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Europe Guide

Public Procurement — Sweden

Overview

Public Procurement in Sweden

Each year, the Swedish public sector buys goods, services and public works for an estimated value of EUR60–70 billion. The legislation on procurement in Sweden mainly consists of: (i) the Public Procurement Act (LOU), which mainly covers government authorities, municipalities, county councils and certain public companies; (ii) the Utilities Procurement Act (LUF), which covers certain entities and activities within the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors; (iii) the Concessions Procurement Act (LUK), which covers procurements of service and public works concessions; and (iv) the Defence and Security Procurement Act (LUFS), which covers certain contracts within the defence and security industry.

LOU, LUF and LUK came into force on 1 January 2017, as a result of the implementation of the 2014 EU directives on procurement and concession contracts. Before 1 January 2017 there was no specific act on concessions procurement in Sweden.

Considering that the regulatory framework for public procurement is based on EU directives, the Swedish procurement legislation mainly corresponds to such legislation in other EU countries. At least, this applies to contracts which represent a value above the EU threshold values, where the EU directives in their entirety are applicable. When it comes to contracts which represent a value below those thresholds, and contracts regarding social and certain other services (regardless of value), Sweden has adopted procurement rules which correspond to the EU directives to a large extent. In effect, the Swedish procurement legislation actually goes beyond what is required by the EU.

Direct awards of contracts (i.e. without tenders in a certain form) are permitted in Sweden under certain circumstances, for example if the contract value is below certain thresholds stipulated by the Swedish legislature (approx. EUR60,000 for contracts covered by LOU, approx. EUR115,000 for contracts covered by LUF and LUFS, and approx. EUR275,000 for contracts covered by LUK).

Current market and legal issues

There is a rather wide criticism in Sweden that public procurement has a clear bias towards law enforcement, whereas aspects of 'a good deal' are neglected. Indeed, the Swedish procurement legislation is perceived as difficult and inflexible and is sometimes applied in this way, causing unnecessary legal review procedures, delays and difficulties in providing public services. However, such difficulties are generally not a consequence of the legislation as such, but more often a matter of competence within the contracting authorities.

In June 2017, a government review was announced with the aim to simplify the procurement rules below the EU threshold values and to consider measures in order to decrease the number of court cases regarding public procurement. It remains to be seen whether or not appropriate changes to the legislation will meet these goals.

Another obstacle against 'good deals' is inadequate follow-up of public contracts. Insufficient follow-up opens the way for abnormally low tenders, designed to win the contract but in fact speculating on non-compliance with the terms of the contract. The negative effects of such tenders can for example be mitigated by using a model for contract award which gives more weight to criteria based on quality in relation to price, or even using a model where the price is fixed and the competition is based on quality criteria only. In LOU and LUF, a mandatory requirement for contracting authorities to reject all abnormally low tenders is stipulated (more far-reaching than the EU Directives), where the supplier does not submit a satisfactory explanation for the low tender.

Still, follow-up of a contract is essential in order to ensure good value for money and has become a high priority in Sweden. In this regard, the EU directive rules on modification and termination of contracts - which have been implemented in the Swedish legislation as of 1 January 2017 - have certainly become a welcome additional tool for the contracting authorities.

The function of improving the various conditions for 'good deals' in public procurement is the responsibility of the National Agency for Public Procurement, which has an overall responsibility for developing and supporting public procurement in Sweden. The objective of this agency is, inter alia, to promote efficient and sustainable public procurement, and to promote the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in public procurement procedures. Furthermore, the agency provides guidelines and support on all aspects of public procurement.

Illegal direct awards are not only obstacles against 'good deals'; they also constitute a serious breach of both EU and Swedish law. It is possible to bring actions in Swedish administrative courts against the effectiveness of agreements preceded by illegal direct awards. This is not only a risk for contracting authorities but also for companies which have entered into such contracts. The Swedish legislature has taken an all-or-nothing approach. Basically, if an agreement is considered ineffective, all contractual obligations are cancelled, not only those which are still to be performed. However, even if a contract is concluded as a result of an illegal direct award, it might be saved from ineffectiveness due to overriding reasons relating to the public interest. This exemption has been applied in some situations by Swedish administrative courts, inter alia, for contracts regarding maintenance of public roads, certain medtech equipment and support services for certain forms of public transportation.

