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Public Procurement

The EU public procurement regime applies detailed rules to the award of contracts by central and local government and by a wide range of public sector bodies.

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Public procurement regulations govern every contract under which a public authority or other State entity is procuring construction works or supplies of goods or services, provided the likely value of the contract is above one of a range of financial thresholds.

Under the rules a contracting authority which wants to procure construction works or the supply or goods, or wants to buy in services must follow strictly one of the specified tender procedures – the open procedure, restricted procedure, competitive dialogue procedure, competitive procedure with negotiation, or an innovation partnership. Contracts granting concessions, for example, to build a toll road in exchange for a share of revenues, are subject to a special regime.

Suppliers who miss out on a contract because of defects in how the procurement has been conducted can go to court to stop the tender process and seek damages for wasted tender costs or even lost profits. In some circumstances the contract can be declared ineffective.

DWF is one of the leading advisers on public procurement issues. We act for a wide range of clients, including many contracting authorities and key suppliers to the public sector. We have the experience to understand how to apply the detailed technical rules in practice. We help public sector clients to design effective and compliant tender procedures.

When things go wrong we advise on robust defence strategies. And when acting for a supplier, we can use our detailed knowledge of best practice in tender procedures to ensure that a supplier achieves the best result, whether it is influencing the contracting authority to act fairly or if necessary challenging a process in court.

Some of our experts

Jonathan Branton

Partner - Head of EU/Competition

I lead the firm in EU/Competition issues, specialising in behavioural antitrust, merger control, public procurement and State aid, and all related issues of public funding, including the UK’s Regional Growth Fund, ERDF and ESIF. I also head up the firm’s Brussels office and the firm’s cross-discipline Public Sector group.

Michael Mousdale

Partner - Head of Local Government

A Partner at the firm and Deputy Head of the Public Sector team, I specialise in local government and public procurement matters.

Colin Murray

Partner

I have a multitude of experience working for public and private sector bodies on local government law and public procurement.

Howard Cartlidge

Head of EU/Competition (London)

I advise on all aspects of EU and UK competition law. I help businesses to deal with the legal and policy aspects of regulatory disputes and investigations.

Dr. Daisy Walzel, LL.M. (oec)

Partner - Head of Competition (Germany)

I advise on all aspects of German and EU competition law, specialising in merger control, competition law compliance and provide advice on competitor co-operations and cartel proceedings.

Brona Heenan

Director

I am a highly experienced EU competition and procurement lawyer with extensive experience in representing leading US, Japanese and European clients across a broad range of industries, including media, telecommunications, energy and biotechnology.