Amey set for another legal showdown

Dominic Browne

Amey is set for another showdown with a major council after partially winning an early round in a legal battle with West Sussex County Council.

Amey Highways Ltd had asked for the High Court for a summary judgement in the case, after West Sussex awarded its Highways Term Service Contract 2018-2028 to Ringway. 

While a summary judgement was not granted, the council failed to have the case thrown out either on the grounds that Amey ran out of time to take legal action, or that Amey's case had no chance of success.

This has left the two parties set for further legal action if no resolution can be found. The news comes just months after lost another battle with Birmingham City Council.

The judgement states that Amey’s case 'may be subdivided into two broad categories of attack':

'i) Amey alleges that instructions given by the Council on 19 January and/or 2 February 2018 about how it should structure its presentation of certain staff costs were unlawful. It is not in dispute that implementation of the instructions had the effect of reducing the score that Amey’s tender would receive in respect of price. 

ii) Amey alleges manifest error in the scoring of two criteria and that it should have been awarded a higher score for those criteria.'

The way the tender and its costings was outlined, Justice Stuart-Smith states, meant local office overheads 'also fell to be included in either Total Revenue Costs or Total Capital Costs for any of years 1-7, the structure of the ITT’s [Invitation to Tender] costing model would mean that such costs were brought into the tenderer’s submitted pricing twice'.

'There was therefore an incentive for tenderers not to include sums appearing in their Total Costs in the LMO as well. On the documentary evidence it appears that Amey was conscious of the possibility that other tenderers might gain an unfair advantage by wrongly excluding costs from LMO that should have been included there'

Amey alleges it received instructions from the council relating to this situation - specifically relating to the equivalent of 4.25 full time employees that Amey asserted would not come at the council's expense - that were unlawful. Related to this, Amey alleges it should have scored higher on its scorecards.

Mr Justice Stuart-Smith ruled: 'I am not convinced that this is one of those relatively rare cases where the claim can be seen to be overwhelmingly strong or weak. I have not been addressed and am not in a position to make a reliable estimate of the strength or weakness of Amey’s claim or the Council’s proposed substantive defence save to say that neither appears to be fanciful on the materials and submissions that have been available and made at the present hearing.' 

Determination of the issues requires 'close consideration of the factual evidence that is beyond the scope of a strike out/summary judgement application', the ruling states. 

The procurement process was subject to a competitive dialogue process, involving three stages: first, an Invitation to Submit Outline Solutions; second, a Competitive Dialogue and; third, a Call for Final Tenders.

The Invitation to Tender divided the tender submission into two sections, quality and cost. The quality submission was worth 40% of the overall score with the cost submission being worth 60%.

Highways approached Amey and West Sussex County Council for comment.

Highways jobs

Assistant Director - Growth and Development

Lincoln City Council
£59,058.00 - £65,127.00
Looking for an experienced manager with a good track record in proactively driving economic growth and investment. Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincoln City Council

Assistant Director – Transport and Connectivity

Birmingham City Council
£73,513 - £90,864
This is one of a number of influential new senior roles for collaborative people, motivated by doing what’s right for our city and residents. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Director (Environment and Planning)

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council
£77,265 p.a.
You will have a great opportunity to drive forward an ambitious strategic growth agenda... Hinckley, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council

Service Director – Environment

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
Looking to recruit to a key post within our Economy and Infrastructure Directorate.  Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Transport & Development Officer (Career Grade)

London Borough of Bexley
£29,130 - £40,173
This is a Career Grade post and an excellent opportunity. Bexley (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Transport Planning Officer x 2

Plymouth City Council
£32,233 to £41,846
If you are an experienced Transport Planner then we need you to step aboard.  Plympton, Plymouth
Recuriter: Plymouth City Council

Transport Planning Officer x 2

Plymouth City Council
£32,233 to £41,846
Exciting time to join the Council and this role represents an opportunity to make a real difference... Plympton, Plymouth
Recuriter: Plymouth City Council

Waste and Fleet Operations Manager

Ipswich Borough Council
£52,020 - £56,100 (pay award pending)
Looking for someone to lead and manage a large and vital operational area... Ipswich, Suffolk
Recuriter: Ipswich Borough Council

Business Manager - Planning Development

Newark & Sherwood District Council
£52,004 to £55,188 per annum
Looking for a suitably qualified and experienced individual to lead, manage, and develop the Council’s Development Management team. Newark, Nottinghamshire
Recuriter: Newark & Sherwood District Council

Spatial Data Developer

West Midlands Combined Authority
£36275 - £40831 per annum + exclusive benefits
As a senior GIS developer you will work within our Data Insight team to apply your experience in open source geospatial data management technologies. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: West Midlands Combined Authority

Innovation Integration Lead

West Midlands Combined Authority
£48758 - £54881 per annum + exclusive benefits
This is an exciting new post that will support the Head of Transport Innovation in the Policy, Strategy and Innovation Directorate of TfWM. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: West Midlands Combined Authority

Transport Systems Engineer

West Midlands Combined Authority
£26238 - £30698 per annum + exclusive benefits
This is an exciting new post in the Transport Innovation team of TfWM’s Policy, Strategy and Innovation Directorate. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: West Midlands Combined Authority

Senior Future Mobility Developer

West Midlands Combined Authority
£36275 - £40831 per annum + exclusive benefits
You will play a significant formative role in shaping and delivering a major new programme of Future Mobility Zones. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: West Midlands Combined Authority

Assistant Spatial Data Analyst

West Midlands Combined Authority
£19698 - £22431 per annum + exclusive benefits
As a GIS Analyst you will work within TfWM’s extremely strong Data Insight team. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: West Midlands Combined Authority

Senior Development Engineer

Bristol City Council
£27,358 - £33,136
Bristol is an exciting, and culturally thriving Regional Capital City of Bristol
Recuriter: Bristol City Council

Senior Engineer

Hounslow London Borough Council
Scale PO5 £41,847 - £44,691
We are looking for an experienced Traffic & Parking Engineer, able to work quickly and efficiently across Hounslow (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Hounslow London Borough Council

Principal Planner orPlanning Officer

Torridge District Council
Principal Planner up to £34,788 per annum / Planning Officer up to £31,371 per annum
Each role will provide rewarding opportunities to build experience and further your career. Bideford, Devon
Recuriter: Torridge District Council

Major Transport & Development Projects - Strategic Specialist

Wiltshire Council
£51,763 - £57,066
Wiltshire has a highly regarded record of securing funding and delivering major transport improvements across all modes of travel. Wiltshire
Recuriter: Wiltshire Council

Road Safety Manager

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£35991 - £38994 per annum
We are looking a fantastic new road safety expert to lead our high performing and innovative Road Safety Team. England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Sustainability Team Leader

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£41847 - £44691 per annum
Sustainability Team Leader Full Time (permanent contract)Grade
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Download your Highways App

Google App Apple App

Highways on Fridays

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue


  • The Jubliee of Britain's first motorway
  • The Big Interview with Dr Howard Robinson
  • Highways England's latest work in computer-led design
View the latest issue

Latest Video