Gowling WLG advises consortium on the manufacture of ventilators for the NHS

3 minute read
17 April 2020

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A specialist team from international law firm Gowling WLG has been called upon to provide legal advice on a consortium agreement for the manufacture of ventilators for the NHS.

Ventilator Challenge UK, a consortium of significant UK industrial, technology and engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors, has come together to produce medical ventilators for the UK. The consortium's aim is to bring together some of the most innovative companies in the world to scale up production of much-needed ventilators and combat the COVID-19.

The Gowling WLG team drafted an initial draft consortium agreement for Ventilator Challenge UK and facilitated the development of the consortium agreement amongst 10 parties, which included Ford, Penlon, Airbus, McLaren, HVM Catapult, Siemens plc, Siemens Healthineers, Renishaw, Ultra Electronics and Meggitt, and also negotiate and agree arrangements with the UK Government's Cabinet Office. Its objective is to take a production line that currently produces 60 ventilators a week and reconstruct the production line into one which can make 1500+ a week to meet the needs of the healthcare sector. This activity was turned round in a very short timeframe.

Dick Elsy, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult's chief executive who is leading the consortium, said: "This consortium brings together some of the most innovative companies in the world. Every day, their highly-skilled staff collaborate to create solutions that help millions of people, and this project is no different. They are working together with incredible determination and energy to scale up production of much-needed ventilators and combat a virus that is affecting people in many countries. I am confident this consortium has the skills and tools to make a difference and save lives."

David Lowe, partner and head of commercial contracts at Gowling WLG said: "The fast changing nature of the current climate meant that we had to work around the clock to turn over documents, which would normally take months to finalise, in only three weeks. After working through the Easter weekend, the arrangements finally completed on Easter Sunday. We are pleased to have played our part in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic."

The team comprised of David Lowe and Rachel Pennell, with input from Rocio de la Cruz and Nushin Rahman.

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