Competition law

Healthcare competition law experts

There are a number of strands to UK healthcare competition law as it applies to the NHS, many based on EU law, but others introduced through national and NHS-specific legislation. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 effectively sealed the application of NHS competition law. It sets out the role of Monitor, as the sector’s economic regulator with competition law powers, and the role of the Competition and Markets Authority (assisted by Monitor) in reviewing NHS transactions which are caught by UK merger control. It also introduces a framework for commissioners, founded on procurement and competition law principles.

We advise on the full range of NHS and healthcare competition law issues relevant to our public sector, third sector and private sector clients.

Our healthcare competition law services

  • Merger control: We advise the public and private sector on the application of UK merger control to all types of merger and acquisition activity such as mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and collaborations.
  • Behavioural competition: We advise the public and private sector on agreements and practices under the UK competition regime.
  • Competition compliance: We advise NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts on how they can achieve compliance with competition law and the competition obligations in the Provider Licence including top-down compliance programmes.
  • Commissioner procurement: We advise commissioners and providers on the competition and procurement aspects of the s.75 Regulations including regulatory investigations by Monitor. We also advise on procurement law in the round.
  • State aid: We advise public bodies and recipients of State aid on the EU State aid rules.

Key services and issues

  • Merger control analysis and process
  • Collaboration and partnering arrangements
  • Reviewing commercial agreements and conduct
  • Regulatory investigations by the CMA or Monitor
  • Commissioning under the s.75 Regulations
  • Competition compliance toolkit.

Our work

  • Advising a regional collaboration of NHS Trusts and FTs on competition law issues arising from strategic clinical/non-clinical proposals
  • Giving advice to a leading FT on the concept of hospital chains and associated competition law analysis
  • Advising NHS England on Monitor’s investigation into the commissioning of specialist cancer surgery  in Greater Manchester.
  • Providing advise to an FT on procurement and merger control issues relating to NHS mental health services
  • Advising the TDA on merger control process in relation to FT transactions
  • Delivering competition compliance programmes to a number of leading acute providers
  • Advising an FT on restrictive covenants (non-compete clauses) with the private sector
  • Giving advise to a CIC on national funding and State aid issues
  • Advising an FT on the development of its private patient radiotherapy services

Read more about our Competition Law services

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