We are instructed by this sophisticated client (which was created as part of a "spin-out" from the local NHS Primary Care Trust) on a wide range of commercial matters.

Matters include:

  • Advising on the extent to which PCH is a "body governed by public law" for the purposes of public procurement law. This was an important issue for the client because the burden of complying with procurement law was relatively disproportionate to the services required, but the financial, operational and reputational risks of non-compliance could not be ignored. Our input entailed detailed consideration of the extent of PCH's "commercial character" (which is complicated by its status as a Community Interest Company) and the sources of its funding. Our advice included production of materials designed to enable the client to make an initial assessment of the likely relevance of public procurement law for itself, without recourse to external legal advisers.
  • Advising on interpretations of key operational provisions on PCH's main services contract with the NHS Commissioners. Our input involved both interpretation of the complex legal documents and more strategic advice aimed at helping PCH to engage effectively with its various main stakeholders.
  • Advising on the state aid law relating to Services of General Economic Interest and its application to PCH. This was critical to the client because limits on the amount of public funds it could legitimately receive would have had a very material impact on PCH's financial viability. Our advice enabled the client to more confidently predict what its future income would be. 

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