Health in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard offers extensive coverage of the health sector, with its work spanning the public sector and health infrastructure, life sciences, social and long-term care, and private healthcare. The practice stands out for its private equity healthcare practice, and for its involvement with innovative medical technologies. Team head Michael O’Connor has a strong track record handling commercial transactions involving the NHS, including public-private deals and matters involving wholly owned subsidiaries. Stephanie Townley is the lead for public sector and health infrastructure work, while Louise Dobson  is the main contact for advice on matters relating to independent sector health.

Practice head(s):

Michael O’Connor; Stephanie Townley; Louise Dobson

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Pettinger; Shelley McGivern


‘Excellent practical advice provided in a timely manner.’

‘Mike O’Connor has an exceptional knowledge of our sector – healthcare procurement and capital development – and always gives expert but genuinely practical and sound commercial advice. Just a pleasure to work with.’

‘Excellent sector depth and trusting relationships at very senior levels. Happy to make introductions in order to make projects ultimately more successful.’

‘Stephanie Townley is excellent, tirelessly focused and extremely responsive.’

Key clients


Genedrive Plc

GEN inCode UK Limited

Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Mid Essex NHS Trust & Basildon & Thurrock University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (now Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust)

Yourgene Health plc

Shawbrook Bank Ltd

Coutts & Co

Step Springfield Village Limited

Maco Pharma S.A.S

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Infrared Capital Partners Limited and HCP Limited

Celesio (including Lloyds Pharmacy Group)

Assura Medical

Bupa Care Homes Mercia Healthcare

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough (NHS) Foundation Trust

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen NHS University Hospital Trust

NHS Improvement

Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust

Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Business Services Authority

Serco Limited

Citybranch Limited and Citybranch Healthcare Limited

Liverpool and Sefton Health Partnerships Limited

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Clinigen Group Plc

North Tees and Hartlepool Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

GB Partnerships

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust


Work highlights

  • Acted for Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Mid Essex NHS Trust & Basildon & Thurrock University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (now Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust) in navigating the first three way merger of NHS Trusts within the NHS.
  • Provided Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust with strategic and legal advice regarding the potential for it to take back in-house the provisions of certain services to the Retained Estates under the PFI at Wythenshawe Hospital by bidding in the market testing process.
  • Worked with Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust  on a review of its subsidiary arrangements, with a view to establishing commercial subsidiary entities for the Trust in the UK and the GCC (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) to house its private patient activities.

Browne Jacobson LLP

In addition to undertaking private sector work, Browne Jacobson LLP's health sector team focuses on providing a wide range of services to a national NHS client base. Areas of expertise within the practice include governance, regulation, social care, inquests, staffing and regulatory law, as well as national NHS policy. Department head Gerard Hanratty has advised NHS England, NHS Resolution and numerous North West NHS clients on issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Victoria Thourgood acts as lead for public health sector property work and for the independent health sector, while Amanda Callaghan has extensive experience in NHS claims and advisory. Senior associate Heather Caddy is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Gerard Hanratty

Other key lawyers:

Amanda Callaghan; Victoria Thourgood; Heather Caddy


‘Knowledge and experience in every part of healthcare. Prompt and efficient. Top tier.’

‘I feel as though the team I work with are more like an extension of my own team, and whilst maintaining those professional boundaries, are still very approachable.’

‘The relationship between solicitors within the team, paralegals and other legal support and barristers on a case is extremely collaborative- more so than any other firm I work with. There is very much a team approach in conducting complex cases which is essential to benefit the client concerned.’

‘Every member of team goes above and beyond to support us. Technically brilliant with a down to earth and easily understandable approach. Translates the legal speak into everyday language.’

Key clients

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS FT

Stockport NHS FT

Pennine Care NHS FT

Manchester University Hospitals NHS FT

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS FT

The Christie NHS FT

North West Ambulance NHS Trust

The Priory Group

NHS England

CNA Hardy

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Trust

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS FT

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

NHS Transformation Unit

Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust

Work highlights

  • Provided NHS England with detailed advice on the application of complex legislation relating to the determination of responsibility of CCGs for the range of services provided to patients and assisted in re-drafting the entire guidance document.
  • Advised on the setting up of Manchester’s NHS Nightingale Hospital, a temporary NHS hospital for Covid-19 patients housed in the converted Manchester Central Convention Complex, which opened on 13 April.
  • Advised on the setting up of Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS (DIHC), the first NHS provider of its kind in the country, integrating primary care across Dudley with community physical and mental health services.


