Helping you make procurement pain-free.


Whether you are a buyer or a bidder, we see our job as ensuring that your procurement process, or justification for not conducting a procurement process, is as robust and challenge-free as possible.

No buyer or bidder wants to have a procurement process challenged. For buyers, doing so is inefficient, can lead to a loss of credibility and liability for damages. For successful bidders, wasted bid costs and significant financial implications can arise if a contract award is delayed or a procurement abandoned after contract award.

We’re here to help you make sense of the rules, offer guidance and provide reassurance.

How Burness Paull's procurement lawyers can support you:

From the start, we work on getting a buyer’s call for competition and tender documentation right, building in transparent selection and award procedures and making the process smooth and efficient.

For bidders, we highlight any non-compliant elements apparent from the tender documents and provide relevant and critical clarification questions for submission to the buyer – with the aim of resolving issues at the outset and minimising the risk of an unsuccessful third party bidder challenging the award of a contract to the successful bidder.

When there is a dispute, our highly-regarded procurement team will assess the merits of any claim and what options are available.

Procurement legal disputes

If you need advice on procurement challenge strategy and tactics we have a team of highly-experienced dispute resolution lawyers.

We never forget that when dealing with disputes, buyers and bidders may need and want to work with one another for a number of years. The team's approach of minimising reputational and relationship damage is very much appreciated by both buyer and bidder clients.

Burness Paull's procurement lawyers have had a number of notable successes where buyers have been able to proceed with contract award; and where bidders have won valuable contracts following our intervention.

Procurement innovation

If you need a new model for the delivery of infrastructure, capital projects or shared services, we can help you find the right solution.

Burness Paull's procurement lawyers are regularly called upon to design new models for the delivery of infrastructure, capital projects and shared services, and to test those models against the requirements of the procurement regulations.

For example, we recently worked with a public authority to launch one of the first innovation partnership procurement procedures in the UK and have developed innovation partnership template documentation for use by public authorities.

The innovation partnership procedure enables buyers to award a contract for the design and development of an innovative solution, and for the purchase of that solution without the need for a separate procurement exercise.

Public and Utilities Procurement

Public sector and utilities sector buyers have to comply with strict rules when preparing tender documents and running a procurement process. The rules are designed to ensure that buyers follow a transparent process and that all bidders capable of doing the job are given an equal opportunity.

Keeping up-to-date and compliant with the procurement regulations is a key requirement for both buyers and bidders, particularly in times of uncertainty and rapid regulatory change.

So whether you are a buyer or a bidder, the firm's specialist procurement lawyers can guide you safely through the minefield of public and utilities procurement law.

State Aid

State aid rules apply to public support in any form, including:

  • grants
  • loans
  • guarantees
  • capital investments
  • the grant of property rights (including options)
  • reliefs
  • waivers

Compliance with the state aid rules is not only essential for the public provider of the aid, it is critically important for the recipient – who may need to repay any state aid (plus interest) not given in compliance with the rules.

To help you avoid this our experienced state aid team has detailed knowledge and understanding of the state aid rules and is frequently called upon by clients to find a way through the complexities of the law to meet their needs.

This can include reviewing the proposed activities and structure of a project to ensure that public funding can be given on a “no aid” basis, or the identification of a suitable exemption or compliant route to facilitate a public sector intervention without the need for prior approval.

When dealing with state aid law issues, Burness Paull procurement lawyers will deliver a pragmatic and workable risk-based solution.