- Public interest justifies cost-capping in a procurement case (Good Law Project v Minister for the Cabinet Office (Hanbury Strategy & Communications Ltd as interested party))
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Public interest
- Availability of funds
- Case details
Public Law analysis: This case involved an opposed application for a cost-capping order in the context of a challenge by way of judicial review to the non-tendered award of a seven-month public contract for online and telephone polling and ancillary services, to Hanbury Strategy & Communications Ltd (Hanbury). A cost-capping order was made in relation to the costs of both claimant and defendant, and the judge usefully described how the relevant statutory provisions will be interpreted and applied. In particular, the judge determined that these proceedings (a judicial review claim which was essentially a procurement challenge) amounted to ‘public interest proceedings’ for the purposes of section 88(6) of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 (CJCA 2015). One of the criteria for the making of a cost-capping order is that the proceedings in question must be ‘public interest proceedings’. The judge noted the claimant’s evidence that it would be unable to continue with this judicial review challenge if no cost-capping order were to be made, given the limited extent of its funds—notwithstanding that it had launched other judicial review claims in respect of other contract awards by the defendant. Written by Christopher Brennan, legal director at Gowling WLG (UK) LLP.
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