Modification and termination of public contracts
Produced in partnership with Louise Huson of DLA Piper

The following Public Law practice note produced in partnership with Louise Huson of DLA Piper provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Modification and termination of public contracts
  • Brexit impact—public procurement
  • Modification of public contracts
  • The ‘safe harbours’
  • Category 1—changes which can be made irrespective of value
  • Category 2—major changes
  • Category 3—‘minor changes’
  • Category 4—‘corporate changes’
  • Termination of public contracts
  • Drafting guidance for compliance with PCR 2015 regs 72 and 73
  • More...

Modification and termination of public contracts

IP COMPLETION DAY: The Brexit transition period ended at 11pm on 31 December 2020. At this time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), transitional arrangements ended and significant changes began to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: What does IP completion day mean for public law?

Many would argue that having procured a contract lawfully, it is not commercially viable to require contracting authorities in the public sector to re-procure the contract if a material change to it is needed to settle objective difficulties. However, public procurement legislation and case law override the common law principle of privity of contract, and restrict the scenarios in which change is allowed. They also impose scenarios where a public contract might be terminated, irrespective of whether those scenarios were drafted into the original contract terms.

This Practice Note looks at these issues, starting with modification of signed public contracts.

Brexit impact—public procurement

The UK public procurement regime derives from EU public procurement laws, and is therefore impacted by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. For general updates, see Practice Note: Brexit timeline. For further reading on the impact of Brexit on public procurement, see Practice Note: Brexit—the implications for public procurement.

Modification of public contracts

Regulation 72

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