Limitation in post-Covid procurement claims: What authorities and operators need to know

Following a recent High Court case which focused on limitation and communication issues in the post-Covid homeworking context, Gwendoline Davies and Lynsey Oakdene emphasise the importance of acting clearly and quickly when it comes to any potential procurement challenge. Read more
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  NEWS

Feb 05, 2021

Government issues policy note on procurements in an emergency, warns on commercial risks of direct awards without competition

The Cabinet Office has issued a procurement policy note (PPN) reminding contracting authorities of the options available to them when undertaking procurements in an emergency.
Feb 03, 2021

Government launches consultation on “bespoke” approach to subsidy control

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a consultation on its proposed new approach to subsidy control in the UK.
Jan 20, 2021

Boating company wins permission for judicial review over decision not to offer interim concession contract

A High Court judge has granted a company permission to bring judicial review proceedings in relation to a decision by The Royal Parks Limited (TRP) not to grant it an extension to a concession contract for the operation of boating facilities in Hyde Park, on the Serpentine and in Greenwich Park.
Jan 18, 2021

Public Procurement Review Service received 123 complaints in 12 months to end September 2020

The Public Procurement Review Service received 123 complaints from businesses over the tendering of contracts in the year to 30 September 2020, the Cabinet Office has revealed in response to a freedom of information request.
Jan 12, 2021

Judge finds claim over procurement of cloud-based management information system for 57 schools commenced in time

A High Court judge has rejected a contention by an academy trust that a claim brought over the procurement exercise for a three-year contract to supply a cloud-based management information system was commenced out of time.
Nov 26, 2020

Council defeats High Court claim from waste company over alleged unlawful state aid

The High Court has thrown out a claim by a recycling company that Durham County Council priced it out of business through unlawful state aid.
Nov 25, 2020

Court of Appeal refuses permission to appeal in long-running battle over £600m procurement of incinerator

The Court of Appeal has refused Community R4C (CR4C) permission to appeal the High Court’s dismissal of its claim against Gloucestershire County Council over the £600m+ procurement of an energy from waste plant.
Nov 24, 2020

Administrative Court dismisses suggestion LGPS ‘exit credits’ claim was brought out of time

A judge in the Administrative Court has rejected arguments that claims in relation to Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) ‘exit credits’ was brought out of time.
Nov 23, 2020

Sharpe Pritchard promotes projects and procurement specialist to partner

Public law firm Sharpe Pritchard has appointed a projects and procurement specialist as a partner in the public law firm’s latest round of appointments.
Nov 18, 2020

Spending watchdog hits out at lack of transparency and inadequate documentation in procurement during pandemic

The National Audit Office (NAO) has criticised a lack of transparency and adequate documentation of some key decisions, “such as why particular suppliers were chosen or how government identified and managed potential conflicts of interest”, in the awarding of some contracts while government was procuring large volumes of goods and services at high speed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

January 29, 2021

Leisure centre losses during the pandemic

Louis Sebastian analyses a High Court dispute between a council and a leisure centre provider over where losses arising from closure of facilities during the current coronavirus pandemic fall.
January 29, 2021

A bold new world?

Kieran McGaughey provides some practical tips for local authorities in tackling the new subsidy control regime.
January 22, 2021

State aid to Subsidy Control

David Owens, Edward Reynolds and Matthew Waters warn that the new trade agreement between the UK and European Union is likely to lead to greater uncertainty for grant-making bodies.
January 20, 2021

Delivering leisure facilities in a post-covid world

The pandemic has introduced new hurdles in the provision of local authority led leisure services. Peter Ware, Catherine Rustomji and Alex Kynoch look at the different options available to councils, including establishing a charity.
January 13, 2021

PPN 11/20 and reserving contracts for local suppliers - a sting in the tail for local authorities

Local authorities should be wary of reserving contracts for local suppliers, as recommended by a recent Procurement Policy Note, writes Andrew Millross. Other contracting authorities may want to maximise their use of this guidance.
January 08, 2021

Green Paper: transforming public procurement law

Peter Ware, Rachel Whitaker, Michael Mousdale and Louise Bennett examine the proposed changes to procurement law set out in the government's green paper.
December 23, 2020

Procurement claims: practical insights on summary judgment and the automatic statutory suspension

Lynsey Oakdene sets out the lessons to be learned for contracting authorities and bidders from a recent procurement case concerning the award of a contract to provide an automatic number plate recognition system.
December 16, 2020

Government proposals for procurement reform

Peter Ware discusses some of the key highlights from the Green Paper on procurement reform including a re-scoping of the underlying principles of public procurement, a streamlining of the recognised procurement procedures, and some potentially controversial proposals in relation to remedies.