Hempsons provides a full range of services to health and social care clients, with dedicated corporate and commercial, care, projects, employment and real estate teams. Clients include public and private healthcare organisations, charities and social enterprises. Senior partner Anne Ball's core practice involves defending healthcare practitioners and NHS Trusts in civil proceedings. Oliver Crich is noted for his experience of advising on high value and complex commercial contracts, transactions and projects.

Practice head(s):

Anne Ball

Other key lawyers:

Kirsten Blohm; Jane Donnison; Margaret Taylor; Paul Spencer; James Down; Oliver Crich


‘I have found the public sector health team at Hempsons to have an enviably loyal client base of NHS providers (CCGs and NHS Trusts) that can rely on the team.’

‘Hempsons never cut corners in the services and advice they provide. Clients get the highest level of client care no matter what the fee structure is.’

The advice offered is always clear and succinct which makes it easier for a project team to understand rather than getting into all the “jargon”. Risks and issues are always highlighted but with suggested solutions.’

‘The friendly and reliable team at Hempsons provide excellent support to my department and are highly recommended. They have thorough knowledge of NHS real estate and its associated complexities and challenges but are commercially aware and pragmatic about advice.’

‘The team at Hempsons have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the sector which they draw upon to provide us with valuable advice but what sets them apart for me, is the great rapport we have owing to their excellent client care and relationship skills. Their well connected teams (internally and externally) are a pleasure to deal with whilst providing great levels of service and achieving consistently good results.’

Key clients

NHS Resolution

Medical Defence Union

Dental Defence Union

NHS East Lancashire CCG

Lancashire Procurement Cluster

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

Pennine GP Alliance Limited (PGPA)

Work highlights

  • Handled a clinical negligence matter for NHS Resolution in which the claimant blamed a hospital trust for causing his life-changing knee amputation.
  • Advised the Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust on a project involving the construction of a private patient cancer treatment centre.
  • Advised East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust on the procurement and contracting of an electronic patient record solution.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP's team is 'highly responsive at any time of day and frequently with little notice'. It handles a wide ambit of matters for clients in the healthcare sector, including those relating to mental health, governance, procurement and property transactions, as well as support in inquiries and investigations. Andrew Craggs (who works across the Liverpool, Manchester and London offices) is the overall head of the department. Joanna Trewin leads the Manchester health advisory group. Emma Stockwell, Sharon Thomas, Amanda Hurst and Michael Wright lead the governance and regulatory, mental health, NHS real estate and health employment sub-teams respectively. Legal director Paul Allerston advises on administrative and public law challenges to NHS commission decision making.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Craggs; Joanna Trewin; Emma Stockwell; Sharon Thomas; Amanda Hurst; Michael Wright

Other key lawyers:

Paul Allerston


Advice is provided in an empathetic and practical way, which helps clinicians to understand the legal position and the actions required.’

‘The partners Sharon and Andrew are approachable and able to communicate complex legal arguments in terms that we understand to inform our decisions. In fact the whole team are very receptive and personable.’

‘Agility and flexibility in their ability to support us. They are responsive, respectful, thorough and give us assurance.’

‘The advice provided by the team is robust and provides clear direction in relation to managing risks. The responsiveness is again outstanding whether this be out of hours or at short notice they are always available to help and advise.’

‘The service provided is exceptional, highly responsive at any time of day and frequently with little notice. I value the advice and loyalty that I receive form Hill Dickinson and to me they feel like colleagues working for the same organisation. I have built up trust and confidence and feel that no matter how minor or significant the advice I am looking for is I am treated with respect.’

‘Knowledgeable, friendly and responsive.’

‘Joanna Trewin – experienced and approachable. Emma Stockwell – practical and friendly. Andrew Craggs – hardworking and responsive.’

