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Procurement and Outsourcing Journal: July/August 2014

Jenny Beresford-Jones looks at a recent case on time limits

Readers will be aware that under UK law, generally, a procurement challenge can only be brought if it is made within 30 days of the date the claimant first had knowledge (or ought to have first had that knowledge) of the breach being complained of.

Stephanie Rickard comments on a recent decision on the definition of public works contracts

The recent opinion issued in Impresa Pizzarotti v Comune di Bari [2014] provides an example of how developers have tried to get around the procurement rules but have not always been successful.

Mark Lewis provides a timely reminder of the validity of exclusion and limitation clauses

A critical issue in many commercial contracts is the meaning, scope and enforceability of exclusion and limitation clauses. Businesses are often concerned that the courts will strain to avoid giving effect to exclusion and, to a lesser extent, limitation clauses and will try to find some way to render the clause ineffective or limit their intended effect.

Dr Felix Helmstädter reports on a recent German decision considering EU rules on joint bidding

A German court has confirmed that companies that submit joint or consortium bids on EU public contracts must comply both with the EU’s procurement law regime and its antitrust rules. While the court held that a joint bid by two competitors who are both able to perform the contract on a stand-alone basis would violate antitrust law, it is doubtful whether EU antitrust authorities would take an equally strict position.

James Falle and Alexandra Cross highlight the importance of considering the financial standing of bidders

At first sight, the recent High Court case of Travis Perkins Trading Company Ltd v Caerphilly County Borough Council [2014] is just another case about limitation periods, an issue that fascinates litigators but unsurprisingly bores many procurement officers. The added spice of a debate about lawyers’ fees and whether procurement lawyers are worth more than other lawyers (yes they are!) may not raise excitement levels either.

Helen Randall assesses the efficacy and objectives of Directive 2014/24

The new European public procurement directive (Directive 2014/24) has been billed as bringing more speed, flexibility and efficiency. Here we examine some of the main changes introduced by the new directive (replacing Directive 2004/18) and consider whether it will indeed achieve those objectives or, in some instances, lead to more rigidity and ambiguity.

Christopher Towner and Ed Rimmell review the Environmental and Energy Aid Guidelines and their implications for UK energy policy

Speaking at a recent industry event, the speaker for the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) outlined again how the government’s Electricity Market Reform (EMR) programme provides an ambitious package of measures to incentivise the investment needed to replace the UK’s ageing electricity infrastructure with a more diverse and low-carbon energy mix. Around a fifth of existing capacity is to close by the end of this decade, and it is estimated that up to £110bn of capital investment is needed for replacing and upgrading electricity infrastructure until 2020.

Andrew Craig summarises a recent case on misrepresentation

Contractual negotiations are always to be conducted and recorded with the utmost care, not least in the light of Cramaso LLP v Ogilvie-Grant, Earl of Seafield [2014], which establishes that it is possible to owe a duty of care to someone in negligent misrepresentation even if the statement was originally made to someone else.