- General counsel: Jasy Loyal.
- Team headcount: six lawyers.
Despite rarely instructing outside counsel, the compact legal team at HCA International is noted for achieving a number of successes for the company, including advising on more than 1,000 contracts and steering HCA’s revalidation programme for 3,000 doctors.
The team has faced its fair share of contentious issues and handled the widely publicised breast implant scare in 2013, when women with the PIP implant were asked to seek medical advice in case the implant needed removal. A full investigation was conducted with all relevant surgeons across the HCA group to establish the best response and help mechanisms for patients.
Scenarios such as these are the reason that the company’s GC, Jasy Loyal prefers to retain work in-house. ‘If I’m instructing an external firm, they need to know about [how] hospitals work and how nurses work – industry awareness. I instruct an internal crisis management team from day one and run with it. I deal with consultants, PR, insurers, and the public liability side of it – we do that quickly without having to go and try to find how people work.’
She also cites one of the team’s biggest successes in 2014. Despite a private healthcare investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority, which led to HCA being ordered to divest two, or an alternative one, of its six hospitals, its legal team successfully had the order quashed before the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
Loyal is also committed to training her team. In 2014 she established a programme whereby partners from firms took various subjects, including the Bribery Act, the NHS, competition law, medical malpractice development, and pulled in the entire HCA team to take part in a workshop to learn expertise.
Loyal adds: ‘We have limited resources, but as a team, one of our strengths is that we can turn our hands to anything. We can do litigation, to debt collection, to criminal proceedings, to IP and we’re not going off to try and find a partner in a firm that specialises in that area.’