [2010] 1 WLR 2564).
  • Mid staffs - the Francis Inquiry - acted for the Secretary of State for Health.
  • Finucane - judicial review of decision not to set up a 2005 Act public inquiry into the murder of Northern Irish solicitor, Patrick Finucane.
  • R (M) v Home Secretary [2012] EWCA Civ 668 - challenge to refusal to set up public inquiry into handling of demonstration at immigration centre.
  • Whether the Chief Justice of Gibraltar should be removed from office: [2009] UKPC 43.

Drone strikes:

  • R (Noor Khan) v Foreign Secretary: challenge to the alleged provision of intelligence to the US for use in drone strikes (judgment of Divisional Court awaited).

Closed/secret evidence:

  • Representing the Government in a series of cases on whether its use is permissible in court and if so in what circumstances: Tariq v Home Office [2011] UKSC 35, linked with Al-Rawi  [2011] UKSC 34; AHK v The Home Secretary [2012] EWHC 1117 Admin; and in relation to the Justice and Security Bill.
  • R (Corey) v Parole Commissioners - challenge in the Court of Appeal of Northern Ireland to the reception of evidence by the Parole Commissioners in a closed hearing to determine whether a recalled life sentence prisoner believed to be re-involved in terrorism.

Extradition:

  • Acted for the Home Secretary in the extradition of Abu Hamza, Barbar Ahmad and others - acting both in the ECtHR proceedings (concluding with the ECtHR's judgment of 10 April 2012) and in the domestic challenges (concluding with the Divisional Court's judgment at [2012] EWHC 2989 (Admin)). 

Prisoners voting:

  • He represented the Government in the domestic courts (Chester v Secretary of State for Justice [2010] EWCA Civ 1439); before the ECtHR in Greens & MT v the UK; and for the UK in the intervention in Scoppola v Italy before the Grand Chamber. 

Wearing of crosses and other religious symbols at work:

  • Ladele and Chaplin v the UK (judgment awaited from the ECtHR).

Privacy:

  • Whether domestic law failed adequately to protect Max Mosley’s privacy rights under Article 8 ECHR: Max Mosley v UK (it did not, as the ECtHR found).

Iraq:

Numerous advices and cases including:

  • Ramatullah v Foreign Secretary [2012] UKSC 48 (habeas corpus challenge seeking UK intervention in relation to a person transferred in Iraq to US custody).
  • R (Catherine Smith) v Oxfordshire Coroner [2010] UKSC 29.
  • Al-Skeini & Al-Jedda v the UK before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Smith v MoD [2012] EWCA Civ 1365 - damages claims relating to Snatch Landrovers and other equipment, raising issues of the reach of the ECHR in military operations and the scope of the common law principles of combat immunity (to be heard by the Supreme Court in February 2013).
  • Whether there should be a public inquiry into the allegations of ill-treatment of detainees in Iraq by British forces applying the principles in the Article 2 and Article 3 ECHR jurisprudence (R (Mousa) v Secretary of State for Defence [2012] HRLR 6 (CA).

Afghanistan:

  • Numerous advices and cases including as to the reach of the ECHR into the military and security operations in: R (Evans) v Secretary of State for Defence [2010] EWHC 1445 (Admin), recently revisited in R (SM) v Secretary of State for Defence [2012] EWHC 3282 Admin in relation to the continuing transfer of detainees to the Afghan authorities. 

Domestic security:

  • Various claims against the Government for Norwich Pharmacal relief including R (Omar) v Foreign Secretary [2012] EWHC 1737 Admin.
  • Home Secretary v CC [2012] EWHC 2837 (Admin) - control orders, TPIMs, abuse of process in the context of allegations of terrorism in Somalia.
  • Police powers to stop and search post Gillan v the UK:  see R (Roberts) v Commissioner of Policy for the Metropolis [2012] EWHC 1977 (Admin).
  • The Consolidated Guidance to the Security and Intelligence Agencies on lawful dealing with foreign States: Equality and Human Rights Commission v Prime Minister [2011] EWHC 2401 Admin.
  • DNA retention and the issues of compatibility with the ECHR surrounding it: R (GC) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2011] UKSC 21.
  • Grant v Ministry of Justice [2012] ACD 32:  ECHR challenge to 'slopping out' regime in prisons.
  • Whether the names of convicted minors could be maintained on the sex offenders register indefinitely compatibly with Article 8 ECHR (R (F) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] UKSC 17).
  • The compatibility with the ECHR of enhanced criminal record checks (R (L) v Metropolitan Police [2010] 1 AC 410 (HL).
  • The ECHR compatibility of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal’s procedures with Article 6 ECHR: Kennedy v the UK.

