Varying public contracts
Produced in partnership with Hardwicke Chambers
Varying public contracts

The following Construction practice note produced in partnership with Hardwicke Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Varying public contracts
  • Brexit impact—public procurement
  • Change envisaged in contract and procurement documents
  • Permitted modifications
  • Substantial modifications
  • Judicial consideration

Varying public contracts

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin 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 Construction?

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 on the process and preparations for Brexit, 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.

Change envisaged in contract and procurement documents

Many public contracts envisage a service arrangement that will last over a very long period of time and, because of that, the contract may contain sophisticated mechanisms by which various categories of change can be effected during the contractual term.

However, in the event of a major change, whether pursuant to a variation clause or not, care must be taken to ensure that the relevant variation does not amount to a 'substantial' modification so that a new

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