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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > North West > Public sector > Health > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Health
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Addleshaw Goddard  provides an ‘excellent service’ under the leadership of Michael O’Connor  Managing associate Philip Dupres  is ‘helpful’ and provides ‘well considered advice’. The team is split into four sub-sector teams: public sector and health infrastructure; social and long term care; life sciences and private healthcare; and care homes. Clients include Celesio, Bupa Care Homes Mercia Healthcare, Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. Highlights included advising a major public limited company on its acquisition of a bioscience company (a Taiwanese company). In another major matter it acted for Phoenix Private Equity on the primary buyout of Sygnature Discovery (a drug discovery business) in a competitive auction process.

Amanda Callaghan at Browne Jacobson LLP  leads a team that ‘is always available and is very quick to respond’. Andrew Peel handles clinical negligence and regulatory matters for private sector healthcare providers and insurers. The ‘very impressive’ Rebecca Fitzpatrick is recommended for her work on mental health and mental capacity law. Associate Edward Pollard and solicitor Victoria Colclough  provide ‘well-thought-through advice’. Gerard Hanratty joined from Capsticks LLP  and has extensive experience of representing NHS bodies in judicial reviews and on service reconfiguration. An impressive roster of clients includes North West Ambulance NHS Trust, Chorley and South Ribble CCG in addition to NHS Birmingham Cross City CCG.

Hempsons  has an ‘in-depth knowledge of NHS practice and provides advice that is sound, well-rounded and practical’. Key members of the team include Anne Ball  and Margaret Taylor both of whom provide ‘high quality advice and are very professional and dedicated’. The ‘extremely thorough’ Kirsten Blohm  ‘delivers advice in a timely manner’. Paul Spencer  is ‘down to earth, easy to talk to and is able to vary his approach depending on the audience’. Highlights included its appointment, following a competitive tender process, to provide the Cheshire Local Medical Committee 'Practice Development Programme 2017' to over 600 GPs and their practices. It was also engaged by the Primary Care Commissioning CIC (PCC) to deliver a number of primary care workshops to primary care leads in the clinical commission groups as well as to GP practices and federations. Other key clients include the Medical Defence Union and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Andrew Craggs heads a ‘very strong team’ at Hill Dickinson LLP . The ‘excellent and very experienced’ Sharon Thomas  is recommended for her work in mental health and court of protection. Joanna Trewin  led the advice to Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust in its application to the court of protection about a patient who was in a minimally conscious state and was determined by the court to lack capacity. The issue before the court was whether it was lawful and in her interests to receive clinically assisted nutrition and hydration, medication and neurological rehabilitation. In another key matter it is advising Health Education England on the content of an overarching privacy notice to ensure compliance with the forthcoming GDPR. Manchester University Hospitals NHS FT, NHS Warrington CCG and St Helens & Knowsley NHS Trust are also clients.

Richard Jolly is the national head of healthcare advisory at Weightmans LLP . Other key members of the large team include James Rowley  who has ‘established himself as a trusted advisor to doctors in particular’. It had another busy year. The group advised a North West based NHS Foundation trust on its application for an urgent declaration for serious medical treatment in respect of a patient detained under s.3 of the Mental Health Act. The patient was pregnant and was no longer cooperating with her antenatal care. In another complex matter the team advised Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust on a declaration that it was not in the best interest of child ‘A’ to continue receiving life-sustaining treatment as child ‘A’ had an underlying medical condition for which there is no known cure. Dewi Ap-Thomas  leads the healthcare inquest team.

Brabners LLP provides an ‘excellent service’. The pharmacy sector team is headed up by the ‘really helpful and responsive’ Richard Hough . The group provides a broad range of legal advice to practising healthcare professionals and commercial entities which supply goods and services to the healthcare sector. It routinely advises on healthcare specific regulatory issues, fitness to practice, corporate transactional as well as other areas such as employment and property advice. It has a particularly strong client base of pharmacy clients and has been increasingly involved in various dental transactions.

DAC Beachcroft LLP's well-regarded team is headed by Deborah Hely  and includes Sean Doherty,  who divides his time between Leeds and Manchester and is recommended for his work on clinical negligence work. The team has been advising on a number of highly sensitive litigation matters involving doctors’ clinical performance concerns and disciplinary related employment tribunal claims. Harald Loeffler  has also been acting in a variety of commercial disputes for health clients. Highlights included acting for the Countess of Chester NHS FT in connection with employment and employee relations issues relating to a police investigation into an unusually high rate of baby deaths and collapses at the Countess of Chester hospital. Other active clients include NHS Resolution, The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (Greater Manchester) as well as Cheshire & Wirrall Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust.

The ‘very attentive’ team at Fieldfisher  is headed by the ‘truly exceptional’ Sarah Ellson, who gives ‘practical and commercial advice’. The ‘very helpful and knowledgeable’ Debbie Nicholson  a senior associate and associate ‘rising star’ Holly Bontoft are both recommended. Bontoft is ‘one to watch – she is clever and confident and well-able to run a case by herself’. Ellson acts for numerous specialised regulators such as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority for whom she continues to advise on the new mitochondrial donation regulation and on other matters. National and international clients include commercial suppliers to the NHS such as major pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy chains as well as major care home operators and investors.

Highlights for Slater Heelis LLP included advising Crook Pharmacy on the sale of its business and assets to AARX Limited and on its associated sale of the property. Indigo Indemnity and FCMS (NW) Ltd are also clients. Practice head Katharine Mellor  and Nicky Collins  are ‘professional and approachable' with ‘up-to-date knowledge and a keen interest in their clients’ issues in the healthcare sector’.

Mills & Reeve LLP  has an ‘excellent nationwide presence’ under the leadership of Cambridge-based Bridget Archibald . Principal associate Jennifer Lewis is recommended along with the ‘very knowledgeable and experienced’ Chris Wilkinson . The team has recently been reappointed by Rowlands Pharmacy to advise on all aspects of the client’s legal work for its 500-strong chain of community pharmacies. Mersey Care NHS Trust and NHS Chorley and South Ribble and Greater Preston CCGs are also clients.

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