Commercial, Procurement & Property Team
Who We Are
The commercial law team in DLS is made up of a highly experienced group of solicitors supported by legal admin staff who provide specialist legal advice to the Health and Social Care sector in Northern Ireland across an extensive range of areas and projects, supporting our clients to deliver and develop services required within the complex and dynamic health and social care environment.
We continue to meet the challenges to our clients’ business arising from the rapidly changing field of commercial/property law and the commercial market. Our objective is to provide practical and forward-looking solutions and advice.
What We Do
The team advises all HSCNI clients in relation to the procurement of goods and services, the procurement of social care services (including domiciliary care), various contractual issues and related data protection issues, as well as property matters (sales, purchases, leases and licences). The team provides specialist legal advice to various regional IT programmes such as Encompass, Equip, BPaT, NIPACS+, LIMS, NIDIS, etc. In addition to the non-contentious work, the team provides advice and representation on contentious matters which are invariably litigated in the Commercial Hub in the King’s Bench Division of the High Court. The team advises HSCNI clients on matters which are critical to patient safety and the delivery of health and social care services to the population of Northern Ireland. In terms of property law expertise, the team provides advice regarding HSC facilities such as the new Health & Wellbeing Centres. This team also provides advice to all HSCNI clients in relation to governing legislation including the roles and statutory functions of our clients.
Areas of advice
Drafting contracts and advising on issues arising out of the delivery/management of the contracts across all goods and services required by the sector including:
- Information Technology contracts, software licensing and supply and maintenance contracts
- Construction contracts including non-contentious contract drafting/advice and contentious matters including Adjudications
- Research and Development including clinical trials
- Pharmaceutical contracts, Rebate schemes and Price Parity Schemes
- Residential and Nursing Homes/ Domiciliary care/Supported living
- Community and voluntary sector contracts
- Confidentiality requirements
- Representing our clients in contentious matters including ADR.
- Advice on data protection legislation, including the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018, guidance and policy within the commercial environment; Advice on the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and requests for information within commercially sensitive and confidential environments.
- Advisory role in relation to matters pertaining to legislation/regulations including the roles and statutory functions of our clients, and regulated services and governance issues
- Advising clients in respect of compliance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and compliance with NI public procurement policy.
- Representing our clients in procurement challenges. Working closely with our clients on the development, design and drafting of tender documents and the associated contracts.
- Providing expert advice and support in complex negotiated procedures for extremely high value complex and critical procurements.
- Advice and representation in property related matters to include the sale and purchase of lands, options, leases, licences, wayleaves, boundary issues and any other land related issues.
- Advice on capital projects and involvement in the planning of Business Cases for large developments such as Primary Care Centres, Children’s Homes, IT hubs, and research facilities, working with solicitors for private developers as well as representatives for GP Practices and Pharmacies to provide specialised and bespoke health and social care services for local communities in Northern Ireland.
- Work closely with the legal advisers for other Government Departments as well as Land and Property Services, Commercial Agents and other solicitors to draft and negotiate documentation for the many and varied property projects which our HSC clients require.
The commercial/private sector plays an integral role in the delivery of health and social care services; therefore, the integration of this sector within contracting and projects is fundamental to the delivery of services to the population in Northern Ireland. In addition, our clients have agreements with other public entities within HSCNI and the wider NHS sphere, including with the Republic of Ireland and the NHS in GB, as well as across the public sector generally.