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Access to quality care services is one of our most important, yet complex, societal challenges. With this in mind, independent care providers are increasingly faced with a range of opportunities as well as challenging issues.

We have significant experience advising care providers on their full journey from sourcing initial funding, business acquisition, structure, commercial contracts, employment, safeguarding and regulatory compliance, obtaining further funding for expansion, additional property acquisitions and eventual business sale.

No matter what the issue, our expert team is here to guide you, ensuring you are legally compliant on every front and enabling you to focus on looking after your customers while your care home operations run smoothly and efficiently.

Our work across the healthcare sector, including the NHS as well as private providers, means you can benefit from our 360-degree view, taking into consideration all perspectives so that we achieve the best outcome for you.

Work we have done

Corporate

Our corporate team advises a range of clients in relation to Independent Care, in relation to all corporate matters including: acquisitions and disposals, investments, reorganisations and restructurings.  Our recent experience includes:

  • Advising on the sale of Helen McArdle Care to HC-One which included over 19 cares homes of which 2 care homes were sold at “turn key”
  • Advising Springfield Healthcare Group on corporate matters including its business and share acquisitions, the receipt of its investment by Business Growth Fund plc and development projects for care facilities
  • Advising on a buy and build strategy and subsequent exit strategy with an undisclosed stakeholder, buying assets from and selling assets to organisations including Barchester and Four Seasons Healthcare.
  • Advising a care provider on the restructuring of its multi-company group structure, including the creation an opco/propco structure
  • Acting on a number of business sales for Executive Care Homes
  • Advising independent care providers on the receipt of new banking facilities, including development capital
Employment

Our employment team advises care providers on a range of employment issues including:

  • All day-to-day employment assistance including drafting policies and procedures and advising on disciplinary, grievance and safeguarding issues
  • Defending Employment Tribunal proceedings
  • Advising on the National Minimum Wage, including in relation to sleep-in allowances
  • Advising on projects including TUPE, changing terms and conditions of employment and redundancies
  • Providing training for HR teams for national care providers
  • Providing bespoke training for managers in the care sector

Our recent experience includes:

  • Advising a care home in relation to the dismissal of a CEO
  • We recently worked closely with the HR Director and Regional Head of HR of a care home to manage a Tribunal claim which comprised various heads of claim (constructive dismissal, disability discrimination and breach of contract claim as well as a counterclaim pursued by the employer).  In addition to defending the claim from the outset, based on many legal and factual arguments, we represented the client at the 4 day Tribunal hearing and the defence was successful on all aspects as was part of the counterclaim
  • Advising on the recruitment and retention of overseas nurses employed within care homes and assist with queries relating to the UKVI sponsorship licence, NMC requirements for nurses who qualified outside of the EEA, sponsorship and visa applications as well as the right to work
Regulatory compliance

The work of our regulatory team involves advising on the following areas:

  • Representing care homes at appeal hearings relating to the Council’s Quality Standard Ratings
  • Representing care homes who were the subject of police investigations into alleged mistreatment of vulnerable patients
  • Advising on care home set up and regulatory issues including CQC registrations
  • The firm is appointed to the panel of service providers for the CQC
Property

Our property team are experienced in advising care providers, including:

  • Advising care home operators on the development of care home facilities and in providing advice on funding. We have also undertaken extensive due diligence exercises for banks on development documentation so appreciate the requirements of a funder in relation to warranties and amendments to standard form building documents
  • Advising numerous private healthcare organisations on property and planning matters including the acquisition of sites to be developed
Construction

Our construction team is experienced in advising independent care home providers and those supplying the sector on the construction of new build care homes, as well as refurbishment works, including in particular:

  • Drafting and negotiating all construction documents, including building contracts, consultant appointments, collateral warranties, bonds, guarantees and novations
  • Advising and resolving construction-related disputes, either by way of negotiation and mediation, or via more formal adjudication, arbitration or litigation proceedings
  • Advising on all construction-related aspects of setting up a Propco/Opco structure
Commercial

Our commercial contracts team combine expert technical advice with industry experience to deliver clear, pragmatic, and creative solutions that get results.

We invest time to understand your opportunities and challenges and work alongside your teams to navigate you through a wide range of legal agreements.

This includes everything from contracts with Local Authority commissioners, joint venture agreements and framework agreements to logistics agreements, service level agreements and everything in between.

Commercial Litigation

Our litigation specialists advise on everything from contractual and procurement disputes to professional negligence, Judicial Review applications, misfeasance, fraud, Intellectual Property matters and IT disputes.

They are experienced at handling mediations and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, offering a cost-effective and timely alternative.

We also understand that dispute resolution has the potential to be a large financial undertaking. We have a wealth of experience putting in place innovative cost solutions which enable clients to manage risk and litigate from a position of strength.

Contact a specialist

James Nightingale

Partner | Corporate

+44 (0) 330 137 3612

+44 (0)771 507 7779

Email James Nightingale

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Gillian Chinhengo

Gillian Chinhengo

Partner | Employment

+44 (0) 330 137 3153

+44 (0)759 024 5298

Email Gillian Chinhengo

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What people say

  • We have used James’ services for a number of years at Springfield Healthcare Group. He fully understands our requirements as a group, he understands the way we do business, which I think is very important in any transaction, and he deals very positively with our other stakeholders. He is very amenable, hard-working and has always delivered for Springfield. We have built up a real element of trust over the years and I view James as a friend and confidant thanks to our long-standing business relationship.

    Graeme Lee, CEO, Springfield Healthcare Group
  • Having used Martin and his team on both the disposal of our nursery business, Kids 1st and our residential care business comprising 20 care homes I thought I should write to say how pleased we were with the whole team and the service they gave - first class advice with a human face, just what we wanted. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone contemplating a corporate transaction. So a great big thank you to everyone involved.

    Mark McArdle, Helen McArdle Care

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