  MORE NEWS

Nov 10, 2020

Contracting authorities to be required to use new ‘Find a Tender’ service for publishing notices

Contracting authorities will need to publish public procurement notices from 1 January 2021 on a new e-notification service called Find a Tender, the Cabinet Office has said.
Nov 10, 2020

Ramshaw returns to Womble Bond Dickinson in boost to procurement practice

Law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has strengthened its Projects and Procurement team with the appointment of Deborah Ramshaw, who re-joins the firm as a partner in its Newcastle office.
Nov 09, 2020

High Court judge rejects bid for summary judgment, lifts automatic stay in procurement challenge over number plate recognition contract

A High Court judge has dismissed an unsuccessful bidder's application for summary judgment against three councils over the award of a contract to provide a system for automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) in the Tyneside area.
Oct 30, 2020

Interest rate swaps – why now?

In light of a recent deal involving a city council, Neil Waller and Scott Dorling look at the thorny issues around local authorities entering into interest rate swaps.
Oct 15, 2020

Leisure trust drops procurement challenge against park authority

Lee Valley Leisure Trust has dropped its legal action in a bitter dispute with the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority after entering administration last month.
Oct 15, 2020

Academy trust facing legal challenge over award of £2m software contract

A large academy school trust faces litigation from a firm that lost out in the award of an IT contract.
Oct 12, 2020

MPs and Good Law Project launch legal action against Government over “repeated failure” to publish details of contract awards during pandemic

The Good Law Project and three cross-party MPs – Debbie Abrahams (Labour), Caroline Lucas (Green Party) and Layla Moran (Liberal Democrats) – have issued legal proceedings challenging the Government’s failure to publish details of contracts awarded in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic response.
Sep 25, 2020

Cabinet Office to make new delivery model for social value mandatory for central government procurements

The Cabinet Office has launched a new model for delivering social value through government’s commercial activities.
Sep 24, 2020

November deadline looms as LGA co-ordinates legal action against vehicle supplier cartel

Councils have until November to initiate actions for potentially millions of pounds worth of damages against vehicle suppliers found in 2016 to have operated a cartel.
Sep 23, 2020

Larger local authorities face reporting requirement on steps taken to prevent modern slavery

The Government is to strengthen the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to require larger local authorities and other public bodies and businesses to take action against modern slavery risks in their supply chains.
Sep 09, 2020

High Court to hear legal battle next month over award of festival contract

The High Court is due next month to hear a procurement challenge over how the Royal Parks awarded a contract to organise concerts in London’s Hyde Park.
Aug 27, 2020

Government hit with legal challenge over failure to publish contract award notices during pandemic

The Good Law Project and three MPs have launched a judicial review challenge amid claims that the Government has repeatedly failed to lawfully publish contract award notices, in respect of contracts connected to COVID-19, which have been awarded.
Aug 13, 2020

Lack of adequate governance arrangements and “institutional blindness” led to council energy company losing over £34 million, report finds

A public interest report by Grant Thornton has found that Nottingham City Council made a number of failings in the creation and management of its energy company including inadequate governance arrangements and a failure to understand the risks associated with entering the energy business.
Jul 17, 2020

Judge rules procurement claimant was not economic operator at relevant time in dispute over largest ever contract let by council

A claimant lacked eligibility as an economic operator at the relevant time and this was sufficient to dispose of its claim against Gloucestershire County Council over the £600m+ procurement of an incinerator, a judge has ruled.
Jul 16, 2020

Lockdown and local authority commercial development income

Rob Hann sets out the background to local authorities' investment in commercial property and examines why it has proved so controversial.
Jul 02, 2020

County council launches claim for costs to repair defects on guided busway

Cambridgeshire County Council is again locked in litigation with construction contractor BAM Nuttall over its guided busway, seven years after their last dispute was settled.
Jun 17, 2020

Decision to disqualify bidders from rail franchise procurements was lawful: High Court

A Department for Transport decision to disqualify three bidders from procurement competitions for the South Eastern, East Midlands and West Coast Partnership passenger rail franchises was lawful, a High Court judge has ruled.
Jun 15, 2020

Blackpool Borough Council awarded £1.1m in tram depot construction claim

A High Court judge has awarded Blackpool Borough Council £1.1m in damages in a claim for alleged breaches of contract in relation to the design and construction of a new tram depot.
Jun 15, 2020

Government facing legal challenge over urgent award of £108m PPE contract

The Good Law Project will today launch judicial review proceedings over the Government’s award of an £108m contract to a pest control company for the supply of PPE.
Jun 11, 2020

Government issues procurement policy note on recovery and transition from COVID-19

The Cabinet Office has issued a procurement policy note on recovery and transition from COVID-19 that applies to all contracting authorities.
Jun 09, 2020

Government issues advice to local authorities on how to fight procurement fraud

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published a Review into risks of fraud and corruption in local government procurement, which provides advice on how councils can strengthen their processes and implement prevention measures.
Jun 09, 2020