Courts system and justice challenges:

  • R (Law Society of England and Wales) v Lord Chancellor [2012] EWHC 794 Admin - challenge to legal aid funding levels.
  • Whether judicial review could be mounted from refusal of permission to appeal by the Upper Tribunal:  R (Cart) v Upper Tribunal [2011] UKSC 28.
  • Whether EU law claims for damages can be mounted for judicial error (Cooper v AG [2010] EWCA Civ 464).

Taxation:

  • The taxation of non-domiciled persons: R (Davies) v HMRC [2011] UKSC 47.
  • Challenges to the refusal to provide into the public domain confidential information relating to settlements between HMRC and taxpayers: R (UK Uncut) v HMRC [2012] EWHC 2017 Admin.

Immigration:

  • Lord Carlile of Berriew v Home Secretary [2012] EWHC 617 Admin - exclusion of Iranian from the UK on international relations grounds.
  • R (Chapti) v Home Secretary [2011] EWHC 3370 Admin (judgment of Court of Appeal awaited) and R (Bhavyesh) v Home Secretary [2012] EWHC 2789 Admin (ECHR and discrimination challenges to pre-entry English language test).
  • BA v Home Office [2012] EWCA Civ 944 - claims for damages and judicial review, abuse of process.
  • FPG v Serco and the Home Office [2012] EWHC 1804 Admin - handcuffing of immigration detainees in medical treatment.
  • Duties of care owed to immigrants: Home Office v Mohammed [2011] EWCA Civ 351.
  • Whether a Muslim preacher could be excluded from the UK on the basis of his radical views: Naik v Home Secretary [2010] EWHC 2825 (Admin) – judgment in the Court of Appeal awaited.

Environmental:

  • Advising and representing DEFRA in relation to the proposed badger cull.
  • Whether the system for dealing with costs in environmental cases is ‘prohibitively expensive’ under the Aarhuis Convention and EU law: R (Edwards) v Environment Agency [2011] 1 WLR 79; [2010] UKSC 57.

Freedom of information and media:

  • R (BBC) v Secretary of State for Justice [2012] EWHC 13 Admin - affording access to BBC to interview Babar Ahmed.
  • Plowden v Information Commissioner, FTT 18 May 2012 - exemptions applicable to Bush-Blair correspondence in advance of the decision to conduct military operations in Iraq.
  • Dept of Health v Information Commissioner, FTT 5 April 2012 - free space for Government decision making - risk registers.
  • Advising the Government on the exercise of the power of veto under FOIA.
  • Whether Jon Venables new identity should be revealed to the press following his conviction on child pornography charges: R v Venables, 30 July 2010.

Commercial and civil recovery:

  • Advising Financial Services Authority in relation to the LIBOR issues.
  • Acting for the Secretary of State for Transport in the proceedings brought by Virgin challenging the procurement processes for the West Coast Train Line franchise.
  • Acting for SFO in relation to proceedings brought by the Tchenguiz brothers (judicial review at [2012] EWHC 2254 Admin; claims for damages ongoing).
  • Acting for HMRC in the recent Supreme Court hearing in relation to whether legal advice privilege should be extended to cover communications with accountants giving tax advice: R (Prudential) v HMRC (judgment awaited). 
  • Acting in various proceedings brought by the Serious Organised Crime Agency: SOCA v Gale [2011] UKSC 49; and SOCA v Perry [2012] UKSC 35
  • Globespan Airways Ltd [2012] EWCA Civ 1159 - notices to Companies Registrar.
  • Official Receiver v Negus [2012] 1 WLR 1598 - payment of fees in insolvency.
  • Whether the Emergency Budget of June 2010 should be quashed for alleged failure adequately to conduct discrimination assessments of the impact on women: Fawcett Society v HM Treasury, decision on permission December 2010.

