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Blackstone Chambers silk James Eadie QC has been appointed First Treasury Counsel and will lead for the Government in all major litigation.
Eadie has become the first-ever ;silk ;to ;be appointed First Treasury Counsel – a position usually given to junior barristers. He will take over from Philip Sales QC of 11KBW.
Sales took silk while in the role of First Treasury Counsel. The role is commonly known as Treasury Devil. Former Treasury Devils include Lord Woolf and Lord Justice Richards.
Eadie will be expected to hold the position for at least five years and will not be able to act for any clients opposing the Government in any litigation once he leaves the job.
Eadie said: “There’s always going to be tonnes of litigation for the Government, so there’s no problem in that respect.”
The appointment was made by the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland QC, in December and took effect on 1 January.
Eadie said the Government used a formal interview process to fill the role for the first time and even advertised for candidates.
Eadie will join Jonathan Swift, a barrister at 11KBW and fellow First Treasury Counsel, as the Government’s first port of call in litigation proceedings.
Previously, Eadie had been on the Government’s premier ‘A’ barrister panel and was counsel to the inquiry headed by Lord Woolf into BAE Systems in the wake of the Saudi arms investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. In 2004 he was appointed lead counsel to the inquiry into the Soham murder investigation.
Eadie took silk in 2008, together ;with ;fellow Blackstone ;Chambers barristers Robert Howe and Pushpinder Saini.