Solicitor in Leicester for
Healthcare – GPs and Dentists
I’ve worked with Steven for a number of years. Unusually for a lawyer, he is very commercially minded, and can get to the nub of issues straight away. Would thoroughly recommend him.
0116 3667 900
NHS & CQC Legal Advice
Solicitors for GPs, Dentists and other healthcare providers.
I’m Steven Mather, Solicitor and Lawyer to GPs, Dentists and other primary care providers. Who are you? Perhaps you’re
- A GP Practice with a GMS Contract
- A dentist
- A pharmacist
- A PCN
- A care home
- any other CQC regulated healthcare and primary care provider?
Well, I can help. I’ve helped healthcare providers with a wide range of legal problems. What I know better than anyone else, is that your business operates in a rather unique environment. I’ll help you navigate the issues, dealing with the ICB (previously the CCG) and NHS-E.
It’s not just me. Through Nexa Law, I have access to a wide range of specialists on Property, Commerical/Corporate, Employment, Disputes and more besides.
Legal Advice for GPs
I regularly provide GPs help and support across the whole range of legal issues which affect CQC practices like yours such as:
GP Practice Incorporation
Most GP practices I’ve come across are partnerships. I can help with that (see below), but perhaps you’d like to explore the benefits of incorporating your GP practice? Well I can help.
There’s a couple of ways to achieve this:
- Novate the GMS Contract to a newco (which will need to be CQC registered), or;
- Create a newco and the subcontract the GMS Contract.
The 2nd option here can work really well – if planned properly – because it is not for the ICB to give consent. We just get all the legal paperwork in place and then notify them what we’re doing.
Sub-contracting to a limited company allows you (subject to your own tax and accountancy advice) to benefit from the tax advantages of having a limited company, while still technically holding the GMS contract in the partnership.
It is a complex area, one which I’m very familiar with, and so you really need to take independent and expert advice from a lawyer that deals with GP practices day in day out – and you’ve found him.
GP Partnership Agreements
Having a GP Partnership Agreement is vital to all GP practices set up as a partnership – without a Partnership Agreement in place, the Partnership Act 1890 sets the rules and I can assure you it is not what you want in a modern business!
Instead, you’ll want a GP partnership agreement which is tailored to your individual practice. It’ll need to cover:
- Decision making
- Property ownership
- Maternity/Paternity Leave
- Payments to Outgoing Partners
And much more besides – tailored of course to your GP Practice and the NHS environment you work in.
GP Mergers & Acquisitions
We’re regularly seeing GP Practices merging (or acquiring) other GP Practices and it certainly seems to have its benefits like in all businesses.
When you’re merging or buying a GP practice, like buying any business, we need to ensure that the legals are properly tied up and dealt with. That includes carrying out some due diligence, ensure the asset purchase agreement (or business transfer agreement) protects you fully and covers things like confidentiality, restrictions on clients and such like.
Of course, as with any GMS contract holding business, there can be no value attached to Goodwill in the practice and any attempt to ‘get around’ that legislation is unlikely to work.
That said, I’m also seeing exploration from third parties looking to ‘buy’ into GMS GP practices – so again we can help you with that.
GP Partnership Disputes
Partnership disputes are stressful and put a strain on the business, so it is usually important to seek a swift resolution.
We’ll start by reviewing your partnership deed, or if you do not have a partnership agreement, then looking at how the Partnership Act 1890 interacts with the circumstances. I’ll give you commercial practical advice, be robust if required and concilliatory if that’s better.
I’ll look to get the matter resolved through negotiation or mediation, rather than lengthy and costly Court proceedings.
Hopefully, we can enter into a settlement/retirement deed whereby the exiting partner leaves amicably either with or without a pay off depending on the circumstances.
Buying or Selling a Dental Practice
If you’re looking to buy or sell a dentist / dental practice, then Steven Mather can help.