Key clients

Care Quality Commission


Spectrum Community Health CIC

Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Business Services Authority

Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Manchester CCG

North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Shrewsbury & Telford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group

Northern Care Alliance

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust

Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

Work highlights

  • Represented Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in an inquest concerning a death in prison custody.
  • Assisted the CQC with an appeal against them by a domiciliary care agency and supporting them in an investigation strategy to show evidence of improvement at the agency.
  • Instructed as Recognised Legal Representative for the NHS Business Services Authority in the Infected Blood Inquiry.

Brabners LLP

Brabners LLP is a well-known name among healthcare professionals, healthcare providers and commercial entities that supply goods and services to the healthcare sector. It undertakes a particularly significant amount of work for pharmacy, dental and paramedic clients. Led by Richard Hough, the team advises on healthcare-specific regulatory issues, fitness to practise proceedings and professional negligence litigation. In addition, other areas of expertise include employment, property and e-commerce advice. Andrea James, who has expertise in professional discipline and healthcare regulatory law, 'works tirelessly for every client and never leaves a point unchallenged'.

Practice head(s):

Richard Hough

Other key lawyers:

Andrea James


‘The team has an extraordinary depth of knowledge in fitness to practise matters, especially those at the HCPTS.’

‘Andrea James knows more case law that any solicitor I’ve ever worked with in the field of professional discipline. She works tirelessly for every client and never leaves a point unchallenged.’

‘Andrea is just a force of nature! She is an incredible advocate of Brabners, and when our members deal with her, they inform us that they feel protected and safe. She is fearless but compassionate and deals with our members, where appropriate, with good humour and common sense. She provides what feels like a deeply personal service to our members and makes them feel valued and engaged.’

‘Andrea James – there simply aren’t the words to describe Andrea’s place in this sector. Exceptional and outstanding do not do her justice. Her knowledge of healthcare law is encyclopaedic and her work ethic is simply frightening. I have worked with her extensively and never failed to be impressed by her understanding of the central issues in complex and difficult cases and her ability to hone in on the major flaws in the opposition’s case.’

‘A healthcare professional heads up the healthcare division.’

‘Andrea James has fantastic knowledge and awareness of the landscape affecting community pharmacy and the challenges faced from a legislative and regulatory landscape. She is always approachable and provides well considered and relevant advice that recognises the challenges facing the sector and our business in particular.’

Key clients

Well Pharmacy (Bestway Panacea Healthcare Ltd)

The College of Paramedics

National Pharmacy Association

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

UK Meds Direct Ltd

Medtrade Products Limited

The Bullen Healthcare Group

Dumbledore Dental Care Limited

NorthWest EHealth Ltd

Medical Defence Society

CFC Insurance

HR Healthcare Ltd t/a

Innox Trading Ltd t/a chemist-4-u

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of College of Paramedics’ member in successfully defending proceedings before the Health & Care Professions Council.
  • Represented Well Pharmacy in overturning a ban on their radio advertisement for pneumococcal vaccine.
  • Represented client in a multi-allegation Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons case involving allegations pertaining to eight separate surgeries and alleged communication, probity and record keeping failures.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP provides NHS and private healthcare sector clients with advice on a wide variety of matters, including corporate, commercial, regulatory, public law, governance, tax and malpractice issues. The department's real estate team advises on strategic site acquisitions and development. Sean Doherty co-heads the practice with Nigel Montgomery. Simon Wortley is the head of clinical risk.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Montgomery; Sean Doherty; Simon Wortley


‘The Manchester team of DAC Beachcroft have substantial experience of defending clinical practitioners in regulatory proceedings in particular on behalf of doctors before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal and on behalf of dentists before the General Dental Council. I would suggest that they are amongst the leaders in the field in the North West and have a real depth of experience within their team, which leads them to understand the issues which their clients will face and how to get the best possible results. ’

‘An unrivalled team for expertise and service to the client’

‘Sean Doherty – as safe a pair of hands as you’ll find in this work.’

‘DAC Beachcroft have an impressive reputation across the whole country for work in the clinical negligence field.

‘Exceptional level of professionalism, attention to detail, sensitivity to emotionally charged issues and ability to navigate the most challenging situations both in court and when interacting with the legal representatives from the other side.’

