Hilary Drenth, MSc

Hilary Drenth helps clients to complete robust and commercial transactions in the unique NHS environment. Hilary specialises in commercial healthcare work, and acts principally for NHS clients, both primary care commissioners and acute service providers. She enables clients to conduct a transaction confident in their understanding of the commercial and regulatory position in order to secure outcomes that are best for patients and tax payers.

The complex transactions that Hilary works on are often completely new ground for clients and commercially and politically "high profile", so she aims to support them through the process, helping them to articulate the issues and assess the implications for the transaction. Her experience of the NHS means that she is well placed to advise on how to approach the all-important process of understanding the service and performance requirements, and the information needed to define them, and thereby improve quality and efficiency. Hilary's experience across a range of projects and transactions means that she understands how her clients operate in a wider health and social care environment, and can work closely with them to understand their short-term drivers and long-term aims for transformational change.

Hilary's background as a technical author, combined with her extensive experience drafting documentation and key legal transaction agreements, also results in a unique ability to translate complex ideas into an easily digestible form.

Core to Hilary's work is drafting documentation - both contracts and policies. In the transaction world, a lawyer's role is just as much communication as it is the law and to be able to put complex information in an accurate but really absorbable form is an intellectual challenge and quite rewarding. Hilary enjoys working closely with her clients, getting to grips with their challenges, understanding their perspective and getting to know them as people. NHS transactions are complicated and the individuals involved can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the process. It's really helpful for them to feel like they have someone who knows the mechanisms that they can pick up the phone to and use as a sounding board, even if it's just to ask 'Can we do this?' or 'Should we do this?'

Hilary gets a real buzz seeing a transaction to a successful close. The most complicated NHS transactions can take years to complete. We get a real insight into what our clients want for the populations they serve and the difficulties surrounding sustainable long-term solutions. Getting them to the finishing line and knowing that we've done the best job possible to get them the outcome they are looking for in terms of being able to improve performance is extremely important.


Working with Cambridge and Peterborough CCG on their county-wide procurement of community services for adults and children, resulting in an £800 million contract award to UnitingCare Partnership, the largest contract in NHS history. It involved some very novel approaches for the NHS and was very high profile. It was a true opportunity for innovation and had a sophisticated and exciting competition process that was great to watch.

Being involved in the establishment of the CCGs was a great highlight, particularly seeing their plans for the future and absolute focus on improving things for their patients.

Hilary enjoyed being involved with the improvement of access to primary care program, which really focused on achieving high standard and introducing modern facilities to communities that have never had anything like it before. It set an important standard within the NHS that will make a tangible to a lot of people


NHS commissioners and providers, private companies providing services to the health sector.


Working with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG on its £100m per annum contract for county-wide procurement of community services for adults and children, the largest contract in NHS history.

Helping four CCGs in connection with two major procurements with the overall aim of transforming service provision through the use of outcomes based commissioning.

Assisting a London Borough CCG and Council working in alliance to develop a procurement approach for identifying a Prime Provider of older people's services across the Borough.

Advising a joint venture private company on delivering outsourced pathology services to an NHS trust.

Assisting numerous pre-authorisation CCGs with their governance and collaboration arrangements as part of the "mock panel" process run across the country to prepare CCGs for authorisation. Hilary gained valuable insight into CCG commissioning as part of this work.

Advising a leading NHS Foundation Trust on their acquisition of an independent sector treatment centre from Circle Group including preparation of Heads of Terms, business sale agreement and general strategic advice.

Advising an NHS Trust on the options available to the Trust in response to the requirement to achieve Foundation Trust status. This involved considering options such as tendering for an FT partner, adopting the franchise approach, or using an integrated care model as the basis of an authorised "Arrangement". Hilary subsequently assisted in advising the Trust on its competitive process to find an acquiring FT partner, and her work included the preparation of the vendor due diligence report and transaction agreements and supporting process completion.

Working with a leading NHS Mental Health Foundation Trust on corporate re-structuring to align the organisation in terms of the organisational and policy reforms affecting mental health services providers. As a second stage, Hilary advised the Trust on the establishment of a subsidiary and the transfer of its new £50 million medium secure unit to the subsidiary in order to support financial efficiencies.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2016

    • Career
      Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, Principal Associate
  • 2015

    • Career
      Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, Principal Associate
  • 2010

    • Career
      Wragge & Co LLP
  • 2008

    • Career
      Bevan Brittan
  • 2006

    • Career
      Parkinson Wright
  • 2003

    • Career
  • 1999

    • Education
      University of the West of England, GDL
  • 1988

    • Education
      Loughborough University, M.Sc
  • 1978

    • Education
      The University of Manchester, B.A