Alex LawrenceSenior associate
Senior associate in the governance and commercial team
I advise local government, those who deal with local government, and the wider public sector on the application of local government law, governance matters, the public procurement regime and state aid.
I trained at Anthony Collins Solicitors and qualified in 2011. I spent several years as an in-house solicitor for a local authority advising on procurement, state aid, contracts, governance, academies and waste law. In 2015, I was awarded the Law Society Diploma in local government law and practice, with distinction, and the Local Government Legal Society Trust prize for best candidate.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, much of the focus has been on shoring up existing delivery and, where possible, extending arrangements if it is not possible to re-procure.
Covid-19 has resulted, on the whole, in a marked co-operation between contracting authorities and their suppliers as everybody focuses on maintaining delivery as far as possible.
As we continue to emerge from lockdown measures and deal with local measures and the short and long term economic impact of Covid-19, local authorities will need to re-assess how services will be delivered for years to come.
In the event of a “no-deal” Brexit, the Government has now laid draft regulations (The State Aid (EU Exit) Regulations 2019) before Parliament to establish a national framework for State aid.
Section 17 of the Local Government Act 1988 has made that clear for many years. It prohibits the taking into account of non-commercial considerations in procurement decisions, including considerations relating to country of origin.
At a time of continuing reductions in central funding and radical reassessments of how services are financed and delivered, planning for and acting on contract management and contract review has never been more important.
As many have now been in place for a few years, we would advise that consideration is given to a review of the structures which are in place.
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