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Public Procurement

The quality of public services is increasingly determined by the skilled procurement of suppliers, contractors and service providers. As a public authority, utility or company looking to contract with the public sector, you will need a deep understanding of how the procurement framework regulates your plans.

Acting for both private sector clients and public authorities enables us to offer innovative advice within the legal framework. We can guide you through complex tender procedures, not only if you are in the public sector but also in construction, IT, lifesciences, utilities, transport and postal services. We regularly advise on procurement complaints and challenges and have acted on cases before the courts in all three UK jurisdictions.

With over 100 public procurement specialists globally, we can lead your response to public tender procedures in different countries simultaneously. This means we cover all your complex public tender issues such as those regarding compliance with the procurement rules, the formation of bidding consortia, the exchange of sensitive data among competitors and the procurement of complex PPP projects or concessions. Should you need support before tribunals and courts across Europe or in front of the European Commission and ECJ, our experts can also provide the legal advice you need.

Our market leading practice advises on the structuring of complex projects in light of the procurement rules. We aim to give commercially-focussed, practical advice, guiding clients through the process, managing risks, identifying solutions and challenging and defending award procedures.

"From original planning to the final outcome, the service levels and responsiveness from CMS were excellent."

Chambers, 2024
Procurement Cube
Welcome to CMS’ interactive Procurement Cube where we will be exploring the new Procurement Act through the lens of a number of key sectors, each sector being one side of our cube: Defence, Energy & Utilities, In­fra­struc­ture, Life Sciences & Healthcare, Real Estate and TMT & Outsourcing. We will also be providing resources, links and up-to-date information on procurement reform in the UK. Please bookmark this page and look out for new, sector-specific insights and commentary from the CMS team.
Highlights of our experience in Public Procurement in the UK
National Grid on the procurement of interconnectors (to Norway and to France). Post Office on multiple major ICT transformation projects. Strathclyde Partnership on the procurement of rolling stock...
Law-Now: Public Procurement
Visit Law-Now for legal know-how and commentary


Digital Assets
Does your business have or is it ready for digitalisation and digital assets? Digital assets are transforming the world of business. Not just technologies in the news, like AI and crypto currencies, but a whole world of technological advances, from digital twins and extended reality to smart contracts and token­isa­tion. For tech businesses and those already using such technology to develop and market new products, much of this is core activity and relatively well understood – although legal and regulatory uncertainties remain, and potential pitfalls still exist for the unwary. But other business leaders, often less familiar with the territory, have to manage an increasingly complex assortment of issues that never troubled their predecessors, ranging from protecting their brand in the metaverse to deciding whether they should tokenise their shares or accept payments in crypto currencies. This section of Bandwidth looks at issues around the development and regulation of a wide variety of digital assets, and discusses how businesses can embrace them to innovate and evolve.
Court of Appeal confirms position on damages for breach of public procurement...
The much anticipated judgment in the Braceurself appeal has been handed down by the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal (led by LJ Coulson) has reaffirmed the position established by the High Court that...
Commissioning Health Care Services in England: The new PSR regime
Following a lengthy consultation process, the Health Care Services (Provider Selection Regime) Regulations 2023 (the “PSR”), were laid before Parliament on 19 October 2023. The PSR has been designed...
Universities and the Procurement Act 2023
The legal landscape in the UK for procurement is changing this year. This quick update summarises the impact this may have on UK universities.To the extent a university considers its activities to be...
CMS Life Sciences Vital Signs, Winter 2023
2023 has seen some significant legal developments impacting the life sciences industry, and as we look ahead to 2024, there are several important developments which we would like to keep our clients informed...
CMS celebrates success at the 2023 Legal Business Awards
International law firm CMS was named Real Estate Team of the Year at the 2023 Legal Business Awards Ceremony, held in London. CMS was also Highly Commended in the Commercial Litigation Team of the Year...
Use of AI in public procurement
There has been a huge surge in interest in Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) technology in recent months as consumer generative AI tools are starting to become integrated into day-to-day life.As the...
The latest news on UK procurement reforms – “Go Live” in October 2024
The Cabinet Office has issued its latest update on the UK Government’s Transforming Public Procurement Programme. The key message is that the expected “go live” for the new regime has been pushed...
Scottish Hospitals Inquiry – Latest hearing looks at difficult procurement...
The Scottish Hospitals Inquiry recently resumed with a two week hearing last month taking evidence from those involved in the procurement of the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and the Department...
Modification of public contracts during their term
Procuring authorities and suppliers frequently consider whether changes to a contract awarded under the procurement regulations can be accommodated, or alternatively whether they give rise to a new contract...
Risks with non-compliant tenders
A recent procurement case in Scotland highlights the risks both for bidders and for contracting authorities when dealing with non-compliant tenders: Capita Business Services Ltd v The Common Services...
Key changes for companies related to the new General Product Safety Regulation
On 30 March 2023, the European Parliament adopted the General Product Safety Regulation for consumer products, which replaces the General Product Safety Directive of 2001 (2001/95/EC). The Council must...