Overview

Our market-leading procurement disputes lawyers have built a reputation for litigating high profile cases. As procurement claims and disputes specialists, we regularly act in challenges and disputes for both bidders and purchasing authorities.

Public Procurement claims are highly specialised and often time pressured due to very short periods in which they can be brought. We recognise that in that time authorities and bidders may need us to respond urgently and to provide individuals with direct knowledge of procurement law, the court’s specific processes in this area and experience of helping parties to navigate the early stages of a claim. To ensure there will always be an urgent response, we have four senior litigators including two partners with direct regular experience of handling procurement specific disputes.

We work with clients to understand not only the law, but also the dynamics of accessing and understanding the relevant documentation and allegations, engaging with the opposing dispute party to focus the issues and ensuring that court requirements are fulfilled. We are familiar with (and have handled disputes involving) both Judicial Review and challenges under each of the relevant regulations and can help clients to understand the distinction between them. 

We have had regular involvement in some of the most high profile procurement cases in the UK Courts including taking issues to the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. We regularly handle issues which arise on such claims including protecting confidentiality in bidder documents, early ‘injunction/stay’ applications, specific disclosure and all aspects of public law and practice.

We work closely with our leading non-contentious public procurement specialists to provide a seamless service to bidders and purchasing authorities seeking to challenge or defend the outcomes of procurement processes.

We have been involved at all stages of procurement challenges and we are experts at resolving procurement disputes without the need for legal proceedings to become publicly known. We combine extensive public sector expertise with specialist knowledge of the unique characteristics of procurement challenges to find effective solutions for our clients.

Areas of focus

Our procurement disputes expertise includes the following:

  • Central government procurement for large franchises, outsourcing and support services.
  • Procurement by public sector bodies including universities and transport bodies.
  • Health Sector procurement for bidders. We regularly act for private sector healthcare providers in NHS procurement matters.
  • Procurement by utilities particularly in the transport and energy sectors.
  • Construction related procurement and public-private partnership.
  • Defence sector procurement including outsourcing.
  • Procurement by private sector bodies on behalf of government or using public funds.
  • Supporting non-UK businesses bidding for UK contracts.
  • Assisting unsuccessful bidders to investigate the reasons for the award and if necessary challenge them.
  • Assisting successful bidders to contractualise and mobilise contracts and in the event of a challenge by an unsuccessful bidder to protect their bid confidentiality and position.
Experience

Acting for the successful bidder as interested party in a high court claim relating to the DfT’s award of the west coast partnership for rail services.

Successfully acting for a healthcare supplier in challenging the decision of the relevant CCGs to exclude its bid on grounds of overly restrictive mandatory requirements.

Representing a successful bidder in a healthcare outsourcing procurement in connection with challenges to the award by an unsuccessful competitor.

Acting for an arm's length public body in defending further challenges to its procurement of environmental equipment following its initial withdrawal of its original procurement process.

Acting for a supplier of outsourcing services to a government department on a challenge to the award of those services to another bidder. Following failure to provide transparent feedback and explanation of the process we succeeded in having the bids rescored and ultimately withdrawn such that a new process could take place.

Acting for a procurement service provider in challenging the award by a central government department of a contract to a competitor with questionable competence to undertake the procurement services required.

Successfully defending Eurostar against a challenge brought by Alstom to Eurostar's ~EUR 700M procurement of new rolling stock from Siemens. This case established new law on the scope of injunctions, the information unsuccessful bidders were entitled to be provided and the status of transport sector utilities.

Successfully acting for a private sector supplier on its challenge to a public body's non-regulated process under European principles of fair and transparent procurement. This case was the first example in the UK of a successful judgment in reliance upon such principles.

Acting for a leading university on an alleged regulated procurement challenge concerning a multi-million pound construction contract.

Acting for a public transport operator in a regulated procurement challenge concerning the manner of evaluation and award of contract to a third party by the local authority. Following the issue of proceedings, the claim was successfully settled resulting in a re-run of the tender.

Acting for a leading independent health and social care provider on a major procurement challenge relating to community services.

Acting for a world leader in gases, technologies and services for Industry and Health in High Court Proceedings relating to a nationwide healthcare supply contract.

Meet the team
Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson Partner

  • Head of Infrastructure
  • Procurement and State Aid
  • Transport
Ian Tucker

Ian Tucker Partner

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Procurement Disputes
  • International Trade

Key contact

Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson Partner

  • Head of Infrastructure
  • Procurement and State Aid
  • Transport

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