Firm Profile > Capsticks LLP > London, England

Capsticks LLP
SW19 4DR

Clinical negligence: defendant Tier 1

Capsticks LLP's clinical law team has recently added five new NHS Trusts to the already more than 300 public and independent sector healthcare providers within its client portfolio. Group litigation expert Philip Hatherall leads the specialist inquest team, which provides both an advisory and advocacy service. Majid Hassan, who is the lead partner for The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS) specialising in the defence of claims againts GPs, also heads the medical malpractice insurance team, offering representation in a wide range of civil claims brought against private surgeons, clinics and hospitals, as well as providing risk management and governance advice to medical teams in elite sports. The team was involved in some recent landmark cases: legal Director Cassius Box led advice to the defendant in the landmark Supreme Court case Darnley v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, which clarified the scope of the duty of care of Emergency Department receptionists and non-medical staff; while Catherine Bennett represented three NHS Trusts in a high-profile case that has become the leading authority on the sharing of patient information. Catastrophic injuries, cardiac, obstetric, neonatal and consent-related cases are all areas of expertise for the department.


‘Capsticks been the top specialist clinical negligence defendant firm for many years and remain so.’

‘Capsticks’ strength comes from the leadership of the senior partners and the care which has gone into assembling a team of bright lawyers, who are motivated and work well together in a challenging environment.’

‘Cassius Box has extensive experience and superb judgement. On top of that, he is well respected by his opponents.’

Key clients


NHS Resolution

London Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Croydon Health Services NHS Trust

St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust

South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Professional discipline Tier 1

Capsticks LLP's team 'has strong expertise in this area and it has easy access to a broad knowledge base'. The regulatory division - led by Mark Whiting and John Witt and supported at partner level by Daniel Purcell, James Penry-Davey, Nimi Bruce and Hugh Giles - is well known for its professional discipline expertise in the healthcare and legal services markets. It has also been doing an increasing amount of work in the emergency services space (including police, fire and ambulance). It acted for the GDC in a complex case against a clinical dental technician, who was the subject of five different complaints over the standard of care provided to patients. Kate Steele and Mark Rogers were promoted to partner and consultant solicitor Genevieve Bushell and senior solicitor Keziah Pearson were hired from Bevan Brittan LLP and Blake Morgan LLP, respectively. Anna Holdsworth and Adelita Thursby-Pelham are notable associates.


Capsticks is enormously impressive; the lawyers are thorough, organised and hardworking without exception, and the systems in place for both investigation and administration are excellent. Moreover, the firm employs some extremely bright and able lawyers‘.

The lawyers’ willingness to discuss discrete legal issues on a no-commitment basis, as well as the provision of in-house training to clients’ own teams, provides significant added value to client organisations; billing is also highly transparent and timely‘.

James Penry-Davey has a sharp brain for legal issues. He is also pragmatic and very good at finding solutions to resolve matters in a way that is fair to all parties involved‘.

John Witt is a standout partner for his knowledge and experience‘.

Mark Whiting is knowledgeable, personable and well-organised; he manages the team extremely effectively‘.

Nimi Bruce combines high levels of expertise, a refreshing attitude and excellent logistical skills‘.

Kate Steele has considerable experience in the areas of regulatory and professional discipline and is regarded very highly by solicitors, counsel and other professional colleagues; she is absolutely meticulous in the planning and preparation of her cases‘.

Mark Rogers is hugely impressive when it comes to grasping complex clinical issues; he is also very well-organised and particularly adept at managing clients and their expectations‘.

Anna Holdsworth has great judgement and intelligence‘.

Key clients

General Dental Council

Solicitors Regulation Authority

Nursing and Midwifery Council

Health and Care Professions Council

Bar Standards Board

General Chiropractic Council

General Osteopathic Council

General Pharmaceutical Council

Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care

Court of protection Tier 3

Capsticks LLP specialises in advising NHS providers and commissioners as well as public, private and charitable sector clients on all issues involving incapacitated and vulnerable adults and children. The team has a key strength on the interaction between the Mental Health Act, the Mental Capacity Act and deprivation of liberty safeguards under the leadership of Francis Lyons. In addition the team is regularly involved in disputes regarding lasting powers of attorney/advance decisions.


I always found the team to be approachable, responsive, with technically strong knowledge‘.

Francis Lyons has in-depth knowledge that he easily translates into options  and practical advice‘.

Francis Lyons is one of the “go to” advisers for healthcare clients with tricky medical treatment issues as there appears to be no issue he has not advised upon. He is reassuringly calm and is excellent with lay clients‘.

