Mills & Reeve advises on ground breaking university merger to create health powerhouse

Leading national law firm Mills & Reeve has supported St George’s, University of London on its merger with City, University of London to create a world class multi-faculty institution in London.

The strategic move to create City St George’s, University of London (subject to approvals) will bring together the universities’ key strengths and create a ‘health powerhouse’ for students, researchers, and the NHS. The combined university will become one of the largest suppliers of the health workforce in London.

Following exchange of legal contracts on 22nd February 2024, subject to regulatory approvals the new City St George’s, University of London will begin operating on 1 August 2024.

In a statement the universities said by combining the reputation of St George’s as a world-leading specialist health university with City’s excellence in a breadth of disciplines including health, business, law, creativity, communications, science and technology, the merger creates opportunities to generate significant change in the world of healthcare. This includes changes to treatment, population health monitoring, workforce development and leadership, policy, and advocacy.

The merger between St George’s and City University is the largest and most complex merger transaction in the higher education sector for more than 20 years. This merger demonstrates how institutions come together to forge a wider offering to students.

The Mills & Reeve team was led by corporate partner, Poppy Short, with assistance from a multi-disciplinary team of education specialists drawn from across corporate, commercial, employment, real estate, regulatory, charity, pensions, competition, and finance.

Poppy said: “This a significant milestone for St George’s and City. It creates a powerful partnership in the higher education sphere and will offer significant opportunities for students and researchers in London to develop opportunities in healthcare.

"We were delighted to advise St George’s on this highly complex deal, which involved complicated regulatory, corporate, property and others matters across a wide range of laws. The effectiveness of our support was made possible by the Mills & Reeve education team having the ability to draw on support from expert lawyers across many legal disciplines and highlights our market leading position in the higher education sector and ability to lead our university clients through complex restructures and mergers.”

Professor Jenny Higham added: “The merger agreement with City, University of London would not have been possible without the exceptional advice, commitment and support we received from the team at Mills & Reeve, led by Poppy Short. Their expertise in higher education law and ability to collaborate across legal disciplines were instrumental in navigating the complex regulatory, corporate, property and other matters involved in this agreement. The team went above and beyond to support us, we are grateful for their pragmatic, solution-focused advice, ensuring every detail was covered. Their dedication throughout the process is truly appreciated.”

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