What does it mean to work in the Healthcare team?

17 May, 2018
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

This week the trainee solicitor blog team caught up with Heather McLoughlin, currently in her final seat with the Healthcare team.

What does a Healthcare lawyer do?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word ‘healthcare’ as “the organised provision of medical care to individuals or a community”.  However, healthcare lawyers certainly aren’t providing medical care to patients, rather they advise companies on transactions affecting their activities such as internal operations, acquisitions and disposals of businesses/assets and arranging financing to facilitate such activities.  At Cripps Pemberton Greenish, healthcare lawyers, like their corporate colleagues, are essentially transactional lawyers.  The only real difference is that healthcare deals require an extra layer of specialist knowledge.  For example, when acting on a pharmacy purchase, a warranty that the business has a NHS Contract and is included on the Pharmaceutical List will be included in the share purchase agreement.

As corporate transactional lawyers, healthcare specialists will draft and negotiate share/business purchase agreements and ancillary documents, carry out due diligence, review financing agreements, facilitate completion of the transaction and finalise post-completion registrations.  The wider team also deals with particular real estate issues relevant to those businesses.  A healthcare lawyer will ensure that their client’s interests are adequately protected in the purchase agreement and will verify the accuracy of the information provided in due diligence in order to confirm their client is contractually entering the deal on the terms agreed.  As a trainee, I have been able to get involved in all stages of a corporate transaction.  My main responsibilities have been carrying out due diligence, drafting the disclosure letter and managing the data room; however, I have also been given the opportunity to do the first draft of a share purchase agreement (the main document in a transaction).

Strategic sector focus

Healthcare is just one of the industry sectors Cripps Pemberton Greenish’s corporate division focuses on; other sectors include advertising technology & media, food and drink, renewable energy and real estate (see https://www.crippspg.co.uk/sectors/ for additional sectors).  A sector-focused, rather than practice-centric approach means that lawyers at Cripps Pemberton Greenish have a deep understanding of their clients’ requirements and can provide industry specific advice.  Clients seek lawyers who understand their businesses and the challenges they face and demand pragmatic advice that includes both legal and commercial considerations. 

The sector-focused approach has helped me develop my commercial awareness throughout my training contract by giving me the opportunity to build a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges faced by particular sectors.  Although I have changed seats regularly, I have been able to work within the same sector in different practice areas.  For example, I previously drafted a commercial lease for a healthcare client in my commercial property seat and assessed a dispute for another healthcare client in my property litigation seat.  Having premises to provide services is paramount to a healthcare business and understanding this has been useful when considering company acquisitions and disposals.

A sector approach also means that work is cross-referred to different teams.  This is a great opportunity for trainees to get to know people within the firm and gain insight into their expertise.  In 2017, Cripps Pemberton Greenish acted on 80 healthcare transactions and secured lending instructions with a combined value of £840m.

Have questions?  Feel free to get in touch by email: heather.mcloughlin@crippspg.co.uk