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Who Represents Who

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Browne Jacobson LLP’s national health and social care practice, which is led from Nottingham by Simon Tait, was joined in Birmingham by Simon Charlton from Weightmans LLP. Other key Birmingham-based figures include Helen Badger, who recently acted for an NHS trust in a complex employment dispute with a member of its HR team revolving around allegations of discrimination, whistleblowing and performance management; and Jonathan Hayden, who acted alongside newly promoted associate Emily Godson for the NHS on updates to its national statutory guidance to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) on conflict interest management. On the disputes side, national inquest leader Neil Ward represented NHS trusts in connection with patient deaths. Charlton and Emmett Maginn assisted a major independent healthcare provider with its legal responsibilities to a minor who was unable to consent to the restrictions placed upon him in his care placement.

Capsticks LLP’s healthcare clients rate the firm for its ‘superior level of legal support and ability to provide a fully rounded picture to lead them through strategic decision making’. The team is led by four partners in Birmingham, including office head and national independent healthcare practice leader Mike Clifford; employment law expert Jacqui Atkinson, who specialises in senior staff conduct, capacity and health investigations, as well as GMC sanctions and tribunal claims; Court of Protection expert Tracey Lucas, who leads on clinical law and regulatory matters; and Lisa Robotham, who leads on real estate matters. Sharon Lamb recently advised Birmingham Children’s Hospital on its acquisition of Birmingham’s Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, while Clifford acted for Ares Management on its bid to purchase Oasis Dental. In other highlights, associate Alison Richards acted alongside Lucas and Clifford for Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust on the terms and conditions under which Alliance Medical would provide PET and CT scanning services. Associate Henry Matveieff is also recommended.

Mills & Reeve LLP’s Rhian Vandrill runs the national commercial health practice from Birmingham alongside Jill Mason, who also leads the patient care and mental health law teams. In recent highlights, Julian Smith acted for Bupa with regards to the sale of its home healthcare business to Celesio, and assisted Partnerships in Care with multiple asset and company acquisitions. On the employment side, Jog Hundle is acting for a large trust regarding disciplinary and grievance queries, TUPE transfers and disputes between clinical staff, and Martin Brewer acted for a foundation trust in connection with a consultant surgeon subject to conduct procedures and his attempt to file an injunction to prevent a capability hearing. Mason, assisted by Molly Sanghera, represented hospital managers in a judicial review launched by their hospital trust to determine whether they were sufficiently independent. Consultant, former coroner and inquest specialist Stuart Knowles is also recommended.

The ‘very client-orientated and thoughtfulTony Yeaman heads Weightmans LLP’s health unit, which includes Deborah Bannister, who manages group actions for trusts. Associate Jasmine Armstrong handles clinical negligence claims on behalf of the NHSLA and Midlands-based trusts. The firm is continuing to advise on claims against numerous trusts arising from allegations of historic sexual abuse, while Yeaman represented NHS trusts in inquests pertaining to the death of a prisoner due to natural causes and the death of a child shortly after birth. As part of its helpline service, the team recently assisted a surgeon in connection with a dispute concerning a transgender patient who made threats following alleged discrimination by the client. Other key contacts include corporate commercial partner Gareth Griffiths, who acts for cash-plan insurers, benevolent funds and partnerships of M&A transactions and reorganisations.

The healthcare lawyers at Gowling WLG attract praise for their ‘extensive experience and ability to provide appropriate advice’; according to one client, it ‘seems to have a more pragmatic approach to other firms involved in healthcare’. Robert Breedon leads the national health and care sector practice and has a focus on advising public and private sector clients on large commercial projects and outsourcing contracts. On the regulatory side, Andrew Litchfield specialises in assisting clients faced with criminal prosecution, guiding them through trails if they find themselves in court. In a key mandate, principal associate Hilary Drenth acted alongside Breedon on a five-year contract for integrated health services for the elderly on behalf of the London Borough of Croydon and NHS Croydon CCG. Drenth and Breedon also assisted Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and its partners in the Reachout partnership with regards to corporate structure and governance issues. Other notable clients include Beckman Coulter, Lakeside Healthcare and Horder Healthcare.

Joanne Ellis leads Pinsent Masons LLP’s healthcare outfit and acts for major independent care providers, mental health operators and clients in the dental care sector. She is supported by health and safety head Sean Elson and legal director Tom Eastwood, who advises on real estate matters. He recently acted alongside Ellis for care home provider MHA on its acquisition of Silk Healthcare, which involved working alongside the charities and tax teams to ensure it fell within a charitable purpose. In another key matter, Elson acted for a US-based investment company on its acquisition of a UK-based chain of care homes, which was complicated by an HSE investigation following the accidental death of a service user. Associate Daniel Braithwaite handles M&A and regulatory work for clients in the healthcare sector and supported Ellis for Oasis Dental Care in connection with multiple acquisitions of dental practices throughout the UK. Braithwaite and Ellis also advised Synova on its complex management buyout of Oakland Primecare. Legal director Michael Lakin focuses on corporate work and governance issues and is also recommended.

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s public-sector healthcare practice is headed by Fahmida Ismail in Birmingham, closely supported by consultant Tony Harris, who splits his time between Birmingham and Shirley and acted for a retiring senior partner with regards to the cancellation of his GMS contract and the negotiation of his retirement agreement. Areas of expertise include advising on sales, acquisition and mergers of GP practices, partnership disputes, and LIFT and non-LIFT projects. Harris and Ismail recently advised on the changes to partnership agreements in the context of retiring and incoming partners and the re-mortgaging of freehold surgery premises through a complex borrowing scheme requiring safeguarding and indemnity clauses to protect each individual partner. In another mandate, Ismail oversaw the retirement of a GP partner who wished to remain an owner of the leasehold premises. Associates Stewart Coles and Roy Colaba recently represented a GP partnership in connection with the lease of its surgery premises, while Dean Parnell handled a commercial dispute between dentists working in the same practice where the relationship had completely broken down but a fee-sharing agreement remained.

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Legal Developments in West Midlands 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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