Public Procurement

The Practice

Arthur Cox has a widely acclaimed and leading Public Procurement practice with its team having a wealth of knowledge and experience of Public Procurement law and practice.   We offer an end to end procurement service from devising procurement strategies to contract administration and management.  Our Practice advises public bodies and utilities on how to structure procurements to deliver optimum results using legally robust procurement processes.    We also advise bidders on successful procurement strategies and on their legal rights in public procurement.  We advise clients in relation to the bringing and/or defending procurement challenges and work closely with our Litigation and Dispute Resolution colleagues in this respect.

We are the only Irish law firm with a dedicated Procurement Law Update service which brings you the latest news, updates and commentary on issues that affect procurement law on the island of Ireland.

Expertise

Legal services offered include the following:

  • Developing Public Procurement law strategies and planning tender processes using measures such as market soundings, e-auctions, frameworks, lots and dynamic purchasing systems to optimise competition and tender outcomes
  • Advising on the appropriate procurement procedure (open, restricted, competitive dialogue, negotiated procedure, with or without prior call for competition) and preparing and/or reviewing documentation generated by contracting authorities as part of procurement processes, including notices published in the OJEU and/or eTenders (Ireland), tender information packages and tender documentation
  • Advising on below threshold procurements, contracts subject to “light touch” regulation and concession contracts
  • Advising on available exemptions from the application of public procurement rules such as urgency, contracts between public sector entities
  • Monitoring the conduct of procurement processes and assisting with tender evaluation
  • Advising on transparency and disclosure obligations and robust standstill letters and procedures
  • Advising on information entitlements under Public Procurement Law and other legislation including the Freedom of Information Acts, the EC (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations and the Data Protection Acts
  • Developing variations mechanisms which are compatible with the new regime applicable to variations to contracts post contract award
  • Framing detailed submissions to the European Commission on the position of entities under Public Procurement Law
  • Advising on other domestic aspects of Public Procurement including (in the Republic of Ireland) the National Guidelines (“Green Book”) (1994 and 2004) and related issues including those arising under the Government Guidelines for State Bodies (1992), the Code of Practice in 2001 and relevant Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Circulars
  • Audit of procurement procedures including tender documentation to ensure compliance with Public Procurement laws
  • In conjunction with our Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group, advising on remedies (such as monetary damages, injunction, discovery and interrogations) including in the Courts of Ireland and before the EC Institutions

Experience

Our clients include a wide range of government bodies, public bodies, entities in the utilities sector as well bidders to a wide variety of public sector clients. We have also advised on many of the major procurement cases to come before the Irish Courts in recent years. Recent experience includes:

  • Advising BAM PPP PGGM in respect of its procurement challenge against the NTMA in relation to the Grangegorman PPP Project.  This includes advising on the Court of Appeal application in respect of the order for discovery granted in favour of BAM PPP PGGM and an application for the lifting of the automatic suspension under the Remedies Regulations
  • Advising HSE, the largest procurer in the State on procurement matters generally.  Innovative procurements include the National Design Team Framework which comprised the appointment of more than 60 providers across more than 32 lots on a multi-disciplinary framework basis; “light touch” procurements for a variety of healthcare services such as renal dialysis, enhanced homercare, orthopaedics and clinical devices
  • Advising Trinity College Dublin on a variety of procurements including cloud computing, financial services, service concessions and capital projects
  • Advising daa plc on a number of innovative procurements such as its Fuel Farm project, the runway refurbishment project and its Dublin Airport Central capital development programme
  • Advising Applegreen plc and Tedcastles Oil Products on its procurement challenge against Transport Infrastructure Ireland in respect of the Motorway Service Areas Tranche 2 PPP Project
  • Advising the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board in relation to the procurement of the design team for the new children’s hospital (across 8 lots on a framework basis)
  • Advising HSE in the successful defence of a procurement challenge from Baxter Healthcare
  • Advising HSE in the successful defence of a procurement challenge from Fresenius Ireland
  • Advising daa plc on the defence of a procurement challenge brought by OCS including the first application for the lifting of an automatic suspension in Ireland.  This case resulted in the introduction of the S.I. No. 192/2015 – European Communities (Public Authorities Contracts) (Review Procedures) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 and S.I. No. 193/2015 – European Communities (Award of Contracts by Utility Undertakings) (Review Procedures) (Amendment) Regulations 2015.
  • Advising Transport Infrastructure Ireland (formerly the Railway Procurement Agency) on various matters including Public Procurement, freedom of information, drafting of tenders and contracts and general commercial agreements including defending it in the procurement challenge brought by Somague to the Luas Cross City Rail Project
  • Advising Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) (IE) on a number of procurements
  • Advising in relation to a number of significant procurements of information technology including for Dublin Institute of Technology and other educational establishments.
  • Advising Covanta in respect of procurement and State aid issues arising in connection with the Dublin Waste to Energy PPP Project
  • Advising windfarm operators on the applicability of procurement rules
  • Producing a template suite of procurement documents for Radio Teilifís Éireann (the State broadcaster)