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Dentists
Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick
Associate Solicitor

Meet The Team

Following our merger in 2020 with Ironmonger Curtis Solicitors, Bell & Buxton are able to provide specialist advice to dentists in all aspects of buying, selling and running dental practices from a team of nationally recognised expert dental solicitors.

As a full-service law firm, in addition to your commercial needs, we are also able to provide assistance in managing your individual requirements surrounding a sale and purchase transaction such as creating or reviewing your Will for example.

Our experience in dealing with the sale and purchase of dental practices throughput England & Wales allows us to reduce the stress on you, our client, throughout the transaction. At Bell & Buxton with Ironmonger Curtis, our solicitors have specialist expertise in advice and representation to dentists and dental practices in all aspects of their business, including buying and selling, partnership agreements, dispute resolution, employment issues and commercial property. Our advice is always tailored specifically to your business requirements as we understand that individual dental practices may have different characteristics and legal needs. We have the experience of working with dental practices nationwide combined with the knowledge, skills and capability to regularly carry out high-value and complex work.           

Our team of dental practice solicitors is led by Ryan Fitzpatrick & Trevor Ironmonger, who is a member of the Association of Specialist Providers to Dentists (ASPD). Our solicitors are regularly instructed by dental professionals throughout the UK to provide a wide range of commercial law services. We are frequently recommended by dental agents, accountants and banks as expert legal advisers to handle dental transactions. As well as sales and purchases, the team is experienced in employment and managing dental associate agreements, buying or leasing property and many other aspects of dental practice management.

We understand the common issues dentists experience when running a dental practice, and appreciate that you may not always be able to contact us during surgery hours, so we work around you.

We provide a wide range of services for dental practices and practitioners, including:

  • Buying a dental practice
  • Selling a dental practice
  • Incorporating a dental practice and/or NHS Contract
  • Drafting subcontracting agreements and deeds of novation 
  • Relocating a dental practice
  • Assisting with CQC applications and notices to the NHS
  • Dental business disputes
  • Dental expense sharing agreements
  • Dental partnership agreements

Buying a Dental Practice

Our Dental Practice Solicitors are highly experienced in advising and assisting dentists in buying and selling dental practices. We routinely handle both sale or purchase transactions for from the relatively straightforward deal between sole practitioners with only private patients, or to the more complex purchases of multi-site corporate group practices with NHS contracts.

The key aspects and stages of the dental practice purchase process are:

  • Pre-offer and initial agreements
  • Pre-Completion
  • The due diligence process which involves raising pre-contract enquiries and other appropriate requests for information in respect of the practice 
  • Considering the replies received during the due diligence process and providing you with detailed legal reports
  • Drafting and negotiating the sale agreement
  • Advice on any regulatory issues such as the transfer of GDS or PDS contracts and CQC
  • Employment and TUPE issues
  • Property matters
  • Pre-Completion
  • Post Completion registrations and notices

Selling Your Dental Practice

Getting an understanding of the nature of your dental practice is the first step our experienced dental practice lawyers will take in advising on the structure of the sale. One of the most important considerations when selling a dental practice is whether you have a GDS or PDS contract or if you only provide private dental care for example. When selling an NHS Practice, the successful transfer of the GDS or PDS contract is a key focus of the sale.

Our solicitors will be able to advise on the structuring of the sale so that all of the appropriate notices are given under an NHS contract and the relevant points which can be raised by the LAT. 

The key aspects of the sale of a dental practice are therefore: 

  • Your Practice – GDS, PDS contracts and private work
  • The Property – our commercial property team will advise on the terms and structure of the sale which will vary depending on whether the premises are freehold or leasehold and whether the consent of a third party may be required in order to achieve the transfer. They will also deal with any restrictive covenants or easements or alternatively can advise you on keeping the property and granting a commercial lease to the Buyer rather than selling the freehold.
  • The Sale Contract – creation of the sale and purchase agreement which will be drafted to suit your needs and will deal appropriately with the regulations within which a dental practice operates whether you cater for private or NHS patients. This will also deal the apportionment of any uncompleted treatments between the Buyer and the Seller and other considerations such as defective treatments, complaints by patients, and environmental issues or your Care Quality Commission (CQC) registration.
  • Warranties & Indemnities - We will seek to negotiate fair warranties and indemnities which are not too burdensome on the Seller and also limit the Seller’s liability. We will also seek to ensure restrictive covenants are appropriate and reasonable and do not prevent you from continuing to practice as a dentist somewhere else.
  • Employees, Associate Dentists, and Self-employed Hygienists – Our employment law team will advise on your TUPE Regulations obligations to your staff, employees and associates.

 

Click here to download our guide to Buying a Dental Practice

Guide to Buying a Dental Practice

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