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DAC Beachcroft LLP’s practice attracts praise for providing ‘exceptional and in-depth knowledge quickly and promptly’ while ‘always focusing on what the client wants in any given situation’. Gill Weatherill lead the firm’s healthcare regulatory practice while Louise Watson-Jones is the key name in the Newcastle office for commercial issues. Senior associate and real estate expert Andrea Proudlock recently led advice to North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust on the sale of land for a residential housebuilding scheme. She was also part of the team advising Mid Yorkshire NHS Foundation Trust on the outsourcing of its outpatient pharmacy services to a private provider. Other clients include Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. Guy Bredenkamp is recommended for employment matters.

Hempsons’ well-regarded team is led by Janice Barber, who is singled out for her regulatory and employment knowledge, and includes IT specialist Gill Hall and procurement expert Deborah Ramshaw, who joined in 2016 from Muckle LLP and Bond Dickinson LLP, respectively. Harrogate-based Ross Clark attracts praise for his GP expertise and is recommended for GP practice mergers. Also recommended are Stephen Evans, who focuses on mental health mandates and contentious issues, Richard Pickering, who acts in disputes, and Stephanie Green, who handles property issues for healthcare clients. Recent highlights include advising Newcastle North and East CCG on a Court of Protection application and assisting NHS Newcastle and Gateshead CCG with the procurement of its community services provision. NHS England, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Trust Development Authority are additional clients.

The highly regarded practice at Sintons LLP is jointly led by Amanda Maskery and Victoria Armstrong. The practice handles the full gamut of NHS and secondary care matters for pharmacies, GP practices, dentists and NHS trusts such as Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust. Maskery advised the latter on several mandates including an integrated care hub and governance arrangements for St Benedict’s Hospice. Maskery also acted for North East Transformations Service on its spin-out from Gateshead NHS Foundation Trust and Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. Other recommended individuals include consultant Barry Speker, Keith Land, who is recommended for employment matters, and Christopher Welch, who handles corporate issues. Hilary Parker is now a consultant.

Clinical negligence and personal injury specialist Jeffrey Keeble heads Ward Hadaway’s ‘incredibly responsive’ department, which ‘always gives appropriate advice and acts in a sensitive and helpful manner that is easily relied upon’. In addition to being on the NHS Litigation Authority’s panel, the team counts over 60 NHS organisations as clients; examples include Barts Health NHS Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust. Clients single out public sector team head Melanie Pears, who recently advised NHS Business Services Authority on its IT infrastructure and its procurement of IT support services. Other highlights include Nicola Richardson’s advice to North East Ambulance Service on a multi-agency inquest, and Damien Charlton’s work for a federation of GP practices on a joint venture with an NHS foundation trust. Inquest specialist Lisa Evans and Stuart Craig, who primarily acts for NHS trusts are also recommended.

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