Advising the Public sector on Procurement

Public sector bodies are obliged to comply with procurement regulations, and we are often approached by local authority in-house teams for assistance in interpreting and navigating what is often a complex series of rules. Andrew Latchmore, a consultant at Shulmans and member of the Procurement Lawyers Association, answers some of your questions.

To what extent do procurement rules apply to property transactions and property development?

Case law over the last 10 years has made clear that procurement frameworks and regulations apply just as much to property transactions as they do to the acquisition of goods and other services. This can pose significant challenges to a local authority which may want to acquire a new building or carry out work on a particular site and where there may be only one party with which to deal. Our team can advise on the options and courses of action available to overcome these challenges.

Do you have any examples of these challenging situations?

We have advised local authorities on a large number of situations, including:

  • Successfully resisting a challenge from the European Commission on behalf of a local authority in relation to a complex land development contract that it had entered into with a leading registered housing provider;
  • Managing a competitive dialogue competition on behalf of a local authority in relation to the appointment of a developer to refurbish and then run a council-owned theatre/conference venue;
  • Advising a local authority in a competitive dialogue process to identify and appoint a developer to provide a site for and then construct a new 130,000 sq. ft. headquarters building to a fixed budget and timetable.

The experience of our real estate team is often crucial in these situations where the in-house procurement teams that operate within local authorities sometimes have limited experience of property development situations. This can mean that in-house teams can find the application of procurement rules a challenge in these situations.

Our experienced team can work closely with in-house teams to advise on and manage these complex rules and processes.

Our team

Simon Jackson


Head of Commercial Property

Direct Line +44 (0)113 297 7721

Edwina Hewson


Property Finance

Direct Line +44 (0)113 207 0187

Andrew Latchmore


Commercial Property

Direct Line +44 (0)113 297 8067

Dawn Carlisle


Commercial Property

Direct Line +44 (0)113 297 8957

Kieran Wilkinson


Commercial Property

Direct Line +44 (0)113 297 7730

Simon Rhodes


Commercial Property

Direct Line +44 (0)113 297 3768