Hall Of Fame

Firms To Watch: Health

The team at Markel Law LLP law led by regulatory and public lawyer Deborah Nicholson regularly handles professional discipline, business crime and regulatory disputes for healthcare professionals, representing dentists, therapists, doctors and professional bodies.

Health in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Drawing on sub-specialisms in public sector and health infrastructure, social and long-term care as well as life sciences and private healthcare, Addleshaw Goddard’s health department provides a full-service offering to its clients. With expertise in complex commercial transactional, competition, and disputes work for the NHS, Michael O’Connor is leading the team together with Stephanie Townley who is specialised in infrastructure and public sector matters. The group has a strong contentious offering handling pharmaceutical drug product liability cases and large-scale construction disputes. Philip Dupres handles contentious matters for a range of NHS trusts and Foundation Trusts in respect of ongoing disputes on their PFI schemes.

Practice head(s):

Michael O’Connor; Louise Dobson; Andrew Pettinger; Stephanie Townley


‘A really deep understanding of NHS structures and of the construction issues which arise with PFI and other financing projects. A fantastic work ethic and drive to win cases for their NHS clients.’

‘Thomas Hurst is both a work horse and a war horse. He is outstanding at putting together and managing teams in the most massive of healthcare cases. He also gets outstanding results.’

‘Sarah Wilson is absolutely on top of things, an exceptionally bright and switched-on lawyer. Sarah sees all the angles.’

Key clients

University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust

Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust

Step Springfield Village Limited (a joint venture between Kajima Partnerships and Sir Robert McAlpine Capital Ventures

Fulcrum Infrastructure Group Limited (FIG) and Fulcrum Infrastructure Management Limited

Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


GB Partnerships Limited

Cambridge & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust

Assura Medical

Bupa Care Homes Mercia Healthcare

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumbria Healthcare Facilities Management Limited

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumbria Healthcare Facilities Management Limited

Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Serco Limited

Liverpool and Sefton Health Partnerships Limited

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Clinigen Group Plc

North Tees and Hartlepool Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Bradford NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Free London NHS Trust

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

West Sussex Estates Partnership Limited

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Atlas BFW Management Limited

The Borough Council of Worthing and West Sussex Estates Partnerships

Recipharm AB


Royal London

St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust in relation to the construction of a new Shotley Bridge Hospital.
  • Advising St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (STHK) on its acquisition of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust (SOHT), where STHK will subsume SOHT, and the trusts shall become a single NHS Trust.
  • Acting for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumbria Healthcare Facilities Management Limited to settle their multiparty TCC claim against Lendlease Construction.

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP’s Manchester-based health practice continues to advise on policy, governance, procurement and infrastructure changes in the new NHS landscape and stands out with its healthcare inquest work. The group is the appointed primary provider of advice on complex and high value claims to MPS and sits on the clinical and non-clinical NHS Resolution panels. While co-head Gerard Hanratty leads the team advising NHS clients on matters arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, co-head Christian Dingwall specialises on advising on NHS corporate and service transformation. Rebecca Fitzpatrick leads the mental health and social care advisory team and Victoria Thourgood  is the firm’s lead for public health sector property work as well as the independent health sector.

Practice head(s):

Gerard Hanratty; Christian Dingwall

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Thourgood; Rebecca Fitzpatrick


‘The team fully understood and were up to date with the national and local policy/agenda which they interpreted and advised upon at regular intervals. They established a good working relationship with respective leads within the organisation but also wider stakeholders. They worked collaboratively with us to deliver on our key objectives and within a defined time frame.’

‘The individuals were both knowledgeable and personable. They translated the complex, legal context, making it understandable and enabled the internal team to apply this to the key deliverables. The individuals made themselves available for all key meetings and were always amenable to attending any other meetings/discussions.’

‘Browne Jacobson’s health experts’ impressive technical expertise is balanced with pragmatism – working alongside us to identify practical, workable and proportionate solutions which appropriately manage risk.’

‘Browne Jacobson have been more than just legal advisors over the last two years, they have been our partners working through some significant challenges. We have valued their ability to see the bigger picture and suggest innovative options, as well as their clarity on matters of law and our governing documents. When swift response was needed I have always been able to get hold of a member of the team for initial verbal advice, which is then followed up in writing.’

