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Troubled firm BBLP Beiten Burkhardt Mittl & Wegener has bounced back from its internal turmoil by winning Germany's larges ever public procurement deal.
Despite rumours that its BBLP international alliance is crumbling, Beiten Burkhardt fought off 15 firms, including Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Clifford Chance Pünder, to win a tender bid for the German ministry of defence. Beiten Burkhardt will advise on all legal aspects for the procurement of the ministry's IT infrastructure, including labour law, intellectual property (IP) and IT and antitrust aspects in a deal worth more than euro5bn (£3bn). The procurement process will result in a joint venture between the ministry and a chosen IT company, which will also be advised by Beiten Burkhardt. This is the first time the firm has advised the ministry, but already it has won two further projects on the back of the tender. Under German regulations, deals of this value for public authorities use an approved tender process called Verdingungsordnung fuer Freiberufler (VoF). Head of procurement Berthold Mitrenga said: "The reason we were awarded the deals is that my team has 20 years of doing and not only advising. We're practitioners at all levels of public authorities; we know how and what to do, and we don't only advise on a theoretical basis." The team is currently advising on the privatisation of the Berlin airports, which will lead to the closure of two airports and the reconstruction of the third, set to become one of the largest in Europe. Winning this deal is a coup for Beiten Burkhardt, which last week held an emergency meeting to discuss internal problems, which are currently hindering its plans to merge with a UK firm. Simmons & Simmons has put talks on hold following rumours that the BBLP alliance is crumbling.