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HFW: Holman Fenwick Willan

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Brexit

Public Procurement

Lawyers helping clients overcome the impact of trade regulations

HFW's international trade regulation practice advises clients on, and resolves issues related to, the impact of regulations mandated by the European Union and World Trade Organization. Our primary objective is to help clients overcome commercial obstacles related to market access and import and export-related difficulties that result from government intervention and market regulations worldwide

What we do in Public Procurement

Public procurement is once more at the forefront of developments in EU law, with the advent of new draft EU public procurement directives and the 2012 draft Regulation which seeks to clarify the rules governing the access of third countries to the public procurement procedures of EU Member States.

Recent changes to the regime make it easier for contracts awarded in breach of public procurement rules to be set aside, and impose stricter sanctions for breaches of the regulations. The prospect that contracts entered into in breach of the public procurement rules may be undone by national courts represents a significant shift in the public procurement sphere, and is causing concern among a wide variety of our clients.

We continue to advise clients on the importance of compliance with the rules and the risks of signing contracts that are not in accordance with the legislation. With this in mind, and to keep our clients abreast of developments as they occur, we publish a range of briefings on the key issues impacting their businesses.

We frequently see overlaps between public procurement issues and other aspects of EU law, such as competition law, State aid, and the free movement of goods within the EU. We are closely monitoring the European Commision’s proposals to modernise the public procurement rules.

Our experience in Public Procurement

We provide below some examples of our experience in this area:

  • Advising a leading technology supplier on procurement of equipment by a major airport.
  • Advising a major provider in the healthcare sector on the application of the public procurement and competition rules, in particular to framework agreements.
  • Advising an airport operator on the application of the public procurement rules, including on concession agreeements and land agreements.
  • Advising a supplier of data and IT services to the health sector on a bid to supply market data services to the NHS.
  • Advising an alternative energy supplier on the application of the public procurement rules to a proposed agreement with a local authority.
  • Advising a supplier of equipment on an investigation by the World Bank into the procurement of supplies by a major foreign public body to which the World Bank had provided a loan for the project.
  • Advising a major logistics supplier on the EU public procurement and competition rules, including on framework agreements.
  • Advising a major oil company on the application of the EU public procurement rules.
  • Advising many local government authorities on public procurement aspects of regeneration, housing and leisure outsourcing contracts.
  • Advising many leading property developers on the application of public procurement rules to property regeneration projects.

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