‘My main contact has been Christian Dingwall and I have found that he gets to know the clients needs and adjusts his offer accordingly whilst always keeping the client on the correct legal lines. I have more recently also worked with Jacqui Atkinson who has also been very insightful in aligning her advice to the specific needs of our organisations.’

‘Christian Dingwall’s name is synonymous with health service commercial law, and he is my go-to person for any challenging situation. His encyclopaedic knowledge of the law, coupled with his ability to command the confidence of boards and councils of governors means that he and his team are a real asset to any organisation. His ability to deal with live, time-sensitive situations in a balanced and objective way is a real testament to him and to the team.’

‘Christian Dingwall combines confidence and knowledge with charisma and a real ability to hold a room. Hina Ali is a real up and coming lawyer, who works hard to ensure that she delivers all that we ask for and more.’

‘Highest level of client care, always willing to go the extra mile.’

Key clients

NHS England

NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care Board

NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Wrightington Wigan & Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust

Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust

Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust

Stockport NHS Foundation

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust

Prime PLC

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust

King’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

Swansea Bay University Health Board

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP‘s health practice provides a full-service offering to health sector organisations including inquest representation, healthcare governance, commercial transactions as well as inquiries and investigations. Recent client wins include Greater Manchester ICB and Bolton NHS Foundation Trust. The team is ‘very personable, highly competent and professional with a vast range of experts who provide advice and support in plain English’ and is jointly headed by Joanna Trewin, Emma Stockwell, Sharon Thomas and Michael Wright. Paul Allerston is frequently instructed to represent clients in serious medical treatment matters.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Trewin; Emma Stockwell; Sharon Thomas; Michael Wright

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Wallace; Louise Wilson; Amy Clarke; Leah Selkirk; Joanna Crichton


‘The whole team is brilliant – super knowledgeable whilst being approachable’

‘Amy Clarke: I have personally recommended Amy to other clients, who have been really happy with her work. She is very good on both mental capacity and mental health work, and is able to advise quickly and thoroughly on a range of regulatory issues. She is also just great to work with – intelligent, insightful and has a great rapport with clients. Louise Wilson: Louise is a real star. She is the go-to solicitor for NHS England on really complex cases involving children with mental health diagnoses, and for good reason. She is precise, clear and helpful and judges like and trust her. Leah Selkirk: Leah is a great solicitor. She has done big cases in the Court of Appeal (E&F) and is a real leader in issues around children with mental health issues. She is very knowledgeable and easy to work with.’

‘All fee earners regardless of their seniority are incredibly knowledgeable and able to think out side of the box.’

Key clients

Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust

Mid-Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

East Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

Spectrum Community Health CIC

NHS England

Work highlights

  • Represented Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust in its application to the Court of Protection seeking declarations as to whether it was in patient’s best interests to undergo renal transplantation and if so whether he should undergo a prolonged period of post-operative sedation and to treat any disease recurrence.
  • Assisted Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust in avoiding any significant adverse media attention and to also avoid any adverse outcome such as a finding of neglect or a prevention of future deaths report and assisted in highlighting the relatively unknown dangers of damp and mould for the benefit and safeguarding of future lives.
  • Jointly represented Mersey Care and Spectrum at the Inquest into the death of a gentleman who died whilst a prisoner.

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP’s health group continued to expand the team and increased its client portfolio after the merger with RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP in June 2022. The practice acts for public bodies, public or private businesses, not for profit enterprises and individuals on a wide range of matters including high level judicial review cases, public inquiries where it has particular expertise, employment disputes, information management and governance reviews and investigations. The group is jointly led by Richard Jolly who focuses on the health work, most notably acting for a vast number of NHS trusts, Dewi Ap-Thomas who oversees the regulatory side of the practice and employment expert Emlyn Williams.

Practice head(s):

Richard Jolly; Dewi Ap Thomas; Emlyn Williams

Other key lawyers:

Martin English; Cheryl Rowbotham; Saira Ali; Morris Hill


‘The Weightmans health team are exceptionally good. I predominantly receive instructions from Morris Hill, but I often have interactions with other, more junior, members of the team and when I do I am consistently impressed.’