Intellectual property:

  • Advising in relation to tobacco packaging.
  • The transposition of EU Directives into domestic law in the field of copyright: ITV Broadcasting v TY Catchup [2011] FSR 40.
  • Challenges under EU law to the Digital Economy Act: R (BT) v Secretary of State for Business [2012] Bus LR 1766 (CA); [2011] 3 CMLR 5 (Admin Court). 

Social security and pensions issues:

Including eg:

  • R (Staff Side of the Police Negotiating Board) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2102] EWCA Civ 332 - challenge to the decision to switch uprating of state benefits from RPI to CPI.
  • R (Karoonian) v Child Maintenance Commission [2012] EWCA Civ 1379 - system for enforcing child support orders.
  • R (Cockburn) v Secretary of State for Health [2011] EWHC 2095 Admin - discrimination challenge to health service pensions.
  • R (CPAG) v SSHD [2011] EWHC 2616 Admin - challenge to Equalities Impact Assessments in relation to reforms to housing benefits.
  • Whether Sharon Shoesmith was treated unlawfully in her removal from office (R (Shoesmith) v Ofsted [2011] EWCA Civ 642.

Prior to his appointment as First Treasury Counsel, he acted for private clients and on numerous occasions for the range of Government departments and a variety of financial and other regulatory authorities. He also advises and acts in public inquiries.

Public Law and Human Rights

James has appeared regularly in major judicial review actions many with ECHR issues at their heart.  He has acted both for private clients and for the range of Government departments.  As 'Treasury Devil' he now leads of the Government in many of the most important judicial reviews.  For examples of recent reported cases in the two years, see Section A above.

In more detail, and including cases beyond the last two year examples of James’ work include the following.

Current and recent work

Public / Commercial

He has acted both for and against a variety of financial and other regulatory authorities (including in particular the FSA, and a number of foreign financial regulators).

  • He has provided frequent advice to HM Treasury on different aspects of the financial crisis.
  • He acted for the Department for Transport in the West Coast Trainline franchise litigation and the ensuing issues.
  • He has acted for the FSA in relation to the LIBOR rigging scandal; "Northern Rock"; and in relation to a major mis-selling investigation.
  • He is acting for OFGEM in a major investigation into energy tariff mis-selling.
  • He acted for one of the principal distributors and handlers of cash in the UK in a major investigation conducted by the Bank of England under the Note Circulation Scheme.
  • He acted as lead UK counsel for Shell in relation to the FSA’s investigation into the reserves reporting misstatements (market abuse).  He was also instructed to act for the Group Reserves Auditor personally in the FSA market abuse proceedings which ended in discontinuance before the Regulatory Decisions Committee in November 2005.
  • He has acted in cases concerning breaches of the listing rules; the financial promotions regime under the FSMA 2000; and market authorisations. 
  • He has acted for an oil company in AIM Disciplinary proceedings relating to alleged late/misleading disclosure to the market of information.
  • He acted for a director of British Airways in the OFT price-fixing investigation.

He has advised on and appeared in cases involving pharmaceutical and medical regulatory issues. 

  • He has acted frequently in major litigation involving the NHS, including on the Unison challenge to the re-organisation of the NHS and the Mid-Staffordshire public inquiry.
  • He has frequently acted and advised in relation to various aspects of the medicines regulatory regime, including for the Department of Health and the MHRA.  He acted (for a large pharmaceutical company) in an MHRA investigation into the effects of anti-depressant drugs on adolescents and children. 
  • He has acted for and against the General Medical Council.
  • Acting for the MHRA he secured the first finding of contempt of court (punished by imprisonment) by an individual and companies for the unauthorised marketing and supply of prescription only medicines (Viagra).

He deals with cases in the telecommunications and utilities fields. 

  • He has advised Sky in relation to the regulatory issues arising out of a recent purchase of a stake in another broadcaster; and on a series of telecommunications issues in the Bahamas.
  • He has acted for a major water company in relation to fine proceedings brought by Ofwat; and is acting for Ofgem in a mis-selling investigation. 

