Helen Wong, BA(Hons) Cantab, MA(Hons) Cantab, DPhil, MBE, is a Partner in the Manchester corporate team.
Helen’s expertise includes working with owner managed businesses, high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs. Helen specialises in the healthcare sector (which includes dentists, opticians, pharmacies, care homes (residential and domiciliary) and GP surgeries). Helen and her team specialise in corporate transactions – practice sales and purchases and commercial documents (including associate agreements, expense sharing and partnership agreements).
Recent work highlights
- Share and assets sales and purchases of single to multiple site healthcare organisations
- Sale and purchase of dental practices and assisting with the transfer of the NHS GDS and PDS Contracts
- Private equity investment into healthcare organisations
- Reorganisations, re-financings and change in partnerships
- Shareholders agreements, cross option agreements and partnership agreements
Education & nurseries team
Helen is also a partner in the Education team. She is also the recipient of an MBE from Her Majesty The Queen, an author of books used in the curriculum, a keynote speaker for schools and holds a PGCE secondary school teaching qualification.. Helen is passionate about education and works with a deal team of 30 who specialise in Education. Their breadth and depth of experience is unparalleled and includes independent schools, nurseries, day care centres, FE colleges and universities. Their lines of service including buying and selling Nurseries and other educational organisations, corporate and commercial matters, employment, construction and real estate, debt collection, dealing with Ofsted and regulatory aspects, litigation, private client and family and children matters.
Clarke Willmott’s Corporate team specialise in buying and selling nurseries across England and Wales. We act for individuals, groups, private equity and overseas purchasers. With 7 offices in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff, Taunton, Bristol and Southampton we can help clients wherever they are located. We also offer a free consultation no matter how early on in the process you are.
Recent work highlights
- Buying a nursery in the Midlands for an individual operator
- Buying a substantial group of nurseries in the South West on behalf of a private equity firm
- Selling a group of nurseries in the North West to a large nursery operator
- Assisting a nursery operator in London with investment from private equity
- Advising on restructuring and refinancing a nursery group in the North
- Construction of a nursery site based in the North West following a blueprint to roll out the brand nationally
- Selling individual nurseries across the UK to other individual operators
- Debt collection service for various private nurseries and schools
- Securing planning permission to set up a nurseries
- Assisting with our litigation services where construction has not gone to plan
- Buying out the other partner where there has been a break down in the relationship between two shareholders of a nursery
- Ofsted registrations
- Assisting with family law, divorce and children matters
Clarke Willmott’s China Desk specialises in inbound investment / cross-border transactions. There is a huge interest in Healthcare and Education from Chinese private equity funds and Helen assists such investors with their investment strategies and corporate acquisitions in this regard. Helen also assists with Immigration matters concerning Tier 1 Investor visas, Tier 1 Entrepreneur visas and Tier 2 Intra-group transfer visas.
- Helen Wong of Clarke Willmott LLP helped me to buy my practice and guided me through all the potential pitfalls in relation to this acquisition, and has protected me legally. Helen is one of the most focused healthcare lawyers I have ever met and she knows her stuff. I appreciated her explaining the sale purchase agreement in plain English without any jargon. Helen knows the CQC and NHS England processes like the back of her hand. I have no hesitation in recommending Helen. She is an expert in her field, friendly and I felt like I was Helen’s no.1 priority always. How refreshing for a lawyer.
- Helen Wong of Clarke Willmott LLP helped me to sell our beloved nurseries and ensured my wife and my position as sellers were protected. Helen and her team were always responsive and pro-active in the entire sale process. we are thrilled with Helen’s assistance. She’s the best lawyer I have ever encountered. No problem is too much for Helen. She has solved problem after problem and we are so thankful for her expertise. If you need an experience education lawyer to handle such a sale Helen is that lawyer you must use. She helped us to complete this transaction in 3 months and didn’t go over her fixed fee. We would definitely recommend Clarke Willmott to our friends should they decide to sell their nurseries. A very big thank Helen to you and your team.