‘Morris Hill is exceptional – he is highly experienced and respected in the field. He deals with acutely complex and sensitive cases, including treatment withdrawal cases. We worked very closely on a very sensitive treatment case in a child which was our most significant case together. Although the case was high pressure, Morris always remained calm under pressure. He would be my first choice to recommend to a health authority in this area – he is excellent with clients and has a really nice manner with them, but equally he is pragmatic and sensible in his advice.’

Key clients

NHS Resolution

Tameside & Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

St Helens & Knowsley NHS FT

Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS FT

NHS Blood & Transplant

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust

Liverpool University NHS FT

Alder Hey Children’s NHS FT

Countess of Chester NHS FT

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust

NHS England

Bolton CCG

Mersey Care NHS FT

Partnership Caring Ltd

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS FT

Wirral University Hospitals NHS FT

Work highlights

  • Advised St Helens & Knowsley NHS FT on its takeover of Southport & Ormskirk NHS FT.
  • Represented the NWAS, one of the key Core Participants at the Public Inquiry into the bombing at the Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017.
  • Advising NHS Blood & Transplant on its joint funding (with Cure Leukaemia) of and provision of services to ACT Limited, a newly formed company which together with its ACT Charity will build a clinical trial network in the UK.

Brabners LLP

Brabners LLP’s healthcare practice provides a comprehensive offering to practising healthcare professionals and healthcare providers ranging from healthcare-specific regulatory, fitness to practise, transactional, professional negligence, litigation, employment and property advice. The group is particularly known for its expertise in the pharmacy and dental sectors as well as the telemedicine and healthcare regulatory space. Pharmacy sector expert Richard Hough heads up the team which is particularly adept in handling dental practice and pharmacy sales and acquisitions where Liverpool-based Nicola Lomas is a key contact. David Seddon joined the partner ranks in May 2022.

Practice head(s):

Richard Hough

Other key lawyers:

David Seddon; Nicola Lomas; Chris Peace


‘Having a team devoted to my particular specialism in Pharmacy with a high level of sector knowledge and the nuances of the operational businesses within the sector, ultimately as an agent involved in M&A work this enhanced knowledge backed by a depth a legal resource to call on enhances the process for me and my clients giving quicker transaction times, and market leading commercially aware advice for all involved.’

‘Both David Seddon and Chris Peace personify what I describe above, they are pro- active, collaborative and when recommending either of them to buyer or seller in a deal I can be sure that it is a recommendation that I can rely on working our for the client.’

‘For me, it was clear from the outset of our transaction that the senior partner working on our case had a depth of professional knowledge around our niche area; a dental practice sale. At times I felt bad for our counterparts, who clearly did not have the same information or depth of understanding from their chosen solicitors.’

Key clients

Well Pharmacy

Pharmaceuticals Direct

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

The Bullen Healthcare Group

Medtrade Products


Dumbledore Dental Care

NorthWest EHealth

Centred Solutions


Work highlights

  • Representing Pharmaceuticals Direct Limited in judicial review proceedings that relate to the awarding of contracts worth £102.6 million and £29.8 million respectively for the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Advising on 87 dental practice sales and acquisitions where transactions included both goodwill asset sales and purchases and share transactions and had a combined value of in excess of £78m.
  • Advised on various pharmacy practice sales and acquisitions, having completed 29 (34 pharmacy branches in total) deals with a combined value of £29.7m.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s ‘highly skilled health and social care team’ is adept in handling an array of matters including mental health, regulatory and governance issues, clinical negligence claims, misconduct proceedings and inquests. Sean Doherty  who specialises in clinical negligence claims and NHS advice, leads the group which is praised for its ‘deep specialist industry knowledge and subject matter expertise combined with innovative approaches.’ Oliver Crich is often called upon for his expertise in public procurement law, specialising in the health sector. Jane Marshall who joined in January 2023 from Weightmans LLP brings in her expertise in public sector pensions work.

Practice head(s):

Sean Doherty

Other key lawyers:

Sally Morris-Smith; Harald Loeffler; Jane Marshall; Chris Air


‘Consummate professionals with a wealth of experience and knowledge about legal, medical and commercial issues.’

‘Great sector knowledge (NHS and UK health market generally), client focused and able to give commercially balanced advice. Also provided advice in relation to medical devices.’