Commercial and civil recovery

Recent examples of cases in this field include:

  • Advising Financial Services Authority in relation to the LIBOR issues.
  • Acting for the Secretary of State for Transport in the proceedings brought by Virgin challenging the procurement processes for the West Coast Train Line franchise.
  • Acting for SFO in relation to proceedings brought by the Tchenguiz brothers (judicial review at [2012] EWHC 2254 Admin; claims for damages ongoing).
  • Acting for HMRC in the recent Supreme Court hearing in relation to whether legal advice privilege should be extended to cover communications with accountants giving tax advice: R (Prudential) v HMRC (judgment awaited). 
  • Acting in various proceedings brought by the Serious Organised Crime Agency - he did the first full trial of an assets recovery order under the Proceeds of Crime Act: Director of Assets Recovery Agency v Olupitan [2007] EWHC 162 (QB); and has recently acted for SOCA in two Supreme Court cases: SOCA v Gale [2011] UKSC 49; and SOCA v Perry [2012] UKSC 35.
  • Company/insolvency: Globespan Airways Ltd [2012] EWCA Civ 1159 - notices to Companies Registrar; Official Receiver v Negus [2012] 1 WLR 1598 - payment of fees in insolvency.

Public Inquiries & Inquests

He has advised and acted in a number of public inquiries and high profile inquests.

  • In 2011:
    - He acted for the Government in the Leveson Inquiry.
    - He acted for the Security Service in the 7/7 inquests.
    - He acted for the Department of Health in the public inquiry (Robert Francis QC) into Mid-Staffordshire hospital. 
  • He is acting for the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in the judicial review challenging the decision not to hold a 2005 Act inquiry into the killing of Patrick Finucane.  
  • He acted as counsel for the Government of Gibraltar in the Tribunal hearings into whether the Chief Justice of Gibraltar should be removed from office. 
  • He was counsel to the inquiry headed by Lord Woolf into BAe in the wake of the Saudi arms investigation by the SFO.
  • He was counsel to the Bichard Inquiry into the police handling of the Ian Huntley/Soham murder investigation, and the related issues surrounding employment vetting.   That Inquiry reported in June 2004.
  • He was counsel to the E.coli inquiry into the death of a child in South Wales.
  • He was the public law counsel to the Inquiry into the shooting of Rosemary Nelson in Northern Ireland; and, as such, defended the Inquiry in two sets of judicial review proceedings in Northern Ireland (brought by the MOD and the PSNI).
  • He acted for the HSE in the challenge to the refusal to hold a public inquiry into the Potters Bar railcrash: R (Lin) v SS Transport.
  • He acted for Mohammed Al-Fayed in the judicial review challenge to the decision of the Coroner in the inquest into the death of Princess Diana not to allow a jury and to continue to sit as Coroner of the Queen’s Household.
  • He gave advice to the Neale Inquiry (into allegations of misconduct by a doctor) and the Butterfield Review (advice on public interest immunity in relation to collapsed London bonded warehouse prosecutions).

He has acted in a number of judicial reviews in which claimants seek public inquiries under the 2005 Inquiries Act in reliance on ECHR rights (A2 and A3): see eg R (M) v Home Secretary [2012] EWCA Civ 668; K v SSHD [2008] EWHC 1598 (Admin); R (JL) v SSHD [2006] EWHC 2558: R (Lin) v R (Secretary of State for the Home Department) v Coroner for Inner West London [2010] EWHC 3098 (Admin); R (AM) v Harmondsworth detention centre [2009] EWCA Civ 219; SS for Transport [2006] EWHC 2575 (Admin); R (Mullane) v SSHD [2006] EWHC 2499 (Admin).

Media and Freedom of Information

He acted for the Government in the Leveson Inquiry.

He has represented a number of clients before Ofcom, including representing the BBC in the Blue Peter case and the numerous subsequent cases involving competitions and misleading audiences.

He frequently advises of Freedom of Information Act issues.  He leads the panel of specialists who are regularly instructed to advise government departments of FOIA issues and to appear before the First Tier Tribunal dealing with FOIA matters.

