Public Procurement Challenges and Public Procurement Litigation
Blake Morgan’s specialist team of public procurement litigation solicitors advise both bidders and contracting authorities on challenges arising from public procurements in all sectors.
Our extensive procurement expertise and up to date knowledge of both domestic and European law enables us to advise on the best course of action to adopt tailored to the circumstances in issue.
We have extensive experience of dealing with Court proceedings involving all kinds of procurement disputes and in negotiating settlements in this area, including through mediation.
Main Areas Of Practice
Our experts advise economic operators and contracting authorities on the lawfulness of procurement documents and whether they are lawful or open to challenge.
Lawfulness of the procurement process
We advise on the lawfulness of procurement processes and whether grounds of challenge exist. We deal with all types of challenges including those relating to evaluation criteria and scoring methodologies, manifest errors, sub-criteria, breaches of the principles of transparency, equal treatment, proportionality and non-discrimination and those involving limitation issues.
Our procurement experts advise on the information to which economic operators are entitled following the notification of the contract award including standstill obligations and standstill periods where applicable.
The automatic suspension
We are experienced in navigating with clients the implications of issuing Court proceedings and the effect of the automatic suspension, including dealing with applications to lift the automatic suspension.
We advise on the issue of state aid in procurement processes and advise on challenges based on allegations that there has been unlawful use of state aid.
Our experts are experienced in appropriately preserving confidentiality in commercially sensitive information by using confidentiality rings within procurement proceedings.
The expertise of our procurement litigation team also extends to dealing with challenges to procurement decisions which may need to be brought by way of judicial review.
We act for a substantial number of private sector clients ranging from large multi-national companies to charities and SMEs.
We also act for a substantial number of public sector organisations throughout the UK including Welsh Government, NHS England, NHS Wales Shared Services, all Local Health Boards in Wales, NHS bodies including CCGs and Trusts and a number of local authorities.
Successfully defending NHS England in a £1bn procurement challenge brought to its largest ever medicines procurement involving the supply of Hepatitis C (AbbVie Limited -v- NHS Commissioning Board (operating under the name of NHS England)  EWHC 61 (TCC)).
Advising an economic operator on and during a simultaneous procurement challenge to and judicial review of a contracting authority's published ITT documentation during a procurement process. To include issues arising around the automatic suspension, sealing of the court file, consolidation of the case management of the proceedings, confidentiality obligations and ultimately, the successful conclusion of the dispute.
Successfully acting for NHS England in the first case to consider the NHS (Competition, Procurement and Patient Choice) No 2 Regulations 2013. The case concerned an application for Judicial Review of a decision by NHS England not to contract with a provider for an interim period pending a national review and procurement of the service in question. Damages were also claimed under the Human Rights Act 1998 ( EWHC 3752 (admin))
A Romanian court requested a preliminary ruling on the interpretation of Article 57(4)(g) of Directive (2014/24/EU) ("the Directive") which is the discretionary exclusion ground for significant or persistent deficiencies in...Read More
A reminder that procurement claims must be brought within time and by economic operators with the necessary standing
A national health trust (and incumbent provider of the services being procured) ("the Trust") challenged a contracting authority's contract award decision. The Trust had decided not to bid for the...Read More
An Italian court requested a preliminary reference ruling from the European Court of Justice ("ECJ") around the meaning of the "grave professional misconduct" discretionary exclusion, pursuant to Directive 2004/18. In...Read More