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As a health or social care provider, you need a law firm that understands all the pressures you face. That means a firm that provides expert legal advice and imaginative solutions based on an in-depth knowledge of your sector. It also means a firm that recognises how your business operates and knows what commercial considerations you face.

Read our latest information on CQC’s new Single Assessment Framework here:

CQC’s New Single Assessment Framework – What Care Providers Need to Know.

How can our healthcare solicitors help?

We have been working in healthcare law for over 30 years and it’s one of our leading areas of expertise.

We regularly act for health and social care providers in England and Wales in relation to a variety of matters, including:

Regulatory advice

Whether you wish to start a new service or develop or change an existing one or simply need advice on achieving compliance, we are here to help.

We can support and advise you with sales and purchases, including specialist regulatory due diligence, including registration requirements in respect of CQC, CIW, HIW or Ofsted.

Learn more about regulatory advice & registering the right support.

Regulatory due diligence

We are the leading provider of regulatory due diligence in the healthcare and social care sectors.

Whether you are buying, selling, or investing in a care business; it is important to be aware of regulatory risks.

Find out more about our regulatory due diligence work.

Challenging inspection reports

As a care provider, inspections by your regulator can be a daunting and stressful experience. The inspection report that follows can have significant implications for your business.

We can help you in challenging the content of the inspection report and rating by CQC, CSSIW or Ofsted.

Find out more about challenging inspection reports.

Defending regulatory enforcement action

We can advise you on all aspects of the law in this area, from registration through to enforcement and we specialise in dealing with conflict with regulatory bodies. We’re also experienced in negotiating and have extensive experience of represented providers in defending enforcement action through appeals before the First-Tier Tribunal. We have handled many serious cases through the Tribunal process, as well as emergency cancellation of registration proceedings before a magistrate.

Learn more about defending enforcement action.

Coroner’s inquests

If your care service is unfortunately involved in a death that will be referred to a Coroner, we can provide you with an experienced healthcare legal team that understands the procedures, appreciates the sensitivity of the situation and recognises how to protect your service from potential criticism.

See how we can help with Coroner’s Inquests.

Criminal investigations/prosecutions (including interviews under caution)

If you find yourself facing an investigation, it is crucial to seek specialist legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

We have a wealth of experience of police investigations, criminal law and both the Magistrates and Crown Courts. See more about criminal investigations & prosecutions.

Safeguarding investigations

Safeguarding investigations involving vulnerable adults or children can cause a number of difficulties for care providers. Not only are they the cause of a lot of stress, but they can also result in significant financial loss if the local safeguarding authority imposes an embargo on admissions.

You should always seek early advice – see how our solicitors can help with safeguarding investigations.

Court of Protection

The Court of Protection deals with cases involving vulnerable adults who may have lost the mental capacity required to make certain decisions about their finances, health or welfare.  For example, because they might have suffered a brain injury, have a learning disability or advanced dementia.

As a health and social care provider, you may find yourself involved in a dispute over where a service user should live or what treatment they should receive.

Our health and social care solicitors can provide you with advice and representation to help protect your interests.

Buying, selling or developing a care home or assisted living facility

There is a wealth of potential pitfalls with buying or selling a care home or supported living facility. Specialist legal advice can help you find and solve the problems and protect your business.

If you’re buying a facility we can help you identify any regulatory issues that might affect the value of the business. If you’re selling we can identify the issues that might be of concern to purchasers and help you manage them or explain them in a way that will offer reassurance.

Find out more about our real estate services.

Employment problems

As a healthcare provider, you rely on your staff to deliver good quality care so staying up to date with employment law and the way you have to treat your staff is vital for your business.

However, apart from protecting your most valuable asset, there are other reasons to look after your staff. Regulatory care issues and findings of poor or non-compliant care often have their roots in discontented staff or staffing issues that have not been properly managed, making it even more important to stay ahead of any changes.

Our employment lawyers have a unique level of experience in the care sector and also understand the legal requirements on care providers which are subject to scrutiny by CQC. We provide pragmatic legal advice focused on making sure your policies and procedures comply with the regulations and protecting your service from other problems further down the line.