Recent example cases include the following:

  • He acted for the Secretary of State for Justice in the challenge by the BBC seeking to interview Babar Ahmad whilst he was in prison awaiting extradition to the USA on terrorism charges: R (BBC) v Secretary of State for Justice [2012] EWHC 13 Admin R (BBC) v Secretary of State for Justice [2012] EWHC 13 Admin - affording access to BBC to interview Babar Ahmed.
  • Plowden v Information Commissioner, FTT 18 May 2012 - exemptions applicable to Bush-Blair correspondence in advance of the decision to conduct military operations in Iraq.
  • Dept of Health v Information Commissioner, FTT 5 April 2012 - free space for Government decision making - risk registers.
  • Advising the Government on the exercise of the power of veto under FOIA.
  • Whether Jon Venables new identity should be revealed to the press following his conviction on child pornography charges: R v Venables, 30 July 2010.
  • He acted for the BBC in proceedings to permit publication of the name of a person subject to a control order (Collins J ordering publication).
  • He acted for the Government in proceedings brought by the Times for the same purpose ([2008] EWHC 2455 (Admin)).
  • He acted for a journalist seeking to resist a production order under the Terrorism Act 2005 on grounds of self-incrimination: Shiv Malik v Manchester Crown Court [2008] EWHC 1362 (Admin).

Security and Foreign Policy

He has regularly advised and acted for the Government in relation to a variety of legal issues and challenges related to terrorism:  see eg

  • Handling security sensitive information in court: Tariq v Home Office [2011] UKSC 35,  linked with Al-Rawi  [2011] UKSC 34; AHK v The Home Secretary [2012] EWHC 1117 Admin; R (Corey) v Parole Commissioners (Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland, judgment awaited); AF, AE & AN v The Secretary of State for the Home Department (no 3) [2009] UKHL 28; the Justice and Security Bill. 
  • Norwich Pharmacal relief: including R (Omar) v Foreign Secretary [2012] EWHC 1737 Admin; and R (Shaker Aamer) v Foreign Secretary [2010] ACD 25.
  • Control orders, TPIMs etc: Home Secretary v CC [2012] EWHC 2837 (Admin); (AH) v Secretary of State for Home Department [2008] EWHC 1018 (Admin);  R (A and others) v SS Home Dept (HL)(the ‘Belmarsh’ cases).
  • Police powers to stop and search post Gillan v the UK:  see R (Roberts) v Commissioner of Policy for the Metropolis [2012] EWHC 1977 (Admin).
  • The Consolidated Guidance to the Security and Intelligence Agencies on lawful dealing with foreign States: Equality and Human Rights Commission v Prime Minister [2011] EWHC 2401 Admin.

These sorts of cases frequently raise issues in relation to the conduct of international relations - see eg

  • Ramatullah v Foreign Secretary [2012] UKSC 48 (habeas corpus challenge seeking UK intervention in relation to a person transferred in Iraq to US custody).
  • IHRC v Civil Aviation Authority (judicial review challenges to the US planes using UK bases en route to arms delivery in Israel).
  • R (Hasan) v Secretary of State of Trade [2009] 3 All E.R. 539 (challenge seeking details of export licences in relation to exports to Israel.
  • R (Al Haq) v Foreign Secretary (2009) ACD 76.

He has also advised and acted for the Government in relation to the military operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan: see e.g.

  • R (Noor Khan) v Foreign Secretary (2012): challenge to the alleged provision of intelligence to the US for use in drone strikes (judgment of Divisional Court awaited).
  • R (SM) v Secretary of State for Defence [2012] EWHC 3282 Admin in relation to the continuing transfer of detainees to the Afghan authorities - the follow up to R (Maya Evans) v Secretary of State for Defence [2010] EWHC 1445 (Admin).
  • Al-Skeini & Al-Jedda v the UK before the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR;
  • R (Mousa) v Secretary of State for Defence [2012] HRLR 6 (CA) (whether there should be a public inquiry into the allegations of ill-treatment of detainees in Iraq by British forces) - litigation now renewed with a fresh challenge on similar issues.
  • Smith v MoD [2012] EWCA Civ 1365 - damages claims relating to Snatch Landrovers and other equipment, raising issues of the reach of the ECHR in military operations and the scope of the common law principles of combat immunity (to be heard by the Supreme Court in February 2013).
  • R (Catherine Smith) v Oxfordshire Coroner [2010] UKSC 29 (the reach of the ECHR onto the battlefield in Iraq).
  • He acted in the ECtHR for the Government in the Gibraltar shootings litigation (three members of the IRA were shot by the SAS in Gibraltar). 

