Eurostar succeeds in latest court hearing against Alstom
20 January 2012
The High Court has on 20 January 2012 confirmed that Eurostar is not a utility subject to the EU derived public procurement law regime effective in the UK. The judgment of Mr Justice Roth has been given in the current proceedings brought by Alstom Transport against Eurostar in connection with the purchase by Eurostar of new high speed rolling stock for its international services from Siemens plc in 2010. Eurostar is represented by Burges Salmon LLP, instructing Michael Bowsher QC and Ewan West.
This is the latest decision in ongoing litigation brought by Alstom Transport against Eurostar when Alstom's bid to supply Eurostar's new trains was not accepted. Alstom's initial applications to prevent Eurostar and Siemens proceeding with the construction contract were rejected in October 2010, when an injunction was refused, and again in July 2011, when a claim for ineffectiveness was struck out. Alstom has nonetheless chosen to continue the proceedings seeking damages from Eurostar principally for breach of the public procurement regulations. Eurostar and Alstom agreed that the applicability of the public procurement regulations to Eurostar should be the subject of a preliminary issue hearing. Subject to any appeal, the resulting High Court decision of today now establishes that those regulations do not apply to Eurostar. Going forward, Alstom's residual claim would therefore rest on its 'tender contract' argument.