We’ll work with you on:
- Negotiating and drafting the heads of terms of the deal
- Writing, reviewing and negotiating the share purchase agreement or asset purchase agreement
- Conducting legal due dliigence so you know exactly what you’re buying
- Reviewing contracts which the practice has in place
- Dealing with all legal documents
- Dealing with any freehold or leasehold property
- Handling completion and transfer of ownership.
Buying or selling a dental practice in the UK requires a solicitor that knows what they’re doing. There is little point in using a standard high street firm, or even an M&A Specialist who has never done dental work before. It’s vital that your lawyers know your industry.
Property Issues - Leases, Licences, Sale & Leasebacks
GP practices (and dentists and other healthcare providers) have a wide variety of types of property issues.
Steven’s colleagues at Nexa Law are property experts and have acted for many of Steven’s GP clients on matters such as:
- Buying a new practice building (often in a new property company with a lease to the GMS contract holding practice)
- Sale and leaseback’s of existing practice premises
- Negotiating new or revision leases
- Dealing with companies like Assura for Sale & Leasebacks to external companies
- Financiing and remortgaging of NHS premises
- Advising on notional rent issues and other NHS Premises Costs Directions
- Property / Lease disputes such as dilapidations
Whatever the legal issue regarding your GP practice and property – get in touch.
Employment Law advice
You’re a GP. Smart, hard-working and dedicated to your patients. The last thing you want is to have to deal with employee issues, employment law and HR issues.
I’ve huge experience in employment law for GPs and heathcare providers, from drafting new contracts of employment and staff handbooks, to disciplinary matters, performance reviews of GPs (including partners) and dismissals.
I know many GPs have signed up to some kind of ‘insurance backed’ HR support from companies such as Peninsula and Ellis Whittam. While I don’t offer the 3/5 year fixed and automatically renewing contracts like them, I do instead offer genuine expert advice on your industry.
Many GP practices and dental practices are outsourcing aspects of their practice to third parties, and it is always worthwhile having those contracts reviewed.
We see a lot of contracts from software companies and digital health providers.
Whatever the contract your GP practice has been given, let me have a look. I’ll review it, make sure it works to meet your expectation and that there are no hidden surprises.
ICB/CCG/NHS Judicial Review
Sometimes, just sometimes, your Integrated Care Board (ICB) previously known as the local commissioners or CCG make decisions which impact your practice and, if those decisions have not be made properly, they can be properly and legally challenged.
Judicial review is not for the feint-hearted, but if its the only option then we can act quickly and robustly, engaging counsel and going to court.
We’ve dealt with Judicial Reviews on matters of public procurement, for instance, where the ICB awarded a tender of a failed practice to one party but the ICB had failed to follow its own tender specification.
Steven has provided sound, consistent legal assurance and process through a variety of legal scenarios ranging from GDPR, HR, and contract opportunities. He sees the solutions, speaks our language, and reflects our values and priorities in finding the most suitable and effective route to completion. He has worked collaboratively with our stakeholders and built trusting business relationships. We have found Steven approachable, accessible, reliable and reassuring and I have no hesitation in recommending him to other healthcare organisations requiring legal support
Contact Me Now
How much will it all cost?
Steven works with fixed fees, and for each job a bespoke proposal is given.
Some GP practices might prefer a fixed monthly retainer for ongoing initial adhoc advice across the whole range of legal issues. Most will work with me on a project by project basis.
Whether your GP or Dental practice is looking at a partnership agreement or shareholders agreement, reviewing contracts, buying or selling the practice, taking on new premises or has an employee issue – I can help and i’ll give you a fixed fee for doing so.
Next Steps to get legal advice for your healthcare business?
As Leicestershire’s largest provider of NHS primary care, Willows Health has a whole range of legal issues to deal with on a daily basis. I trust Steven and his team to advise on everything from contracts to regulatory matters, property to challenging the NHS. I’ve recommended him to other practices and don’t hesitate to recommend him for your practice too”