Contracting authorities procure works, supplies and services worth tens of millions of euros each year. Entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services (special-sector companies), such as transport companies, port authorities, energy companies and drinking water companies, also invite countless tenders in the market in connection with their utility activities. Contracting authorities and special-sector companies are bound in their procurement activities to the Dutch Public Procurement Act 2012, which aims to ensure, among other matters, equal treatment, equal opportunities for every tenderer and a transparent tendering process.
Our specialists in Houthoff's Procurement Law Team are regarded as experts in their field. We assist both contracting authorities and special-sector companies as well as tenderers through all phases of a tender procedure: from preparing the tender to signing the contract. As a result, we have a thorough understanding of all the ins and outs of the tendering business and have a clear awareness of what is important to both contracting authorities and tenderers. All this translates into strategic, practical and usable advice. We also act in complex procurement disputes as well as assisting tenderers and contracting parties in complaints proceedings before the Procurement Experts Committee (Commissie van Aanbestedingsexperts).
Our wide-ranging experience in infringement proceedings is also unique. These are situations where the European Commission sues a contracting authority via the Netherlands as a Member State for possible infringements of one of the European Procurement Directives. We have advised contracting authorities that have been faced with a notice of default and assisted them through the legal process, even as far as the European Court of Justice. We also stand out in the market thanks to our experience in assisting and litigating on special-sector tenders, including those in the transport and energy sectors.
If in the tendering process other legal issues play a role, such as State aid, competition or spatial planning, we always consult with specialists from other Houthoff teams for all these issues. By taking such a multidisciplinary approach, we can achieve the best possible result for the client.