Each year, European governments spend an estimated €1.5 trillion to purchase goods and services. With taxpayer funds of such magnitude at stake, procurement by government entities and public utilities is governed by complex rules, policies and procedures at the global, EU and national levels. Within the EU, in particular, an additional concern is the creation of open and non-discriminatory public procurement markets and the establishment of a level playing field between Member States in the markets for government contracts.
We assist clients throughout the entire contracting process, including proposal preparation, negotiations of terms and conditions, regulatory compliance and, if necessary, bid protests, procurement litigation and contract disputes. We also support clients in the formation of consortia with other bidders or in setting up special purpose bid vehicles; and we counsel on protection of intellectual property where government contracts involve research or technology transfer. In addition, we can draw on our WTO procurement code and subsidies experts in the International Trade, Investment and Market Access Practice to help our clients open up government procurement markets internationally. For information on our Government Contracts and Procurement Counseling experience, click here.
In light of the complexity of the challenges clients often face in government contracting processes, our European public procurement practice spans multiple disciplines and includes regulatory, transactions, trade and antitrust/competition lawyers as well as experienced litigators, offering a one-stop-shop from the start to the end of the process. We can also draw on the expertise of our EU State Aid lawyers to help clients comply with the EU’s strict standards when they seek government support. Our European public policy and legal strategy team provides further insight into the thinking and operations of governments to help our clients advance their goals in lucrative public sector markets.
In some of our more prominent public procurement matters, our European government contracts lawyers have:
- Represented several major pharmaceutical companies in a series of landmark public procurement litigation matters regarding the application of the procurement rules to German public health insurers and insurance funds (discount agreements for drugs).
- Represented a major providers of medical management services in landmark public procurement litigation concerning the application of the procurement rules to agreements between German public health insurers and providers of medical management services about the provision of healthcare services.
- Represented a major European electricity network operator in public procurement litigation concerning the provision of management services for street lighting in a number of large German cities, including in litigation before the Berlin Court of Appeals concerning street lighting for the City of Berlin.
- Represented a complainant before the European Commission in regard to a large cross-border infrastructure project that infringed EU procurement rules.
- Represented a major European telecommunications company in procurement litigation before the German Federal Cartel Office and the Duesseldorf Court of Appeals concerning call center services purchased by the German Federal Employment Agency.
- Represented a bidder in negotiations with a national government concerning a very large and complex procurement process concerning national security-related products and related services.
- Represented the successful bidder in public procurement litigation before the German Federal Cartel Office and the Higher Regional Court of Duesseldorf regarding the German truck toll system.
- Advised a major software company on procurement issues regarding the implementation of a telematics infrastructure in the German healthcare sector.