Our team deals with all areas of employment law including;

  • Creating employment contracts
  • Creating or updating staff handbooks, policies and procedures
  • Advising on staff absences and allowable time off
  • Disciplinary processes and dismissals
  • Advising on HMRC rules, including payment for sleep-in staff and working time

We can also use our experience to advise you on organisational restructures and achieving the most from your workforce.

Learn more about our Employment & HR services.

We are receiving a large number of queries and concerns over the mandatory vaccination requirements for care homes being introduced by the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 (‘the Regulations’). There is understandably a great deal of uncertainty about the measures that providers will need to put in place to comply with the Regulations, and there is not long to do so before the 11 November 2021 deadline.

To assist providers in preparing for the Regulations, we have prepared two toolkits of template letters and guidance, which will be available for a fixed fee. Click here to find out more.

Care home contracts & contractual disputes

Having a well-drafted contract that protects the rights of all the parties involved has always been important. In today’s climate, it’s more important than ever.

Resident contracts

Clear and enforceable service user contracts are vital for the success of your business, so it is important to make sure they cover what you need and provide you with the contractual right to take the action you might need to take. However, they also need to be fair.

This is particularly important in light of the recent investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into unfair terms in care home contracts. Following its investigation, the CMA has published guidance on unfair terms in care home contracts. The CMA has also taken action against some care home groups in respect of unfair terms in their contracts.

Our knowledge of your sector enables us to draft contracts that meet your needs.

Local authority contracts

When you are negotiating contracts with social services, we can give you the confidence that all the necessary issues have been considered.

We can also help you manage the situation when things go wrong and your business is affected. For example, where there is a ban on referrals due to a safeguarding investigation or a dispute with a local authority over payment of fees. This can include where a local authority alleges deprivation of assets by a service user and refuses to provide funding, or where you find yourself stuck in the middle of an ordinary residence dispute between local authorities.

Learn more about our corporate and commercial services.

Health & safety

Health & safety is one of those subjects that receives a bad press. But health and safety failings are things the law takes very seriously and breaches of the regulations can have serious consequences for you and your business.

Fines have been increasing over the last few years and fines for breaches which result in death or serious injury can now be big enough to threaten an organisation’s future. The Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act enables prosecutions to be brought against corporate care providers. Directors, managers and secretaries of corporate care providers have more responsibilities and there are growing calls for the individuals responsible for breaches to be prosecuted where possible.

Since 2015, CQC has been responsible for health and safety of service users but the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has responsibility for incidents involving employees and visitors.

We can represent you if you have any problems or if you are threatened with prosecution. Our solicitors have a great deal of experience in defending care providers who have breached the Health & Safety at Work Act. We also assist healthcare providers in connection with investigations carried out by the HSE or CQC. This includes accompanying providers and employees to interviews under caution and representation in any subsequent prosecution.

Of course, the best way to protect your business against health and safety breaches is to make sure you have an up-to-date and compliant health and safety policy in place and that all members of staff are aware of it. Our healthcare law team has the experience to advise in the preparation of robust policies that reflect the needs of your organisation, protecting both your business and your staff.

Learn more about our Health & Safety services.

Who do we help?

Our healthcare solicitors specialise in the regulation of health and social care services, regularly acting for providers of care homes, home care, supported & assisted living, independent hospitals, specialist care, mental health and learning disability services, GPs & medical practices, dentists, opticians, children’s homes, fostering agencies and independent special schools.

We are the solicitors of choice for a number of high profile care clients and are the leading provider of regulatory due diligence for banks and equity funds investing in the sector. We are also the appointed solicitors for a number of large care providers and care associations nationally, including the National Care Association, Registered Nursing Homes Association, HC-One, Jewish Care, Graham Care, Colten Care and Raphael Medical Centre.

Why choose us?

Our specialist healthcare law solicitors have a national reputation, yet, because we are a regional firm, our services come at an affordable cost.

We have extensive specialist knowledge of laws in health and social care, as well as experience from our everyday work acting for care providers, enabling us to understand the challenges you face. We know that you need proactive, cost-effective legal support. We also know time is of the essence and your deadlines matter.

Uniquely, our healthcare law team offers a wealth of knowledge and experience enabling us to provide advice across the whole health and social care sector, meaning that our clients are provided with a fully rounded service catering to all their needs. Taking into account our clients’ wider business considerations, we are able to provide specialist proactive legal advice and imaginative commercial solutions to achieve the best possible outcome.


