Private damages claim, public procurement context: Essential limitation advice

Gwendoline Davies and Lynsey Oakdene explain the key practical takeaways from an important case on public and private law claims arising out of public procurement. Read more
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Jan 20, 2020

NAO releases report on investigation into rescue of Carillion’s PFI hospital contracts

The government declined to bail out two PFI schemes being built by failed construction firm Carillion for risk of setting a precedent that the taxpayer would bear the risk of future PFI projects that ran into trouble, a report published last week by the National Audit Office has found.
Nov 28, 2019

Former Deputy Head of Legal at Blackpool joins Forbes Solicitors as Senior Associate

The former acting Head of Legal and Deputy Head of Legal (Regeneration and Governance) at Blackpool Borough Council, Gemma Duxbury, has joined Forbes Solicitors as a Senior Associate.
Oct 09, 2019

Court of Appeal dismisses procurement challenge over award of leases for land housing outdoor advertising structures

The Court of Appeal has rejected a legal challenge to a London borough’s award of leases for land on which structures that support large digital advertising screens are situated.
Oct 01, 2019

NHS bodies urge scrapping of s.75 tendering rules and removing healthcare commissioning from Public Contracts Regulations

There is strong public and NHS staff support for scrapping section 75 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and for removing the commissioning of NHS healthcare services from the jurisdiction of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, NHS England and NHS Improvement have said.
Sep 26, 2019

Elected mayor criticises North East transport body over procurement of train contract

Tees Valley’s Conservative elected mayor has criticised the region’s Labour councils over the reported award of a rail contact to a foreign firm instead of locally-based Hitachi Rail.
Sep 19, 2019

Guidance issued for Whitehall departments and other bodies on managing modern slavery risks in procurement

The Cabinet Office has issued a procurement policy note (PPN) and guidance setting out how Government departments should identify and manage modern slavery risks in both existing contracts and new procurement activity.
Sep 09, 2019

Electronic signatures can be used to execute documents as long as usual rules are met: Law Commission

Electronic signatures can be used to execute documents, including where there is a statutory requirement for a signature, the Law Commission has said.
Aug 15, 2019

Council succeeds in getting procurement claim brought by NHS trust struck out

The Technology and Construction Court has accepted Cornwall Council's arguments that a procurement claim made against it by the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust should be struck out.
Aug 12, 2019

Unsuccessful bidder challenges TfL over award of contract for proposed Silvertown Tunnel

The reserve bidder for the design, build, finance and maintain contract for the proposed Silvertown Tunnel has launched a legal challenge to the procurement process undertaken by Transport for London.
Aug 06, 2019

Council defeats High Court bid for declaration of ineffectiveness over development agreement

A High Court judge has dismissed a property investment company’s bid for a declaration of ineffectiveness of a contract entered into by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council for a major regeneration scheme.
Aug 02, 2019

Leak of £22m council regeneration scheme documents referred to police

North Yorkshire Police are investigating a leak of Council documents which revealed plans by Scarborough Borough Council to borrow £22 million to fund a regeneration scheme.


January 31, 2020

Allocation of risk in construction contracts

Rachel Murray-Smith and Oliver Slater look at the importance when entering construction contracts of the parties reflecting the allocation of risk.
January 24, 2020

Climate emergency #6: have you thought about Procurement?

Phil Roberts and Matthew Mo set out how public procurement can play a role in tackling climate change.
January 24, 2020

Public procurement challenges require strict and swift approach

Gwendoline Davies and Lynsey Oakdene offer practical advice arising from a High Court decision in a recent public procurement challenge.
January 10, 2020

Rectification of written contracts – a mistake corrected

Max Thorowgood and Jonathan Pennington Legh analyse a recent Court of Appeal ruling on the rectification of contracts.
December 17, 2019

Investing public money in district heating

Steve Gummer and Catherine Maddox analyse an important recent decision from the European Commission that will be helpful to authorities considering district heating schemes.
December 06, 2019

Poor performance and exclusion of bidders

In a recent case the Court of Justice of the European Union has provided guidance on applying exclusions to potential problem bidders. Rebecca McLean reviews the judgment.
November 29, 2019

Confidentiality Rings

Helen Prandy sets out the key considerations when confidentiality rings are employed in procurement cases.
November 14, 2019

Intellectual Property (IP) essentials for the public sector

Ben Travers examines how public bodies can protect their interests when it comes to intellectual property.
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Jul 02, 2019

Select committee backs plans to reduce burdens of competition rules on NHS

Collaboration, rather than competition, is the best way forward for the NHS and the wider health and care system, MPs on the Health and Social Care Committee have said.
Jun 12, 2019

NHS Counter Fraud Authority identifies key areas for investigation in 2019/20

General practice contracts, pharmaceutical contractors and procurement and commissioning will be the key areas investigated by the NHS Counter Fraud Authority in the coming year.
Jun 12, 2019

Contract insourcing on the rise: APSE

New research from the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) has found that the ‘insourcing’ of local authority services is growing strongly, with 73% of survey respondents suggesting they were in the process of insourcing a service and 45% having already done so.
May 29, 2019