‘The team have responded well to the challenges of the Covid pandemic and quickly put in place measures to ensure business continuity. Systems were put in place to ensure the work could be completed electronically and there was no interruption to the quality of service provided.’

Key clients

NHS Resolution

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust


NHS North Kirklees and NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG

NHS Wakefield CCG

Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Barnsley Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

Airedale NHS Foundation Trust

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Harrogate NHS Foundation Trust

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Commissioning Board (NHS England)

NHS North East Lincolnshire CCG

NHS Calderdale CCG


City Health Care Partnership CIC

Humber NHS Foundation Trust

Health Research Authority

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS FT

NHS Digital


Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

NHS England

Circle (BMI Healthcare Ltd)


Work highlights

  • Advised NHS England on novel indemnity issues arising out of the response to the Covid 19 pandemic including on Nightingales, independent sector hospital use and vaccinations.
  • Advised Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust on a 15 year technology and strategic partnership contract with Siemens for the provision of critical diagnostic imaging equipment and technology, with an overall contract value of £125m.
  • Acted for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in relation to their property work which this year has included the purchase of the previous NHS Blood and Transplant Service Centre.


Fieldfisher's team is particularly well-known for its regulatory expertise, which makes it well-placed to advise start-ups and new businesses navigating UK launches and expansions. It also generates work from clients such as device and technology companies, as well as medical practitioners. The group also works with CBD businesses and healthtech and AI developers. In addition to its regulatory work, the group provides corporate, commercial, real estate and outsourcing advice in the sector. Practice head Sarah Ellson has significant experience of health and social care issues, as well as bioscience regulation. Senior associate Joshua Marshall is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Ellson

Other key lawyers:

Tom Ward; Rob Sheldon; Joshua Marshall


‘Sarah Ellson is a star individual in the public sector health area. Her knowledge and understanding of the law is superb and her strategic insight and judgment makes her stand out.’

‘The team can pitch their advice and suggestions at just the right level taking account of particular sensitivities and difficulties within the organisation – invaluable to an in-house legal team! The overall service that the team provides, everything from advice to just the basics like making sure you have bundles available is seamless and nothing is ever too much trouble.’

‘Sarah Ellson’s ability to go from zero to full-blown advice in a very short space of time and to never let on to the client that the client is just one of several who is demanding her time on any given day.’

‘The team are real experts in the healthcare sector. They understand the challenges we face, our regulatory environment and speak our language. This cannot be underestimated, having external lawyers like this really helps with our internal stakeholders and enables them to provide seamless advice to the business.

‘Sarah Ellson is our go to for any regulatory advice. Sarah is responsive, extremely knowledgeable and always provides the practical advice we need.’

Key clients

Nursing and Midwifery Council

Boston House Dental Group

Professional Standards Authority

Roche Products Limited

Human Tissue Authority

General Medical Council

TLC Care Homes

Fresenius Kabi


NHS Resolution

Work highlights

  • The firm has acted as legal advisers to the Nursing and Midwifery Council and its predecessors for over 30 years and frequently work with their legal and policy team to support legislative changes negotiated with the Department for Health and Social Care.
  • Advised the Human Tissue Authority on its draft Code of Practice: Code F in relation to donation of organs and tissue for transplantation.
  • Advised the GMC on fitness to practise work, costs and debt recovery, procurement, data collection during registration, employment and equality law.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP has a strong client following among NHS trusts, and it also advises clients such as independent health and care providers, national bodies, charities and non-for-profit organisations. It also acts for investors in the sector. The team has significant experience on health tech, an area in which Charlotte Lewis is noted, having worked on projects including system integration, inline platform development and electronic patient record procurements. Jill Mason heads up the group.

Practice head(s):

Jill Mason

Other key lawyers:

Chris Wilkinson; Paul Knight; Charlotte Lewis; Jennifer Lewis


‘The team are always professional but also friendly, approachable and put you at your ease immediately. This has helped to build trust and create that sense that our lawyers really are part of our team. The strength of this relationship has helped us successfully navigate a number of challenging matters. The depth of experience across the team and wider firm is also second to none. I have confidence they can handle any query I throw at them.’

‘I have been really impressed with their approach to fee estimates and visibility of fees. With the support of their tech solutions I have visibility across all matters, but I also know that the team themselves will be proactive in managing fees so that there are never any surprises. This continuous dialogue and transparency around fees is something I haven’t experienced with other firms but makes my job so much easier.

