Firm’s healthcare team wins major NHS contract | 24 May 07

Law firm Ward Hadaway has clinched a major deal to provide legal services to one of the North-East’s biggest health trusts.

The Newcastle-based firm fought off stiff competition to secure the three-year contract from County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust.

Under the deal, Ward Hadaway will advise the Trust on areas including employment, contracting, PFI projects, property, construction, litigation and commercial assistance.

The firm now has more than 70 NHS clients from the North-East to the East Midlands.

Jeffrey Keeble, head of healthcare at Ward Hadaway, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured this appointment – it means we now act for more Acute Hospital Trusts in the North than any of our competitors.

“We have a team able to provide dedicated support for all of County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust’s needs on a pro-active and cost-effective basis and we are pleased that this has been recognised by this appointment.”

Melanie Pears, head of public sector at Ward Hadaway, added: “We look forward to helping the Trust to take its plans for the future forward.”

County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust currently operates three general hospitals - Bishop Auckland Hospital, Durham Memorial Hospital and University Hospital North Durham – as well as a number of community hospitals and other facilities.

It serves a population of more than 550,000 people and became a Foundation Trust in February of this year.

John Saxby, chief executive of County Durham & Darlington Acute Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is an important appointment for us. We look forward to working with the Ward Hadaway team over the next three years.”

The appointment is the latest in a series of successes for Ward Hadaway’s highly respected healthcare team.

Last year, the firm was appointed as one of a four-firm panel to provide full legal services for 18 NHS Trusts throughout Yorkshire.

Ward Hadaway is also one of only seven law firms in the country to be a member of both the NHS Litigation Authority’s Clinical Negligence Panel and the Authority’s Risk Pooling Scheme Panel.

Ms Pears said: “The firm’s public sector practice has gone from strength to strength – our portfolio is continuing to increase at a rapid rate as we cement our reputation as the public sector’s first choice for legal services.”

Jamie Martin, managing partner at Ward Hadaway, said: “This is another great win for Ward Hadaway.

“Our focus on providing the highest levels of service and expertise is clearly finding favour with a whole range of organisations in the public sector and we look forward to helping County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust continue to provide high quality healthcare to the people of the North-East.”