Tender litigation

In what must be the last case to reach the courts litigating the 2010 tender round, this week the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of Hossacks against a decision of the High Court refusing to overturn the LSC’s refusal of a contract to her (Hossacks (A Firm of Solicitors), R (on the application of) v The Legal Services Commission [2012] EWCA Civ 1203).

While Ms Hossack’s circumstances, and the nature of her tender, are perhaps unusual, the lessons are salutary. She failed to be awarded a contract in 2010 because she did not complete the tender application forms correctly, because (said Stanley Burnton LJ) she misunderstood the basis of the tender. Other cases brought by unsuccessful firms from the last tender round included challenges to the selection criteria (generally held to be brought too late) and alleged defects in the online tendering software. All failed, and all underline the importance for the current tender round of understanding the tender and addressing the criteria relevant to you, submitting your bid accurately and on time, and checking that what you submitted was what you intended.


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