Awarding Public Contracts Skilfully and Lawfully within the Procurement Rules

Thu 24 May 2018

The Hilton Hotel 4 Lanyon Place Belfast BT1 3LP

Answers to 21 Thorny Questions: Directly from 7 of the UK's Most Sought-After Lawyers and 4 Industry Experts

5 hrs CPD

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  1. Registration and coffee

  2. Chairman's introduction

    Awarding public contracts skilfully and lawfully within the procurement rules

    Chaired by: Edward Quigg of Quigg Golden

    Edward is one of the UK's most-experienced public procurement experts. He is a veteran of scores of challenges. He is a guest lecturer at Queens University and the Treasurer of the Adjudication Society.

  3. Panellists

    Bronagh Ferguson of the Central Procurement Directorate

    Jason Johnston of Northern Ireland Water

    David Barter of Newry Mourne and Down District Council

    Bronagh, Jason and David will be taking questions and inspiring practical solutions throughout the day.

  4. Capability

    How do you assess competence and capability without favouring known-suppliers with experience of the contract type?

    Can bidders with sketchy experience refer to projects they carried out for other companies?

    Answered by: Ciara Kennedy-Loest of Hogan Lovells

    Ciara is a former "Global Procurement Lawyer of the Year." She acted in the challenge to Eurostar's contract award for Channel Tunnel rolling stock. She is "pre-eminent" and "absolutely first class."

  5. Review clauses

    Using real-life examples, when do review clauses crack the problem of varying a contract as business needs change?

    How flexible can they be; how do you get the best out of them; what will be approved by the courts?

    Answered by: Mary Dunne of Maples and Calder

    Mary is an expert adviser on procurement to the European Commission. She drafts procedures for governments seeking to do business in the EU. She is "tough, convincing and precise."

  6. Morning coffee

  7. Serious breach

    What is considered to be a "serious breach," in the context of damages as a remedy being available only when there is a “serious breach” of the procurement regulations?

    Answered by: Sarah Hannaford QC of Keating Chambers

    Sarah’s skill in procurement law is “brilliant and unparalleled." She defended the challenges from 100 law firms over contracts for legal aid work (one of the Lawyer magazine's most significant cases.)

  8. FOI requests

    When facing up to FOI requests, what are the unwritten conventions on what records to release and what to withhold (at different tender stages)?

    Is it sensible to keep more or fewer records (such as taped meetings for example)?

    Answered by: Clare Dwyer of Addleshaw Goddard

    Clare is immensely experienced and right at the forefront of developments. "Her advice is razor sharp and practical." She is co-author of the Government Procurement Review.

  9. Lunch

  10. Early involvement

    What are the golden rules of how not to confer an advantage through early contractor involvement, i.e. (1) pre-market testing, (2) designing tender parameters, (3) specification writing?

    Answered by: Bruno Herbots of Herbots Solicitors

    Bruno worked on the development of Ireland's National Paediatric Hospital Projects. He is renowned for "his inventive procurement solutions" and for being a highly gifted public speaker.

  11. Strike-out

    When can you lawfully strike out a bid from an incumbent (or other bidder) who has not performed twice or more?

    What counts as evidence and when is it sufficiently serious?

    What if you "know" there is a problem (but it is personal rather than public knowledge)?

    Answered by: Nigel Giffin QC of 11 KBW

    Nigel is one the UK's star procurement silks. He acted in the £100 million NDA litigation. "His advice is superb: commercially savvy and crystal clear." "He is unfailingly helpful and authoritative."

  12. Selection

    What are the current practical trends and issues in the selection stage?

    How is the ESPD working in practice, and how can selection be used as an innovative tool and not just a procedural step?

    Answered by: Kerry Teahan of Carson McDowell

    Kerry is trusted to advise on the planning and conduct of some of the most complex and challenging projects in procurement, both within Northern Ireland and beyond, and has particular expertise in advising utilities, Universities and local authorities.

  13. Over-run

  14. Close of conference