Key clients

Derbyshire Community NHS Trust

St Andrews Healthcare

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

Lambeth CCG

Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS FT

South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS FT

South East CSU

London North West Healthcare NHS Trust

Birmingham South Central CCG

Wye Valley NHS Trust

Healthcare Tier 3

Capsticks LLP's cross-disciplinary practice is particularly active in inquests, representing NHS bodies in judicial review cases and advising on matters of public law. The team also has strong expertise in non-contentious and contentious healthcare employment. The national practice is led by Andrew Rowland, who is supported by Peter Edwards for public law and governance matters; Francis Lyons advises NHS bodies and local authorities on contentious commissioning and treatment decisions. Corporate and commercial partner Stephen Tainsh joined from Blake Morgan LLP in July 2018 as head of the medical technology group.


A very good knowledge of the health sector and the legal aspects affecting it.

Peter Edwards has provided sound advice in relation to public law matters

Key clients

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Barts Health NHS Trust

Central London Community Healthcare

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust

Croydon Health Services NHS Trust

Social housing: local authorities and registered providers Tier 4

Capsticks LLP's social housing practice has gone from strength to strength, since Chimi Shakohoxha and James Howard joined from Clarke Willmott LLP in 2017. With its team undergoing significant expansion, the firm now has one of the largest social housing practices in the UK. The firm is a particularly popular choice among registered providers; it now acts for more than 220. Shakohoxha heads up a specialist team which focuses on complex development and regeneration work. Another key figure in the housing management sphere is Daniel Skinner. Elsewhere, the firm provides corporate and commercial contracts advice, and its securitisation team (which is led by Susie Rogers) is experienced in property charging matters. Reflective of the strength of its reputation, in 2018, the firm was re-appointed to the Housing Associations’ Legal Alliance panel and it also won a place on the South East Consortium framework. Work highlights included Shakohoxha and others acting for Southern Housing Group as the lead developer on the acquisition of two adjacent sites at an industrial estate, which is part of the Fish Island redevelopment in northeast London. Associate Helen Gascoigne is another name to note.

Key clients


Knightstone Housing Association Ltd

Stonewater Limited

Vivid Housing Limited

Sovereign Housing Association Limited

Moat Housing Group Limited

Riverside Housing

Hyde Housing Association Limited

London & Quadrant Housing Trust

Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association (Poplar Harca)

Administrative and public law Tier 6

The public law defence practice at Capsticks LLP counts key public bodies among its clients, including a considerable number of NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). Recent mandates saw an uptick in the defence of judicial review applications, defending against challenges to health service reconfiguration strategies implemented by CCGs throughout Dorset, South Tyneside and Oxfordshire. Further regular work in the healthcare space includes Leeds-based practice co-head Ian Cooper’s pre-inspection support to NHS trusts in respect of the Care Quality Commission’s inspection regime. Police forces and regulatory bodies (including the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care) are also present on the client roster, with typical mandates including defending appeals against regulators' decisions and disclosure challenges. Practice co-head Peter Edwards advises public bodies in the healthcare sector on their governance and statutory powers.


The team applies its extensive experience and expert knowledge to provide sound legal advice

The level of expertise and professionalism displayed by Capsticks is exceptional

Peter Edwards provides invaluable wisdom and support

Peter Edwards is simply brilliant

The team is solutions based, patient and pragmatic

Francis Lyons is a first-rate solicitor. He has an excellent manner and clients love him

An exceptional public law team with particular strength and expertise in healthcare matters

Key clients

Public Health England

Bar Standards Board

Solicitors’ Regulation Authority

NHS Employers

NHS Dorset CCG

NHS South Tyneside CCG

NHS Oxfordshire CCG

Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership

Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

North Central London CCGs

Employment: employers Tier 7

Capsticks LLP is noted for its strength in acting for large public sector employers, including clients in the healthcare, emergency services, social care, education, housing and charity fields. The team's expertise in healthcare particularly stands out; it acts for both private and NHS organisations in employment tribunal claims, as well as advising on issues such as conduct and capability concerns. Victoria Watson, who took over as practice head in October 2018, handles complex litigation involving senior executives and clinicians. Andrew Rowland and Martin Hamilton are also key contacts.


The quality and responsiveness across the whole team is consistently good. Responses are fast and agile.

Victoria Watson and Andrew Rowland are outstanding individuals. They are experts in their fields but it isn’t just the quality of their legal advice – they understand healthcare, and the risks and challenges involved. They don’t always reach for the safety first button, but help analyse risks and solutions.

Key clients

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust

Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (previously Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust)

Barts Health NHS Trust

Ramsay Health Care UK

The Methodist Church

Royal Holloway University

BMI Healthcare

Royal Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Constabulary

Capsticks is one of the leading national law firms in health, housing and social care and has an unrivalled understanding of the regulatory and emergency services markets. The firm provides a full-service offering for all of its clients and is well regarded for its commercial, market-driven solutions.

The firm: Capsticks acts on the most high-value and politically sensitive cases in the health, social care and housing sectors. This year’s highlights include: advising Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust on all planning and property aspects of the £98 million disposal of the Heatherwood Hospital site and acting for CHG-Meridian UK Limited in relation to an equipment managed services.

