Bird & Bird Supports Massive BT NHS Contract Wins

09 December 2003

International law firm Bird & Bird has been assisting BT’s in-house legal team in their successful bid to support the NHS’s National IT Procurement programme. In a first wave of bids and after months of activity, BT won two contracts worth a total of £1,616 million with the Department of Health; the first as a national patient database provider and the second as a local communications and computer services provider for London. Both contracts are to last for 10 years.

As one of the biggest and most ambitious healthcare IT projects in the world, the NHS’s National IT Procurement programme is highly significant for improving patient care in the NHS. Under the terms of the “National Application Service Provider” contract, worth £620 million, BT will design, deliver and manage a nationally accessible patient database and a transactional messaging service. The second contract, known as the “NHS Care Records Service”, which is aimed at the care community within London, BT will be expected to design, deliver and operate integrated computer and communications systems. The value of this deal is £996 million.

BT’s in-house team, led by Tim Cowen, General Counsel for BT Global Services, has been working with a team from Bird & Bird, led by partner Dominic Cook. The joint teams have been working on these first wave bids for a number of months and will continue to work together throughout the remaining second wave.

Commenting on the work, Tim Cowen from BT said:

“We have been working for months on these bids and obviously are delighted that we have won them. Our internal team comprising commercial contracts, legal and regulatory experts have worked on this since last Christmas when we were one of 99 bidders. Against this background it is great to have been successful this week. This has been an innovative process for both the NHS and BT and we have adopted a flexible approach to meeting customer requirements in line with our ICT business strategy. Bird & Bird fielded a very strong team and their support has been invaluable throughout the bid process. We look forward to working with them on stage two.”

Commenting on behalf of Bird & Bird, partner Dominic Cook added:

“These contracts are among the biggest BT has ever won. This was a very exciting and complex project to have been involved in. I am delighted with the outcome. The combined BT/Bird & Bird team worked tremendously well together often against a very demanding backdrop. We had a very focused client which was very well organised and knew what it wanted which contributed in no small manner to delivering not one but two winning bids. This is an excellent result for BT and one that we are very pleased to have been part of. We look forward to Wave 2.”

For more information, please contact partner Dominic Cook on +44 (0) 20 7415 6146 or Larry Cattle on +44 (0) 20 7415 6156.