Dental Lawyers and Solicitors

Need help looking for a specialist lawyer or solicitor to act on your behalf to sell or buy a dental practice? We work regularly with 9 of the top dental legal firms. Because we are specialists in the dental field we can help you by introducing you to experienced professionals who know all about the dental market. Even if you are not a client of ours, simply fill in the form below and we would be delighted in pointing you in the right direction. Here are some useful details about finding the right legal representative to act on your behalf during the dental practice sales process.


A specialist dental lawyer or solicitor will be able to help you in any one of the following areas:

  • Confidentiality agreement negotiation
  • Agreement of reasonable exclusivity agreements
  • Guidance during the due diligence process
  • Advise of regulatory issues such as transfer of contracts (PDS and GDS)
  • Negotiation,alteration and drafting of sale and purchase agreements
  • Legal guidance on TUPE
  • Assistance with freehold and leasehold agreements and transfers

    Unless you know the correct questions to ask when first enquiring with a solicitor, you could find yourself in a difficult situation where your solicitor may not be able to assist you. It is therefore very important that you find out at a very early stage whether the solicitor you are talking to or emailing has the necessary experience to help you.
    The following questions are here to help you choose which firm to use. You should remember that in every transaction, be it a sale or a purchase, the other side will likely face the same situation and will want or need a solicitor who can guide them through the complex process. So, why shouldn’t you have the same?

  • Q There are two types of NHS contract, one is saleable and the other is not. What are they called and what is the difference?

    The two types of contracts are a General Dental Services (GDS) contract and a Personal Dental Services (PDS) contract. Only the GDS contract is saleable, and if the dentist has a PDS contract he must get it transferred to a GDS contract first. A PCT requires three months’ notice of the intention to change from a PDS to a GDS contract. The PCT must then issue a variation notice and the UDAs under the PDS contract will remain unaltered.

  • Q In relation to the saleable NHS contract, how would you go about ensuring the transfer of that contract by the PCT?

    The PCT guidelines do not allow for the transfer of a GDS contract. However, they do allow for dentists to take on a partner and also for dentists to retire from a partnership.
    Therefore, the preferred way to go about this is by the existing dentists and the incoming dentists to enter into a partnership and then, after completion, the outgoing dentists retire
    from the partnership. This all needs to be done by deed and the PCT must be formally notified of the partnership and then, in due course, the retirement of the outgoing dentists as well. The
    normal period for this ‘partnership’ situation to exist for is 2-3 months, which is a sufficient length of time so as to appear to the PCT as a genuine partnership.

  • Q There are various tiers that regulate a practice purchase. One is the GDC, another is the PCT; are there any more?

    The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have the jurisdiction to ensure that healthcare standards in dentistry are maintained. They have inspectors who will check dental practices to ensure that standards are maintained. All dental practices must be registered with the CQC. To trade without CQC registration is a criminal offence and the offending dentist can be prosecuted. It currently takes 56 days for the CQC to register a new provider and, without registration, the new practice owner cannot complete the transaction.

  • Q What are CQC’s requirements for dealing with registration of a change in the ownership of a dental practice?

    The CQC will require the incoming dentist to undergo an enhanced Criminal Review Board (CRB) check. This must be done by when selling or purchasing a practice, it is essential to gain relevant information from a solicitor to make sure you are choosing the right firm.

  • Q In what circumstances would there be a need for retention on completion?

    There are many reasons for retention, but the most common will be if the UDAs that the seller is expected to perform have not been completed. The PCT will allow a 4% under performance and, on application, will carry forward uncompleted UDAs to the following year. In those circumstances, the PCT may expect at some stage to recoup from the dentist the monetary value of uncompleted UDAs, and the buyer will need to hold back monies from the seller. Further, if there is remedial work still to be done on patients at the time of sale and which will be completed by the buyer, where the PCT have already paid the seller in advance for this work, they will not make a second payment to the buyer. In those circumstances, it is reasonable for the buyer to make retention in respect of the outstanding treatment costs.Finally, if you are buying a building, as well as a practice, and repairs need doing, retention may be made against the costs of those repairs.

  • Q Are there any complications if I am selling my practice to a limited company as opposed to an individual or partnership?

    Yes, the PCT will not allow a limited company to go into partnership with an individual. Also, equally importantly, where the contract is transferred into the name of a limited company and the selling dentist remains as part of the organisation, a limited company cannot have the benefit of super annuation. Therefore, the dentist will lose his superannuable pension and it may be a case of a deal being struck between the company and the dentist to pay him/her a sum in lieu of lost superannuation.
    There are also tax implications if the seller stays on as a member of the limited company as he/she may find that they are taxed on their own earnings and, if a portion of those are remitted to the company, then corporation tax may be payable – double taxation!

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