Simon McCann Partner

Photograph of Simon McCann

Contact Details

“Very approachable and commercial Simon McCann is praised for his ability 'to explain complex parts of law into an understandable way'. ”

Legal 500 2018

“Simon specialises in public procurement and major projects including construction, development, transport infrastructure, IT, energy, public-private partnerships, joint ventures and similar projects.”

Legal 500 2018

“Vast experience at handling procurement matters where he is admired for his 'can-do attitude'.”

Legal 500 2018
Simon specialises in public and utilities procurement and major projects including construction, development, IT, energy saving partnerships, joint ventures and other vehicles.

Main areas of practice 

Simon is experienced in setting up a wide range of vehicles to deliver public and charitable services.

Significant experience 

Regional & Local Government

  • Engaged by Welsh Government to draft specialist regulations (now in force) in relation to home energy efficiency, and acted as Special Adviser to a cross-party committee of Assembly Members set up to enquire into PFI/PPP and its possible future use in Wales.
  • Welsh Government – New Fuel Poverty scheme – advising WG on all aspects of procurement of a partner to manage the scheme, administer grants and carry out energy improvement works to the homes of those in fuel poverty. Included drafting Regulations under the Housing Grants etc Act 1996, as well as drafting, negotiating and finalising contract documentation with British Gas. Currently advising Welsh Government on re-procurement of Scheme Manager for the related “Arbed” scheme (c.£45 million).

Health & Social Care

  • NHS Surrey - advising on the procurement of a Community and Primary Care Services contract using Competitive Dialogue worth an estimated £500 million over 5 years
  • Surrey PCT - Acting for NHS Surrey on the procurement exercise to find a partner for the £450 million divestment of community healthcare services (Virgin Care was successful), and the separate procurement of community healthcare services in Central Surrey valued at over £250 million (for which the successful bidder was a spin-out social enterprise company from the former PCT under Right to Request, Central Surrey Health). Both of these transactions involved transfer or continuance of clinical services, estates transfer, IT, and TUPE/Pensions issues and were procured using Competitive Dialogue. Both projects had a high degree of public scrutiny and challenge as well as political interest
  • Diagnostics managed services – acting for Cardiff and Vale LHB in a £48 million, 15-year project for haematology and biochemistry equipment, for Public Health Wales in relation to the national contract for cervical screening, and for Welsh Blood Service on the national Blood Establishment Computer System (all using Competitive Dialogue). Currently working on several ongoing diagnostics managed services


  • Aberystwyth University student accommodation PPP - advising the private partner (Balfour Beatty) throughout the tender procedure (using Competitive Dialogue) and advising on all aspects of the completion of this £40M PPP scheme for student accommodation. Our work included advising on tender processes, drafting and negotiating the full range of project documentation, finance agreements, property and tax issues.
  • Education PFIs – working for Cowlin Construction (and parent co Balfour Beatty Group in the last example) on a £17 million school project at Maesteg, a £37 million mixed academic/residential development at Plymouth University and £77 million PFI accommodation scheme at Exeter University. In each case we advised throughout the tender process and were involved in drafting/negotiating all the project documentation (including finance agreements).

Social Housing

  • Caerphilly CBC - advising the Council on all aspects of their £93 million programme to achieve WHQS, including procurement of a supply chain partner, internal/external maintenance partners, and community benefits.

Third Sector / Charities

  • Cardiff Foodbank – advising on the options for establishing the Foodbank, then advising and assisting with their application and registration as a charity.


Simon’s Blog

UK Government cracks down on illegal discrimination in procurement

One of the fundamental principles of the EU public procurement legislation is that it is illegal to discriminate against products or services on the grounds of nationality or national origin.

New European single procurement document to be introduced

The ESPD is a standardised document that focuses on self-declarations by tenderers in respect of mandatory and discretionary exclusion questions and selection questions.

Internal agreements not subject to procurement rules

The High Court today decided that a Memorandum of Understanding between the Treasury/HMRC and National Savings and Investments, to deliver the Government’s tax-free childcare scheme was not a public contract.

Articles by Simon

Autumn Statement 2016: What this means for Welsh Infrastructure


Our experts share their views on the 2016 Autumn Statement announced today.

Autumn Statement 2016: What this means for UK Infrastructure


Our experts share their views on the 2016 Autumn Statement announced today.

Brexit – what does it mean for procurement and international trade?


Simon McCann and Cathy Bryant discussed the possible effects of Brexit on procurement law with in-house lawyers from public and private sector organisations at the In-house Lawyers' Forum held at Principality Stadium Cardiff yesterday.

Related Knowledge & Resources

Land gifted by benefactor for use as school reverted back to his descendants when school replaced

The Court of Appeal clarified the legal position under legislation from a very different era but whose terms remain relevant and are still being felt today, and local authorities will need to take note with their educational buildings.

Lessons Learned in 2018

This year there have been some interesting cases looking at the conduct of local authorities and creditors when commencing bankruptcy proceedings or serving court documents on debtors.

Developers are warned by the Court of Appeal not to take the law into their own hands

Local authorities will be pleased to note that the Court of Appeal accepts that they only have to consider planning issues when presented with a planning application.

Commercial Law Briefing: Getting the Boilerplate Right

Commercial Law Briefing: Getting the Boilerplate Right - An A to Z of Commercial Contract "Boilerplate" clauses and some lessons from recent cases.