Strategic Project Governance Advice
To succeed in major projects, organizations need clear project plans and flexible procurement formats. We provide strategic and tactical advice at the planning stage of projects to help our clients anticipate potential roadblocks, accelerate timeframes and secure optimal outcomes.
Our project governance advice focuses on accountability structures, team organization, project planning, template selection, document design and drafting. We emphasize the importance of negotiation planning and contract design in the project governance cycle and the use of competitive bidding frameworks that promote “win-win” solutions between purchasers and selected proponents. Working closely with our clients, we help navigate the time pressures and litigation risks inherent in the tendering process, so they can bring their projects to completion on time and on budget.
RFX Drafting and Reviews
Our team delivers fast, thorough and cost-effective legal reviews and drafting services to help clients prepare their tendering documents with greater speed and precision. We work with organizations to review draft RFX documents for specific projects, providing feedback, strategic advice and drafting support. For institutions seeking longer term solutions, we offer comprehensive template development packages, and the unique services of our Procurement SWAT Team, which delivers transaction-specific drafting training to help institutions build long-term efficiencies into their tendering cycles.
Whether we’re preparing the tendering document ourselves or guiding our clients through the drafting process, we emphasize a coherent drafting strategy that includes completion of an initial mapping statement, integration of RFX format selection into the early stages of document drafting, incorporation of technical specifications through a modularized architecture that allows for the proper alignment of specifications with pricing structures, streamlined mandatory requirements, clear ranking and selection criteria, and customized contract terms that properly integrate with the rest of the tendering documents.
Diagram: Seven Stages of Precision Drafting
Contract Drafting and Negotiation
Flexible, negotiated procurement formats reduce the risk of bid disputes and ensure that the purchaser gets the products and services it needs without being derailed by unforeseen technicalities in the tendering process. We demystify the selection, negotiation and award process used in negotiated RFPs and provide practical step-by-step guidance in preparing for open competitive negotiations, including advice on organizing substantive issues, identifying roles and responsibilities, clarifying negotiation plans, and building a bargaining binder. Our clients rely on us for both behind the scenes support and leadership at the negotiation table.
We bring the same expertise to the contract drafting phase, rapidly assembling comprehensive, readable contracts that accurately reflect the terms of the transaction and provide clear guidance throughout the post-award contract management stage.
Advice and Opinions
Our clients come to us when they need authoritative advice on complex procurement issues. Whether it’s a rapid response to an escalating emergency or a detailed analysis of the finer points of law, our advice helps institutions make informed decisions and reduce risks.
We have provided guidance to a broad portfolio of public institutions across Canada at all levels of government on such diverse issues as the use of requests for information and prequalification processes, privilege clauses, unfair advantage and bias in the bidding process, disclosure duties, tender compliance, clarification rights and bid repair, bid disqualification, fair evaluations, hidden criteria, bid shopping, the use of negotiated RFP processes, contract performance and termination issues, sole sourcing, local preference practices, fair wage policies, supplier boycotts, bidder barring protocols, arbitration processes and compliance with an extensive range of procurement treaties, statutes and directives.
Bid Dispute Litigation Defence
We provide our clients with advice and representation throughout the bid dispute process, from responses to initial complaints to strategic advice on argument before panels, tribunals and courts of all levels. Because we understand the financial and reputational risks inherent in bid disputes, we aim to resolve them quickly and discreetly, ensuring that operational interruptions are kept to a minimum. We also maintain strategic alliances with carefully selected litigation counsel across the country, so that when disputes do escalate, our clients are equipped with an unequalled combination of procurement knowledge and courtroom experience.
We provide litigation support services at all levels of government and in all regions of Canada. They include such diverse projects as assisting a senior level government with trial preparation in the defence of a nine-figure lost profit tendering claim, conducting an independent due diligence audit to review an institution’s tendering and contract management practices in response to multiple ongoing claims, and assisting a municipality with a tender-related arbitration process arising from a major construction project.
We offer a number of flat-rate template development packages designed to update or overhaul an organization’s tendering documents, with an emphasis on tailoring treaty-compliant, flexible, low-risk formats that accelerate procurement while reducing exposure.
Drawing from our Procurement Playbook, we offer a flat-rate Template Overhaul package that provides a complete review and upgrade of an organization’s tendering documents. In addition to updating “Contract A” Invitation to Tender and RFP formats, we also tailor flexible low-risk formats that allow the organization to accelerate its tendering cycle while reducing exposure.
The Template Overhaul includes the following formats:
- Invitation to Tender
- No-Negotiation RFP
- Consecutive Negotiation/Rank-and-Run RFP
- Concurrent Negotiation/BAFO RFP
- Invitational Request for Quotation
- Open Request for Quotation
- Request for Information
- Request for Supplier Qualifications – Prequalification
- Request for Supplier Qualifications – Framework
Protocols and Procedures
After laying the foundation of a Procurement Roadmap Policy Framework that establishes clear roles and responsibilities and creates enhanced workflow efficiencies, we can also drill deeper and provide institutions with detailed guidance in specific aspects of the procurement process. Working closely with our clients, we develop protocols and procedures tailored to the unique demands of their organizations, including in the following areas:
- Internal Procurement Checklists
- Format Selection Protocol
- Document Drafting Protocol
- Competitive Phase Protocol
- Evaluation Process Protocol
- Debriefing Protocol
- Bid Protest Protocol
- Contract Management and Vendor Performance Tracking Procedures
- Bidder Barring Protocol
- Qualified Supplier Rosters Protocol and Procedures
For more information on any of these protocols and procedures, or to inquire about flat-rate pricing, please contact us.
Our innovative Snapshot Review quickly assesses an institution’s existing procurement practices against broadly recognized due diligence standards in eight critical target areas including institutional governance, project management, template development, document drafting, bidding risks, contract administration, institutional training and innovation. By measuring twenty-four due diligence indicators drawn from legal best practices, this analysis helps to identify problem areas so that resources can be properly directed to the concerns that require the most immediate attention.
The Snapshot Review is available as a stand-alone flat-rate service, or as part of our RAPID Action Plan.
RAPID Action Plan
Our RAPID Action Plan integrates key components from our due diligence services into a single cohesive strategy that is specifically designed to provide a fast, thorough and cost-effective method to accelerate procurement cycles and enhance compliance with due diligence obligations. Using our three-stage risk assessment, professional integration and deployment process, the RAPID Action Plan combines in-depth legal analysis and best business practices to promote optimal institutional performance.
The services included in the RAPID Action Plan are described in detail on the RAPID Action Plan page under Legal Services on our main menu.
SWAT Team Training
Our Procurement SWAT Team is built for rapid mobilization to assist institutions in effectively implementing updated templates in actual projects. Procurement SWAT Team services are normally delivered following a template update. Using the newly tailored suite of templates, and drawing on the principles from our Precision Drafting handbook, the Procurement SWAT Team delivers enhanced transaction-specific training to core procurement staff, providing on-the-job training while giving the organization the opportunity to clear its transaction backlog and advance critical procurement projects.
SWAT Team Transactional Training is available as a stand-alone service, packaged with our Template Retrofit or Overhaul, or as part of our SWAT Team Jumpstart and our RAPID Action Plan.