Your Key Contacts


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Lester Aldridge is a respected firm with a strong presence in the social care sector. The firm advises public, private and third sector clients on a range of contentious issues, including tribunals, inquests, NMC proceedings and police investigations. The team is noted for expertise in the regulatory environment governing health-related charities, as well as its record in defending clients from Care Quality Commission actions.Close quote
Healthcare: UK-wide
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The firm is very aware of the commercial and political pressures on the care sector.Close quote
Client testimonial
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Lester Aldridge's knowledge of SEND law is exceptionalClose quote
Client testimonial
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The team handles matters in a conscientious and timely manner.Close quote
Client testimonial
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Lester Aldridge LLP‘s regulatory expertise within the healthcare sector covers both civil and criminal law matters, making the practice a popular choice for national care providers and healthcare charities. The team is additionally well placed to represent individuals in community care. Based in Bournemouth, practice head Laura Guntrip is a due diligence specialist with extensive experience of representing care providers in defence-side enforcement action proceedings. Southampton-based Bethan Dodd‘s healthcare practice notably covers primary care premise funding matters, with particular expertise in issues related to the Premise Costs Directions 2013. Nicole Ridgewell is another name to note.Close quote
Health: South West
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Lester Aldridge are undoubtedly subject matter experts with regards to regulatory approaches, legislation and practice but what sets them apart from others is their analysis of regulatory behaviour which enables them to give clear indicative and objective opinions.Close quote
Client testimonial
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The team is incredibly experienced and strikes a brilliant balance when representing clients in sensitive situations to ensure they are protected against unfair criticisms whilst also ensuring their actions are not scrutinised unnecessarily.Close quote
Client testimonial
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Engaging Lester Aldridge and working with Laura Guntrip and her team has been a pleasure and a blessing.

One of our Homes was experiencing extreme difficulty with our regulators and with Laura’s expertise, counsel and representation we were able to overcome a task that at times seemed to be a losing battle.

The service we have received from Laura and her team has always been first class. We have been able to depend on them like an extension of our own team. Their approach, knowledge and expertise have ensured all our matters have been handled efficiently. We are now a stronger organisation and if the need ever was to arise again, we would no doubt be contacting Lester Aldridge.

Thank you once again, Laura. We know we can’t thank you enough.Close quote
Care Home Owner
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Laura and I have worked together on a number of client cases over the past 4 years. Laura is extremely knowledgeable and professional but also very approachable, she is committed to her clients, and goes the extra mile when they need advice or a push in the right direction. I am always impressed with Laura’s determination, responsive involvement and ability to achieve a quality result for her clients, often in very difficult circumstances.
I believe that Laura’s Clients get high quality advice and support, professional case management, determined and effective legal challenges and ultimately beneficial outcomes. I recommend Lester Aldridge LLP and specifically Laura and her team to my Clients on a regular basis.Close quote
Pro-Risk Care Consultancy
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Laura is professional and courteous, honest and forthright, diligent and tenacious. We would not hesitate to approach her for guidance and would highly recommend her and her team.Close quote
Care Home Owner
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To Alice and Laura,
We are hugely appreciative for all the help, guidance and support you have given us during a very stressful time in our nursing home. Thank you for fighting our fight with us in getting what we rightfully deserve from our ratings review with the CQC. We hope that your company will continue to support and serve care homes in ensuring that they are rated and treated accordingly by the regulators. We wish you more wins in your fights. Anything we can do for you just let us know. We are always happy to share our experiences and good practices.Close quote
Nursing Home client
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The professionalism, knowledge and care taken by the team is outstanding. Alice's ability to empathise and her perceptiveness beyond what is said or written is amazing.Close quote
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The colleagues worked with were supportive, offered great advice and professional throughout. Their knowledge was vast and the concluding result was agreeable.Close quote
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A big thank you to Alice Straight at LA Law. She really went above and beyond to handle my case with professionalism and expertise. Her attention to detail, clear communication, and dedication to getting the best outcome truly impressed me. I couldn’t have asked for better representation and going forward will use Alice in any further enquiries or issues I may come across. Close quote
Children’s home provider
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Lester Aldridge and you were key to giving us the confidence to hold our heads up and refuse to accept the [Ofsted] “Inadequate” judgement.”Close quote