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Browne Jacobson advises on major North West NHS university hospital trusts merger

27 August 2019

National law firm Browne Jacobson has successfully acted as legal advisers on the merger clearance of Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust.

On 22 August the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its clearance decision that will allow the trusts to proceed with the merger process, which will result in the formation of one of the North of England’s biggest university hospital trusts.

The Browne Jacobson team was led by commercial health partner Christian Dingwall and associate lawyer Rebecca Hainsworth who worked closely with KPMG. The CMA concluded that the merger would not result in a loss of competition.

Browne Jacobson is the leading law firm for NHS mergers and acquisitions. Its lawyers have acted on nearly all NHS M&A transactions over the last five years.

Christian Dingwall, health and social care partner in the firm’s Manchester office said:

“Our health team has worked very closely with our client over the last few months to support them in achieving this fantastic result.

“This decision follows the trend in the CMA clearing NHS hospital mergers at Phase 1 where trusts are able to demonstrate patient benefits. In this case the CMA found that the merger of would not result in a substantial lessening of competition. This potentially clears the way for other Trusts looking to merge without needing to go through a lengthy CMA review process.

“Both trusts demonstrated a clear synergy in their commitment to putting their local patients at the forefront of what they do and have a clear united objective to provide the highest quality of care to their patients and we are confident that today’s CMA decision will be the best outcome for both the patients and the staff at the proposed Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.”

Steve Warburton, Chief Executive at Aintree University Hospital and lead of the new merged organisation, added:

“I am delighted that the CMA has approved our proposal. By merging, we can work collaboratively to improve quality and consistency of care for our patients and to attract and retain the best staff. This is great news for our staff and our patients.”

Sue Musson, Chair of the Interim Board of the proposed Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“This is an exciting step towards completing the merger of our organisations, which I believe will help us tackle the health issues that are prevalent within our area, provide consistently high quality care and make Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust the best place to work for all our staff."

Browne Jacobson will continue to provide legal support to the trusts on their transaction, which will now be reviewed by NHS Improvement and is expected to complete in October 2019.

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