Our Health Team is led by Chris Gregson, a Partner in the Real Estate Team.

The team regularly advises NHS, GPs and other health related bodies and businesses operating in the healthcare sector.

Using the knowledge and experience gained from working in the NHS sector with its unique funding arrangements and contacts across the region. We have undertaken an extensive range of property based work over many years. This work includes planning issues, construction, employment, general contracts and procurement for a range of bodies and organisations working within the sector. There are a few examples below:

  • Use our knowledge and experience to guide our clients towards more cost effective solutions.

  • Work with our clients to deliver solutions.

  • Help clients to adapt and evolve in the new environment following a period of dramatic organisational change and constraints on public sector spending.

  • Help clients develop new approaches taking advantage of historic knowledge, contacts and experience from within the health sector and the wider public sector.

Relevant Experience
  • South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. We have advised the Trust on its significant property transactions since 2002 and on the majority of its property transactions since 2010. A recent notable transaction has been to facilitate the development of a Studio School on a little used part of the Trust's hospital site. This included a grant for a 5 year lease of some redundant accommodation with development obligations to permit it to be adapted for temporary use as a school, pending the development of a permanent home for a new Studio School. The Studio School has been established on another site within the hospital campus, utilising some redundant buildings and permitting the development of a range of new buildings on a 35 year lease, at a peppercorn rent. Supporting agreements relating to the provision of a curriculum which supports training relevant to a range of requirements at the hospital.
  • Devon Partnership NHS Trust. We have acted for the Trust since it was first created under the 1992 reorganisation. We continue to deal with all property matters for the Trust which manages an extensive portfolio of facilities, both freehold and leasehold. Over the past 5 years we have been involved in the negotiation of a number of leases of premises required by the Trust. Including the renewal of existing leases; the disposal of both freehold and leasehold properties, and a range of other property related matters, including the negotiation and grant of easements to third parties.
  • NHS Property Services. We were appointed to the NHS Property Services Legal Panel in 2014 to advise on a full range of property transactions. 
  • Former Devon Primary Care Trust. Advised the Trust over a number of years on a range of instructions relating to its property portfolio. These included the acquisition and development of new hospitals at Okehampton, Tiverton and Newton Abbot and the disposal of redundant hospital sites at Okehampton and Newton Abbot. Also dealt with the disposal of a historic former hospital site in central Exeter for redevelopment, including overage obligations and arrangements for the Trust to remain in occupation after completion for an agreed period on a leaseback arrangement. Subsequently dealing with difficulties arising from the much depressed property development market following the 2008 recession which called on practical advice from both our property litigation and insolvency teams to achieve successful outcomes for these disposals in a very difficult economic climate.
  • We act for a wide range of GP practices across the region. This includes work ranging from partnership issues on the appointment of new partners and on retirement, together with secured funding issues relevant to that, property issues including a number of complete redevelopment projects. Examples include:
    • Acting for a GP practice in connection with the acquisition of a site on a health campus and its onward sale to Medicx on the basis that they will develop the site and lease it back to the client GP practice. The development is currently nearing completion.
    • Advised two GP partnerships on amendments to a construction contract, consultants' appointment agreements, sub-contract documents, collateral warranties and a performance bond for the construction of a new medical surgery in Wellington, Taunton. Liaising with client, funder's solicitors, project manager and solicitors for a national supermarket chain (who purchased the GP's former surgery site) to achieve synchronisation and to meet a fixed unconditional deadline date imposed under the sale agreement.
  • Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. Construction issues: acted on a major professional negligence action against engineers arising from process plant that failed to meet the emission requirements of the Environmental Protection Act. This resulted in a substantial settlement at mediation. Ashfords also acted for them on various construction final account disputes; and as sole employment law provider. Advising on various complex TUPE issues arising out of the acquisition of a business in the private sector where the terms and conditions of employment, and the identity of the transferring employees, was not clear.
  • Extensive experience advising a number of NHS Trusts in relation to the procurement of a range of goods and services. The development of appropriate documentation and providing support for the negotiation of the supplier solutions.

Key Contact

Chris Gregson


[javascript protected email address]
+44 (0)1392 333843

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