Specialist healthcare lawyers supporting the NHS and the healthcare sector

As specialist healthcare lawyers advising the NHS for over 40 years, we understand the unique challenges and opportunities that face NHS healthcare providers, commissioners, and regulators. We understand the complex interplay of guidance and policy on the legal issues which affect you; finding pragmatic solutions for organisations faced with financial constraints, clinical pressures and changing policy landscape, providing cost-effective, innovative and bespoke solutions.
The reputational stakes are often high and the decisions you take may have significant consequences. We offer timely advice that can mitigate damage caused by factors ranging from negligence to poor governance.
Over the decades we’ve built strong relationships with senior people in the sector. We have fully-developed conversations at board level—with regulators and with national healthcare organisations—which means we see the bigger picture. This ensures that our advice in always given in the context of the strategic and operational issues facing the NHS.

How can Capsticks help?

  • Claims handling

    Our claims handling service provides an innovative outsourced claims handling solution for NHS trusts. We design the service to meet the clients’ needs and we manage the claims efficiently and professionally from start to resolution. The service is provided at a competitive cost, provides continuity, guards against sickness or other unexpected employee absence and can cover maternity leave.

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  • Clinical negligence

    We are the leading firm for clinical negligence defence, and have been on NHS Resolution’s panel for over 25 years due to our expertise in resolving claims and are highly-reputed for our knowledge in safety and learning. We have acted in many ground breaking cases resolved by mediation, alternative dispute resolution or successful defence at trial. Our diploma in clinical risk is seen as the authoritative qualification for claims management nationally.

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  • Commercial and contracts

    As a dedicated healthcare commercial and contract practice, we draft and advise on the commercial agreements required to deliver projects from inception to completion, including heads of terms, memorandums of understanding, exclusivity and confidentiality agreements, as well as the final commercial agreement. We advise regularly on contracts for clinical services using the NHS Standard Contract and for the provision of goods and services to the healthcare sector, and also work with clients to ensure robust contract management.

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  • Corporate

    We advise NHS commissioners and providers on all aspects of corporate transactions, whether joint ventures with the private sector or establishment of wholly owned subsidiaries. We have acted on many of the most significant mergers of NHS foundation trusts and NHS trusts as well as a wide range of service transfers and reorganisations. 

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  • Employment and pensions

    We are the leading national NHS employment practice, handling hundreds of employment tribunal claims annually. We undertake ground-breaking advisory work (e.g. staff portability and positive action), and specialise in Maintaining High Professional Standards (MHPS), the doctors’ capability/conduct framework. We provide guidance/assistance on national issues through our unique partnership with NHS Employers and are familiar with the wide-ranging NHS-specific legislation/guidance, which informs all our advice.

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  • Information law

    We give expert advice on data protection, freedom of information and confidentiality law issues, involving disputes and policy/contractual issues. We help manage subject access requests and data breaches, and prepare information-sharing and data-processing agreements. We have an excellent track record in Freedom of Information (FOI) complaints/appeals. We work with Caldicott Guardians, data protection officers and governance teams, and know NHS-specific legislation/guidance in detail. We provide a comprehensive, up-to-date and solutions-focussed service

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  • Inquests

    We represent NHS clients at over 600 inquests a year, from the routine to the most high profile, including London and Westminster Bridge terrorist attacks and Hillsborough disaster. We have an in-depth understanding of the NHS that enables us to help protect your organisation’s reputation, support your staff and advise you on risks and learning, providing a comprehensive inquest service.

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  • Inquiries and investigations

    We are experts in inquires and investigations: representing clients in many of the most high profile cases; including Jimmy Savile, Grenfell and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. We support you through the process to deliver the best possible outcome.

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  • Litigation

    We have extensive expertise in helping and supporting clients to resolve healthcare disputes, whether they relate to procurements, contracts, reputation, property or construction. Our highly skilled and experienced team work with clients to minimise risk and prevent escalation of disputes if they can be resolved quickly and decisively. We pride ourselves on our value for money service and our ability to settle disputes through negotiation, mediation, adjudication, arbitration or in court.

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  • Mental capacity

    Our renowned experts advise on all issues relating to the interaction between the Mental Capacity Act (MCA), the Mental Health Act (MHA) and deprivation of liberty (DoL). We help commissioners make applications to authorise deprivations of liberty in community and clinical teams with applications to authorise treatment. Our experts have been engaged with Court of Protection working groups and provide training at national conferences on the Liberty Protection Safeguards.

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  • NHS governance

    We advise on the powers and duties of NHS providers and commissioners, including arrangements for delegation and the joint exercise of functions, managing conflicts of interest and the development of governance frameworks for Integrated Care Systems, NHS Groups, Provider Collaboratives and other joint working arrangements.

  • Procurement

    We have unrivalled NHS procurement experience, dealing with a range of matters from discrete advisory input to major outsourcings and joint ventures. We undertake ground-breaking work and acted on the largest procurement ever undertaken by the NHS (for proton beam therapy). We provide guidance/assistance on implementation of national policy and are familiar with the wide-ranging NHS-specific procurement provisions, meaning our advice is always given in context. Our procurement litigators also have an unrivalled track record of resolving procurement disputes favourably where disputes arise, acting in four of the leading cases in this area.

  • Real estate

    Our national, market-leading team specialises in supporting the full spectrum of NHS organisations on estates issues. We deal with high-profile NHS infrastructure projects, including under the Health Infrastructure Plan (HIP). We have extensive experience on advising NHS trusts on all their estates needs including sales and acquisitions, retail developments, staff accommodation, Private Finance Initiative (PFI) issues and estate rationalisation. We also regularly provide strategic advice to national NHS organisations including NHS England and NHS Improvement and CHP.

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  • Public Law and Judicial Review for the NHS

    We act for NHS commissioners and providers as well as professional regulators, advising on their powers and duties and defending challenges to their decisions by way of judicial review claims.

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  • Regulatory

    We have a national reputation as the leading experts on CQC issues and have supported the full range of registered providers in their dealings with the CQC. This work has included pre-inspection support with a view to pro-actively ensuring the best possible inspection outcomes, factual accuracy challenges with a success rate of over 90%, enforcement representations and well-led training. We also frequently support NHS providers on wider regulatory issues such as MHRA, Medicines Act, H&S, HTA and HFEA.

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  • Capsticks Business Solutions: HR Advisory

    Part of Capsticks Business Solutions (CBS)—our specialist non-legal solutions to help clients save money and run more effectively—our HR Advisory service is uniquely placed within the firm’s employment team and supported by around 50 specialist employment lawyers. Our service supports all of your HR needs, including one-off investigations into complex matters such as MHPS or discrimination, managing absence and organisational change. We can provide a high quality service from professionals with vast experience of the NHS. Additionally, our core service is ideal for outsourcing employee relations work, ensuring KPIs are met and clearing any employee relations backlogs that may have built up.

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