The instruction follows a competitive tender process to advise on conduct case presentation work in the GMC’s hearing centre in Manchester.
The Birmingham office beat off competition from 15 firms, including Beachcroft Wansbroughs, Eversheds and the GMC’s main adviser Field Fisher Waterhouse, to win the contract.
From the beginning of April, a team of three partners will be responsible for investigating allegations against the conduct of doctors. It will be their responsibility to gather the information and then present the case at the hearing.
Mills & Reeve partner Kate Levy, who led the team, said that winning the work was a significant success given the GMC’s importance within the healthcare sector.
“The appointment stands us in good stead in the long term, when other bodies are likely to set up similar arrangements”
Kate Levy, Mills & Reeve
“We’re delighted to have been selected to work with such a high-profile body,” she said. “We hope to get more work in the future, but the appointment also stands us in good stead in the long term, when other professional bodies are likely to set up similar arrangements.”
Levy advises a number of NHS trusts in the Midlands, London and the South Coast on disciplinary medical work. One of her biggest clients is North Staffordshire NHS Trust.
Hempsons and Radcliffes tend to advise the doctors.
Independent law firm FirstLaw managed the tender process.
It was initially instructed in November, when 15 firms were given two weeks to prepare their legal tenders. Seven firms were shortlisted and then interviewed in January.
FirstLaw chief executive Anthony Armitage said that all of the firms had to submit their tenders electronically via the firm’s online database system.
“This ensured that presentation was uniform and allowed the GMC to compare submissions easily and fairly,” said Armitage. “Glossy brochures, which are often used by the larger firms with big marketing budgets, were not allowed, and paperwork was cut to the minimum.
“We were impressed with all aspects of Mills & Reeve’s submission. We adopted a detailed marking system and it scored highly overall.”
The GMC is a statutory body whose function it is to protect patients and guide doctors.