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A bold new world?

Kieran McGaughey provides some practical tips for local authorities in tackling the new subsidy control regime. Read more
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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 27, 2021

Sharpe Pritchard appoints Rob Hann as Head of Local Government

Specialist public law firm Sharpe Pritchard has appointed Rob Hann as its Head of Local Government.
Jan 19, 2021

Law firm teams up with CommercialGov to deliver governance for commercial activity masterclass for LGA

Sharpe Pritchard is working with CommercialGov to provide a commercial governance masterclass for the Local Government Association.
Dec 18, 2020

Secretary of State to send in governance and finance experts to Nottingham City Council

The Local Government Secretary has said the Government will appoint experts in governance and finance to a new Improvement and Assurance Board at Nottingham City Council.
Dec 10, 2020

Borough council calls in leading local government lawyer to review actions over £250m stadium loan

Woking Borough Council has appointed prominent local government lawyer Gifty Edila to conduct an independent review of its actions over a controversial stadium development in which it offered a developer a £250m loan.
Dec 09, 2020

Ministry asks Liverpool City Council for information on steps taken to secure effective governance in wake of arrests

The Government has asked Liverpool City Council to provide information on the steps it has taken and proposes to take to secure effective governance, in light of a Merseyside Police investigation which has resulted in the arrest and subsequent release on conditional bail of a number of people including the city’s mayor, Joe Anderson.
Dec 08, 2020

Law firm advises county council on £43m learning and leisure campus

Law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has advised Northumberland County Council on the development of a multi-million-pound learning and leisure campus in Ponteland.
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 26, 2020

Browne Jacobson advises Homes England on largest West Midlands regeneration project agreement

Law firm Browne Jacobson has advised Homes England on its agreement, in partnership with Walsall Council, with Henry Boot PLC for the largest regeneration project in the West Midlands, Phoenix 10.


January 22, 2021

EIAs, end products of development and greenhouse gases

Do Environmental Impact Assessments apply to products derived from a development? David Hart QC looks at a recent case concerning the grant of planning permission for drilling for oil.
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 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.
December 23, 2020

Max Power

Paul Feild looks at the key points arising out of the non-statutory review into Nottingham City Council and Robin Hood Energy.
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.
December 11, 2020

Gigafactories: a key to unlocking growth and a greener world

There has been considerable recent debate about the benefits of a gigafactory, but to many, gigafactories are a new or unknown concept and the opportunities they represent even more opaque. Amardeep Gill and Scott Dorling look at what they involve.
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.


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 17, 2020

Law firm advises Newcastle City Council on Stephenson Quarter regeneration joint venture

Law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has advised Newcastle City Council on its joint venture with private sector developer PfP igloo, a partnership that will complete the rebirth of the city’s Stephenson Quarter.
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

Borough council seeks to appoint legal adviser to £800k contract for regeneration project

Guildford Borough Council is looking to appoint a legal services provider to a £800,000 contract to advise on a major regeneration project.
Nov 03, 2020

Government orders non-statutory review into city council after closure of its energy company

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has ordered a rapid non-statutory review into Nottingham City Council that will examine “the serious governance and risk management issues” associated with the council’s private energy company Robin Hood Energy (RHE).
Oct 29, 2020

Public interest report accuses council of “collective corporate blindness” over finances and business ventures

The London Brough of Croydon suffered “collective corporate blindness” when it lost control of its finances and involved itself with business ventures it did not properly understand, an audit report has found.
Oct 07, 2020

Owner of stadium built for London Olympics sues law firm over advice on West Ham concession agreement

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and E20 Stadium have launched a professional negligence legal action against top City law firm Allen & Overy (A&O) over the concession agreement entered into with Premier League club West Ham for the stadium used in the London Olympics.
Oct 07, 2020

London borough brings in PWC to review arrangements with its companies, ahead of bid to obtain financial support from Government

Croydon Council has selected PWC to carry out an independent strategic review of its arrangements with its companies and other entities, as part of the local authority’s preparations for a submission to Government aimed at securing financial support.
Oct 01, 2020

London Mayor withdraws judicial review claim over proposed incinerator

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has blamed the prospect of having to incur substantial costs at a full hearing for his decision to withdraw his judicial review claim over a proposed incinerator in Bexley.
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 14, 2020

Council awarded indemnity costs after High Court waste dispute win

A High Court judge has awarded Essex County Council indemnity costs after ruling earlier this year that the local authority had been entitled as of 13 June 2019 to terminate a 25-year contract with UBB for the processing of household waste.
Sep 08, 2020

City council shuts loss-making energy company, agrees action plan to address governance failings

The UK's first energy company to be set up and run by a council is to be shut down and its customer base sold to a rival energy supplier, following an audit which found serious governance failings.
Sep 08, 2020

Trowers advises not-for-profit housing company on £100m regeneration project

Trowers & Hamlins has advised Tirion Homes, a “not-for-profit” housing company, on first phase refinancing of The Mill, a £100m, residential-led urban regeneration project in Cardiff, by M&G Investments.
Sep 03, 2020

Cabinet votes against trading company proposal despite concerns of monitoring officer over conduct of meeting

Broadland District Council’s Cabinet has voted down a proposal to form a local authority trading company for waste services despite concerns from its monitoring officer about the conduct of the meeting.
Sep 03, 2020

Isle of Wight Council takes preliminary steps for legal action over ‘floating bridge’ ferry

Isle of Wight Council has taken pre-action legal steps with suppliers of the island’s ‘floating bridge’ ferry after it spent most of the summer out of action.
Sep 03, 2020

