The practitioner groups failed in their Court of Appeal challenge to the MoJ’s Duty Contract tender today. You can read the judgment here.
The LAA immediately announced that the tender will re-open on Friday 27 March and close at noon on Tuesday 5 May 2015. More information is available here.
That means consideration of bids by the LAA will occur after the general election and there is a considerable difference between Conservative and Labour party policies in respect of Duty Contracts. Labour party policy has been clarified recently and shadow ministers have now confirmed more than once, that they would not retain the dual contract model.
Practitioners could find themselves in the unenviable position of going to a great deal of effort to prepare and submit bids, only for the tender to be scrapped, depending on the outcome of the election.
The litigation has had the effect of delaying the start date of the new contracts to 11 January 2016, which will require a further extension of the current 2010 contract beyond its five year term.
It seems unlikely that the process will conclude without further litigation, either by the representative bodies or individual firms.