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Public law, Procurement and Infrastructure, Belgium

Our Brussels team has experience in coping with the whole array of issues that arise when dealing with or doing business with public authorities or the public sector, with a particular focus on public procurement, infrastructure and state aid.

The role of the public procurement function within public bodies has taken on a new importance - the pressure is on to buy more smartly, spend less and collaborate with others in purchasing. This often means bigger, higher profile procurement activity using competitive dialogue, frameworks or central purchasing arrangements. Up to the minute legal advice is vital. For those who are looking to buy, there are various rules and regulations surrounding the procurement process. For those wishing to take advantage of opportunities, pragmatic advice is needed on how to maximize the chance of success.

We also act for both public and private actors in major PPP and PFI infrastructure projects. Setting up a PPP requires a team of experienced lawyers working together on the organizational, financial, corporate, regulatory and tax issues of such partnership. Within our Brussels office we have this multidisciplinary approach and experience.

In line with Eversheds Sutherland’s general pragmatic attitude, the Brussels team takes a commercial approach to state aid compliance, weighing up the need for compliance with the state aid regime and the commercial and political drivers relevant to publicly funded projects.

We also assist our clients when dealing with expropriation, public property, public administration and public policy, legislation and regulations in general.

Main areas

  • Constitutional matters
  • Expropriation
  • Infrastructure (defence, education, energy (including biomass, nuclear, solar and wind), health, housing, sports, telecommunications, transport (including airports, ports, rail and roads), utilities, waste and water)
  • PFI and PPP
  • Public administration
  • Public domain and concessions
  • Public international law
  • Public policy, legislation and regulations
  • Public procurement
  • State aid

Examples of work

  • Assisting a local authority in the procurement of service vehicles and related maintenance services
  • Advising numerous companies on the applicable procedures in public procurement and applications to tender
  • Assisting a local professional body in organizing a tender for the design and fit-out of their new HQ offices in Brussels
  • Advising an international (UK based) provider of ATM cash machines for business on the compliance of security legislation with the Belgian constitutional principles of equality
  • Assisting a leading Belgian real estate developer in the negotiation and redrafting of the contractual documentation regarding a PPP infrastructure project
  • Assisting a local authority in setting up a major PPP senior housing project, including the drafting and negotiating of the contractual documentation
  • Assisting a US based venture capital firm in a public bidding procedure for the acquisition of a telecom tower located in Flanders and development matters in relation to a telecom tower in Wallonia
  • Advising several companies on state aid compliance issues and state aid repayment obligations

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