Informal Business Partnerships are a Recipe for Strife

Informal Business Partnerships are a Recipe for Strife

It makes sense to have any business partnership formalised in writing professionally to keep everyone happy and to set the ground rules of the business. The following case shows what happens if you don’t.

The head of a doctor’s surgery went into partnership with another GP and they drew up a written agreement. Later, 3 doctors joined the surgery, and a new partnership agreement was needed and while they discussed the terms, nothing was concluded and no new agreement agreed or signed.

One of the GPs had a disagreement with the head of the surgery and took time off work with anxiety. When he came back to work he was restricted and wasn’t allowed to look at medical records or see patients. The GP sought a solution through court asking them to issue an injunction so the head could not stop him from seeing patients and medical records, and claimed the partnership’s agreement had been breached.

When the judge heard the full case he could not award a long-term injunction as the original partnership agreement was not valid and was negated when the other three doctors joined the practice. The GP had also been issued a notice of dissolution.

The Court of Appeal reinforced the judge’s decision, the correct interpretation of the law had been made. There was no evidence that the three doctors who joined had intended to adhere to the original agreement or if they had known that it existed.  The practice group of all five doctors is considering a new partnership agreement and this is under negotiation.

If you are affected would like more information on the subject of business partnerships then please contact us by telephone at our Corby office on 01536 276300 or call our Kettering office on 01536 311690 or simply get in touch online by clicking here.