It’s quite common for medical groups or partnerships to be established with very little to no input from solicitors.
Taking the time at the outset of a partnership to define the scope of the partnership and to put any agreements in writing will inevitably save time, money and heartache if conflict arises down the line.
A formal partnership agreement covering issues like withdrawal from the partnership, dissolution and what happens to tangible and intangible assets of the practice is crucial for all stakeholders in a medical practice.
There are common areas where commercial disputes in medical practices occur:
- The partnership agreement:
- does not deal with dissolution of the partnership when one or more doctors want to leave the group; or
- does not address the addition of new equity partners or the effect such additions have on the shares held by the existing partners; or
- has no mechanism for removing a partner who has engaged in unethical behavior or is no longer contributing to the practice group; or
- has no mechanism for valuing the practice if a partner wishes to be bought out or to buy another partner’s shares.
- Doctors sign an employment contract with a partnership that includes an option to become a partner but one or more of the existing partners later refuse to allow the doctor to become a partner.
- The practice group wants to merge with another practice group but is unfamiliar with the requirements to formally and legally consummate the merger.
- Conflicting personalities can cause partnerships to to separate but no mechanism exists for distributing equipment, shared personnel, or shared patients.
At V.S. George Lawyers, our principal solicitors have the experience to successfully manage litigation and resolution of commercial disputes involving both general medical practices and specialist medical practices. They have successfully advised in commercial disputes involving directors and corporate governance, contract enforcement, partnerships and shareholders.
- The important legal documentation that every practice should have, even when medical partners or stakeholders are also friends.
- How to smoothly manage the transition if any of the medical practice’s stakeholders decide to move on.
- Restraint of trade provisions and how they should be enforced.
- The steps to take when stakeholders are in dispute.
- Litigation between general or specialist medical partners.
- Valuation of a general medical practice or specialist medical practice when selling.
For more information, or to make an appointment at our Bexley or Engadine offices (or at our serviced offices in Sydney CBD, North Sydney, Bondi Junction, Macquarie Park, Norwest or Parramatta) contact:
Phone: (02) 9150 6991