Firm Profile > Hempsons > London , London


Clinical negligence: defendant Tier 1

The healthcare litigation department at Hempsons demonstrates 'great breadth and in-depth knowledge of clinical negligence', offering round-the-clock advice to public and private healthcare organisations, charities and social enterprises which commission, regulate or provide health and social care services. The team is involved in complex and high value cases that regularly involve multiple defendants. Practice head Mary Menjou deals with cutting edge medical claims, including those involving rare genetic syndromes, tropical diseases, as well as gender transition cases. Previous Claimant work experience provides the 'unflappable' Gautam Chawla with a valuable insight into healthcare litigation involving medical issues like birth injury, delayed diagnosis of cancer, surgical claims and spinal damage. Alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, is a growing focus of the practice for resolving claims.

Professional discipline Tier 1

Hempsons' professional discipline team is 'extremely strong'. The team’s core work is focused on defending practitioners under investigation by the GMC, GDC and GOC, and representing appellants and respondents before the First Tier Tribunal, Family Health Service Authority and in the Administrative Court. It also acts for its extensive health and social care sector client base in complex investigations involving police, coroners, the NHS Counter Fraud Authority and the Health and Safety Executive. London-based Chris Morris is national professional discipline head and Tania Francis is a defendant clinical negligence expert. Manchester's Katherine Sheldrick is the northern team head, while Anne Ball heads up the crime and regulatory team. Katherine Sheldrick is also highly regarded; Hannah Stephenson was made partner in 2019; and Julie Hesketh was hired from Ryan Solicitors.

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

With Ian Hempseed at the helm, Hempsons provides the full spectrum of legal services to charities from corporate and social care matters through to employment and real estate issues. Hempseed also works closely with organisations and entrepreneurs in developing appropriate legal structures for social enterprises. It is a national offering that is skilled at advising on a broad range of complex and high-value projects and cases. The group also acts for many Royal Charter corporations which are charities and is experienced at dealing with governance reviews and at liaising with the Privy Council to obtain consents to any constitutional changes. Nadeem Azhar is also recommended.

Healthcare Tier 2

Hempsons fields 'one of the best specialist teams with impressive knowledge in the field of healthcare'. The practice advises on the full spectrum of issues affecting the healthcare sectors, such as corporate and commercial work, social care, regulatory issues, contentious matters and clinical negligence.  John Holmes largely focuses on mental health, inquests and related clinical claims, while regulatory partner Nadya Wolferstan is 'excellent, bright and remains calm under pressure'. Ian Hempseed advises on corporate and governance issues and also acts for prominent health charities and social enterprises. Tania Francis and Miriam Farley are also of note. Christian Dingwall left for Browne Jacobson LLP, and Jamie Foster and James Lawford Davis for Hill Dickinson LLP. Justin Cumberlege joined in April 2019 from Cripps Pemberton Greenish.

Partnership Tier 2

Hempsons stands out for its expertise in medical partnerships; providing strategic advice to GPs and dental practices, as well as devising and implementing new structures for primary care at scale and Integrated Care Systems (ICSs). The group has particular experience in establishing and reorganising GP Provider Organisations, in addition to advising on acquisitions of failing practices by such structures. Ross Clark and Ian Hempseed jointly lead the department, and are ably supported new arrival Alison Oliver, who joined from Ward Hadaway in January 2019 and specialises in partnership and company law, NHS primary care and community services contracts. The group is on a number of panels, including NHS Resolution, Health Trust Europe and Crown Commercial Service.

Hempsons is a leading national law firm in health and social care, professional services, real estate, and the third sector.

The firm: Hempsons is committed to understanding its clients’ legal and business requirements. The firm provides top quality advice, outstanding service delivery and excellent value for money. Hempsons’ national teams offer specialist expertise working from offices in London, Harrogate, Manchester and Newcastle. The firm is ISO 9001, ISO 27001, Lexcel and Investors in People accredited.

Types of work undertaken: 

Health: Hempsons is a leader in the health and social care sector. Clients are public, private and third sector organisations who plan, commission, regulate or provide health and social care services, or operate within the supply chain. Hempsons’ strong NHS client base includes the Department of Health, foundation trusts, NHS trusts, commissioning organisations and arms-length bodies.

Hempsons is a member of every NHS health and social care legal service panel across England, and continues to develop a reputation for advising on highly complex and innovative integration and other projects and cases. These include service reconfigurations, high profile inquiries, major outsourcings, joint ventures, devolution and new care models.

Much of the firm’s work is with GPs and dentists working within the public sector. Hempsons is advising many practitioners on the ongoing and potential future changes in the healthcare system and helping them to create super-partnerships and other organisational structures, and manage their practices differently to meet the needs of their patients and the ever-increasing burden of commercial and regulatory pressures.

Third sector: Hempsons has an established reputation for its work with national charities and social enterprises. The firm works with many large and well-known national charities such as The Ramblers Association, The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Zoological Society of London, and Arthritis Research UK. Charities can have complex operating needs which Hempsons supports through its charities team incorporating specialists from across the firm.

Hempsons continues to support many social enterprises that have been spun out of the public sector under the government’s Right to Provide programme. It also works with umbrella groups, to assist in maximising opportunities as the government opens up the delivery of public services to the sector.

Real estate: The team’s client base spans the public, private and third sectors. The team deals with every aspect of the healthcare real estate market and has been involved in a number of high profile and innovative transactions, including the property aspects of NHS trust acquisitions, and mergers and joint ventures between the NHS and the private sector. Hempsons is at the forefront of developments in the rapidly evolving healthcare real estate sector, and many of its members have written widely on these changes in the property and healthcare media. They maintain a very high profile and reputation in the office occupier space, and have been involved in large lettings for insurance companies, professional organisations and international clients.

