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Who Represents Who

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Bevan Brittan LLP acts for an impressive number of trusts, commissioners and central health bodies as well as a growing number of private clients who interface with the NHS. The firm’s track record and reputation in healthcare mean it handles a very broad range of matters including contract bids, sales and acquisitions, employment issues and infrastructure projects. Demonstrating this, the team advised NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group on the procurement of a single view patient record system for health and social care services and in a separate matter, handling claims on behalf of NHS Foundation Trust against an outsourcing company. The group includes Sharon Renouf, who heads the commercial health practice and advises on high-value procurements for NHS clients. She assisted Northern Devon NHS Trust with the delivery of social care packages and advised Barts Health NHS Trust on its £600m outsourcing to Serco Group of facility management services across all of its hospitals. David Owens is recommended for advising NHS trusts and care commissioning groups (CCGs) on governance arrangements, contractual and regulatory issues as well as constitutional and general commercial mandates. Administrative and public law specialist Vincent Buscemi advises NHS trusts and private sector healthcare organisations on commercial matters and issues relating to powers and governance arrangements. Simon Lindsay has particular experience in representing NHS clients in inquests, Court of Protection matters, challenges to treatment decisions and health and safety issues. Associate Lynda Thomas is ‘a very effective solicitor in defending clinical negligence claims’.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is ‘a pre-eminent health advisory and litigation firm in the South West’. The ‘excellent’ team displays ‘responsiveness, good knowledge of issues facing the trust’ and gives ‘speedy, clear and concise advice’. It is adept at handling a broad range of mandates in the sector, drawing on its solid knowledge of, and experience in, dealing with the NHS and independent health sector actors. In 2016, it represented a trust in its defence of an employment tribunal claim brought by a consultant surgeon and also advised a number of NHS hospitals on the junior doctor’s strike, which included assisting with the implementation the new junior doctor contract, and handled High Court injunction cases involving doctors being managed under the maintaining high professional standards framework. It is also acting for several independent sector and NHS clients on criminal investigations into neglect and corporate manslaughter arising from clinical incidents. Within the 14-partner practice, Corinne Slingo leads the national healthcare regulatory team; health group head Nigel Montgomery has notable experience of handling clinical negligence claims; Rachel Roberts-Jenkins handles very high value claims and ‘negotiates very effectively’; and ‘excellent communicator’ Simon Perkins specialises in independent sector medical malpractice claims via insurers. Hannah Volpe, who is noted for her ‘excellent legal brain, finely honed people skills and superb tactical nous’, was promoted to the partnership. Giles Taylor, Anne Batanero and Sarah Woods are also recommended.

Lester Aldridge LLP is singled out for its ‘deep understanding of the NHS’, ‘excellent response times’, ‘value for money service’, and ‘ability to provide detailed explanations and real resolutions’. The team is ‘professional and sensitive’ and ‘applies common sense to the challenges facing the care sector’. Its healthcare regulatory practice regularly assists equity funds and lenders with handling due diligence on acquisitions and disposals of large care groups. Healthcare group head Peter Grose acts for a range of providers of, and investors in, care homes, specialist children’s homes and independent hospitals; he also represents care groups on their disputes with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and local authorities. Guy Morgan is ‘an outstanding lawyer with extensive knowledge and understanding of health sector and property law’. He is assisting Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust with the planning of a £150m mixed-use development which includes the construction of a new hospital, a primary school and large residential units. Associate Laura Guntrip has experience of public law judicial review proceedings within the care sector, and is particularly experienced at defending criminal prosecutions and regulatory enforcement action by the CQC. In 2016, she represented HC-One in the coroner’s inquest following the death of a nursing home resident who was given the wrong medication by an agency nurse. Registered Nursing Homes Association, National Care Association, National Fostering Agency and Keys Childcare are other clients.

