Meet the lawyers battling over the pharmacy cuts in court
It's just four days until two pharmacy bodies challenge the government’s cut to the sector's funding in the High Court. Here’s what you need to know…
Where: The Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL
When: March 21, 10.30am court 2 – estimated hearing time of three days
James Eadie QC, Department of Health (DH) – jump to his description
Alison Foster QC, Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) – jump to her description
David Lock QC, National Pharmacy Association (NPA) – jump to his description
Name: James Eadie QC
Representing: The Department of Health
Called to the bar: 1984
Became a Queen's Counsel (QC): 2008
Mr Eadie is the current first treasury counsel (common law) – a role colloquially known as the “Treasury devil”. This means he's the government’s go-to guy for all its major pieces of advice and litigation.
In the last two years he has advised the government on everything from terrorism and the legal fall-out of military operations, to the environment and the financial crisis. Most recently, he represented the government in its Supreme Court bid to trigger the UK's departure from the European Union without parliamentary approval.
According to law firm website Chambers UK, Mr Eadie operates “in a different league”, dealing with “the most mind-blowing workload very effectively”.
His case list suggests this description is pretty accurate.
Name: Alison Foster QC
Called to the bar: 1984
Became a QC: 2002
Described as “very approachable and clear” by Chambers UK, Ms Foster has a long-standing career in public and administrative law, with expertise in human rights, commercial matters, and tax and regulation.
Ms Foster appeared in the international court, The Hague, in December in a “confidential matter concerning a European institution”, but you are more likely to recognise her for her recent work representing the family of Private Cheryl James.
Name: David Lock QC
Called to the bar: 1985
Became a QC: 2011
According to his website, Mr Lock is recognised as a specialist in healthcare law, with expertise spanning GP, dental and pharmacy contracts, procurement and contracting issues, as well as EU law affecting the NHS.
He provides “strategic advice to NHS bodies", according to Chambers UK, and even served as Labour MP for Wyre Forest from 1997-2001.
Affectionately described on Chambers UK as “very practical and [with] a huge brain”, Mr Lock will be leading a four-strong team of lawyers on the NPA’s behalf next week.
And the judge?
Mr Andrew Collins
C+D will be reporting live from the court case next week. Keep an eye on the website for updates and follow the action in real-time on Twitter using the hashtag #CutsInCourt