Bevan Brittan is a law firm dedicated to clients that deliver public services by the public, private and third sectors.
Its legacy is in the public service. It first began working for the NHS in 1948, when the NHS was established and in communities and local government work, and now it’s carried this expertise in to the private realm.
A long term strategy of the firm has been to advertise on the public/private interface. It’s an expertise built up as a result of focusing on the public services market, and as its reputation in that sector has grown, so it’s been able attract big private sector organisations as well as third sector organisations.
John Laing is a company providing support services to the public sector, particularly local authorities and he health sector.
What we need from our legal partner is somebody who not just knows what our requirements are on the private sector side, but, knows the clients, actually knows where the public sector is coming from.
It shortcuts the negotiation process. Bevan Brittan acts for about 40% of health trusts in the UK. One of its clients is ‘The Royal Free’ Hospital in London. Knowledge of both private and public sectors helps Bevan Brittan in the work it does for the hospital.
‘The Royal Free’ Hospital Trust has a private practice unit, so it’s a delicate balance when you have NHS nurses servicing a private practice unit, and medical practitioners who are insured privately. It can actually be quite complex legally, and thankfully Bevan’s has the expertise to be able to advise on both sectors.
This skill set is particularly in evidence when it comes to communicating with hospital staff.
I require a lawyer who can talk the executive speech, and advise executives accordingly, but i also require them to be able to hand hold vulnerable clinicians who have made a mistake and need to stand up in public court, and effectively admit to that mistake and say sorry, and that is obviously very traumatic. So, in these situations i need less legal talk and more one-to-one support really, and the Bevan’s team is able to provide both.
Bevan Brittan’s background in the public sector is a key reason why it’s won contracts with over 30% of local authorities. One of Bevan Brittan’s clients is the local government’s ombudsman, a body that which deals with complaints against local authorities and provides redress if they find fault.
We were wanting someone to give us an assurance, and it was immediately apparent when we met with the partners of Bevan Brittan that we would have that assurance. We knew that some of the partners had a very strong background in local government and that was very helpful to us, as well as partners having the commercial background.
For any one client, Bevan Brittan can be asked to provide expertise in a number of domains – litigation, contract law, medical law, construction, projects, property and employment law. This versatility has helped it win important contracts.
When I came to the ‘Royal Free’ two and a half years ago, we were actually using various firms to manage all sorts of different work. Now, Bevan Brittan handles all of our work which I think speaks volumes about the service they are able to give us. So HR, Commercial, Property, and Medical law, so in these ever-changing times for the NHS, I really do need a one-stop shop. Being able to consolidate all of the legal work in to one firm has actually resulted in a reduction in legal sped over the last twelve months.
I don’t think that any issue that has arisen outside litigation has been something where they haven’t got expertise to deal with it. We’ve been very impressed with their service, but particularly, with HR issues. HR issues that crop up sometimes need to be dealt with almost within the hour.
It’s very much more a partnership than a supplier relationship. We spend a lot of time with Bevan Brittan discussing where the market is going and whether we can work together to actually need to put on some presentations or meet with prospective clients to see not if we can actually obtain work for ourselves, but if we can facilitate the progression.
There are obviously many firms that offer health law and public sector advice, but those that I have been exposed to, the service hasn’t been to the level that I’ve come to expect from Bevan Brittan.
If issues arise in the course of receiving advice on work being undertaken, we find the service from Bevan Brittan absolutely outstanding in terms of dealing with those issues to make the service better than it might have been.
Legal services, court services are quite expensive so what we require effectively is the optimum support given to us at the right time, and we found that Bevan Brittan are very good at that, they actually get to know us, and also our strengths of our team, so they know what we can do by ourselves, and when to step in and give us that additional support.
The nature of NHS work is often an emergency situation or we need to issue proceedings in court within twelve hours. There are patients in bees and decisions need to be made, and I need quick service. I need thorough service. I need somebody at the end of the phone ready to run up to court for me if I need it.
Bevan Brittan is one of the UK’s market leaders in the combined fields of health and local government, and with over one hundred large private sector organisations as clients, not to mention a growing portfolio among third sectors, whose reputation as a public service law firm is second to none.