dispute resolution

General Practitioners & Primary Care Networks

GP dispute resolution

However well run your practice, it’s almost inevitable that at some point you will find yourself involved in a dispute. How you respond at the outset has a fundamental impact on the eventual outcome of a dispute, so we recommend you contact us without delay. The correct advice given early on could save you significant stress and costs in the long term.

Please remember that there is a fundamental difference between the role of a solicitor and that of other forms of advisor/mediator in dispute resolution. A solicitor will always act in YOUR best interests to help you achieve your desired outcome, and correspondence with your solicitor will be subject to legal privilege and stay permanently confidential. Other advisers may not be putting YOUR interests first, and correspondence with non-solicitors is always at risk of becoming public through Freedom of Information or Legal Disclosure processes. Such correspondence could then even be used against you.

We have an experienced dispute resolution team who will review your circumstances and provide a strategy based on options and recommendations. If we don’t think you will be able to achieve the outcome you want, we will say so. It is not usually in your best interests to enter into full blown litigation and where possible, we work with all parties to reach a settlement outside of the courts.

We will fight your corner vigorously and often find that our unique understanding of the NHS, along with our extensive network of experts (such as primary care surveyors and accountants), puts our clients at an advantage.

In addition to our reputation for resolving partnership disputes quickly and before they become litigious, we also have an enviable track record in the Employment Tribunal, in arbitration and at Court hearings and with NHS Resolution.

These are some of the disputes we have recently advised GP practices on:

  • partnership disputes: we seek to ensure disputes are settled in a way which protects you, your business, and patient care
  • contractual disputes: GMS/PMS contract termination; challenging lost tenders; disputes between PCN members; disputes with third party ARRS suppliers
  • disputes with the CQC: appealing against potentially misleading inspection reports and enforcement actions
  • employment disputes: unfair & constructive dismissal; discrimination claims by employees and partners; bullying & harassment advice
  • premises disputes: service charges; valuations; obligations to buy/sell; beneficial ownership; issues related to partnership assets; matters affecting rent reimbursement & notional rent


  • The partners are is in dispute and there’s no partnership deed in place
  • Despite everyone’s best intentions to keep their partnership deed up to date, this is a situation we frequently encounter.  It is certainly not ideal as a well drafted partnership deed will anticipate and set out an agreed framework for resolving the most common causes of a dispute, and thereby make the process much smoother. A partnership with no deed is known as a ‘Partnership at Will’, and can be dissolved by any partner at any time. Dissolution is particularly problematic because it can have the effect of putting the GMS/PMS contract at serious risk.

    In our experience, the legal position with the deed is often not as clear cut as first believed. Agreements can be deemed by a course of conduct, and there are often other matters to be considered such as overriding obligations of good faith. If you are not 100% sure about the validity of a partnership deed, you should always take legal advice as early as possible. Following the correct process is always critical to successful dispute resolution, and without a deed the process will inevitably be uncertain.

  • Disputed NHSPS service charges – what to do now?
  • The saga with NHS Property Services disputed service charges continues to rumble on with no end in sight. There is no ‘NHS exemption’ to paying service charges and we recommend that you engage with NHSPS if you haven’t already done so. The underlying problem is that every property is different and what you owe depends on the terms of your occupation. When these terms have not been written down, they must be inferred. Where service charges are payable, these must be reasonably incurred by the landlord. In our experience disputed NHSPS service charges can usually be negotiated, with large discounts achievable if you understand the strengths of your negotiating position.

    You can read more here

  • How to challenge an adverse CQC report?
  • CQC will send you their draft report and you have 10 working days to review it, submit your comments and challenge its findings.

    Once the report has been published, you have 5 working days to tell CQC of your intention to ask for a review of the rating if you feel that the inspectors did not follow the correct process and procedures.

    A rapid, well drafted challenge is essential and we have written a blog on how to improve your chances of a successful challenge

Dispute resolution

Key Contacts

Beth Lyon

Beth Lyon


Daphne Robertson

Daphne Robertson

Senior Partner

Nils Christiansen

Nils Christiansen

Managing Partner