- “Helen Wong of Clarke Willmott was recommended to me because of her experience in dental, pharmacy and medical transactions. Helen has a deep understanding of the healthcare sector and in particular, dentists. Helen helped me sell my multiple practices and she was a pleasure to work with. She understands the regulatory process like the back of her hand and is a brilliant corporate lawyer. She also lead a team comprising of her property colleagues and Helen and team were extremely pro-active. Helen was the driver of the deal, helped me to overcome problem after problem which arose in the sale process and kept me calm. I know that without Helen’s extremely hard working attitude and sheer persistence in addressing the other side’s requests, the deal would not have gone through. Helen was emailing at 6am, midnight, weekends and never stopped until the deal was done. I want to thank Helen for being so friendly, patient and excellent. If you are wanting a healthcare specialist, do not hesitate to contact Helen Wong.”
- “Helen Wong of Clarke Willmott LLP is probably one of the most refreshing lawyers I have ever met. She is a specialist healthcare lawyer – and multi-disciplinary with experience in corporate, regulatory and knowing how the acquisition finance process works – which is rare. She has a calm and patient demeanour but has a steely determination to drive the deal to completion. Helen handles people – whether it’s the client, us the lender, the broker and the other parties in the transaction with huge diplomacy and respect – which endears people to meet her deadlines. I have been most impressed with Helen on a multiple purchase of dental practices where Helen helped resolved issues that arose and is very good at problem solving without belittling anyone. She is totally client focused and a pleasure to work with.”
- “Helen and her team have worked with Christie & Co across our Healthcare and Medical sectors for many years now, we find their pro-active and ‘get the job done’ very refreshing in sectors and they have completed deals in months, in a space where deals can usually take 6-12 months. Clarke Willmott corporate, employment and property teams work seamlessly and this approach is extremely helpful to not only our mutual clients but the whole process, keeping things moving and ensuring the deal doesn’t become stale. They are always available at short notice and ready to help, but also importantly they spot the issues that may arise in the future. Some of our quickest and smoothest transactions have been delivered by Helen and her team. Helen is one of the leading lawyers in Healthcare sector, is very experienced and excels at project managing multiple transactions. Helen listens and genuinely cares about her clients, is great at problem solving, works incredibly hard (responding at all hours and weekends!), is pro-active and drives the deals forward. It also helps that she is a pleasure to work with and we would not hesitate in recommending Helen to any of our clients.”
- “I appointed Helen Wong to be our healthcare lawyer to acquire multiple practices. Helen is one of the best lawyers I have ever come across. She is friendly and whatever time I called she answered the phone or emails. Additionally, she had a proactive approach to managing issues sometime even before they arose which we realised later. Helen explained the complicated legal issues and risks in acquiring the practices in a non jargon manner and was brilliant at drafting the necessary clauses in the documents to protect my position. Not only did Helen assist with the corporate law aspects but she was so experienced at the regulatory law and dealing with the CQC and NHS England which is a minefield in itself. I also have to thank her enormously for also working tirelessly with the bank to get their credit committee to release the funds to make my acquisitions possible. Without Helen this deal would have been difficult to proceed and it was purely due to her sheer hard work, experience and determination. Having dealt with other lawyers before on other acquisitions, I have had situations where the lawyer was one of the causes for a deal to collapse. I know I am in safe hands with Helen and have no hesitation in recommending her to other dentists, and healthcare practitioners wanting to buy or sell a practice. I look forward to working more with Helen in growing my businesses”
- “Helen Wong of Clarke Willmott LLP helped me to sell my practice and helped me extract cash from the business which formed part of Entrepreneur’s Relief tax rate which was a huge saving. Helen is practical, dedicated, friendly, pro-active, available at all hours of the day and gets the deal done within the timescale agreed. I have no hesitation in recommending Helen, she is one of the best lawyers I have ever worked with and she made a very stressful process bearable.”
