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TUPE: Splitting employees’ contracts after a service provision change

In a case which leaves practical difficulties, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has confirmed that employees’ contracts can be split between multiple transferees on a service provision change, write Zoë Wigan, Hilary Larter and Ceri Fuller. Read more
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  NEWS

May 11, 2021

Planning, procurement and judicial review legislation to the fore in Queen's Speech

Bills covering planning, procurement, subsidy control, judicial review and electoral integrity are among the key pieces of legislation outlined in today’s Queen’s Speech.
May 10, 2021

High Court judge explains £250k cost-capping order in PPE procurement proceedings

A High Court judge has given her reasons for making a costs capping order of £250,000 in respect of both the claimants, the Good Law Project and EveryDoctor, and the defendant, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, in the procurement challenge over the award of contracts for the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Apr 28, 2021

High Court judge criticises “disproportionate” £450k+ costs estimate put forward by Cabinet Office for one-day hearing of procurement legal challenge

The Cabinet Office’s £450,000 estimated likely costs for defending a legal challenge over its award of a contract for the provision of polling services during the pandemic appeared – without further explanation from the defendant– to be “disproportionate for a one day hearing, even in a complicated procurement case”, a High Court judge has said.
Apr 06, 2021

Councils may have suffered because of ‘pre-paid cards’ cartel, according to provisional findings of regulator

Local authorities may have missed out on an alternative supplier of pre-paid cards or products that were either cheaper or better suited to both their needs and the needs of those using such cards, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has said after provisionally finding that five companies engaged in cartel behaviour.
Mar 01, 2021

Welsh Government consults on draft Bill putting partnership working on formal footing

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on a new Bill intended to put partnership working on a formal footing to improve work in Wales.
Feb 26, 2021

County council issues findings of review after successful procurement challenge by incumbent parking enforcement contractor costs £1.6m

Oxfordshire County Council has published the findings of an external review launched after the existing parking enforcement contractor made a successful challenge to the local authority’s procurement award process.
Feb 23, 2021

High Court strikes out bid by councils to rescind loans from Barclays following 'LIBOR' rigging affair

A High Court judge has struck out claims brought by seven councils and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority for rescission of certain loans with Barclays which they said were affected by the LIBOR rigging affair of 2012.
Feb 19, 2021

Health Secretary "unlawfully failed to comply with transparency policy" when procuring PPE: High Court judge

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care acted unlawfully by failing to comply with the Government’s ‘Transparency Policy’ when procuring PPE (personal protective equipment) during the pandemic, a High Court judge has ruled.
Feb 15, 2021

New partner at DAC Beachcroft to lead procurement law offering

Law firm DAC Beachcroft has hired Katherine Calder, a specialist in public procurement and state aid, as a partner.
Feb 10, 2021

Independent review of construction frameworks to establish ‘gold standard’, identify standard contract terms

The Cabinet Office has launched an independent review into construction frameworks as part of the implementation of the ‘Construction Playbook’.

  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

April 22, 2021

What next for procurement challenges?

Andrew Millross considers the proposals in the procurement Green Papers for ‘fast and fair challenges’.
April 22, 2021

Lessons from Bechtel v HS2

A recent Technology and Construction Court ruling relating to HS2 procurement addressed a wide range of important issues, write Emily Heard and Victoria Croshaw.
April 15, 2021

The procurement Green Paper: no marks for DPS+ or framework proposals

The proposals concerning dynamic purchasing systems (DPS) and framework agreements are the most disappointing aspect of the procurement Green Paper, writes Andrew Millross.
April 08, 2021

Approaches by bidders to payment

Jenny Beresford-Jones examines a procurement policy note, effective from the beginning of April, on taking account of a bidder’s approach to payment in the procurement of major contracts.
March 26, 2021

Transformation? Or transparency gone too far?

Kieran McGaughey provides a local authority view on the transparency obligations contained in the procurement Green Paper.
March 26, 2021

The procurement Green Paper and selection of tenderers

Andrew Millross examines the proposals in relation to the selection (prequalification) of tenderers contained in the Green Paper: Transforming Public Procurement.
March 19, 2021

From 'MEAT' to 'MAT'

Andrew Millross examines a proposal in the Green Paper: Transforming public procurement to change the basis of contract awards from “most economically advantageous tender” (MEAT) to “most advantageous tender” (MAT).
March 12, 2021

Reliance/inducement and misrepresentation by conduct

The Commercial Court has reviewed the test for reliance/inducement for misrepresentation by conduct in a case brought by local authorities against a major bank. Tim Lord QC and Kyle Lawson analyse the judgment.

  MORE 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.
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.

  MORE FEATURES

March 05, 2021

Late publication of contracts

David Mitchell examines a recent ruling that the late publication of coronavirus contracts by the Department of Health and Social Care was unlawful.
March 05, 2021

Proposals for a new procurement regulator

In a second briefing on the Government's Green Paper, Andrew Millross looks at the proposal for a new "body" to oversee procurement practice by all contracting authorities and the issues it raises for those bodies outside central government.
March 05, 2021

Pre-contract – and in contract – be pre-cise

When it comes to development contracts and disputes, what are the issues? Claire Acklam explains.
February 19, 2021

Procurement in an Emergency

The Cabinet Office has published its first Procurement Policy Note (PPN) of 2021 – PPN 01/21: Procurement in an Emergency. Fran Mussellwhite analyses what it says.
February 12, 2021

Covid-19 and Specific Changes in Law

Amy Callahan-Page sets out the key points from a recent High Court ruling on risk allocation between a council and a leisure centre operator.
February 12, 2021

Procurement principles – a particularly European approach

Andrew Millross looks at the proposal in the Government's Green Paper: Transforming public procurement to set out 'public procurement principles' in the proposed legislation.
February 05, 2021

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.
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.
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.