Blackstone Chambers barrister James Eadie has been appointed as counsel to the four-week Soham Inquiry due to start next month.
Eadie, a member of the Government’s common law ‘A’ panel, moved from Serle Court to Blackstone in November. Throughout his career he has handled an unusual blend of human rights and commercial cases. However, he has never been instructed on a major inquiry.
Soham is just one of a raft of inquiries that will be keeping lawyers busy in 2004.
In The Gaul inquiry, due to launch on Tuesday (13 January), barristers from 7 King’s Bench Walk and 4 Essex Court hope to unravel the mysteries of what happened to a Hull trawler that sunk in the Barents Sea some 30 years ago.
A considerable amount of new evidence has emerged from the wreckage since a first inquiry in the aftermath of the disaster, which concluded that The Gaul had “capsized and foundered due to taking a succession of waves on her trawl deck”.
The Hutton Inquiry into the death of Government weapons expert Dr David Kelly, expected to report in the next few weeks, will, of course, be the highlight of the inquiry season. But this year should also see the behemoth Bloody Sunday Inquiry, which was set up six years ago and has cost taxpayers £155m. At least 16 barristers have earned more than £500,000 and have been devoted to the case for at least three years.