- “I appointed Helen Wong to be our healthcare lawyer to sell my practice. I would highly recommend Helen should you need a lawyer. She is knowledgeable, approachable, explains difficult legal concepts with simplicity and without jargon. She’s also one of the best problem solvers I have met and very commercially savvy so much so that she helped me increase our sale price part way through the sale process. Selling a business is a huge emotional journey and Helen has helped me throughout the process always being available to answer my questions and questions from my practice manager who was assisting me in the process. The due diligence process is intense, the sale agreement a huge document, the associates agreement, working with her property team to negotiate the assignment of the lease, the board minutes and even securing a higher price for my practice (quite unheard of as usually in a sale – the buyers always try to chip the price) was part and parcel of what Helen assisted with. I could not have done it without Helen. What is most refreshing about Helen is her approach – I could call her any time 8am or 8pm and she would be available to take my call, nothing was too much trouble and she is always available to explain the issues. She is so hard working and determined to see the deal to the end – in my situation Helen was actually on holiday when we completed but she remained committed to my transaction through to the end cutting her holiday short. She’s been on my side as a champion, supporter, lawyer and now friend. I would recommend Helen 110% per cent. There is no other lawyer that matches her legal and commercial ability in the sphere of corporate transactions – to buy and sell dental practices or any healthcare practice for that matter.”
“Helen Wong of Clarke Willmott LLP helped me to sell my practice. Helen and her team were very approachable and always available to answer any of our queries and concerns.
They were efficient and professional throughout and regularly in contact with the buyers’ solicitors in order to speed the process along as much as possible. Helen always responded to our emails and queries immediately day and night. She invariably provided us with a calm and clear-headed perspective on the sale, which was especially helpful to us as novices at the most stressful point of the sale.”
- “Helen Wong of Clarke Willmott LLP helped me to sell my practice and ensure my position as a seller was protected. Helen and her team were always responsive and pro-active in the entire sale process. Their regulatory dental knowledge and input with CQC and NHS England was invaluable on my transaction. Helen gave me step by step assistance all along the way and helped to resolve any problems that came up in the transaction. I set a deadline and a budget and Helen stuck to both. I would highly recommend Helen Wong who is a specialist dental solicitor. She is hard working, professional, caring, friendly, approachable and if you are selling or buying a dental practice you must use Helen.”
- “I was recommended by Lloyds to speak with a dental solicitor. I chose Helen Wong of Clarke Willmott LLP, because she was approachable, friendly and clear. I found Helen and her team to be responsive, pragmatic and of great assistance. Helen actually helped to solve a problem raised by the bank which was a breakthrough in this transaction. I would not hesitate to recommend Helen Wong.”
Helen is also a published author of “Doing Business after Brexit”, published by Bloomsbury, reflecting the work she does with businesses looking at the risks and opportunities afforded by Brexit. She also gives talks on Brexit and her latest talk was “Brexit and Dentists” as a dentists and healthcare sectors will be significantly impacted by Brexit.
Her next book “Cyber Security: Law & Guidance” will be published by Bloomsbury as their leading book in September 2018. Cyber security, one of the most fundamental concerns of all businesses is explained by various experts in civil, criminal and technical segments. Helen edits the entire book and also contributes to the chapters on the cyber risks in M&A, healthcare and healthtech.
Helen joined Clarke Willmott in 2017. She is a graduate in Law from Cambridge University with a professional career that has included Clifford Chance, London & Hong Kong, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Walkers in the Cayman Islands. Helen was an awarded an MBE by Her Majesty the Queen in 2014.
Helen advises on financial services, transactions – mergers & acquisitions, commercial contracts, corporate finance, broking arrangements, restructuring, LLP agreements/general partnerships, corporate governance, joint ventures, private equity and listing/fundraising.
Helen speaks fluent Cantonese, as well as English.
Find out more about Helen’s work with dentists.