About Me

I am a London-based a partner in our Commercial practice, focusing on public sector and utilities procurement, particularly in infrastructure. I have worked extensively with all manner of Government and regulated bodies both nationally and internationally.

I'm one of the co-heads of our International Projects and Procurement Group which is networked right across our European offices and beyond. I also lead on our International Airports' initiatives which again sees us advising on projects across the globe.

Over the course of my legal career, I have designed, managed and successfully implemented some of the most complex competitive procurement processes undertaken. I work extremely closely with clients to design an approach which not only ensures legal and regulatory compliance but, more importantly, also makes sure that the very best outcome is secured. Supporting bidders on formal competitive processes is also a key part of my practice and it is clear that the better a client understands the process and requirements of the organisation it is bidding into, the higher the chance of success.

I often work with multi-practice teams on high value transactions, including Government disposals and outsourcings and am increasingly involved in identifying and responding to high value procurement opportunities across the UK and abroad. I also have day-to-day responsibility for high profile procurement litigation, on both the claimant and defendant sides.

I am a member of the Procurement Lawyers Association, was an external member of the Northern Ireland Procurement Board for over eight years and also serve on several other strategic review and oversight boards.
Experience
  • Isavia ohf: advising on the $2bn redevelopment project.
  • C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group: advising on the creation of a framework to appoint local consultants to deliver action plans for climate control iniatives in 15 cities across the globe, with a strong focus on knowledge transfer.
  • The Christie NHS Foundation Trust: acting on procuring a vendor of consumer entertainment and information platforms to work in partnership with the Trust to deliver a new patient entertainment and information system at the hospital.
Education

Studied

  • University of Dundee, LLB (Hons), Law

Admissions

  • Law Society of Northern Ireland in 2000
  • England & Wales Law Society Registration
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Testimonials

Stuart Cairns is, for us, the leading procurement lawyer in London. He's pragmatic, agile, creative and inventive. He's exceptionally knowledgeable of the rules and knows how to make them work for his clients both public or private sector. He is the most learned, practical, connected and yet pleasant lawyer I have ever worked with.

Legal 500 UK, 2021

Stuart Cairns is the most connected and applied lawyer we have ever worked with. His clients' record of achievement is attributable to his learned knowledge, his skill in fitting it to the task and his ability to blend advice into the practical in all things. He is extremely busy but somehow always manages to address issues great and small and bring opportunities to enhance the project. You will never leave a meeting with Stuart without gaining substantially.

Legal 500 UK, 2022

Stuart is comprehensive, has global knowledge and takes a solution-oriented approach. "Stuart has experience and an overview of European public procurement that few can match."

Chambers UK, 2022

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