The Swedish Competition Authority, the supervisory authority for public procurement, has in recent years taken several actions against illegal direct awards by legal proceedings regarding imposition of procurement fines on contracting authorities. When calculating the amount of a procurement fine, consideration shall be given to the gravity of the violation. The fine may however not exceed 10% of the value of the contract in question and the maximum fine that can be imposed is SEK10 million (approx. EUR1 million).

The Swedish legislation on public access to information plays an important role in public procurement and is more far-reaching than in most other EU countries. In principle, anyone is entitled to contact public authorities in Sweden (including most municipal companies but not government-owned companies) and request access to an official document, such as the winning tender in a public procurement.

Admittedly, the far-reaching public access to information in Sweden might be seen as a business risk for a tenderer, since the tender may be disclosed to competitors. However, the public authority must consider if the tender contains, inter alia, business secrets which must not be disclosed. Sometimes tenderers request in their tenders that certain parts of the tender shall be treated as confidential. Such requests should be as informative as possible, clearly stating the risk of damage if the information is disclosed.

Business risk or not, public access to official documents in Sweden simplifies the examination of the authorities' compliance with the procurement legislation, and therefore also facilitates meaningful legal reviews of on-going procurements. Accordingly, the number of legal review procedures in relation to the total number of procurements in Sweden is high, compared to most other EU countries. In 2016, almost 4,200 cases were registered by the administrative courts regarding review applications filed by disadvantaged bidders. The success rate for court complaints (i.e. a decision by the court that the procurement shall be corrected or recommenced) stands at around 30% of the total number of cases reviewed by the administrative courts.

The large number of procurement challenges has resulted in a voluminous and steadily expanding case law, which holds the key to many practical procurement issues which are not answered in the Swedish procurement legislation.

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BOKWALL RISLUND Advokatbyrå - Public Procurement Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Specialised boutique practice providing advice on a range of procurement issues. Assists suppliers with tender processes as well as advising state-owned companies and central government bodies on procurement issues. Active in the construction, transport and data sectors, as well as on matters engaging with healthcare and TMT. Handles a full range of contentious matters, including investigations and claims for damages. Also offers advice on challenging awards.

Strengths Clients value that the team is "knowledgeable, with high business acumen, providing a pragmatic approach and actionable advice."

Work highlights Represented EVRY Sweden AB in two major procurement cases concerning IT services in Stockholm and Skåne.

Retained by RenoNorden to advise on a tender in Stockholm Vatten's procurement of refuse collection in the greater Stockholm area.

Notable practitioners

Leading lawyer Carl Bokwall has 20 years' experience in public procurement, and serves a broad base of major national corporates and state-owned companies. One client comments that "he has a good understanding not only of the law, but also knowing how to apply it in a way that is constructive for us as a business."

One client describes Per-Owe Arfwedson as "a quick lawyer, very perceptive, able to find information himself and always able to understand the core of the problem and translate it into lawyer language." He regularly assists with complex procurement matters, including challenges to awards and tender processes, for clients operating in a range of sectors. He is notably experienced with healthcare, pharmaceutical and TMT cases.

About the Team (content provided by BOKWALL RISLUND Advokatbyrå)

Department profile not yet provided by BOKWALL RISLUND Advokatbyrå. Please see their firm profile.

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Advokatfirman Lindahl - Public Procurement Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Outstanding team well versed in assisting both public authorities and suppliers throughout the entire procurement process. Particularly noted for work in the construction, technology and public transport sectors, as well as in public utilities procurement. Possesses additional strengths in handling claims of misconduct and damages relating to public procurement procedures. Also well versed in handling procurement matters with cross-border elements.

Work highlights Represented NCC Roads in two cases before the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court concerning the possibility of tenderer exclusions.

Acted for Polismyndigheten, the Swedish police authority, in several public procurements including the co-sourcing of IT systems within the authority, as well as in various disputes.

Notable practitioners

Eva-Maj Mühlenbock has an excellent record in the market for her work on complex procurement procedures. She is highly experienced assisting clients from a variety of industries in contentious cases, and also advises on non-contentious matters. She boasts notable expertise in the IT sector.

Henrik Seeliger is experienced acting on major public procurement matters across a range of sectors, most notably in transport and construction. He is also active on the academic side of public procurement law.

