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PLA event – public procurement review systems: taking stock -London, Thursday 5 December 2019

5th December 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 6:45 pm

The Procurement Lawyers’ Association is delighted to announce the organisation of a half-day seminar which will take stock of how national procurement review systems are operating in the UK, Denmark, Norway and Slovenia.  This will provide an opportunity to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each system: what works well, what could work better and if so, how.  The seminar will consider issues such as the length and costs of procurement litigation under each system, the question of what remedies are normally made available for breaches of procurement legislation, including how easy it is to be granted damages or an ineffectiveness order as well as the question of applications to lift automatic suspensions, the basis on which these applications are decided, and the issue of cross-undertakings. 

Our distinguished panel of experts will be made up of Judge Katja Høegh (Chair, Østre Landsret (High Court of Eastern Denmark)) Anneline Vingsgård (Director of the Norwegian Complaints Board Secretariat), Line Rakner (Senior Adviser to the Norwegian Complaints Board Secretariat), Borut Smrdel (former President of the National Review Commission, Slovenia) as well as Michael Bowsher QC, Nigel Giffin QC and Sarah Hannaford QC.

The agenda for the seminar is as follows:

  • 2pm: Brief introduction
  • 2:05pm: Session 1 – Overview of the procurement review systems in Denmark, Norway and Slovenia and the UK (each of the first three presentations to be 15 minutes each and the UK presentation, 10 minutes).   Presentations to describe how each system works, including appeals system, whether different review bodies have exclusive or limited competence as regards the type of remedies which they may award, whether the process is exclusively in writing or also involves oral hearings.  The presentations should also identify what works well and what works less well under each system (with a view to some of these issues being discussed further under one of the sessions below).  
  • 3:00pm: Session 2 – Length, cost and amount of litigation
    • Period from issuing of a claim to claim being considered by the review body
    • What about timing of an appeal process?
    • Is there a requirement to notify the contracting authority before issuing a claim or to seek to resolve the matter with the contracting authority before making the claim or before the review body’s hearing?
    • What are the costs involved in bringing and defending a claim?
    • How much litigation takes place and do panel members have a view as to whether this is affected by the costs or timings involved in bringing a claim? Are there any other factors which might be relevant in contributing to the level of litigation in each jurisdiction?
  • 4:00pm – 15-minute break
  • 4:15pm: Session 3 – Remedies
    • At what stage of an award procedure do challenges tend to happen?
    • Pre-award: Is it usual for an award decision to be set aside by the review body?
    • Post award: How often does the relevant review body grant a declaration of ineffectiveness? 
    • Award of damages: how likely is it for the review body to award damages and if so, would these be subject to special conditions (e.g. only in relation to sufficiently serious breaches and if so, have the local courts commented on what might constitute a sufficiently serious breach?) Are remedies likely to be limited to bidding costs or damages for loss of opportunity to be awarded the contract?
  • 5:15pm: Session 4 – Applications for the lifting of automatic suspensions 
    • Are there any general trends (as to whether these are likely to be granted?)
    • What is the test which the review body will apply in deciding whether or not to grant the application?
    • Is the decision to maintain or lift the suspension subject to any conditions (e.g. that the suspension is maintained subject to the claimant undertaking to pay damages to the defendant (and potentially other interested parties) if the claim were to be dismissed by the review body?)
  • 6:15pm: Session 5 – General discussion including questions from the floor (comments from panel as to their views following presentations as to whether a particular system emerges from the discussion as more effective than other alternatives, what aspects of the current review systems discussed would benefit from further review, additional questions from floor
  • 6:45pm: End of event and drinks reception

The seminar will take place on Thursday, 5 December at the Chancellor’s Hall at Senate House, Malet St, London WC1E 7HU starting at 2pm.  This will be followed by a drinks reception at 6.45pm.

The event is free for PLA members.  Non-members from the private sector may attend for a ticket price of £25 and all others for a ticket price of £12.50.  The ticket price includes membership of the Association for the membership year (which starts on 1 December 2019).  

Members: To reserve your place for this event please simply respond to PLAevents@eversheds-sutherland.com

Non-members: To reserve your place for this event please respond to PLAevents@eversheds-sutherland.com and send a cheque made payable to the “Procurement Lawyers’ Association” for the attention of Totis Kotsonis at Eversheds Sutherland, One Wood Street, EC2V 7WS.  

If you have any queries in relation to this event, please contact Totis Kotsonis at totiskotsonis@eversheds-sutherland.com or on tel. 020 7919 4621


5th December 2019
2:00 pm - 6:45 pm


Senate House
Senate House, Malet Street
London, WC1E 7HU United Kingdom
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