Judge issues ruling in preliminary trial of legal actions over highways procurement and abandonment decision

A High Court judge has handed down his findings in a preliminary trial of a procurement challenge brought over the award of a highways contract where the claimant scored just 0.03 lower than the winning bidder.
May 23, 2019

State aid complaint to Brussels sees stadium row rumble on

Coventry City Football Club’s owner has made a complaint to the European Commission that the city council’s sale of the Ricoh Arena to Wasps rugby club breached state aid rules.
May 23, 2019

Judge gives clinical commissioning group go-ahead to award elective surgery contract

A judge has this week allowed Rushcliffe Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to award an elective surgery contract to Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) NHS Trust, following a legal challenge by Circle Health.
May 21, 2019

Judge refuses application by unsuccessful bidder for injunction over award of road improvement contract

A High Court judge has refused an application by an unsuccessful bidder for an interim injunction over the London Borough of Haringey’s decision to award a £630,000 road-improvement contract near the new Spurs stadium to a rival contractor.
May 13, 2019

Department for Transport knew in advance of signing freight contracts that procurement challenge was likely to succeed

The accounting officer at the Department for Transport concluded that a procurement challenge was likely to be successful if it was raised over the signing of contracts for additional freight capacity on ferry services between Britain and mainland Europe, it has emerged.
May 02, 2019

City council hit by legal action over procurement of bus shelters

Leicester City Council is facing a £2m legal claim from street furniture contractor JC Decaux over a contract to provide bus shelters.
May 02, 2019

Health care provider brings procurement challenge over contract award by CCG

Health care provider Circle has launched a High Court challenge against Rushcliffe Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) over its award of an elective surgery contract to an NHS trust that Circle claims is in a poor financial state.
Apr 26, 2019

P&O Ferries in legal action against Department for Transport over £33m settlement of Eurotunnel procurement claim

P&O Ferries has initiated legal proceedings against the Government over the £33m payment to Eurotunnel to settle its claim over the award of contracts for the provision of additional freight capacity.
Apr 23, 2019

Supreme Court refuses football club owners permission to appeal state aid ruling

The Supreme Court has refused companies related to the owners of Coventry City Football Club, Sisu, permission to appeal in a dispute over decisions taken by Coventry City Council in relation to the Ricoh Arena.
Apr 11, 2019

Claimant lawyers press for early trial of incinerator procurement

Lawyers acting for campaigners against a Gloucestershire incinerator have said they will press for an early trial of their claim that it was tendered in breach of regulations.
Apr 08, 2019

Cabinet Office warns businesses to pay suppliers on time or risk losing out on government contracts

The Cabinet Office has written to more than 10,000 businesses to warn that they must pay their suppliers on time or face being prevented from winning further government contracts.
Mar 13, 2019

Cabinet Office consults on new evaluation model for social value for central government buyers

The Cabinet Office has launched a consultation on requiring central government departments carrying out procurements to take account of social impact as part of the award criteria, “where the social impact is linked to the subject-matter of the contract and proportionate to what is being procured”.
Mar 08, 2019

Government issues procurement policy note on preparing UK for leaving EU

The Cabinet Office has this week (7 March) issued a procurement policy note on how the UK’s public procurement regulations will be affected in the event of either an agreed deal with the EU or a no deal exit from the EU.
Mar 01, 2019

Transport Secretary settles Eurotunnel procurement claim for reported £33m

The Secretary of State for Transport has settled for a reported £33m the procurement challenge brought by Eurotunnel over the award of contracts for the provision of additional freight capacity.
Feb 28, 2019

Borough council faces legal challenge over procurement of development partner

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council faces a legal challenge over its choice of development partner for a major regeneration project.
Feb 26, 2019

Cabinet Office issues reminder on applying exclusions in public procurement

The Cabinet Office has issued a reminder to contracting authorities of their obligations in applying exclusions and managing conflicts of interest in public procurement.
Feb 26, 2019

Government publishes ‘outsourcing playbook’ to deliver better public services

The Government has launched an ‘outsourcing playbook’ intended to improve how Whitehall works with industry and deliver better public services.
Jan 28, 2019

Information Commissioner calls for FOIA and EIR reform to address outsourcing

The Information Commissioner has called for the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) to be updated to include organisations providing a public function.
Jan 17, 2019

Council eyes Internal Control Commission after £8m+ overspend in repairs service

Councillors at the London Borough of Newham will next week (22 January) consider a proposal from its mayor and Cabinet for the establishment of an Internal Control Commission, in the aftermath of an £8.78m overspend in its Repairs and Maintenance Service (RMS) in a single year.
Jan 15, 2019

NHS trust infringed trade mark owned by consultancy, court rules

An NHS trust infringed a consultancy’s trade mark in its promotion of mental health services, the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court has ruled.
Dec 20, 2018

Review criticises ex-leader for exceeding authority in bins dispute

The Leader of Birmingham City Council at the time of a long-running waste management dispute in 2017 did not have the authority by himself to make an agreement with the UNITE union that was contained in an ACAS press release about a purported settlement, a review carried out by law firm VWV has found.
Dec 13, 2018