North East law firm hires Walton to lead procurement team

North East law firm Muckle has appointed partner Alison Walton to lead its dedicated procurement team.
May 07, 2020

Court dismisses procurement and judicial review claims against county council over vehicles contract for being out of time

The Technology and Construction Court has dismissed procurement and judicial review claims over a multi-million pound contract for the supply and maintenance of fleets of tractor cabs and trailers to a council-owned operator of waste processing facilities.
Mar 20, 2020

Government issues policy note and guidance on public procurement and responses to COVID-19

The Cabinet Office has issued a Procurement Policy Note (PPN) setting out information and associated guidance on the public procurement regulations and responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mar 18, 2020

High Court to hear dispute between leisure trust and regional park authority over management fee

The High Court is due tomorrow (19 March) to hear an action brought by Lee Valley Leisure Trust as part of a bitter dispute with the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority.

  MORE FEATURES

December 11, 2020

Payment approaches in major government contracts

Jenny Beresford-Jones examines a new procurement policy note on evaluating payment approaches in the procurement of major government contracts.
November 27, 2020

On good terms? Part 2

In the second of a two-part series, Kieran McGaughey completes his 10 top tips for contracting via the procurement process.
November 20, 2020

On good terms?

In the first in a two-part series, Kieran McGaughey provides top tips for contracting via the procurement process.
November 06, 2020

Publicly-owned companies, finance and state aid

Are measures adopted by publicly owned companies state resources for the purposes of state aid rules? Athina Agrafioti reports.
November 06, 2020

Does “commercial common sense” play a part in the interpretation of a contract?

Phoebe Holland breaks down the key messages in a recent High Court judgment on the legal principles of good faith, implied rationality and commercial common sense.
October 30, 2020

The cost of wrongly alleging breach of good faith: Part 36 offers and indemnity costs

A High Court judge's decisions in a multi-million pound dispute between a council and a waste company are helpful in understanding the Court’s approach to duties of good faith – and the consequences of making allegations of bad faith without sufficient evidence, write Judith Hopper and Rory Budworth.
October 15, 2020

Getting off the hook

Parishil Patel QC and Katherine Barnes provide a guide to securing release from contractual obligations and varying public contracts in light of COVID-19. [1]
October 13, 2020

The future of State aid law in the UK

A Select Committee appearance has revealed that progress has been made to find common ground on State aid regulation and that a consultation on a new UK State aid law regime may go ahead this year. Jonathan Branton and Alexander Rose report.
October 08, 2020

Shared services – collaboration is key

With a trend away from outsourcing and once again towards shared service models, Lucy Doran looks at the impact of two recent EU cases on these arrangements.
October 01, 2020

Revoking EU state aid rules: where next?

Jonathan Branton and Alexander Rose consider the implications of revoking EU State aid rules without a domestic subsidy regime in place, and set out a short term solution.
September 11, 2020

Introduction to Public Contracts Procurement

The following LexisNexis Local Government guidance note, produced in partnership with Walker Morris, provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering public contracts procurement, including the impact of Brexit.
September 03, 2020

Standing to bring a procurement challenge

A Technology & Construction Court judge recently ruled that a consortium bringing a procurement claim was not an economic operator under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and would have had no chance of winning a hypothetical procurement. Colin Ricciardello analyses the judge's reasoning.
August 27, 2020

COVID-19 and supplier relief

Mo Olatuja considers the implications COVID-19 has had on public contracts and the plans to provide supplier relief.
August 13, 2020

Discretion to exclude bidders lawful

The exercise of a contracting authority's discretion to exclude several bidders in a rail franchise procurement was proved to be lawful. Tom Beard takes a look at the judgment.
August 06, 2020

Who is in charge of the PFI Train?

Rob Hann, former Head of Legal at 4ps/Local Partnerships, gives his unique insight into the pending expiry of many PFI contracts in the local government sector and asks who will take responsibility for the next generation of local government assets and services, an issue that is becoming ever more urgent…..
August 06, 2020

Public sector rent deferrals and State aid

Jonathan Branton and Lee Pickett look into some of the ways State aid issues can arise in public sector property transactions, the ramifications and ways to proceed within the rules.
July 30, 2020

Extreme urgency?

The judicial spotlight is now trained on Regulation 32(2)(c) and the direct award of contracts on the basis of extreme urgency, writes Rachel Whitaker.
July 23, 2020

Procurement: how to reduce the risk of fraud

Following publication of a government review into the risks of fraud and corruption in local government procurement, Matt Marsh looks at what local authorities and other public bodies can do to tackle the issue.
July 09, 2020

The reality of buying AI

Gemma Nash and Matthew Mo consider the implications of the government's new Guidelines for Artificial Intelligence Procurement.
July 03, 2020

Amendments in procurement disputes

The High Court has adopted a permissive approach to amendments in a procurement dispute, write Emily Heard and Kyle Duggan.