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) significantly strengthened its dental and primary care capability when it merged with Lockharts in January 2017. The team’s standout strengths and qualities include its ‘responsiveness’ as well as its ‘excellent commercial understanding and knowledge of business risks’. It acts for an impressive number of GP practices from across the country, regularly handling takeovers and mergers. In 2016, a cross-disciplinary team advised Adcroft Surgery and Bradford Road Surgery on their joint acquisition and development of surgery premises as well as their subsequent merger. Practice head Ben Willis handles healthcare development and funding work, particularly for GP surgeries. Oliver Pool, who has expertise in handling disputes between GP partners, was promoted to the partnership. Emma-Jane Dalley, Nick Martindale and Rebecca Beardsley are also key contacts. David Hansom joined Clyde & Co LLP

Noted for its expertise in social care issues, Browne Jacobson LLP’s Exeter-based team expanded its clinical negligence practice by recruiting Michael Chambers, who joined from an in-house role at NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership. The practice is led by ‘highly experienced litigatorMark Barnett, who is experienced in defending clinical negligence claims on behalf of the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) and has ‘ample expertise in inquest work’; he also recently handled several Court of Protection cases relating to patients’ capacity and residence. Other names to note include Lynne Rathbone, whose recent work highlight include advising a mental health provider on a joint venture with an independent healthcare provider; and Joanne Pruden who focuses on defendant litigation and heads the technical claims team. Mark Fowles left to join DWF in September 2016.

Deighton Pierce Glynn is a claimant public law specialist firm. The Bristol-based team fields several highly regarded experts in the field and works closely with the London office. Highlights included acting in a challenge to the guidance permitting sharing of patient data between the NHS and the Home Office; handling a judicial review of healthcare regulations discriminating against certain migrants; advising on Court of Protection matters; and assisting with challenges to withholding of medical treatment. The team also litigates against local and national authorities on issues relating to access to social support, healthcare, consultation and unlawful policy and practice. Adam Hundt is particularly experienced in advising on healthcare issues affecting migrants, in particular detainees and trafficking victims. Hundt and London-based Louise Whitfield represented an NGO on the successful Court of Appeal challenge to NHS England’s decision not to commission a life-saving drug that prevents HIV infection.

Foot Anstey’s team is led by Helen Wallwork, who has solid experience in advising GP provider companies and GP practices on governance and structure, practice mergers, joint ventures and other collaborations. Its impressive client roster includes the Department of Health, Oasis Healthcare, Somerset Care and St Luke’s Hospice. Work handled spans real estate, inquests, commercial contracts, regulatory matters and employment issues. Recent highlights include assisting on the merger of two large GP practices involving the transfer of assets and employees into a new partnership structure, and advising care homes on real estate portfolio management as well as employment and pension issues. James Falle is ‘a good listener with comprehensive knowledge and attention to detail’; he specialises in procurement, competition law and state aid.

Osborne Clarke is particularly well placed for handling cross-border healthcare matters, leveraging its growing international presence. It also excels in advising investors and service providers on healthcare PPP and PFIs as well as social care accommodation projects, also regularly assisting private service providers with large public healthcare outsourcing contracts. Practice head Simon Hancock is ‘an exceptional solicitor, with particular respect for adhering to time and cost commitments and providing value for money’. He is assisting a special purpose vehicle (SPV) with a £41m hospital PFI project, which includes advising on a variation to remove a soft FM services and handling health and safety issues. Another name to note is Catherine Wolfenden, whose recent highlights include successfully representing Healthcare Locums in challenging the multimillion-pound framework for the supply of temporary healthcare workers to the NHS run by Healthtrust Europe and acting for Grifols in responding to NHS procurements for blood testing technology.

Burroughs Day LLP demonstrates ‘a high level of expertise in the areas of social care, pharmacies and dental practices’. The team ‘maintains an up-to-date oversight of the health sector’ and ‘proactively identifies the issues that are of the most concern to care providers’. It continues to represent a large number of providers in safeguarding investigations, enforcement actions and CQC inspection report challenges. The team is now led by Mei-Ling Huang following the departure of James Sage to Royds Withy King in October 2016. Huang has ‘specialist sector knowledge’ and ‘excellent communication skills’, provding ‘practical and moral support to those looking to challenge the CQC’.

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Legal Developments in South West for Health

  • TRANSFER OF UNDERTAKINGS (PROTECTION OF EMPLOYMENT) AND AGE DISCRIMINATION

    I have been asked to cover the topic of Employment law within my half an hour speaking slot today. I have narrowed my subject down to Transfer of Undertakings and Discrimination, with the focus on providing an update on the recent spate of cases on service provision change and on the important developments in the law of age discrimination. Needless to say, in my presentation I shall not be able to cover the level of detail which is contained in my written paper, which I will leave you to read.
    - 11KBW

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