- We considered the draft HoA with our lawyers and key members and kept coming back to the major sticking points we had encountered in the discussions at the Nuneaton Meeting. In addition, a number of other matters came to light after the meeting, which caused us considerable concern.
- On Friday 2nd October 2003, I called you and outlined these concerns on the telephone. On Sunday 4th October I followed up that call with an e-mail to you, Ralph Pike and Mike Abrahams (cc Dr Rob Verkerk) enclosing a copy of my telephone attendance note of our conversation on the Friday. Appendix 4 is a copy of my 4th October e-mail (without its attachment) to you.
- In the call and in the e-mail we made very clear to you that these matters required resolution before we could move forward. For ease of reference I summarise them here as follows:
- The Non-disclosure of any of NAHS/ HFMA's case
- The NAHS financial discrepancy
- NAHS/HFMA's readiness to file papers in Court by the deadline
- The liaison with Irwin Mitchell issue
Complete non-disclosure of NAHS/ HFMA case
As we had discussed exhaustively in the Nuneaton Meeting, we were most concerned that ANH was being forced to irrevocably commit to a binding agreement, which inter alia required it to pay up £50,000 of its funds before it had seen anything of the NAHS/ HFMA legal challenge. I asked you to give us a reason, any reason for this stance. You replied that this was simply nonnegotiable. For Ralph Pike disclosure was simply not going to happen before we had signed the HoA, period.
NAHS financial discrepancy
At the Harrogate Trade show in September 2003, NAHS widely distributed a flyer (Appendix 5 to this letter) in which it stated inter alia that : it did "not need any more money to complete this stage of the process" by which it meant the "placing of our [FSD] application before the court"'. I asked you to explain this statement as in the Nuneaton Meeting Andrew Lockley on behalf of NAHS clearly stated that "E50,000 including VAT" was needed to complete the first stage of the NAHS / HFMA challenge on the FSD which was to get an FSD judicial review application for leave into court and for the substantive hearing of such an application.
If NAHS needed no more money at this stage why was it and HFMA demanding that ANH pay £50,000 up front for this first stage of a joint application? You responded that you thought Ralph Pike and Andrew Lockley were talking about different things and thus the money was still needed.
NAHS/HFMA state of readiness
As for NAHS/ HFMA's state of readiness you assured me that you were all doing your utmost to be ready but you confirmed that as far as you knew as yet no advice on evidence had been received from Counsel to NAHS and HFMA and witness statements were not yet complete.