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Posted by: John Brace | 18th August 2017

What are Merseytravel’s legal fees to defend a legal challenge to the £272 million rolling stock contract?

What are Merseytravel’s legal fees to defend a legal challenge to the £272 million rolling stock contract?

                                     

During the 2016-17 audit (which covers the start of April 2016 to the end of March 2017), I requested to inspect various invoices paid by Merseytravel and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and have since picked up copies from their headquarters.

In December 2016, a large rolling stock contract (for new trains) was agreed by councillors on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to be awarded to Stadler Bussnang AG. Stadler Bussnang AG will charge £272,424,952.00 for the new trains.

An unsuccessful bidder (Bombardier) brought a challenge to how the procurement decision had been arrived at and large invoices for legal work from DLA Piper UK LLP have been submitted to Merseytravel’s Rolling Stock Director (David Powell).

The thumbnails of invoices below each link to a higher resolution image for the same invoice.

Invoice 413 from DLA Piper UK LLP (invoice 54833489) dated 31st January 2017 is for £231,124.96. This is for the matter, “Fleet Replacement Project”. This is broken down to “To our fees for professional services” of £187,013.80 + VAT, followed by the following expenses, search fees (£2.00 + VAT), subsistence (£152.68 + VAT), travel (£5,195.65 + VAT) and Vroom Plus (£240 + VAT).

DLA Piper LLP invoice 413 Merseytravel 31st January 2017 £231124.96

DLA Piper LLP invoice 413 Merseytravel 31st January 2017 £231124.96

Invoice 414 from DLA Piper UK LLP (invoice 54833534) also dated 31st January 2017 is for £88,064.40 and is for “Concession Agreement”. This is broken down to “To our fees for professional services” of £72,554.84 + VAT, followed by expenses of subsistence (£197.78 + VAT) and travel (£634.38 + VAT).

DLA Piper LLP invoice 414 Merseytravel 31st January 2017 £88064.40

DLA Piper LLP invoice 414 Merseytravel 31st January 2017 £88064.40

Invoice 415 from DLA Piper UK LLP (invoice 54833911) dated 3rd February 2017 is for £93,456.10. This is for the matter, “Rolling Stock Procurement Challenge – Bombardier”. This is further broken down to £77,794.50 detailed as “To our professional services”, then under a heading of Expenses, copying charged of £85.58. The two figures added together make £77,880.08. Then £15,576.02 is added on as VAT making a grand total of £93,456.10.

DLA Piper LLP invoice 415 Merseytravel 3 February 2017 £93456.10

DLA Piper LLP invoice 415 Merseytravel 3 February 2017 £93456.10

Invoice 469 from DLA Piper UK LLP (invoice 54836294) dated 9th March 2017 is for £106,544.35. This is for the matter, “Rolling Stock Procurement Challenge – Bombardier”. This is further broken down to £74,257.50 _ VAT for “to our fees for professional services”, expenses which are detailed as copying (£11,735.66 + VAT), Counsel fees (£1,485.00 + VAT), Courier charges (£967.05 + VAT), Travel (£91.75 + VAT) and under disbursements court fees of £300 (which doesn’t attract VAT).

DLA Piper LLP invoice 469 Merseytravel 9th March 2017 £106544.35

DLA Piper LLP invoice 469 Merseytravel 9th March 2017 £106544.35

Invoice 488 from DLA Piper UK LLP (invoice 54836373) dated 10th March 2017 is for £17,487.66. This is for the matter, “Rolling Stock maintenance & Concession Agreement amends LDS”. It’s broken down to “To our fees for professional services” of £14,213.00 + VAT, followed by two expenses of subsistence (£57.90 + VAT) and travel (£302.15 + VAT).

DLA Piper LLP invoice 488 Merseytravel 10th March 2017 £17487.66

DLA Piper LLP invoice 488 Merseytravel 10th March 2017 £17487.66

Invoice 484 and 485 from DLA Piper UK LLP (invoice 54836373) dated 17th March 2017 are both for £23,285.92 and are for the matter, “Procurement Claim by Bombardier” and is down as “To our fees for professional services – disbursement bill only”. This is for copying of £19,404.93 + VAT). However the same invoice has been supplied for two different payments of £23,285.92.

DLA Piper LLP invoice 484 Merseytravel 17th March 2017 £23285.92

DLA Piper LLP invoice 484 Merseytravel 17th March 2017 £23285.92

DLA Piper LLP invoice 485 Merseytravel 31st January 2017 £23285.92

DLA Piper LLP invoice 485 Merseytravel 31st January 2017 £23285.92

Invoice 468 from DLA Piper UK LLP (invoice 54837633) dated 29th March 2017 is for £136,320.60. This is for the matter, “Rolling Stock Procurement Challenge – Bombardier”. This is further broken down to £62,865.20 + VAT for “to our fees for professional services in relation to the above matters from 6 March 2017 to 24 March 2017” and expenses of Counsel fees of £50,735.00 + VAT.

DLA Piper LLP invoice 468 Merseytravel 31st January 2017 £136320.60

DLA Piper LLP invoice 468 Merseytravel 31st January 2017 £136320.60

Having rechecked what payments 484 and 485 relate to they are both to the same supplier DLA Piper UK LLP, on the same date for the same amount. However have different cost codes. However I don’t understand why the same invoice has been supplied for both?

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