‘The team ensure that they have a real and genuine understanding of our business which in turn gives us confidence that the advice we receive will be tailored to our risk appetite and commercial drivers. This is particularly the case when it comes to data protection advice a subject that’s absolutely crucial to our business in the health sector.’

Key clients

NHS Resolution

NHS England

NHS Digital


Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust

York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

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

City Health Care Partnership CIC

Humber NHS Foundation Trust

Health Research Authority

Circle (BMI Healthcare Ltd)

HCA International Ltd

Elysium Healthcare Ltd

Care Fertility Group Ltd

Florence Nightingale Hospital


Insurance Corporation of the Channel Islands

SHA (South Africa)

MS Amlin



Allied World Assurance Company

North West Boroughs Healthcare

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

North West Boroughs Healthcare

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust



Crown Commercial Services

Schoen Clinic UK

Work highlights

  • Advised Claimants solicitors and key stakeholders on the NHS Resolution led project on Duty of Candour with the aim of improving understanding of professional and statutory duties of candour and improving patient safety and learning.
  • Advised NHS Resolution on behalf of Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in the first application for Committal for Contempt of a Litigation Friend following a clinical negligence claim where Fundamental Dishonesty was raised.
  • Advised Health Services Safety Investigation Body (HSSIB), working with the Chair and Chief Inspector, on all aspects of the organisation’s establishment as an independent public body under The Health and Care Act 2022.


Fieldfisher’s practice provides regulatory expertise, advice and litigation services to support start-ups and new organisations seeking to launch in the UK, seeking to expand or invest. The group works with online medical service providers and those developing digital health and AI in the health sector. Headed by regulatory expert Sarah Ellson who specialises in health and social care matters and bioscience regulation, the team is increasingly receiving instructions for prescribers, cross-jurisdictional device and tech companies as well as medical and dental practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Ellson

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Ward; Chloe Williams


‘Fieldfisher have a wealth of experience in the regulatory sector.’

‘Chloe Williams was responsive and approachable, dealing with a complex matter in a well thought our and sensitive manner.’

Key clients

Novartis Pharma AG

Shawbrook Bank

Cynergy Bank

Fresenius Kabi Ltd

The Covid-19 Inquiry

Marlowe plc – Optima Health Group Limited

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

Rowlands Pharmacies/Phoenix Healthcare

Human Tissue Authority

General Medical Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Novartis Pharma AG on local regulations and legislation in relation to Patient Support Programmes (PSPs) in over 38 countries.
  • Advising Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority on a wide range of licensing and public law matters.
  • Assisting the UK Covid-19 Inquiry in relation to its set-up and establishment.

Mills & Reeve LLP

The team at Mills & Reeve LLP acts for NHS trusts, national bodies, charities and independent healthcare providers, with a focus on health tech and real estate matters. Jill Mason , primarily based in Birmingham, heads up the team which is adept in supporting clients from place-based partnerships and governance arrangements to contractual, regulatory and procurement work. While Chris Wilkinson has particular expertise in the pharmaceuticals sector, associate Jennifer Lewis draws on experience in public sector real estate with a focus on health in the primary care sector. With commercial and technology expertise Charlotte Lewis assists organisations across the health and social care system from system integration and organisational mergers to electronic patient record procurements.

Practice head(s):

Jill Mason

Other key lawyers:

Chris Wilkinson; Charlotte Lewis; Jennifer Lewis


‘I have a single initial point of contact with Mills & Reeve and if she is not able to cover all legal aspects of an instruction there will be someone who can be approached within the company.’

‘Jennifer has: An endearing way about her that is professional but ‘human’ which puts your mind at ease including GP practices which is an achievement in itself! – The ability to get her head around a situation and provide a solution – Proven been able to achieve the almost impossible ask within really tight deadlines. I have no issue recommending Mills & Reeve to others due to that effort and the growing level of achieving the required outcomes driven by her.’

Key clients

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

L. Rowland & Company (Retail) Limited

NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group

Wellola Limited

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board

Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust

Borough Care

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


Department of Health and Social Care

NHS England

NHS Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care Board

Operose Health

NHS Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care Board

Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust

Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Cheshire and Merseyside Integrated Care Board

Work highlights

  • Advising NHS England on their Digital First online consultation and video consultation framework.
  • Advising Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust with two lead Provider Collaboratives delivering mental health services.