Secretary of State concern at amount of borrowing at some councils for commercial purposes

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has expressed concern at the level of borrowing for commercial purposes that some local authorities are undertaking.
Nov 29, 2018

Football club owner bids to take stadium state aid case to Supreme Court

Litigation over Coventry’s Ricoh Arena is set to enter its fifth year after the owner of Coventry City Football Club said it would appeal to the Supreme Court against a ruling won in October by the city council.
Nov 21, 2018

Minister unveils details of ‘social value’ measures for government procurements

Central government procurements will be required by summer 2019 to take social and economic benefits into account in certain priority areas, Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington has announced.
Nov 19, 2018

Court of Appeal allows appeal over development agreement and procurement

The Court of Appeal has handed down a key ruling on public procurement law and development agreements, also making the first declaration of ineffectiveness in England.
Oct 30, 2018

Think tank urges greater social responsibility in outsourcing contracts

Loss of public confidence in outsourcing could lead to a £30bn bill for councils if they feel obliged to bring services back in-house.


November 14, 2019

Collateral warranties – time is of the essence!

Social housing providers should particularly be aware of a recent case in the context of subcontractor and novated consultant warranties in their favour. Zoe Stollard and Priscilla Hall discuss how, without careful drafting, the benefit of a later collateral warranty may expire at the same time as the earlier underlying Building Contract.
November 08, 2019

Recovering costs after the lifting of automatic suspensions

Melanie Pears and Tim Care examine a case where a claimant bidder argued that the defendant contracting authority should not have all the costs of its successful application to lift an automatic suspension.
November 01, 2019

Public procurement with SMEs and the mafia

A recent judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union should act as a reminder of the importance of adapting procurement to the needs of SMEs, writes Anja Beriro.
October 25, 2019

Government automated-decision making

Robin Allen QC and Dee Masters, who run the and tweet at @AILawHub, summarise the main points from their recent report on artificial intelligence and automated decision-making in government, warning that some local authorities could be acting in a discriminatory way.
October 25, 2019

Leases, outdoor advertising and concessions

The Court of Appeal recently rejected a legal challenge to a London borough’s award of leases for land on which structures that support large digital advertising screens are situated. Mari Roberts explains why.
October 25, 2019

Supplier administrations: how to respond

What should you do if a supplier goes into administration? Chloe Poskitt provides a general overview of administration and what options are open to schools and other bodies.
October 18, 2019

Nothing to smile about: Dentists’ contract dispute highlights potential pitfalls for commercial parties

Gwendoline Davies offers practical advice for commercial contracting parties following a Court of Appeal case involving the application and interaction of common 'boilerplate' clauses, as well as the test for implying terms.
October 11, 2019

What is a ‘reasonable endeavours’ obligation, and is it a sensible solution?

Gwendoline Davies explains what a party needs to do to comply with a ‘reasonable endeavours’ obligation, and considers whether endeavours clauses are always a sensible solution.
October 11, 2019

Procuring bike share schemes

Colin Murray and Bradley Martin set out how public bodies can procure bike share schemes - without reinventing the wheel.
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October 04, 2019

Abandoning a procurement exercise - when can a contracting authority extinguish a challenge?

Lucy James looks at the legal effect of a decision to abandon a procurement exercise and whether it extinguishes an accrued cause of action a bidder may have against a contracting authority for breaches of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 SI 2015/102 (PCR 2015).
September 27, 2019

Contract drafting and Brexit

Anja Beriro sets out some key considerations for local authorities drafting contracts as Brexit nears.
September 13, 2019

Procurement challenges, later matters and limitation

Cornwall Council recently defeated procurement and judicial review claims over the provision of sexual health services in the county. Joseph Barrett sets out the wider points of principle from the High Court ruling.
September 06, 2019

Bidders and legal entities

Is it obligatory for bidders to remain as the same legal entity between pre-selection and submission of tenders? Tim Care and Melanie Pears comment on a CJEU judgment.
August 30, 2019

Declarations of ineffectiveness and the Public Contracts Regulations 2015

A recent procurement case has brought into focus the circumstances when the remedy of a declaration of ineffectiveness may be available under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, write Richard Collins and Kathrine Eddon.
August 30, 2019

In the frame

Anja Beriro and Peter Ware analyse some of the key considerations around the use of frameworks in public procurement.
August 23, 2019

Third country bidders and goods in the EU procurement market

Lucy Gregory analyses the key points from recent European Commission guidance on third country bidders.
August 16, 2019

Common mistake and rectification of contracts

The Court of Appeal has laid down a new test for rectification of contracts based on common mistake, write Adam Greaves and Liz Williams.
August 09, 2019

Local authority companies and governance: LLG's Codes of Practice

Rob Hann looks at the Lawyers in Local Government’s Codes of Practice for Local Authority Companies.
August 02, 2019

Local Authority Companies – the importance of good governance

James Hawkins and Scott Dorling consider the key issues that councils must consider when setting up local authority companies.
August 02, 2019

State aid, MEOP and district heating

Karl Edwards analyses a recent ruling that gives guidance on applying the market economy operator principle to district heating schemes.
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