‘During the pandemic they have been keen to help with secondments when we have needed temporary cover, offering a number of flexible solutions.’

‘The team has worked well with us on some complex contractual matters. They have introduced fresh thinking to get what had previously been a process that we thought we might not complete due to its complexity. The team were tenacious and got us through to conclusion.’


Key clients

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust No

North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust No

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning


Cleveland Clinic

NHS England

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust

Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

L. Rowland & Company (Retail) Limited

NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group

Wellola Limited

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Pennine Acute NHS Trust

NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group

Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust

Stockport Medical Group

Borough Care

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group


Work highlights

  • Advised Wellola, a patient-facing platform provider, on contractual terms for a major pilot scheme with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
  • Acted for NHS Oldham CCG in the transfer of the Greater Manchester Shared Service from the CCG to the Northern Care Alliance.
  • Acted in the merger of NHS Cheshire CCG and in particular, on the due diligence and alignment of contracts held by the four original CCGs to be merged.

Slater Heelis

Slater Heelis advises medical partnerships, dental practitioners, opticians and pharmacy owners, as well as GP and practice groups. Its team's experience includes the development of federations and the creation of super-partnerships. In addition, other key areas of work include clinical trial agreements, health sector acquisitions and disposals, CQC matters, services contracts and criminal and regulatory matters. Practice head Nicky Collins acts for opticians, dentists, pharmacists and care home providers, and is particularly known for her work for GP practices.

Practice head(s):

Nicky Collins


With Nicky Collins acting for me, she was a safe pair of hands. Her obvious expertise in her field was evident from the outset and her clear communication helped me navigate my way through a plethora of documents and legal jargon that at times had the potential to overwhelm. Throughout the process she was constantly on hand, offering succinct, honest guidance, without question always acting and negotiating with my best interests at heart.’

Key clients

Daska Barnett (Specs of Kensington)

Solihull Healthcare Partnership

Blueberry Therapeutics Limited

Erewash Health Limited

Carolyn Devlin (Goose Green Dental)

Morecambe Bay Primary Care Collaborative

Gendius Limited

Northern Care Homes Limited

Bivictrix Therapeutics Limited

BAPRAS (The British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons)

OTSIS (Orthopaedic and Trauma Specialists Indemnity Scheme Ltd)

PRASIS (Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons Indemnity Scheme)

Work highlights

  • Advised biotech company Gendius Limited on its Future Fund funding and co-investment by Crowd Cube.
  • Advised DB on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Specs of Kensington Limited to Penguin Holdings Ltd.
  • Advised Blueberry Therapeutic Limited on its £10m fundraising to progress its lead product in fungal nail infection through phase 3 clinical trials.

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP advises a number of major public bodies on strategic issues impacting their operations. The practice has extensive expertise in public inquiries and handles high level judicial review cases, as well as significant employment disputes, governance reviews and regulatory investigations. Richard Jolly is national head of health, while Dewi Ap Thomas leads the regulatory team and Emlyn Williams spearheads the healthcare employment team.

Practice head(s):

Richard Jolly; Dewi Ap Thomas; Emlyn Williams

Other key lawyers:

Edwina Farrell


‘A highly experienced team with outstanding individuals at all levels.’

‘Excellent pragmatic advice, clearly communicated. Prompt service. High level of support regarding case strategy and options.’

‘Clear very practical advice. Do not look to cost build. Get to the answer straightaway. Clear precise, practical advice that you can trust. Very client focussed, approachable and responsive.’

Key clients

NHS Blood and Transplant

Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS FT

NHS Resolution

St Helens and Knowsley NHS FT

Integrated Dental Holdings (IDH Group)

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Manchester University NHS FT

Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS FT

Alder Hey Children’s NHS FT

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS FT

Work highlights

  • Acted for NHS B&T, one of the core participants at the Infected Blood Inquiry which has been running since 2018.
  • Acted for North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust, one of the core participants at the Manchester Arena Bombing Inquiry.
  • Acted for NHS Resolution, defending both clinical and non-clinical (EL/PL) claims.