02 January 2019

In 2017, three world-leading medical science organisations came together to help patients and drive forward healthcare innovation through a unique joint venture, and they needed a lot more from Burges Salmon than just legal advice to get up and running.

The University of Oxford, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and US healthcare leader Mayo Clinic entered into a one-of-a-kind collaboration to work on research, teaching and clinical care and make advances in medicine. Burges Salmon was on hand to advise the University of Oxford, first on its joint venture with its local NHS hospital and then on their joint partnership with Mayo.

It quickly became apparent that the ambitious plans of the three organisations to secure space in London, and set up a shared clinic, required support beyond the usual remit of a law firm. The firm assisted with the formation of an independent business subsidiary to operate the clinic, which will provide screening and diagnostics services to the private healthcare market. The firm also put in place the necessary arrangements for financial surpluses from the clinic to be used to help advance clinical education and NHS patient care, and fund research.

In addition, the firm’s Business Solutions team, led by Rachel Roberts, went a step further to provide invaluable project management support to get the new clinic off the ground.

Rachel recalls: 'As the joint venture was formed and the documents were signed, it became apparent that the client needed further support to move through to the delivery stage. We saw the need and started to play a role to tie everything together on the UK side.'

She adds: 'Our role moved from forming the joint venture to project managing the opening of the new business, which meant everything from putting in place the corporate governance structure to enable the clinic to register with the Care Quality Commission through to establishing the route to market for the new business.'

All the while, the ability of the firm’s Business Solutions team to collaborate with colleagues within Burges Salmon meant any legal issues could be quickly dealt with, whether they related to intellectual property queries or regulatory issues around interactions with the Care Quality Commission.

John Osborn is Operations Administrator at Mayo Clinic, where he leads the global healthcare consulting and advisory program and coordinates strategy for Canada and Western Europe. 'I really got to know Chris and his team across the negotiating table and their real strong value became apparent as we were doing due diligence around the business plan. The team in Oxford recognised that there was going to be a lot of work to be done in project management and that’s when the Burges Salmon Business Solutions team stepped up.'

He adds: 'My team knows how to run clinics and open clinics, but we don’t start businesses so having someone on the project implementation side who knew what had to be accomplished in corporate governance, finance, HR and all the other things we take for granted in a mature business was great.'

Chris says the firm’s Business Solutions team added huge value as a management resource to all involved, bringing innovative project management service provision and using technology to enhance information flows and strengthen collaboration.

John concludes: 'It’s a different way of thinking about the capabilities that a law firm can bring. Chris and his team know from a legal perspective all the things that need to be in place, and being able to combine that with the operations side to create the operational structures that enable it is really very useful.'

It’s a different way of thinking about the capabilities that a law firm can bring.
John Osborn, Operations Administrator at Mayo Clinic


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