Procurement

Comprehensive guidance on a fast moving and evolving area of law

Hempsons has an established procurement practice and a national reputation for the provision of high quality legal advice and project management in this area. Procurement law is a fast moving and evolving area of law.

Procurement law presents a number of challenges for contracting authorities in ensuring that they comply with the Regulations, overarching EC Treaty principles, and the requirements of policy and guidance.

Suppliers should also be aware of the rules to improve their chances of successfully bidding/challenging.

For contracting authorities, Hempsons provides preventative procurement advice to manage risk, design robust and defensible procurement processes and defend procurement law challenges. In addition to all other policy and legal requirements impacting on this area of law, the team has in-depth understanding of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and the rules relating to utilities and concessions. The team is also experienced in understanding the commissioning of health and social care services under the NHS (Procurement, Patient Choice & Competition) (No.2) Regulations 2013 and the impact that the Light Touch Regime (LTR) has had on the commissioning of such services. We are therefore well placed to advise commissioners on compliance with their legal duties whilst allowing them to capitalise on the flexibilities available to them under the LTR. As well as expert legal advice we provide a pragmatic approach – we understand the commercial context and the different drivers affecting contracting authorities and suppliers.

For suppliers, we can advise and assist to help you navigate the complex interaction of common law rules, regulations and European Treaty principles governing the public procurement arena to achieve your objectives and win tenders. We can assist with preparation and/or scrutiny of proposed bid submissions to assist in responding to tender opportunities effectively and maximising your chances of success. Finally, we can assist in helping you understand award decisions and in challenging those decisions where appropriate.

The procurement team also work closely with colleagues advising on the procurement aspects of the development of new care models including Integrated Care Organisations/Systems.

Hempsons are currently advising Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust on an Alternative Service Delivery Model project and the team have substantial experience of advising on Strategic Estate Partnerships/Development Models including: Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust – the first FT to form such a partnership and University Hospitals of Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

Bidding Support

Hempsons has an established and dedicated procurement team with a national reputation for excellence. Acting for both contracting authorities in the public sector and suppliers and bidders means that we have extensive experience of providing quality advice to bidders when bidding for contracts with, and in contracting with, the public sector, funders and consortium/JV partners.

We can also provide high quality support and advice for organisations in receipt of grant funding who are required to run a competitive process and who may not ordinarily do so in the normal course of business.

Key services we can provide:

  • Helping you understand the legal obligations of the public authority and how to use the rules to your advantage
  • How to effectively engage with public authorities during pre-market engagement and “bidder days”
  • Advising on procurement and bidding strategies to maximise your chances of success
  • Providing training sessions – how to bid effectively: what will the evaluators focus on and how will they score bids
  • Structuring consortium bids with partners including maximising your bid proposal as well as documenting consortium bids appropriately, including confidentiality and exclusivity, heads of terms and consortium bidding arrangements
  • Assist you in eliciting key information through the clarification process to improve your tender response
  • Advising you on getting full debrief if you are unsuccessful, both under procurement legislation and the Freedom of Information Act (where relevant)
  • Advice on whether you should challenge a decision of the public authority – how do you challenge and what information do you need to make that assessment, time limits for challenge

We can provide key “packages” of work at fixed rates to help you through the bid process, for example:

  • Review and constructive critique of your draft tender response against the tender requirements, including a meeting if required
  • Guiding you through the clarification process
  • Initial advice if you are unsuccessful and want more information / considering informal / formal challenge

Our procurement team sits within a wider Corporate Commercial department and can provide fast and incisive advice nationally.

Articles:

Keeping it in the family: wholly owned subsidiaries in the NHS

Glossary of terms:

Click here to view our glossary of procurement terms for bidders and suppliers.

Case studiesView all

  • Datawell project

    Advising Manchester Academic Health and Science Network on the “Datawell” project to identify a partner to work with the network to develop, implement and exploit a new IT solution to share data across network members. This project uses the new innovation partnership procurement procedure under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

    View Case study

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