Capsticks’ specialist housing team acts for over 200 registered providers nationwide. Recent case highlights include negotiating a £100m secured loan facility for L&Q Housing Trust provided by the National Australia Bank as well as advising Optivo on the £41m worth purchase of 128 shared ownership units in South West London. In addition, Capsticks supported Poplar HARCA in the upper tier tribunal against an appeal by the Information Commissioner to the decision that housing associations are not subject to the Environmental Information Regulations.

Current healthcare clients include NHS Resolution, NHS England/Improvement, NHS Employers, Barts Health NHS Trust, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Frimley Health NHS Trust, Community Health Partnerships, Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust, Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust, North Lincolnshire And Goole NHS Foundation Trust, MDDUS and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust. The firm also represents professional regulators such as the the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Social Work England, the General Dental Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Teaching Regulation Agency, as well as housing associations including L&Q, Aster, Sovereign, Orbit and Vivid. The emergency services team acts for the Metropolitan Police and Yorkshire Ambulance Service, among many others.

The firm’s HR Advisory services (non-legal) provide an extensive range of consultancy services for all its markets. The team handles day-to-day employee relations, disciplinary issues, investigations, absence management as well as organisational change.

Types of work undertaken: The firm’s work is divided between the clinical law, corporate and commercial, employment, housing, litigation, real estate and regulatory divisions.

Clinical law: This department acts for NHS Resolution and also deals with a large volume of clinical law advisory matters such as consent-to-treatment cases and mental health issues. The department has a strong reputation for advising on sensitive and high-profile cases and judicial reviews of major service reconfiguration decisions. The team also deals with medical malpractice insurers, including disasters arising from obstetric accidents. These comprise some of the largest personal injury claims in this country.

Corporate and Commercial: The division provides full legal support on NHS and private healthcare and housing mergers and acquisitions, major procurement projects and joint ventures. The work is carried out in multi-disciplinary teams with members of the real estate and employment departments.

Employment: This department is one of the largest healthcare employment teams in the country. It provides a HR advisory and consultancy service to healthcare bodies nationally. The team has a close working partnership with NHS Employers, providing NHS workforce leaders with access to expert HR, legal and business advice. The team also acts for housing providers, GP Federations and Emergency Service providers, offering HR support including advice relating to organisational change and TUPE.

Housing: The practice advises housing associations and registered providers on a national, full-service scale. Its expertise includes bespoke private developments and regeneration projects, housing and leasehold management (including anti-social behaviour and disrepair disputes), as well as security charging, banking and treasury matters. The practice is well regarded by the legal directories, with all offices being ranked and the team in the South maintaining its place in the top tier for several years.

Litigation: The fee earners specialise in the resolution of commercial and property disputes across NHS Trusts (including Royal Berkshire University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College Healthcare) and housing associations, such as Vivid. Clients also include emergency services organisations, local authorities as well as healthcare regulatory bodies and a growing number of non-healthcare regulators, such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Real estate: The division acts for an unrivalled number of public and private sector healthcare clients and housing providers on real estate matters. In addition to complex and innovative joint venture redevelopments, it acts on some of the largest and most politically sensitive hospital developments, NHS surplus land sales and urban regeneration schemes in the country. The firm acts for over 200 housing providers supporting complex development programmes and asset management.

Regulatory: The team conducts hundreds of professional discipline cases each year, including “fitness to practice” matters and High Court appeals. It acts for eight of the ten statutory health and social care regulators, as well as the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Teaching Regulation Agency. In a recent highlight, the team defended Social Work England in its first High Court appeal.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Rachael Heenan
NHS Healthcare Andrew Rowland
Housing and Regeneration Chimi Shakohoxha
Housing Management Michael Owen
Private Healthcare, Administrative law Ian Cooper
Clinical law Peter Marquand
Corporate and commercial Stephen Tainsh
Litigation David Firth
Regulatory Mark Whiting
Employment Victoria Watson
Primary care Sam Hopkins
Real estate Sam Hopkins
Photo Name Position Profile
 Catherine Bennett  photo Catherine Bennett
 Lee Clarke  photo Lee Clarke
 Jamie Cuffe  photo Jamie Cuffe
 Peter Edwards  photo Peter Edwards
 Philip Hatherall  photo Philip Hatherall
Mr Ashley Irons  photo Mr Ashley Irons
 Francis Lyons  photo Francis Lyons
Dr Peter Marquand  photo Dr Peter Marquand
 Michael Owen  photo Michael Owen
 Susie Rogers  photo Susie Rogers
 Chimi Shakohoxha photo Chimi Shakohoxha
Mr Daniel Skinner  photo Mr Daniel Skinner
 Stephen Tainsh photo Stephen Tainsh
 Victoria Watson  photo Victoria Watson
 Mark Whiting  photo Mark Whiting
 John Witt  photo John Witt
Number of UK partners : 55
Number of other UK fee-earners : 245