Panel punch-up: DWF and the panel-place High Court case

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  • This case will have a major impact on how public sector bodies conduct their procurement processes, especially at local council level.

    The convention that law firms didn't challenge legal panel decisions was not healthy. When I worked at a city council I witnessed some extraordinary goings on around procurement which were not fair to the other firms involved.

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  • So in other words the IS used its Structure criterion to take a view of DWF's structure and found the latter wanting. This seems perfectly reasonable to me and a legitimate interpretation of the published criteria. The Scotland comparison is the odd part and that really does need explaining, which seems to be the view of the judges as well.

    I doubt DWF is going to succeed on the structure point but it may succeed on the experience comparison.

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  • This is a huge case. The convention (that those who miss out of panel appointments or are dropped after reviews) don't challenge the decision is gone.

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  • @ Anonymous

    What convention? The case law about procurement has been created precisely because law firms did challenge procurement decisions. I doubt this case will have any more impact than its predecessors. The Lianakis and Dynamiki cases are the most important cases about procurement processes, i.e. no moving the goal posts/using unadvertised criteria and no obligation to level the playing field where it is not feasible to do so.

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  • Whoa! The fir coat no knickers firm that loves itself is now suing clients who see it for what it is. Talk about an investment of management time in the wrong priorities. Sort out the quality, and you might win the next bid...

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