Public Procurement of Legal Services: What Changes?

For 20 years, under the impetus of Community law, the services of lawyers have been gradually subject to the law of public procurement. The provisions of the new Directive 2014/24 / EU of 26 February 2014 on the award of public contracts and repealing Directive 2004/18 / EC could jeopardize this submission. Decoding by Etienne Amblard and Lila Zarfaoui-Duval, Counsel and collaborator at Gide.

What are the rules currently imposed on public persons when choosing a law firm?

Public persons (the various State services, local authorities, their public institutions, etc.) have the obligation to comply with advertising and competitive bidding rules issued by the Community Directives and the Public Procurement Code at the time of the choice of their lawyers, both in the area of ​​counseling and litigation. These rules are quite restrictive even if, in the case of Legal Service Singapore markets, they are lightened. There are, however, two main exceptions to the competitive tendering of legal services markets: (i) when the mission entrusted by the public corporation to the lawyer concerns a fee of less than € 15,000 and (ii) in emergency situations, for example for legal service singapore representation missions in summary proceedings.

What is the contribution of the new public procurement directive?

Directive No 2014/24 / EU of 26 February 2014 is based on the following observation: the market for legal services is essentially national and has only a limited transnational dimension (recital 116 of the Directive). As a result, this text now excludes from its scope most of the services offered by lawyers.

This refers to legal service singapore consisting of “the legal representation of a client by a lawyer” in arbitration, conciliation and before the courts (Article 10 (d), (i)) or in counseling provided for the preparation of litigation proceedings (Article 10 (d) (ii)). Moreover, as regards more particularly the provision of consultancy services, the provisions of the Directive do not apply to legal service contracts whose amount is less than 750 000 € (Article 4 (d) and Annex XIV).

What are the room for maneuver during the transposition process?

The Government has a deadline of 18 April 2016 to transpose the provisions of the Directive. It has already been pointed out that the provisions concerning legal service singapore contracts are not among the measures to be transposed as a matter of priority (Manure.: 56639: JOAN Q 19 Aug. 2014, p.7027).

Public authorities will retain some room for maneuver in the transposition process. Two main routes could be taken: that of a strict transposition of the terms of the new directive into the national texts, which would result in a relaxation (or even the disappearance) of the obligations resulting from the law of the public contracts for the contentious missions and for an important part of the consulting missions; that of a “superstructure” of the terms of the directive, which would consist in the maintenance of all or part of the current rules, in the name of a demanding national application of the principles of public control. This approach, however, would be contradictory to the objective of normative simplification posted by the Government

Moreover, if the first path is chosen, public authorities can continue to implement, on a voluntary basis and on the basis of their past experience, simplified selective processes.

Are there other considerations that justify changing the legal service singapore markets?

On the basis of the current texts, some public persons have developed a practice of standardization of their procedures for the purchase of legal services which raises different questions with regard to the principles controlling the relationship between the lawyer and his client (importance of the intuitu personae independence of the board, professional secrecy and confidentiality, methods of establishing fees, etc.).

In addition, the importance sometimes given to the price criterion favors circumvention practices by “overwriting” hourly rates. These practices are denounced by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and have been condemned several times by the administrative judge (sanction of “abnormally low offer”). These considerations could also argue, in a convergent manner with the objectives of the new directive, for a relaxation of the constraints of the law of public contracts applied to the provision of legal services.