Public Projects and Procurement

We are the largest international team of lawyers dedicated to advising both the public and private sectors on all aspects of procurement law. We have acted as trusted advisor on some of the most complex public procurement processes undertaken in the United Kingdom and beyond. Our team has also acted for bidders in respect of some of the most high profile procurement challenges in this jurisdiction.

How can we help you?

For contracting authorities/utilities, we can help with: planning a compliant procurement strategy; undertaking pre-market engagement, defending procurement challenges; drafting/reviewing procurement documents; designing evaluation methodology to achieve your commercial objectives; knowledge transfer and training/workshops; audit and review of procurement processes; and advising on changes to public contracts.

For bidders, we can help with: challenging procurement processes, shortlisting decisions and contract awards; providing workshops/training on the procurement rules and conducting negotiation sessions; advice on the novation/assignment of public contracts; and advising on "in-contract" modifications to public contracts. Given our experience in advising the public sector, we also advise bidders on their bidding strategy from pre-market engagement to contract award.

Examples of how we have helped our clients

  • Advised the UK Government Department of Energy and Climate Change in respect of a major national project involving the roll-out of some 53 million smart gas and electricity meters to households and businesses in Great Britain (the Smart Metering Implementation Programme or SMIP);
  • Securing a successful result for a major international technology company in respect of its disqualification from a public procurement process. We identified several issues with the way in which the process was conducted and enacted a strategy which resulted in the abandonment of the procurement. This enabled our client to participate in an improved re-procurement exercise, where the authority was able to utilise lessons learned from the original process;
  • Providing strategic advice for a NHS Trust in respect of utilising the Innovation Partnerships procedure – to be the first one of its kind in the United Kingdom. The process would facilitate both the research and development and subsequent procurement of a hospital patient entertainment system;
  • We regularly act for Isavia, the Icelandic-owned airport and air navigation operator, in respect of a range of procurements in accordance with the EU public procurement rules. Such projects include: the purchase of an explosive detection system at Keflavik International Airport (and the integration of that system into the airport's existing baggage handling system); and the procurement of contractors in respect of the airport's $1 billion expansion programme.

Bird & Bird have an international team of specialist procurement lawyers who would be happy to assist with challenges in a wide number of jurisdictions across the globe. Get in touch with any member of our team for further details.

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‘Their expertise on procurement law is excellent. They are good partners with very good people skills. Cannot recommend working with them enough.’

Legal 500 2020

"They go above and beyond on tasks, bringing a creative imagination and experience from other projects to matters,"

Chambers 2021

"We are extremely happy with them, above all with their transparency and the work they've done to explain what we're gaining and how to avert problems a few years down the line."

Chambers 2021

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