Legal support for general practitioners

Contact our GP advice line

Dial 020 7839 0278 and ask for the GP advice line.

Our team of experts can offer GPs and their team members up to ten minutes of free preliminary legal advice.

A dedicated national team of lawyers providing expert advice for GPs at the point of need

We have a substantial team of specialist solicitors providing expert advice to general practitioners on a day to day basis. We act for thousands of GPs and around 350 practices. We can help you exploit the new opportunities available to general practitioners in the changing healthcare system, as well as offering practical solutions to assist in resolving the day to day problems that arise in a busy practice.

How can we help?

If you are a GP or practice manager and need legal advice on any aspect of your business, contact our team today.

Alliances, provider organisations, joint ventures, primary care networks & closer working

Our specialist team members have between them assisted with the formation of over 100 provider organisations, alliances, primary care networks (PCN) and other joint ventures. We have extensive experience of working with GP practices and primary care networks to assist in the development of organisational models, internal governance arrangements, employment arrangements, the role of clinical director and arrangements with other providers. We also advise on the different options for joint working and associated issues such as data sharing, IT and intellectual property issues, NHS pensions employing authority status, NHS contracting, tendering for contracts, regulatory compliance (including CQC requirements), competition issues, sharing and secondment of staff and premises arrangements. We also advise on participation in accountable care organisations and other new models of care. 

GP partnership agreements

A partnership agreement is essential for ensuring the stability and effective governance of a partnership practice. A well drafted agreement can help to reduce the risk of disputes arising in the first place and be a tool to help resolve disputes. Based on our knowledge of the sector and our experience of working with hundreds of practices, we can prepare for you a partnership agreement which is tailored to the specific requirements and challenges of general practice. We can also prepare deeds of adherence to ensure that new partners are bound by the practice agreement, deeds of variation to deal with agreed changes to the agreement and deeds of retirement for outgoing partners.

Practice mergers, acquisitions and incorporations

We can guide you through each step of the practice merger process, including providing advice on the different structural models for practices (including limited companies and super partnerships), due diligence, preservation of NHS contracts, dealing with CQC requirements, negotiation of merger terms, transfer of assets and dealing with associated employment and property issues.

Succession arrangements for retiring partners/principals and 24 hour retirement

We can advise sole practitioners and smaller partnerships who are planning for the future of their practice, whether that is through a merger with another practice, the admission of new partners to continue the practice or winding up the practice. We can also assist with arrangements for practitioners wishing to retire temporarily in order to trigger their NHS pension benefits.

Employment law for general practitioners

We advise on the full range of employment issues, including employment contracts and the application and implications of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations on the incorporation, acquisition or merger of practices and formation of joint ventures. We can also advise on secondment arrangements and disciplinary and dismissal procedures, including redundancy.

Real estate law: Property ownership, leases, transfers and developments

We have a dedicated real estate team who assist with the acquisition and disposal of freehold and leasehold property, surgery construction, development and refurbishment (including arrangements with third party developers), sales and leasebacks and transfers of property interests between partners. We also advise on NHS premises costs reimbursement and prepare declarations of trust to document the arrangements governing jointly owned premises where these arrangements are not dealt with in the practice’s partnership agreement. We can also prepare surgery leases and advise on the terms of leases held by or being entered into by a practice.

NHS contracts and regulations

We advise practitioners on NHS contracts (including both primary care contracts and the NHS Standard Contract) and associated regulations and directions. We also advise on issues arising from the Performers List Regulations.

GMC investigations

As specialists in the field, our regulatory and crime team has years of experience of defending doctors facing fitness to practise investigations by the GMC. Whether you have been asked to submit a written response to a complaint, or have been summoned to a hearing before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), our team of GMC defence lawyers for doctors has the expertise to help you through what can be a daunting process.

Criminal law issues

Our criminal defence solicitors have expertise in several areas of criminal law as they relate to GPs. We defend practitioners charged with serious criminal offences, leading to trials in the Crown Court and Magistrates’ Court. Our experience is at all levels of the criminal process, from attending an initial interview with the police through charge, Magistrates Court and Crown Court preliminary hearings and ultimately to trial. Our experienced criminal defence solicitors also have experience in the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Clinical negligence claims

Our team, which includes dual qualified clinicians/lawyers who bring particular insight and understanding to the management of such claims, provides advice to doctors and other healthcare practitioners on the defence of clinical negligence claims and, where appropriate, when to seek early resolution.