London mayor granted permission for judicial review challenge over incinerator plan

The High Court has agreed to allow London mayor Sadiq Khan to challenge at judicial review a plan to build an incinerator at Belvedere, in south-east London.
Aug 20, 2020

Council facing £5m+ claim from construction firm after project stopped during lockdown: report

Northumberland County Council faces a legal claim for some £5.5m after a construction project was shut during the COVID-19 lockdown, it has been reported.
Jul 28, 2020

Another local authority expresses interest in calling off legal services from Harlow special projects framework

A fifth local authority in Essex has expressed interest in calling off legal services from a £4m framework being set up by Harlow District Council to provide support for special projects.
Jul 23, 2020

Procurement: how to reduce the risk of fraud

Following publication of a government review into the risks of fraud and corruption in local government procurement, Matt Marsh looks at what local authorities and other public bodies can do to tackle the issue.
Jul 22, 2020

Town council vows to contribute to £50k fund for judicial review of airport reopening

Ramsgate Town Council is to contribute to a fund to take Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to judicial review over his decision to allow the reopening of Manston airport.
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 15, 2020

LGA warns on risk of having to return £730m in unspent EU funds

More than £730m of European Union funds that could help local economies recover from the Covid-19 pandemic has been left unspent by Whitehall, the Local Government Association (LGA) has claimed.
Jul 14, 2020

Council stymied after legal advice suggests no basis to challenge consent order for solar power station

Legal advice obtained by Swale Borough Council on the prospect of a judicial review to overturn a consent order for a 350 MW solar power station and battery storage on Graveney Marshes has suggested that there is no basis upon which the decision can be legally challenged.


November 13, 2020

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the exceptional circumstances test

The Planning Court has dismissed a challenge to a decision granting planning permission for relocation of works at a nuclear power station within an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). Leanne Buckley-Thomson analyses the ruling.
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.
October 30, 2020

The cost of wrongly alleging breach of good faith: Part 36 offers and indemnity costs

A High Court judge's decisions in a multi-million pound dispute between a council and a waste company are helpful in understanding the Court’s approach to duties of good faith – and the consequences of making allegations of bad faith without sufficient evidence, write Judith Hopper and Rory Budworth.
October 27, 2020

Rebalancing the housing system

When it comes to building new communities, writes Ian Doolittle, does local authority housing hold the key?
October 15, 2020

Getting off the hook

Parishil Patel QC and Katherine Barnes provide a guide to securing release from contractual obligations and varying public contracts in light of COVID-19. [1]
October 13, 2020

The future of State aid law in the UK

A Select Committee appearance has revealed that progress has been made to find common ground on State aid regulation and that a consultation on a new UK State aid law regime may go ahead this year. Jonathan Branton and Alexander Rose report.
October 08, 2020

Shared services – collaboration is key

With a trend away from outsourcing and once again towards shared service models, Lucy Doran looks at the impact of two recent EU cases on these arrangements.
October 01, 2020

Revoking EU state aid rules: where next?

Jonathan Branton and Alexander Rose consider the implications of revoking EU State aid rules without a domestic subsidy regime in place, and set out a short term solution.
September 17, 2020

Emergency Services collaboration

Nathan East considers the PEEL report which looked into the successes and pitfalls of police-to-police collaboration.
September 10, 2020

TUPE and splitting contracts of employment

Can a contract of employment be divided between transferees following a TUPE transfer? Charles Pigott examines a recent ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union.
September 03, 2020

Standing to bring a procurement challenge

A Technology & Construction Court judge recently ruled that a consortium bringing a procurement claim was not an economic operator under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and would have had no chance of winning a hypothetical procurement. Colin Ricciardello analyses the judge's reasoning.
September 03, 2020

Delivering Infrastructure in Wales: Current issues

Russell Harris QC, James Maurici QC and Heather Sargent consider issues that infrastructure projects are currently facing in Wales, including the delivery of infrastructure in National Parks and AONBs, and the impact of the Habitats Regulations.
August 20, 2020

The impact of withdrawn Part 36 offers when resolving disputes

Justine Soutter considers the effect of a recent case, involving a borough council, on withdrawn Part 36 offers for successful parties.
August 13, 2020

Act fast to take advantage of the Green Homes Grant

Last week the Government announced the inclusion of local authorities in England within the scope of applicants for the Green Homes Grant. Nathan Bradberry and Maxim Laithwaite discuss how local authorities can get the most out of the scheme.
August 06, 2020

Who is in charge of the PFI Train?

Rob Hann, former Head of Legal at 4ps/Local Partnerships, gives his unique insight into the pending expiry of many PFI contracts in the local government sector and asks who will take responsibility for the next generation of local government assets and services, an issue that is becoming ever more urgent…..
July 23, 2020

Waste planning in a commercial context

A High Court judge recently ruled that Essex County Council was entitled in 2019 to terminate a 25-year contract for the processing of household waste. Stephen Tromans QC explains why.
July 23, 2020

Coronavirus – accentuating the differences

V. Charles Ward looks at the issues thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to exchange of contracts, transfer of funds, and due diligence identification.
July 23, 2020

Deferral of CIL

Christopher Cant looks at the government's proposals on the deferral of the Community Infrastructure Levy and sets out areas of concern for local authorities.
July 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.
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June 29, 2020

Income-strip and housing supply

When it comes to boosting housing supply, is income-strip a potential solution? Paul McDermott looks at the advantages.