Health in North

DAC Beachcroft LLP

Over 300 NHS and private sector clients working in the health and social care industry instruct the seasoned team at DAC Beachcroft LLP. The presence of a number of highly specialised practitioners serves to give the group expertise in a number of key areas. Gill Weatherill leads the national mental health offering; employment expert Guy Bredenkamp advises on issues ranging from industrial action, organisational change and equal pay issues to board-level disputes; and recently promoted partner Anna Hart is an experienced healthcare regulatory lawyer. In recent developments, 2021 saw the arrival of procurement specialist Katherine Calder from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP and senior associate Alexia Dawson from Ward Hadaway.

Practice head(s):

Gill Weatherill; Guy Bredenkamp

Other key lawyers:

Anna Hart; Katherine Calder; Alexia Dawson


‘I think that the team at DAC Beachcroft really embrace partnership working. I feel that they get what is important to us, our ethos and our values and share these with us. I trust Beachcroft to deliver a quality service; they are transparent and fair in both billing and counsel selection.’

‘First class engagement, responsiveness and key individuals. Feel like part of our extended team.’

‘Guy Bredenkamp is extremely knowledgeable, but also very pragmatic and excellent at assessing what I would call “real world” risk rather than hypothetical/technical risk alone. He is a highly trusted advisor.’

‘All very professional, competent, engaging and responsive.’

Key clients

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

North of England Commissioning Support Unit

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

NHS England

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

North West Boroughs NHS Foundation Trust

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

City Hospitals Independent Enterprises Ltd

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust

Cumbria Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust

Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group

The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

QE Facilities Ltd

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust



Home Group

Cygnet Health Care

Work highlights

  • Provided urgent advice to the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust on the creation of a personal protective equipment supply network, including assisting with leasing of facilities, relevant procurement requirements, insurance, health and safety and product safety obligations, as well as drafting a suite of contractual documentation between the Trust and the supply network.
  • Providing ongoing advice on CQC regulation and compliance to Cygnet Health Care, including supporting the Executive Board and leadership team through an inspection looking at their corporate strategy, governance and operational performance as measured against CQC’s key lines of enquiry.
  • Advised Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust on the acquisition of four local GP practices by the Trust, including the transfer of primary care contracts and business transfer agreements.


Practitioners at leading national health and social care law firm Hempsons are valued for their 'exceptional level of knowledge', and clients are quick to note that they 'fully understand the nuances of dealing with the national health service'. The firm is able to leverage its range of specialised departments, including corporate, employment, real estate, litigation, primary care and procurement, to 'bring in different people with different skill sets to match up with any of the issues'. Commercial expert Crispin Pettifer, who acts as head of the Newcastle office, is capably supported by Stephen Maratos, who leads on contentious work; Alison Oliver; who focuses on issues affecting medical partnerships; and Philippa Doyle, who is regularly instructed by CCGs. 

Practice head(s):

Crispin Pettifer

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Maratos; Alison Oliver; Philippa Doyle


‘The procurement law specialist team is fantastic, they are always available, invariably at short notice; they understand the health sector and the challenges around PCR and conflicting legislation as well as the practicalities of trying to run a hospital.’

‘The team have an exceptional level of knowledge and are quick to make internal referrals within their organisation for specialist advice on key areas when required. They are very quick to respond and are always available over the phone if required. They fully understand the nuances of dealing with the national health service. I have worked with the team for over 10 years now and while they have dealt with some very complex issues they have always provided a well thought out, in depth response to anything I have needed.’

‘Hempsons are an incredibly knowledgeable and friendly team. I do not think I have worked with such approachable solicitors; if they are able to help they will! They have outstanding medical law experience and also draw on relationships and skills in employment law, accountancy and premises to be able to provide a full package/well considered views to any query we may raise. The team have pulled together some informal forums to support the daily work we do; these forums enable a number of professionals with common interests the opportunity to raise agenda items and explore best practice and potential issues in a safe space with well informed legal representation to support discussions. Invaluable in this current rapidly changing sector.’

‘The team are very accessible and bring in different people with different skill sets to match up with any of the issues the CCG may be experiencing. The team also break down information to make it less ‘legal speak’ which is always helpful.’

‘I have worked with Philippa Doyle for over 10 years and in that time she has provided a level of support over and above what I would usually expect from an external organisation. Her knowledge of the health system, particularly around safeguarding and continuing healthcare, is of the highest standard. She has provided training to professionals within our organisation as well as dealing with extremely complex issues around individual cases. There have been times when I’ve felt that there is no right answer but working together in partnership with her professional guidance has always resulted in positive outcomes. Philippa has an exceptional way with individuals when talking to them and ensures everyone is involved in the conversation. The support I’ve had both individually when decision making as well as providing guidance for the organisation as a whole has been gratefully received over many years of working together and hope this continues well into the future.’

‘Responsive, professional and supportive.’

‘Stephen Maratos: leaves no stone unturned, very hardworking, and a real pleasure to work with.’

