Who’s Who Legal has brought together two leading practitioners to discuss key issues facing government contracts lawyers today.
By Anna-Marie Curran, A&L Goodbody
The assessment of the capability and reliability of tenderers in any tender procedure is an important step – typically, the first step in the procedure under the 2004 Directives. However, with the introduction of the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) and the objective under Directive 2014/24/EU on Public Procurement (the 2014 Directive) of reducing burdens on SMEs in the production of large quantities of pre-qualification documentation, the initial suitability assessment can now be relatively cursory.
The UK's recent enactment of the Public Contracts Regulations makes it the first among the EU member states to implement Directive 2014/24/EU, the new public sector directive. Totis Kotsonis of Eversheds clarifies the complex rules that relate to the modification and termination of contracts.
Several international firms stand out for their strength and depth in this field, while a substantial number of leading individuals are listed from local and boutique firms.
Government procurement continues to grow in prominence and the issues and legislations surrounding it are becoming a more topical concern. Governments are at pains to secure value for money for the tax payer and reduce their infrastructure deficit; as a result, the market for securing contracts has been increasingly competitive over the last five years. Disputes arising from these contracts, including challenges to the bid process have grown due in part this competitive pressure. Over the last few years, ongoing changes to legislation and reviews into procurement processes have ensured that legal teams have been kept busy in two of the biggest procurement markets in the world, namely Europe and the US.
This year, Public Procurement has been renamed Government Contracts for the sixth edition, listing a comprehensive 368 practitioners from 225 firms across 40 countries in this growing area of public law.
Public procurement commands ever-increasing attention from the world’s top law firms and lawyers. This owes much to the maturing of the relatively young market and the near constant reforming of its legislation. A new host of policymaking and plurilateral agreements are looking to liberalise the market, which should ensure that its global stock will continue to rise.
This year, we identify 342 practitioners from 216 firms and 44 countries as the world's leading public procurement lawyers. Allen & Overy leads the way in our research, achieving 10 listings across eight different jurisdictions. Following closely behind are Hogan Lovells and Mayer Brown. Blake Cassels & Graydon, Bird & Bird and Dentons all also perform strongly.
Furhermore, we recognise the 10 most highly regarded individuals in the world and single out the five leading practitioners at the UK bar.
Who’s Who Legal takes a closer look at developing trends in the global public procurement market.
In this section we select the 10 individuals who stand out worldwide this year and the seven firms that field the most lawyers to this edition.
Allen & Overy is the leading firm in our research with nine lawyers featured. These practitioners are based in eight different countries, demonstrating the firm’s impressive international expertise. Following close behind is Ashurst, which fields seven "brilliant" individuals, as does "top" global firm Hogan Lovells. Blake Cassels & Graydon has five “outstanding” lawyers listed, as do Linklaters, the newly merged Norton Rose Fulbright and the "world-class" White & Case.
Our research reveals that public procurement is becoming increasingly focused on litigious work. This boom in litigation is great for top barristers and large law firms, many of whom have received a steady, if not necessarily well-paid, flow of work from these disputes. But it is not good news for everyone. Many of our respondents have noted an increased specialisation and sophistication of the market, with clients preferring to turn to large and established market players with a strong litigation department, rather than smaller firms.
This year we recognise the leading public procurement firms, private practitioners and independent counsel, selected for their expertise and reputation in this field. We have identified the leading ten lawyers from around the world, and four of the world’s most recommended barristers, as a reflection of the distinction between private practice and the Bar and their jurisdictional scope of practice.
With the benefit of over 15 years research and tens of thousands of votes from clients and privates practitioners, Who’s Who Legal takes a closer look at developing trends in the global public procurement legal marketplace.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.