Public Procurement


Regulated procurement

If you're connected with public procurement in any way, you'll probably realise just how complex, awkward and difficult to understand the procurement rules can be.

Yet public procurement accounts for nearly 20% of GDP - it's big business, and is vital to the achievement of value for money in public purchasing.

Nor is its remit confined to the public sector - defence, concessions and utilities currently have their own procurement rules to comply with, and many third sector organisations have to follow public procurement rules.

Getting it right is not easy. Procurement law is a developing jigsaw, with some parts of the picture more complete than others. The Procurement Bill is now expected to become law by late 2024, with new rules for the health sector also likely to be implemented soon. These herald the biggest change in procurement law for a decade.

The aim of the Procurement Act is to clarify and add flexibility, although the extent to which this actually happens remains to be seen. There is little doubt that the waters will be choppy for some time to come.

Why choose us?

We practice the art of the possible. Our aim isn't to tell you why an objective isn't achievable; it's to work out how it is, and to help you get there quickly, simply, and economically.

You might be a purchaser required to comply with the procurement rules, a supplier having to incur time and expense in responding to contract notices and bidding for business through a regulated tendering processes, or a bidder in a moment of raw emotion, incredulous at the news that your bid has just been unsuccessful.

Whatever the situation, there are ways in which the procurement rules can be made to deliver the positive outcomes - to work in your favour, rather than against. Based in our UK offices, our experts will help you get there.


With Gowling WLG, you can tap into a long track record of helping many organisations achieve their objectives. We can help you navigate the complexities of this regime and to steer you to the right outcome.

We help purchasers (public, third-sector or utilities) to:

  • plan their procurements effectively, so that there are no last-minute afterthoughts
  • get evaluation criteria right, and articulate them in the right way and at the right time
  • defend themselves against challenges by unsuccessful bidders, or decide on their options
  • run hassle-free, compliant procurements from end to end
  • mitigate procurement risks if an existing contract has to be modified
  • be alert to issues that may create the risk of state aid, and avoid running that risk

We help suppliers by:

  • acting as a 'critical friend' for them as they prepare their bids, stress-testing them against the evaluation criteria and helping them work out what will stand them with a good chance of success
  • advising them on what to do if they feel that a procurement is being unfairly run, but where everyone is still in the running
  • if they win a tender but the procurement is challenged, helping them manage their position effectively
  • if they are unsuccessful, helping them work out whether it is in their best interests to challenge the decision, and if so, how
  • helping them spot (and avoid) situations where they may end up in receipt of illegal State aid.


"[The] enthusiasm for the subject is infectious."

"Very helpful... an overwhelming subject!"

"A refreshingly common-sense approach."