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Procurement case resists strike out attempt

24/06/10

On 24 June 2010 Eady J dismissed an application for strike out/summary judgment by Leeds City Council against a public procurement damages claim brought by Montpellier Estates Limited (MEL) against the Council in respect of a £75 million development of a public arena in Leeds.  The main legal interest in the judgment is two-fold.  First, the judge refused to strike out the MEL claims in so far as concerns the Council's decision to terminate the competition without an award of a contract, on the basis that (a) the duties of the awarding authority in a situation of competition termination is an evolving area of law; and (b) MEL's claim was not merely directed at the act of termination but it was also saying that the decision was not, in substance, a termination decision but one to award the contract to a parallel and competing Council option.  Second, the judge refused to strike out the implied contract claims by MEL on the basis that the Council did not challenge the basic existence of an implied contract and that the existence of such a contract was well established in the Harmon case, even in circumstances where the 2006 Procurement Regulations also applied.

The judgment is here.

 Jonathan Hirst QC and Robert O'Donoghue acted for the successful Claimant/Respondent, MEL.