Public Procurement

The Practice

Procurement is an area which is increasingly important to large organisations. We have a widely acclaimed and leading public procurement practice and our team has a wealth of knowledge and experience of public procurement law and practice. The team is experienced in all aspects of the public procurement law rules, including the relevant EC directives and the decisions of the Courts of Ireland and Northern Ireland and the European Court of Justice.
The team advises on the current Public Procurement (goods, supplies and works) and Utilities Directives as transposed in Ireland and as well as on national guidelines, codes of practice and other administrative measures on public procurement including freedom of information and the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015.
Our advice is about making public procurement work for our clients. This is achieved by early engagement with our clients adopting innovative and flexible structures for procurement and contracts (for example to allow for contract negotiations pre tender submission, market soundings and pilot programmes) and ensuring our clients have up to the minute access to best practices in public procurement.
We advise some of the most strategic and significant procurers in the State (daa, National Paediatric Hospital Development Board, HSE, Irish Water and Ervia, to name a few). We also advise both procurers and bidders particularly in the healthcare, energy, education and transport sectors on day to day procurement matters such as Trinity College Dublin, Temple Street Hospital,
In addition to structuring robust procurement processes for our clients we also advise those clients and indeed bidding entities on procurement processes that may be subject to challenge. We have been involved in every major procurement challenge taken in the Irish Courts over recent years. This includes defending procurement processes in the following cases before the Commercial Court or High Court of Ireland:

  • Baxter Healthcare v HSE,
  • Fresenius Ireland v HSE,
  • Carers Association v HSE,
  • Kalbay v HSE,
  • Homecare and Others v HSE,
  • OCS Solutions v daa plc.

We are currently advising bidders on a number of challenges including BAM PPP v NTMA, Applegreen plc v Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

We consider we have the leading procurement litigation practice in Ireland by some distance.

The focus on value for money and regulatory transparency in the current fiscal environment means that there is increased scrutiny on compliance with public procurement law.  In addition to rules applicable at EU level, we are also seeing greater focus on compliance with guidelines at national level (principally from the Department of Finance).  Combined with a more litigious environment on procurement matters, it has never been more important to ensure that you have the right legal advisers assisting it on public procurement matters.

We are the only law firm in Ireland which provides a free procurement update service.

 

Some recent examples of our experience:

  • Preparing suites of template procurement documents (and service level agreements) for procurement of healthcare services for HSE
  • Advising Coillte in respect of its procurement of a number of windfarms
  • Advising Trinity College on service concessions and ICT procurements
  • Advising daa on its innovative fuel farm concession procurement
  • Advising BAM PPP in its tender challenge to the award of the Grangegorman PPP
  • Advising on TUPE issue in a procurement context for RTE
  • Producing a suite of procurement documents for RTE
  • Advising National Paediatric Hospital Development Board in relation to the procurement of the new children’s hospital
  • Advising Irish Water on its energy supply tender
  • Advising Applegreen plc in respect of its tender challenge to the award of the Tranche 2 Service Areas contract by Transport Infrastructure Ireland
  • Advising HSE generally on procurement matters. Over the last three years we have assisted HSE in disposing of more than 120 potential procurement challenges to tender processes undertaken by HSE
  • Preparing a Guide to Public Procurement Law for various bodies including the National Roads Authority, RTE, the Irish Institute of Pharmacy, HSE, Exxon Mobil to name a few
  • Advising Irish Rail on its innovative luxury rail concession procurement
  • Advising various clients in relation to the impact of the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 on marketing sounding and pre-tender consultations
  • Advising various clients on freedom of information, and parliamentary questions in a public procurement context.