At Lupton Fawcett, we have an expert team that helps GP partners and practice managers with the legal and business issues they face, whatever they may be.
Each member of our team has a wealth of experience in helping GP practices, as well as being specialists in their area of law. We provide solutions, not just options.
We aim to make working with Lupton Fawcett a stress-free experience that gets results. We will tell you everything you need to know, in plain English and won’t just simply quote the law to you.
If you would like to speak to our solicitors, call 0114 276 6607 and in the first instance please ask to speak to Joan Pettingill, head of GP business practices
A modern GP practice is an ever-changing and challenging environment. There are many potential legal issues that have traditionally been faced by this sector, such as partnership issues, lease problems, fraud, merger and employment issues.
However, there is now an increasing raft of issues relating to how the government funds GP work and the necessary practice structures and issues that need to be embraced.
We support GP practices including in the areas outlined in the list below. Please click on an area to read more, or scroll down:
- Employment (e.g. staff contracts, redundancies, staff disciplinary and exit issues)
- Business issues (e.g. partnership agreements, merging and federating practices, neighbourhooding, commissioning)
- Regulatory (e.g. CQC, fraud, unlawful killings and investigations into misconduct of healthcare professionals )
- Property (e.g. sales/purchases, leases and lender penalty charges)
- Dispute resolution (e.g. partnership disputes, misuse of practice assets )
- Banking and finance (e.g. loan agreements, securities)
- Tax (e.g. VAT, SDLT and restructuring)
- Building developments (e.g. building contracts, building warranties)
Lupton Fawcett has one of Yorkshire's largest and best-respected employment law teams, providing specialist advice to businesses and organisations from our offices in Leeds, Sheffield and York. We won the 2017 Legal 500 Award for being best regional employment law and HR team not just in Yorkshire and Humber but nationally.
We are able to provide a comprehensive range of employment law services for GP practices, including:
- Contracting and subcontracting staff
- Bullying, harassment and discrimination
- Disciplinary action
- Unfair dismissal
- Withdrawal of contracts
- False allegations
- Ill-health absence
- Mediations and re-negotiations
- Contracts, policies and procedures for nurses, ancillary staff and others
- Complaints, grievances and notice letters
- Suspensions pending enquiries
- Professional representation including MPTS, GMC and NMC
Our recent work includes advising a medic accused of having an inappropriate personal relationship. The allegation was that this resulted in an untrained person being hired into a medical role. We obtained an outcome of no case to answer.
We also act for practices which find themselves in the position of having to exit staff due to professional conduct concerns.
GP practices need to ensure that they have strong and robust contracts in place in order to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, and also to minimise the potential for disputes to arise in the future.
We have a wealth of experience when it comes to preparing and drafting contracts, and we will work with you either to undertake a review of your existing contracts or to implement new contracts that deal with all of the key issues, including:
- Partnership agreements
- Merger, federating and neighbourhooding arrangements
- Contacts with suppliers
- Joint ventures
- Company structures/set-up
- Pharmacy related issues
- NHS contract negotiations
- Other NHS engagement issues
Our recent work includes acting for GP partners who wish to put new partnership agreements in place and amending out of date agreements. We have also acted on a number of GP practice transfers to their PCT.
Ensuring everyday compliance with the required standards of quality and safety is an essential part of a GP Practice's daily operation. Our regulatory team are by your side to provide expert legal advice and representation whenever you need. Unlike other law firms that offer general regulatory services, our specialist team regularly advises the health care sector.
We can advise you on:
- Unlawful killings (accidental killings, homicide, manslaughter)
- Medical malpractice - assault (treatment without consent)
- Indecent assault in clinic or on home visit (allegations of impropriety)
- Health and Safety prosecutions
- Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) challenges
- Professional representation at investigation and disciplinary hearings
We recently acted for a medic that required advice in handling a professional complaint filed against them by a colleague. The successful outcome was that there was no case to answer and the medic was able to continue their unblemished career.
Our team of specialist property lawyers works with a growing portfolio of clients and has a close affinity with the health sector.
Our main areas of support are:
- Property leases
- Property sale and purchase
- Property sale and leaseback (e.g. to a medical property investment company)
- Property disputes
- Landlord/tenant issues
We regularly advise GP practices on property issues. In most cases GP partners own the buildings. We advise on many transfers of buildings between partners when partners join and retire from the practice. We also advise on updating statutory paperwork.
We take a practical, commercial approach to resolving disputes, which sometimes cannot be resolved without external assistance.
We can guide you on:
- Practice partnership dispute resolution
- Dilapidation claims
- All fraud related matters, including misuse of practice assets
- The misappropriation of cash
- The writing of fraudulent cheques on the practice account
- Dishonesty in the practice
- Recovering monies lost from fraud
We acted for a practice where the senior partner became difficult to manage resulting in personality clashes between the doctors. There was no compulsory retirement clause in the partnership deed. We negotiated his departure and the practise avoided proceedings for unlawful expulsion by resolving matters consensually.
Banking and Finance
The GP practices team contains experts in advising on all aspects of the finance of practices and related borrowing and security arrangements.
We can assist you by advising:
- GPs on the negotiation of loan agreements with third-party lenders for:
- equity buy-in/buy-out;
- practice development;
- practice refurbishment;
- cash flow;
- capital expenditure;
- GPs on any associated security and guarantees required by a lender;
- on any loans from the GPs to the practice itself and on any security associated with such loans;
- on deeds of priority which may be required between a practice, the GPs and their secured lender
We regularly advise GP practices on the terms of a range of lending arrangements.
The tax system has become ever more complex in recent years, making professional advice more important than ever.
We have the expertise to help you with:
- VAT, SDLT and capital allowances in relation to property transactions
- Tax issues in connection with practices changing hands/restructuring
- Employment tax advice
We recently provided tax advice on the admission of new GPs as partners to the practice. We were able to give accurate advice that no stamp duty land tax was payable so saving a significant tax liability where previous advisers had been unclear on the issue.
We recognise that being able to offer the highest level of construction law advice is based on many years of industry-specific experience.
Our specialist construction and engineering Team acts for a broad range of clients, including GP practices. We can help you with:
- Building contracts for GP surgeries/pharmacies
- Appointing the design team for surgeries/pharmacies
- Providing warranties to GPs/pharmacists for new and existing builds
- Advising specialist medical property developers
One of the major assets of a practice is the surgery itself and patients have been known to change practice because neighbouring practices have new buildings. We can advise on the full range of construction projects for GPs.
Get in touch
For comprehensive, expert advice on any legal or business issues relating to a GP practice, contact us today. We have offices in Yorkshire; in Sheffield, Leeds and York, and our solicitors are waiting to hear from you. Call 0114 276 6607 and in the first instance please ask to speak to Joan Pettingill, head of GP business practices or complete the online enquiry form at the bottom of the page.
- The thorny issues of Stamp Duty Land Tax
- Fraud at GP Practices
- PMS agreements, employees and restructuring
Get in Touch
With Lupton Fawcett on your side, you're taking control. Contact us today.
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