Hempsons lawyers regularly appear at inquests across the country. Margaret Taylor and Adam Smith sit as Assistant Coroners, reflecting our expertise in the field. We assist GPs, dentists and many other healthcare professionals in preparing for inquests, and provide advice and support to those who are asked to submit a report to the Coroner, called to give evidence as a witness, or are otherwise involved as an “Interested Person”.

GPs as commissioners

We have an in-depth understanding of the commissioning of NHS services. We advise commissioners on commercial, governance, employment and estates issues, including the roles of general practitioners within integrated care systems. This includes advising on statutory issues, conflicts of interest, and the procurement of services, in particular the mitigation of risk.

Commercial contracts and procedures

All commercial contracts carry a degree of risk, irrespective of their contractual value and term. We can draft, review and negotiate commercial contracts on your behalf, as well as provide succinct and practical advice on the correct contractual mechanism to follow, thus minimising contractual risk to your practice.


Unfortunately, disputes can and do sometimes arise between partners and the effects can be devastating for a practice and the individuals concerned. Our team is experienced in handling complex and sensitive disputes, the aim always being to reach a satisfactory resolution without recourse to formal proceedings. Where this is not possible, our team of specialist litigators can assist with arbitration and court processes. We also advise on disputes between practitioners or practices and third parties, such as landlords or subcontractors.

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    • Chambers UK 2023
      “Justin was fantastic in supporting us and very knowledgeable.”
    • Legal 500 2022
      “Lisa Davison has excellent knowledge and experience of primary care property acquisitions and disposals.”
    • Legal 500 2022
      “The “pragmatic yet brilliant” Ross Clark and “first rate” Justin Cumberlege head the practice.”
    • Legal 500 2022
      “Healthcare sector specific – in depth knowledge with one stop range of expertise and specialisms.”
    • Legal 500 2022
      “The team at Hempsons essentially did “what it said on the tin”! They communicated well throughout the team so I could speak to anyone any time rather than waiting for a particular person to be in. I was introduced to the team properly. Billing was clear, fair and done regularly. The advice I received was sensible, measured and calming. When we needed to collaborate with other legal firms who also represented me, Hempsons were inclusive and proactive, definitely “going the extra mile”.”
    • Legal 500 2022
      “Expert knowledge and experience in Primary Care including GP practices and Dental practices.”
    • Legal 500 2022
      “Hempsons industry specific knowledge of the healthcare sector is impossible to match. Their ability to unpick and offer comprehensive, pragmatic advice and solutions in the generally opaque area of Primary Care Networks sets them head and shoulders above other firms.”
    • Chambers UK 2023
      “They have fantastic knowledge and an ability to look outside the box. One of the most empowering feelings is knowing that Hempsons will buy into your vision and support you to achieve it.”
    • Chambers UK 2023
      “Hempsons has a market-leading team experienced in all aspects of healthcare partnership law.”
    • Chambers UK 2023
      “I was very impressed with the service we received from Hempsons - they were always available and willing to help.”
    • Chambers UK 2023
      “The team provides high-quality and timely service and has excellent understanding of this sector.”
    • Chambers UK 2023
      “The lawyers explained all the issues clearly, understood our needs and were responsive to our queries.”
    • Chambers UK 2023
      “Their knowledge is second to none and is combined with the ability to explain complex matters to clients with limited legal knowledge.”
    • Chambers UK 2015
      “They are at the top of the tree. There’s nothing in the medical partnership world they don’t know about.”
    • Chambers UK 2023
      “I was very impressed with the knowledge, level of care and support I received from Ross.”
    • Chambers UK 2023
      “Ross has an amazing knowledge of primary care, both strategically and in terms of what it's like on the ground.”
    • Chambers UK 2023
      “Ross consistently provides a professional and timely service demonstrating real depth of sector knowledge.”
    • Chambers UK 2023
      “He is extremely supportive and very collaborative.”
    • Legal 500 2022
      “Ross Clark. Extremely engaging, knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with. Really respectful and thoroughly decent. He has a good team around him who work very well – from my side he’s developed a good culture and leads a happy and very hard-working team. He has a happy knack of being able to distil and simplify very complex issues within healthcare.’”
    • Legal 500 2022
      “Ross Clark has “deep personal knowledge and expertise” in medical partnerships and dispute work”