Public procurement

January 18, 2023


Insights on legal domains

A public procurement is a contract for pecuniary interest concluded between a public purchaser, known in European Union law as a "contracting authority" and public or private entities. The purpose of the contract is to meet the needs of the public purchaser in terms of supplies, services, infrastructure (works) or even real estate.

This type of contract can be concluded by many public purchasers such as public authorities (the central state, referred entities or local authorities) or by legal entities representing public purchasers.

Our multidisciplinary team is made up of lawyers specialized in public and administrative law with a particular interest in public procurement. Thanks to the experience acquired by our lawyers at the bar, we have a solid background to cover all areas of this discipline.

In particular, we are competent in dealing with the various aspects of financing public projects, public-private partnerships (PPP) and public company services.

Today, the quality of a public service is increasingly linked to the optimal management of public contracts concluded between contracting authorities and economic operators. Without a thorough understanding of how public procurement oversees your decisions, your business and real estate development, joint ventures, restructuring or sale plans will not work.

As a client or bidder in a national, European or international call for tenders, our legal advisors can assist you in all the steps involved in public procurement.

In the digital age, we will also help you understand the introduction of the federal platform (e-notification and e-tendering) and the e-procurement of Belgian public contracts.

We can accompany you throughout the tendering process, not only in the public sector, but also in other sectors that fall within the public domain such as

  • The construction
  • Transportation
  • Health
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Telecommunications

Whether you are a municipal, regional or federal public authority, a European institution or a public sector company, our lawyers will be able to understand and deal with all of your legal issues related to the specificities of the sector in which your company operates.

The international richness of our team allows us to provide you with a lawyer from the bar in Europe, Asia, America or Africa to carry out your operations and transactions with full knowledge of the language and legislation of the country you are targeting.

We support our clients on several levels of their infrastructure and projects;

  • Drafting of documents (including laws and regulations) based on European directives
  • The creation and restructuring of public or private partners
  • Intervention by public authorities
    - Notice of competition
    - State aid and ESA neutrality
    - Public shareholdings
    - Inter-municipal public enterprises
    - Public service concession
    - Eurostat criteria and OIB regulations (Infrastructure and Logistics in Brussels)

If you wish to invest in order to obtain and/or sell a stake in a public contract or a public-private partnership, we will provide you with pragmatic legal advice on how to launch a tender procedure and obtain a timely conclusion of agreements with an optimal return on investment.

Our expertise in public procurement law, as well as in economic and administrative law, allows us to intervene in any issue related to tenders;

  • Consortium
  • Protection of sensitive data (GDPR)
  • Anti-trust law
  • Compliance
  • Award procedure (including award disputes)
    - Qualitative selection
    - Regularity and conformity of offers
    - Selection of the successful tenderer (award criteria and reasoned award decision)
    - Notification of the contract

We are also competent to assist our public and private sector clients in procurement procedures, such as

  • Complex PPP projects
  • Drafting of offers and applications
  • Urban redevelopment projects
  • ICT projects
  • Concession and sale of public property
  • Negotiation and drafting of contracts
  • The drafting of administrative clauses
  • The drafting of the special specifications
  • The Single European Market Document (SEMD)
  • Writing review reports
  • Assistance in the event of the eviction from a public contract
    - Action for suspension
    - Action for annulment
    - Action for injunction
    - Recourse for compensation

As regards public-private partnerships, we are used to providing legal support to our clients in their infrastructure development projects. These partnerships involve long-term contractual or institutional cooperation between public authorities and private operators. Our experience in the legal world of PPP allows us to assist you at all levels of your project, from the drafting of the PPP contract to its financial closing.

In order to provide you with the most comprehensive legal assistance in your PPP projects, our Public Procurement Law Department cooperates with our lawyers specialised in other branches of law to deal with all aspects of your project in detail.

This includes, for example:

  • Company law
    - Structuring and creation of public or private organizations
    - Shareholder agreements and loan agreements
    - Contributions of consultancy costs
    - Financing agreements (loans and credit)
    - Guarantees
  • Tax law
    - VAT on PPPs
    - Withholding tax
  • Contract law
    - DBFM, D&B, DBM+F and DBFMO contracts (i.e. Design, Build, Finance and Maintain contracts)
    - Leasing contracts
    - Concession contracts
    - Lease contracts
    - Subcontracts (back-to-back, EPC and MTC)
  • Real estate law
    - Long lease rights
    - Domain concession
    - The right to build

In the event of litigation or arbitration, we represent our clients before the courts and tribunals, including the Court of Justice of the European Union, as well as before the regulatory authorities (regulators), the European Commission or the Council of State.

We also represent our clients before the civil and administrative courts.

If you wish to benefit from a great expertise in the field of public procurement law with the help of lawyers adapted to your problems and able to offer you a tailor-made solution, do not hesitate to contact us. We can be reached by e-mail and on our website and will contact you within 24 hours.