Every organisation will need advice on commercial contracts and procurement at some stage. All too often though, the advice received ignores the context in which it is to be applied. This can leave the organisation faced with either following a legal course of action that has little bearing on the world in which that organisation operates or ignoring the advice that has been provided.
We at Devonshires Solicitors take a different approach. Our specialist Commercial Contracts and Procurement Team makes it their business to understand the environment within which their advice will be used and the purposes for which it will be put. This enables us to provide a solution that is practical, proportionate and relevant.
Sometimes, this may mean focusing on commercial realities rather than the legal analysis. If that is the right solution and delivers real value for our client, then that is what we will recommend. We have no preconceptions that legal positions must prevail over the right commercial solutions.
What We Do – Commercial Contracts
Our Commercial Contracts and Procurement Team advises on all aspects of commercial contractual relationships, whether drafting whole contracts, interpreting particular clauses, giving guidance on whether and how to terminate contracts or perhaps defending termination notices. We negotiate, mediate, adjudicate and, where necessary, arbitrate and litigate.
Not only are we very familiar with the model forms of contract published by industry bodies and the Crown Commercial Service (formerly the Government Procurement Service), but we also regularly advise on the frameworks that they operate.
Here are some examples of the agreements which we deal with on a day to day basis:
- Asset and business purchase agreements.
- Service supply and service level agreements.
- Framework agreements for various works, services and supplies.
- Joint venture agreements, including partnerships between Registered Providers, Local Authorities and developers for mixed developments, and also maintenance joint ventures.
- Partnership agreements.
- Care and support contracts, including Supporting People contracts.
- Vehicle hire and purchase agreements.
- Agency and distribution agreements.
- Manufacturing agreements.
- Franchising agreements.
- Consumer credit agreements.
- Consultancy agreements and terms of engagement, including professional appointments.
- Publishing contracts and advertising and marketing contracts.
- IT contracts including technology and software licensing contracts, telecommunications and telephony contracts, managed IT service contracts, website design contracts and E-mail and internet use policies.
Coupled with our specialist procurement offering, we have a one stop shop for those seeking to procure, bid for, negotiate, enter into or challenge any type of contract.
What We Do – Procurement
For many of our clients, the contracts which we advise on cannot be entered into without following a structured and legally compliant procurement process. We therefore regularly advise a wide range of Contracting Authorities on how best to apply and circumnavigate the Public Procurement Regulations across a number of sectors, including housing, heath, leisure, facilities management, care and education.
This includes advice on:
- Choice of procurement strategy and procedure.
- Preparation of core documentation such as Contract Notices, selection questionnaires, tender documents and Award Decision Notices.
- The treatment of complex development, regeneration and joint venture agreements under the Regulations.
- Advice on the procurement and use of framework agreements.
- The consequences of non-compliance with the Regulations and the risk mitigation strategies that can be adopted.
- Advice on dealing with and defending procurement challenges.
- The establishment and operation of collaborative procurement vehicles, Teckal in–house companies and cost share groups.
We also provide advice to contractors and service providers bidding for public contracts, including advice on the options open to them when they feel that their bid has not been evaluated fairly by the procuring authority.