David Gollancz

Public procurement - rules and reality

What contracting authorities have to do, and what to do when they don’t.

About David

David Gollancz is widely recognised as a leading procurement lawyer and specialises all aspects of public/private transactions, including state aid, employment, pensions and commercial law. In addition to his wide-ranging experience in public contracts in general, David has a extensive background in public law, particularly as it affects local authorities and non-departmental public bodies, and an in-depth understanding of the working of public sector authorities.

Formerly a solicitor, David led the Treasury Solicitor’s public procurement and commercial team and the public procurement group at City solicitors Field Fisher Waterhouse. He is licensed for public access, meaning that he is able to take instructions direct from lay clients as well as from solicitors.

David’s reputation in procurement is recognised in Chambers & Partners Guide to the Legal Profession and the Legal 500. References include:

“Sharp, reliable and pragmatic”
“Years of experience in procurement and commercial contracts law”
“Someone solicitors can count on”
“Lofty reputation”


The fundamental obligations in practice: Equal treatment, transparency and proportionality

  • Where authorities go wrong, and what you can do about it short of a legal challenge
  • When and how to challenge: time limits and the standstill period
  • Risks and rewards: assessing whether a challenge is worthwhile

How do the legal obligations placed on contracting authorities work in practice, particularly in relation to the choice of evaluation criteria and the way tenders are assessed?

What are the most common flaws in procurements? Can a tenderer do anything about them without going to court?

The time limits for procurement challenges are extremely short and rigorously enforced. The talk will review the legislation and case law and explain what they mean in practice.

It is often difficult to know whether to make a challenge, even if the legal grounds are clear (they rarely are). If it succeeds, will a worthwhile remedy be available? Will a challenge damage future relations with the contracting authority or other authorities?