Sports Law

He has advised on various aspects of sports law including:

  • Representing a prominent Indian test cricketer in a case against the ICC.
  • Acting for the Football Premier League in the claim brought against it by Sam Chisolm in relation to the deal with Sky TV.
  • He has advised and acted in connection with horse racing and its levy.

Discrimination

He has acted in a number of high profile discrimination cases (e.g. Fawcett Society v HM Treasury (2011)  (on whether the Emergency Budget of June 2010 should be quashed for alleged failure adequately to conduct discrimination assessments of the impact on women); R (Cockburn) v Secretary of State for Health [2011] EWHC 2095 Admin; R (CPAG) v SSHD [2011] EWHC 2616 Admin; R(Carson) v SS for Work and Pensions (HL), concerning the uprating of pensions abroad; Unison v First Secretary [2006] EWHC 2373 (Admin) (the first challenge to the age discrimination regulations)).  He advised in relation to the Sexual Orientation regulations including on the issues surrounding exemptions for religious organizations from some aspects of the new regime.

Health

He has been involved in a succession of judicial review cases in the regulation of health field (aside from the medicines regulation issues above), including challenges to the reorganistion of the NHS in R (Unison) v Secretary of State for Health [2010] EWHC 2655 (Admin); to the morning after pill (R (Smeaton) v SS for Health (Admin Ct), the legality of cloning for research purposes (R (Quintivalle) v SS for Health (HL)) and the legality of tissue typing (R (Quintivalle) v SS for Health (HL)).

He acted for the Secretary of State for Health in the Mid Staffs Inquiry.

Environmental Law

He has advised and acted in numerous environmental law cases, including advising DEFRA on a range of issues. 

  • Advising and representing DEFRA in relation to the proposed badger cull.  
  • He acted for the Government in the challenges to night noise from Heathrow before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (Hatton v the UK).
  • He acted for Alton Towers in relation to proceedings brought against them alleging noise nuisance: Roper v Tussauds Ltd [2007] EWHC 624 (Admin).
  • He acted for DEFRA before the Aarhuis Sanctions Committee, and in the Supreme Court on the issue whether the system for dealing with costs in environmental cases is 'prohibitively expensive' under the Aarhuis Convention and EU law: R (Edwards) v Environment Agency [2010] UKSC 57

Local Government Law

He acted in the series of challenges to the power of the Secretary of State to take steps towards reorganizing local government in England and Wales: Shrewsbury District Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2007] EWHC 2279 (Admin); [2008] EWCA Civ 148.  He has acted and is currently acting in relation to further challenges to decisions taken as part of the reorganization: see e.g. R (Bedfordshire CC) v DCLG [2008] EWHC 628 (Admin).

Asylum & Immigration

He has appeared in many cases in the immigration and asylum field - see e.g. Lord Carlile of Berriew v Home Secretary [2012] EWHC 617 Admin - exclusion of Iranian from the UK on international relations grounds; R (Chapti) v Home Secretary [2011] EWHC 3370 Admin (judgment of Court of Appeal awaited) and R (Bhavyesh) v Home Secretary [2012] EWHC 2789 Admin (ECHR and discrimination challenges to pre-entry English language test); BA v Home Office [2012] EWCA Civ 944 - claims for damages and judicial review, abuse of process; FPG v Serco and the Home Office [2012] EWHC 1804 Admin - handcuffing of immigration detainees in medical treatment; Duties of care owed to immigrants: Home Office v Mohammed [2011] EWCA Civ 351; (R(T) v SS Home Dept; AM (Serbia) v SS Home Dept [2007] EWCA Civ 16;  LE (Congo) v SS Home Dept [2007] EWCA Civ 193;  Hussain v Home Secretary [2009] EWHC 2492 (Admin); Naik v Home Secretary [2010] EWHC 2825 (Admin).

Prison, Police Powers & Parole Board

He has also appeared in numerous cases involving prisons, police powers and parole board law. 

