US consortium wins UK e-borders deal

The in-house team at US defence company Raytheon has negotiated and signed a £650m contract with the Home Office to manage its e-borders project.


US defence company Raytheon has signed a £650m contract with the Home Office to manage its e-borders project, mainly using its own in-house team for legal advice despite the size and complexity of the deal.

Raytheon UK general counsel John Reilly was the main commercial contact for the six-company consortium called Trusted Borders, which will collect and analyse data on everyone entering the UK from abroad. Reilly instructed Clifford Chance for specialist advice but acted alone for the most part.

The announcement has come at a time when the government is under fire for the way it handles sensitive data after HM Revenue and Customs lost 25 million people’s personal details in the post.

Pinsent Masons outsourcing partners David Isaac and Simon Colvin scored the lead role for the Home Office and have been working for the last two and half years on the contract negotiations for the 10-year outsourcing deal.

The government hopes the e-borders programme will help it in its efforts to deter organized crime and terrorist organizations from entering the country.

Partner Simon Colvin said that both government and the firm tried to learn from mistakes made in the £12.4bn NHS IT procurement process.

“I think that we were very aware of the lessons that were learnt from the NHS process, where the government took a very aggressive position with the suppliers.”

Pinsent Masons will advise the government on the practical implementation of the project from now on.

Colvin and his team spent much of the negotiation process embedded in the Home Office’s legal group, which was led by Charlotte Goldberg. The firm also advised on arrangements with the police, the UK visa issuing authorities and HM Revenue and Customs.