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The client was a German-owned manufacturer and plant supplier to the water industry, which had tendered for a contract with a major water company to supply and service highly technical equipment worth several millions of pounds. Their main competitor was the incumbent supplier – a large UK company with a firm grasp on supply to water companies throughout the UK. This was a situation our clients were keen to disrupt.
In the event the contract was awarded to the UK supplier. Our client was entitled to a review meeting with the customer where it became apparent that, during the bidding process, the technical specifications in the award criteria had been amended in a manner which enabled the incumbent to bid on a lower price. This was because it enabled them to prepare their bid on the basis of their standard product.
This was procedurally unfair because the change in specification had not been communicated to our client and the process therefore lacked transparency. Under pressure from Gregg Latchams, the water company agreed to re-run the bidding process.