‘I have worked very closely with Alison Oliver over a number of years and find her to offer an outstanding service. She is incredibly approachable and will do all she can to assist, if she does not know the answer she will ask someone who does! Alison makes very complex legal issues appear very simple and strips everything back to plain English to assist our thought processes. I can approach her with anything and never feel silly in raising a question, no matter how obvious or small the answer! Additionally the speed with which Alison responds always astounds me. Whether it is working the weekend or into the evening, if I give her an ideal deadline (even if it appears unrealistic) she will do her utmost to meet or exceed this. What can I say, incredibly easy to work with, a good honest professional service with no surprises and outstanding results.’

Key clients

Mersey Care NHS NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Surrey NHS County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Lancashire Procurement Cluster

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

Cleveland Local Medical Committee

One Ellesmere Port Primary Care Network

Work highlights

  • Provided the Cleveland Local Medical Committee with legal commentary and suggested amendments to a template collaboration agreement for NHS general medical practices collaborating to deliver the Covid-19 vaccination programme to be circulated to practice members of this LMC.
  • Advised a number of trusts on their various hospital redevelopment projects through the NHS’ ProCure 22 procurement route, including assisting with the Medium Secure Unit project (MSU) for Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Assisted the Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust with the financial close of its Multi-Storey Car Park Project.

Sintons LLP

Key areas of strength for the healthcare team at Sintons LLP include handling procurement issues and mergers. Additionally, the firm has increasingly been focusing on assisting with collaborations between all the main NHS bodies in the region, particularly in relation to digitisation projects. Practice head Amanda Maskery is noted for her experience working with GP clients, and advises numerous practices on their primary care network contracts and employment arrangements. Victoria Armstrong is the name to note for transactional and property work. The group also enjoys a national reputation for its work in the dental sector. 

Practice head(s):

Amanda Maskery

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Armstrong

Key clients

Medway NHSFT

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHSFT

The Academic Health Science Network for North East and North Cumbria

Gateshead Health NHSFT/QE Facilities Limited

CBC Health Limited

Tynehealth Limited

Teams Medical Practice

The Village Green Surgery

The Gables Medical Group

Central Durham GP Providers Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisting Medway NHSFT with a range of issues including commercial contracts, claims handling, information governance and data protection matters.
  • Advised a GP partnership in Central London on the lease of part of a multi-occupancy health centre from Community Health Partnerships (CHP).
  • Providing ongoing general employment advice to the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria.

Ward Hadaway LLP

Ward Hadaway stands out for its 'excellent team working across multiple specialist areas' and its 'detailed knowledge of the sector'. Experts in the group include Jeffrey Keeble, who has a wealth of experience defending the NHS in clinical negligence and personal injury cases; Nicola Richardson, who is the supervising partner on inquest cases; Melanie Pears, who is picked out as the 'éminence grise of PFI'; Stuart Craig, who leads on matters at the intersection of healthcare and employment law; and Saji Bratch, who handles work with a nexus to property issues. Liz Hackett and Robert Rushton are also much lauded by clients.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Keeble; Nicola Richardson; Melanie Pears; Stuart Craig; Saji Bratch

Other key lawyers:

Robert Rushton; Liz Hackett


‘A very committed and skilled team, who are excellent at communicating and providing appropriate advice and risk mitigation. Extremely thorough approach, with detailed knowledge of the sector, especially within the PFI sector.’

‘Liz Hackett is the standard by which all others are set. Her depth of knowledge is unrivalled. She is straightforward, tenacious, has excellent judgment and is trusted by judges and coroners. She always brings her A game to court.’

‘Melanie Pears is the éminence grise of PFI. There is nothing she does not know about these fiendishly complex contracts.’

‘The team work cohesively and attentively. The level of support is excellent and they are proactive and responsive in all scenarios.’

‘Very personable and knowledgeable, with a mixed skill set that compliments the team make-up. Thoroughness in every aspect of the work, including the construction element when that was required in dealing with a very complicated project around PFI and a termination of the agreement.’

‘Robert Rushton is 100% committed to the needs of his client and offers practical and clear advice.’

‘Excellent team working across multiple specialist areas. A really helpful and attentive service that goes the extra mile. A very well networked and aware team who connect us into wider knowledge and networks expertly.’

‘Very professional and competent with a personal service.’

Key clients

Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Bexley CCG

NHS North Cumbria CCG

County Durham and Darlington Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Greenwich CCG

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Carlisle CCG

Hartlepool CCG

South Tees CCG

Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust

Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Sunderland CCG

Cumbria, Northumberland Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust

Work highlights

  • Assisting the Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust with a major redevelopment of its Luton and Dunstable hospital.
  • Advising Cumbria CCG on two contracts with a local authority concerning the discharge of patients from a hospital into care homes and hotels to enable bed space to be created for Covid-19 patients.
  • Advising the Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust with its contract for the delivery of 24,000 Covid-19 tests per day.