About the Team (content provided by Advokatfirman Lindahl)

Lindahl has solid experience in providing legal advice concerning the public sector and public procurement. We assist both contract-awarding entities and tendering suppliers and are greatly experienced in large procurements. A number of the lawyers in our public procurement practice group previously worked as agency lawyers and in-house counsel, while others have many years' experience in advising the public sector. Accordingly, we are well acquainted with both the administrative culture and standard practices in politically-controlled operations.

http://www.lindahl.se/en/areas/public-procurementpublic-sector/


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Delphi - Public Procurement Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Respected firm with expertise in every stage of the procurement process. Noted for experience in representing municipalities in both contractual matters and in litigation. Highly experienced acting in appeals cases in the Administrative Courts. Client roster includes suppliers as well as contracting authorities, with notable experience representing companies in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

Strengths Market sources say: "They are very skilled in the law and they have a lot of experience within the field."

Work highlights Assisted MSD with the transfer of public contracts following the dissolution of joint venture Sanofi Pasteur MSD.

Acted for Dr. Fürst Medisinsk Laboratorium concerning participation in the procurement of laboratory services by Stockholm County Council, as well as in application for a review of the process.

Notable practitioners

Head of department Anna Ulfsdotter Forssell is considered to be "one of the leading experts in public procurement in Sweden." She is retained by both suppliers and contracting entities on a range of procurement work, from strategic advice to litigation. Clients praise the depth of her expertise, saying: "She has great knowledge of the law and the background of the law, the directives of the EU and the basis of it."

Clients describe associate-to-watch Sara-Li Olovsson as a "thorough, very dedicated and very smart" adviser. She supports clients on both sides of public procurement agreement in a variety of matters, including litigation.

About the Team (content provided by Delphi)

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Hamilton Advokatbyrå - Public Procurement Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Knowledgeable team with extensive experience in the telecommunication, pharmaceutical, medical and transport sectors. Handles a range of public procurement matters, and has particular skill in representing suppliers and contracting authorities in procurement reviews in the administrative courts.

Strengths Clients praise the team for its "proactive approach and ability to take the initiative," as well as its skill in providing "tactical guidance."

Work highlights Assisted SCA in its request to exclude certain product categories from a large public procurement of hygiene products undertaken by several municipalities including Blekinge County Council.

Advised Tele2 in relation to pending court proceedings brought by Telenor against the University of Göteborg over a framework agreement for telecom services.

Notable practitioners

Fredrik Linder advises a diverse client roster including companies in the medtech, transport and telecommunications sectors on public procurement strategy, agreements and litigation. One client says: "He is very service-minded and well rounded, from working on complex issues to delivering training sessions to our team that are very appreciated." He also receives praise for his leadership, with sources saying: "He is great at leveraging the expertise of the broader Hamilton team to deliver a top-notch result."

Mikael Dubois is known by market sources for his "business-minded and tactical approach." He acts for both suppliers and contracting bodies, with particular experience assisting clients on cases involving the courts.

About the Team (content provided by Hamilton Advokatbyrå)

The regulatory background as well as case law on Public Procurement is vast and in constant change. Often, the procuring public authority finds it difficult to comply with procurement regulations while suppliers often find it cumbersome to sell to the public sector.

Competition law is an area of substantial inherent risk. At the same time – when applied correctly – it can create business opportunities for companies.

Hamilton’s Competition and Public Procurement practice group has extensive experience dealing with matters of Public Procurement, as well as EU and Competition law. We offer fast and effective advice, always focusing on producing results.


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Hannes Snellman - Public Procurement Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Strong reputation for advising contracting authorities in all phases of the public procurement process. Also advises suppliers in the early stages of the procurement process and with the judicial review of awards. Experienced in contentious public procurement matters, including claims for damages and civil litigations. Particularly experienced in the telecoms, public transport and pharmaceutical sectors.

Work highlights Represented Storstockholms Lokaltrafik in multiple litigations following review procedures relating to the procurement undertaken for the traffic area E29.

Advised GlaxoSmithKline in the public procurement of an agreement for the supply of pandemic influenza vaccine carried out by Folkhälsomyndighete.

Notable practitioners

Joakim Lavér has an excellent reputation for his work advising clients from sectors such as telecommunications, healthcare and infrastructure on public procurement matters both contentious and non-contentious. Market sources value that "he's very experienced: he knows exactly what's important in a case and he gets to the point fast." He recently assisted Elekta Instrument with a tender to supply radiation therapy equipment to the Nya Karolinska Solna hospital in Stockholm.