Professional services: Hempsons has one of the largest practices in the country, advising professionals across a number of sectors (healthcare professionals, lawyers, accountants, architects and quantity surveyors) acting for both practices and the individual. The professional services team supports clients with advice ranging from ownership structures, mergers and takeovers, disputes, premise redevelopments/relocations and staff issues, to advice provided to the individual practitioner. This includes regulatory (conduct/health/performance issues before the GMC/GDC and other regulatory bodies), performers list proceedings, conduct and disciplinary issues, and private client advice.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Chris Morris
Managing partner Graham Lea
Charity Ian Hempseed
Clinical negligence Bertie Leigh, London
Clinical negligence Anne Ball, Manchester
Clinical negligence Adrienne D'Arcy, Harrogate/Newcastle
Commercial Adrian Parker
Construction Crispin Pettifer
Corporate Ross Clark
Dental Chris Morris
Dispute resolution Richard Nolan
Employment Fiona McLellan, London
Employment Paul Spencer, Manchester
Employment Martin Cheyne, Harrogate/Newcastle
Healthcare John Holmes, London
Healthcare Margaret Taylor, Manchester
Healthcare Stephen Evans, Harrogate/Newcastle
Mental health John Holmes, London/Manchester
Mental health Stephen Evans, Harrogate/Newcastle
Mental health Helen Edwards, Manchester
Mental health Margaret Taylor, Manchester
Private client Fiona Wilson
Professional services Ross Clark, Harrogate/Manchester
Professional services Alison Oliver, Newcastle
Professional services Justin Cumberlege, London
Professional services Bryn Morgan, London
Real estate Graham Lea
Regulatory Tania Francis
Photo Name Position Profile
 Lynne Abbess  photo Lynne Abbess
 Gautam Chawla  photo Gautam Chawla
 Sharon Cooney  photo Sharon Cooney
 Justin Cumberlege  photo Justin Cumberlege
 James Down  photo James Down
 Miriam Farley  photo Miriam Farley
 Tania Francis  photo Tania Francis
 Ian Hempseed  photo Ian Hempseed
 John Holmes  photo John Holmes
 Hilary King  photo Hilary King
 Graham Lea  photo Graham Lea
 Bertie Leigh  photo Bertie Leigh
 Fiona McLellan  photo Fiona McLellan
 Mary Menjou  photo Mary Menjou
 Bryn Morgan  photo Bryn Morgan
 Chris Morris  photo Chris Morris
 Harjit Talwar  photo Harjit Talwar
 Elizabeth Thomas  photo Elizabeth Thomas
 Fiona Wilson  photo Fiona Wilson
Number of UK partners : 47
Number of solicitors : 72
Number of other UK fee earners : 20


Hempsons is committed to eliminating discrimination and promoting diversity and inclusion in its own policies and procedures. This applies to the firm’s dealings with employees, partners, clients and other third parties.

The firm has adopted the Law Society’s guidelines on anti-discrimination measures.

Hempsons’ diversity statistics can be viewed here. Their gender pay report can be found here.

Our people

Hempsons is committed to ensuring that candidates for employment and all members of staff are treated fairly, with dignity and respect and are afforded equality of opportunity with regard to employment, training and development regardless of race, sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity/ paternity, disability, religion or belief, age, sexual orientation or marriage or civil partnership as defined by the Equality Act 2010.

All potential candidates for employment within the firm are provided with an optional Equality and Diversity Survey upon application on our website. New recruits are given a copy of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Policy and are also provided with an optional, anonymous Diversity Questionnaire prior to their start date. All staff undertake Diversity and Inclusion Training annually.

  • The firm has a grievance policy to assist any member of staff who feels that he/ she may have been directly or indirectly discriminated against.
  • The firm has a Diversity and Inclusion Committee which meets regularly to consider and develop the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion policies and procedures.

Our initiatives

Signatory to the Law Society Diversity & Inclusion Charter:

The Charter encourages law firms to develop and implement best practices in equality, diversity and inclusion. More information on the Charter can be found here.

Pathways to Law:

Hempsons works in partnership with the Pathways to Law programme which encourages students from non-traditional law backgrounds to consider a career in the law. Further details can be found here.

Our clients

Hempsons offices have wheelchair access and hearing loops are fitted in the meeting room.
Clients are asked for their dietary requirements before attending seminars.

Hempsons has a list of accredited interpreters to assist clients whose first language is not English. Further information is available from reception at each office.

CLIENT: Vicky Browning, Chief Executive
TESTIMONIAL: “ACEVO’s longstanding strategic partnership with Hempsons is of real value to our members. The combination of their in-depth sector knowledge and legal expertise means they understand the issues and challenges facing the sector.”

CLIENT: Heather Tierney Moore, Chief Executive
COMPANY/FIRM: Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
TESTIMONIAL: “The support provided to the Trusts by the procurement team at Hempsons was exceptional, particularly given the tight timetable. We felt supported throughout the whole process, with clear and practical advice provided at all times. We are pleased with the outcome and feel vindicated in following the action that we have taken.”

CLIENT: Vish Ratnasuriya, Chair
COMPANY/FIRM: OHP Partnership Board
TESTIMONIAL: “When we had problems, solutions were simple and clear, demonstrating not just a great understanding of the legal framework underpinning traditional GP partnerships, but the ability to evolve these alongside the new models of care for the NHS of the future.”

CLIENT: Wendy Swift, Chief Executive
COMPANY/FIRM: Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS FT
TESTIMONIAL: “The support and advice provided by Hempsons procurement team meant that we could progress our challenge knowing that we had an experienced team working with us. Hempsons team provided a professional and personal service. The decision to proceed to court was not an easy one, but we were fully appraised of the position at all times by a dedicated and hard-working team.”