Recent examples include:

  • Police powers to stop and search post Gillan v the UK:  see R (Roberts) v Commissioner of Policy for the Metropolis [2012] EWHC 1977 (Admin).
  • DNA retention and the issues of compatibility with the ECHR surrounding it: R (GC) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2011] UKSC 21.
  • Grant v Ministry of Justice [2012] ACD 32:  ECHR challenge to 'slopping out' regime in prisons.
  • Whether the names of convicted minors could be maintained on the sex offenders register indefinitely compatibly with Article 8 ECHR (R (F) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] UKSC 17.
    The compatibility with the ECHR of enhanced criminal record checks (R (L) v Metropolitan Police [2010] 1 AC 410 (HL).
  • He has been involved in the Parole Board hearings and challenges to them by Harry Roberts, who murdered three policemen in the 1960’s and is the longest serving UK prisoner. He argued Harry Roberts v Parole Board in the House of Lords – a case raising the issue whether special advocates were permissible in Parole Board hearings: [2005] UKHL 45.  
  • He has been involved in a series of cases concerning the procedural requirements of Articles 2 and 3 of the ECHR (e.g. D v SS Home Dept).
  • He has successfully challenged under the ECHR the conditions in which a severely disabled remand prisoner is held at Belmarsh.
  • He acted for the SSHD in relation to changes to the Secure Training Centre Rules permitting greater use of controversial restraint techniques: R (C) v SSHD [2008] EWHC 171 (Admin)
  • He acted for the Parole Board in challenges to delays in listing cases before it following the introduction of indeterminate sentences.

Extradition, Mutual Legal Assistance

His practice also covers extradition and appellate crime (raising ECHR issues). 

  • He acted for the Home Secretary in the extradition of Abu Hamza, Barbar Ahmad and others - acting both in the ECtHR proceedings (Ahmad and others v the UK) and in the domestic challenges (see [2012] EWHC 2989 (Admin)). 
  • He resisted the extradition request by Russia for Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s (of Yukos) chief accountant. 
  • He has appeared in a number of other high profile extradition cases including the first extradition to Hong Kong following handover to the Chinese (ex parte Launder (HL)); fraud extraditions to the United States (Warren); and a number of challenges to decisions by the Home Secretary to return people accused of terrorism to France (Ramda and Labsi).
  • He acted for individuals involved in the running of the Russian shipping industry who are resisting extradition to Russia.
  • He acted for the Government in Asmat and Ahmed v Home Secretary [2008] EWHC 1357 (Admin) (currently before the ECtHR).
  • He was counsel for the Serious Fraud Office in the attempts by the Guinness appellants to re-open their convictions (rejected by the Court of Appeal and House of Lords); and has acted for the Government throughout those cases in the Strasbourg challenge. 
  • He has argued a series of cases in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) concerning the privilege against self-incrimination and the reverse onus offences in the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • He defended the secrecy of jury deliberations for the Department of Constitutional Affairs in the House of Lords case R v Mirza.  

Courts

  • R (Law Society of England and Wales) v Lord Chancellor [2012] EWHC 794 Admin - challenge to legal aid funding levels.
  • Whether judicial review could be mounted from refusal of permission to appeal by the Upper Tribunal:  R (Cart) v Upper Tribunal [2011] UKSC 28.
  • Whether EU law claims for damages can be mounted for judicial error (Cooper v AG [2010] EWCA Civ 464).  

Civil Liberties & Human Rights

For examples of recent reported cases in the last 12 months: see lead section above.

In the human rights/civil liberties arena, and in addition to the domestic cases in the UK courts, he has appeared on over 50 occasions before the European Court and Commission in Strasbourg; and in a series of important domestic ECHR/HRA challenges.  

In the last couple of years he has acted in the following example cases:

  • Prisoners voting – in Greens & MT v the UK; and for the UK in the intervention in Scoppola v Italy before the Grand Chamber.
  • Ladele and Chaplin v the UK (judgment awaited from the ECtHR) – a challenge asserting discrimination in relation to the wearing of insignia of religious faith.
  • Whether domestic law failed adequately to protect Max Mosley’s privacy rights under Article 8 ECHR: Max Mosley v UK (it did not, as the ECtHR found).
  • Abu Hamza, Ahmad & others v the UK – a challenge to the extradition of a number of terrorist suspects to the US to face trial, possible very long sentences, and detention in Supermax US prisons.
  • Al-Skeini & Al-Jedda v the UK – a challenge before the Grand Chamber in effect on appeal from the separate judgments of the House of Lords in those cases.  The issues raised in particular focussed on the meaning of 'within the jurisidiction' in Article 1 (and whether it extended to the battlefield in Iraq); whether, when acting under a UN mandate, British forces were acting qua the UN; if not, whether the ECHR was to be read subject to UN Security Council Resolutions.
  • The ECHR compatibility of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal’s procedures with Article 6 ECHR: Kennedy v the UK.
  • S & Marper follow up cases – challenge to continuing retention of DNA and fingerprints of non-convicted suspects.

