Competition, Procurement and Regulation

Counsel in Ampersand regularly advise on all aspects of public procurement matters.

Public procurement – the purchase of goods and services by central, regional and local government public bodies such as health authorities and public utilities – is one of the fastest growing and most complex areas of law.  An estimated 15 per cent of the EU’s Gross Domestic Product is spent on government procurement.

The EU public procurement legislative program aims to overcome the propensity of public authorities to place contracts with national if not local firms.  European Union public procurement law has assumed a particular importance in recent years in the drive to integrate the formerly State-run economies of the Central European accession States within the single market.

What public procurement laws mean in practice for the UK lawyer is:

    • non-UK firms have to have equal access to, and the same fair treatment under, UK tendering procedures;
    • UK firms are entitled to be treated equally and on the basis of common EU rules when tendering for contracts in other EU and EEA Member States;
    • the UK public procurement regime has to be interpreted and applied in a manner consistent with EU public procurement law, even in situations where there are no non UK-based contractors biding in any particular process.