Contractor challenged Hammersmith and Fulham council decision to appoint Mitie to £177m housing maintenance contract

housing expert oct 2013

Willmott Dixon has lost a legal challenge against the award of a £177m suite of housing maintenance contracts by Hammersmith and Fulham Council.

The contract to provide reactive and planned works to 17,000 homes across the borough over ten years was awarded to Mitie in 2013.

Willmott Dixon Property had provided housing repair and maintenance services to the council since August 2005, but the council set about procuring another provider in 2012, saying it wanted a “sea-change” in the way the service worked.

But Willmott Dixon’s legal challenge argued it had been unfairly judged in the procurement process.

It argued there were thirteen separate issues with the procurement process, including judging the tenders on criteria that were not specified; failing to score tenders correctly; and breaches of the council’s statutory duties.

The decision to re-procure came after what the judgement called “issues with the structure” of the old contracts that resulted in problems and tensions between Hammersmith and Willmott Dixon due to the way the contract had been designed.

But now a judge in the Techology and Construction Court has dismissed the claim, concluding there was “no suggestion” that different scoring approaches were adopted for different tenders or any other breaches of the correct processes.

A spokesperson for Hammersmith and Fulham council said the judgment allowed the authority to “draw a line under these proceedings”.

He added: “We continue to focus on providing the highest quality of services to all our residents.”

A spokesperson for Willmott Dixon said it “respected” the court’s decision.

Mitie declined to comment.