His cases have included a number of the major decisions involving the United Kingdom in the last 15 years.  He acted in the case brought by the Fayed brothers following the publication of the adverse DTI report (Fayed v the UK);  in the major A2 case Osman v the UK (right to life/police immunity); in the challenges brought by the Guinness defendants (Saunders v the UK; and IJL and others v the United Kingdom); in Ahmed v the UK (political restrictions on local government officers); in the SAS Gibraltar shootings (McCann, Savage & Farrell v the UK); in the challenge to the Security Service Act (Esbester v the UK); in the first challenge to the provisions entitling inferences to be drawn from the silence of a defendant (John Murray v the UK);  in a number of cases concerning telephone tapping including the claim brought by Alison Halford (Alison Halford v the UK);  in the claims by servicemen for compensation arising out of the Christmas Island nuclear tests (McGinley & Egan v the UK); in the claim brought by Earl and the then Countess Spencer challenging the absence of a right to privacy under English law (Earl and Countess Spencer v the UK); and in the challenge to the ban on homosexuality in the armed forces (Lustig-Prean v the UK). 

He acted in Davis, Rowe & Jasper v the UK (PII in criminal proceedings) 30 EHRR 441; Lilian Green v the UK (barristers’ immunity);  Marshall v the UK (derogation under Article 5 and emergency in Northern Ireland); in the challenge to the legality of the bombing by NATO of the Belgrade TV station in Yugoslavia (Bankovic v the UK and other NATO states); in the claims brought by the widow of the Northern Irish solicitor Patrick Finucane (Finucane v the UK), in the Strasbourg proceedings resulting from the Stalker "Shoot to kill" Inquiry (Kelly v the UK); and in the airport noise case (Hatton v the UK); and in the challenge before the Grand Chamber to crown immunity in the context of the tests on servicemen at Porton Down in the 1960’s (Roche v the UK); and in the claims brought by George Blake, the Russian spy, following the decision of the House of Lords to require him to account for the profits of his book.

He has advised and acted for domestic and foreign private clients: 

  • He has advised the widow of Mr Litvinenko (who was killed by polonium radiation in London in 2006) in relation to claims both in the UK and in Strasbourg.
  • He is acting in challenges before the ECtHR to the extradition to the US of suspected terrorists who claim that they risk being subjected to the extrajudicial military regime and/or extraordinary rendition.
  • He has advised in relation to claims relating to the railway network in Estonia and relating to the aluminium industry in the Ukraine (instructed direct by foreign lawyers).

Banking and Financial Services

Financial Services

James has advised the Government on a variety of different aspects of the financial and banking crisis including in relation to powers under the Banking Act 2009, the change from RPI to CPI as the inflation/uprating yardstick.

He has frequently acted for and advised both the FSA in relation to disciplinary proceedings and other aspects of its regulation. For example:

  • He advised the FSA in relation to the LIBOR scandal.
  • He acted for the FSA in a challenge to the jurisdiction of the Upper Tribunal to strike out references to it by individuals no longer deemed to be fit and proper: Sharma v FSA (decision of Sir Stephen Oliver of December 2010).

He has also frequently acted for and advised private clients subject to investigation and/or such FSA proceedings.  For example, he acted for Shell in the FSA proceedings brought against it in relation to its oil reserves.

He acted for HM Treasury in relation to claims in the Administrative Court (both dismissed after permission hearings) that

  • the Government should compel Lloyds TSB to adopt ‘greener’ policies;
  • the Emergency Budget of 2010 should be quashed because of alleged failures to conduct gender impact assessments: Fawcett Society v HM Treasury.

Other relevant experience

VAT registration number:  446932721

Photo of James Eadie

He is just an incredible advocate - really, really brilliant. 

Chambers UK 2015

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He is a brilliant advocate. Like no one else, he is able to get on top of a case in an unbelievably short amount of time and present it in the most straightforward way. 

Chambers UK 2015