Contractor takes legal action over repairs and maintenance tender

Mears is suing Leeds council for damages after failing to make the shortlist for a repairs and maintenance tender put out last year

The social housing contractor claims the authority supplied insufficient information to bidders tendering for the contract, understood to be for work across thousands of homes in the region.

The case, which began in the High Court in London this week, comes amid evidence that contractors are becoming increasingly litigious over contract awards, as competition for work increases.

Leeds council failed to meet an obligation of transparency established under case law


Mears claims assessment criteria vital to completing the bidding process was effectively omitted from the tender.

In a document obtained by Mears after it had been dropped from the process, Leeds council sets out the criteria for marking pre-qualification questionnaires.

Mears claims the information in the document would have changed the way its tender was prepared and as such the council failed in its obligation to run a transparent process.

A further document obtained by Mears after it had lost out on the work contains model answers, which it claims required content that was not clear from the questions and supporting documents.

P Patel of Trowers & Hamlins, acting on behalf of Mears, said Leeds council had failed to meet an obligation of transparency established under case law.

Central to Mears’ case is an alleged omission by Leeds council to set out the criteria for achieving a score of seven to 10 out of 10.

The marking guidance states firms must demonstrate innovation and value adding to gain a score over seven for an answer.

It is understood the contract is yet to be awarded.

Mears declined to comment.