Former Brachers Managing Partner, John Sheath, Retires

5th May 2020
Judi Underdown

John Sheath is today retiring from Brachers, the law firm where he has worked for 39 years and was managing partner between 2004 and 2012.

During his 44-year career, John has dedicated himself to supporting and enhancing NHS services through his legal expertise. He was instrumental in forming Brachers’ Healthcare team in 1982 and was involved in several legal landmarks that have significantly contributed to legal practice.

In 2012, John was instructed in the Court of Protection case of a local authority versus an NHS Trust, involving the sensitive issue of contraception for, and sterilisation of, a vulnerable adult. The judgement set out seminal guidance to the legal and medical profession in regard to protecting patients, families and doctors’ rights, which remains in place to this day.

He was also instrumental in Brachers appointment as the South East-based firm to deliver legal services to the NHS and wider public sector organisations.

Brachers Managing Partner, Joanna Worby, said the firm was losing an asset.

“John has contributed a great deal during his career and his passion for improving healthcare services has undoubtedly contributed to the success of the firm. John’s unwavering commitment to immersing himself in and understanding the operation, opportunities and challenges of the healthcare sector and his progressive approach to collaboration between legal and healthcare services, means he will be remembered.”

“While we of course wish John the best of luck for his retirement, we are sad to see him go. This year marks Brachers’ 125th anniversary so it’s a fitting send off to someone who has made such a large contribution to the firm’s history.”

John obtained an MBA and supporting thesis in knowledge management in healthcare and is cited for successfully turning theory into practice by sharing his extensive know-how with healthcare professionals in Kent. John was able to enhance their medico-legal knowledge and equipped them to improve patient services and reduce the risk of harm.

During his career, John provided extensive services to the NHS, including free training and education, information and newsletters, contributing to patient safety groups, risk management and ethics committees.

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