Freshfields wins key role on controversial £1.6bn NHS-DHL outsourcing deal

Freshfields has bagged the lead role on to the NHS’ £1.6bn outsourcing deal with DHL, after winning the work in a beauty parade.

Freshfields project finance partner Geoffrey Rubinoff led the team advising the NHS, with outsourcing specialist Richard Lister managing the relationship.

Rubinoff said that the firm would continue to look at opportunities in the outsourcing market.

Close ties with Bleddyn Reece, legal director of the NHS’s commercial directorate, helped win Freshfields the lead role on the deal.

The 10-year contract makes DHL responsible for the purchase and delivery of £22bn worth of medical supplies.

DHL handled most of the work in-house, using Eversheds for competition advice and Brabners Chaffe Street for property matters. Chris Bryant, head of the legal department at DHL, led the team.

The deal has come under attack from unions claiming that the NHS is being privatised by stealth.