About the Team (content provided by Hannes Snellman)

Hannes Snellman has unrivalled experience of complex public procurements, including competitive dialogues. A contracting party may be forced to rearrange the tender procedure, change its procurement decision, pay financial compensation or be rejected completely if it does not follow the tender invitation to the letter. With advice from our team these pitfalls and other procedural errors can be avoided. We advise on complex procurements and also support companies in tender procedures by outlining strategies, preparing bids, and assisting in contract negotiations. We have represented clients in more than 100 public procurement court proceedings, placing us as the leading practice in the Nordic region.

Hannes Snellman also has substantial experience of PPP projects, as part of our Infrastructure & Energy practice.

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Advokatfirman Kahn Pedersen - Public Procurement Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Experienced boutique practice which offers a full range of procurement services, including strategic advice and legal analysis of business models. Advises both suppliers and contracting authorities, particularly within the energy, water, public transport and IT sectors. Increasingly involved in procurements in the architecture and medical devices space. Primary focus on contracts and agreements is backed up by a skilled litigation team experienced on a range of contentious issues, from review cases in administrative courts to damages cases in the general courts.

Strengths Clients value the team's ability to "respond to different situations and judge them accordingly," and also appreciate that "they are good at educating and giving the companies knowledge of public procurement."

Work highlights Advised Boskalis Sweden on the submission of a tender in procurements for a dredging contract.

Represented VafabMiljö Kommunalförbund in a case against the Swedish Competition Authority claiming breach of procurement law.

Notable practitioners

Kristian Pedersen advises on a full range of public procurement matters, acting for clients in sectors such as energy, utility services and construction. Clients say that "he delivers work of the highest quality and makes it his priority, and you feel like you can talk with him like one of your colleagues." Sources also appreciate that "he is very hands-on, very reliable, and he gets back quickly - even if it's odd hours he responds almost immediately, he is always available."

Erik Olsson receives praise from market commentators for "being very hard to beat in the courts, as well as driving the academic side of public procurement forward." He frequently advises major national clients on a range of procurement negotiations and related legal matters, as well as representing them in disputes. Clients say: "He is very service-minded, and he tackles the problem that he can see from both sides, being able to explain from both why businesses have done what they have done."

About the Team (content provided by Advokatfirman Kahn Pedersen)

In the field of public procurement Advokatfirman Kahn Pedersen offers a highly specialized team. The high degree of specialization and a handpicked team of leading legal experts and top-qualified associates, means that the practice in a short time has established itself as a leading team on the Swedish public procurement market.

The firm assists its clients by providing strategic advice, such as various types of analyses and choices of business and contract models, or choice of sales strategy.

Kahn Pedersen carries out or assists in carrying out, or participating in, procurement procedures, both by drafting or reviewing invitations to tender, tenders, agreements and other documents, and also by providing assessments and analyses.

The team also represents clients in judicial proceedings, including appeals, actions in damages and cases involving public procurement fines, and also in disputes based on awarded contracts.

Most of Kahn Pedersen’s clients are large Swedish and international companies, banks, insurance companies and Swedish public authorities and institutions. Unlike many other Swedish law firms Kahn Pedersen not only represents suppliers and service providers, but to an equal extent contracting authorities and entities. The unique combination of a leading public procurement team together with a highly respected IT and Outsourcing practice enables Kahn Pedersen to offer highly sophisticated advice with regards to public procurement of IT and public outsourcing.

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Mannheimer Swartling - Public Procurement Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Strong team advising on a range of matters relating to public procurement, including PPP, infrastructure and the outsourcing of IT and public transport. Also experienced in procurement laws relating to M&A transactions in Sweden. Counts major contracting authorities and significant private company groups among its clients. Extensive litigation experience, involved in mandates such as review procedures before the Swedish administrative courts and investigations by the Swedish Competition Authority.

Strengths Clients value the team for its "pragmatic and to-the-point advice."

Further sources highlight that "they have great knowledge and are service-minded," and add that "they always respond quickly and deliver accurately."

Work highlights Represented the Swedish Transport Administration in a review procedure concerning the Swedish ERTMS project, with agreements challenged by Alstom Transport.

Retained by the County Council of Stockholm to advise on all required public procurements during its project to expand the metro.

Notable practitioners

Sven Vaxenbäck is an integral part of the public procurement practice, assisting suppliers and contracting entities on a range of advisory matters, as well as representing them in court. Clients say he is "very efficient and pragmatic, to the point," and add that "he is very easy to work with, very reliable, available and able to answer quite difficult questions quickly."

About the Team (content provided by Mannheimer Swartling)

Mannheimer Swartling advises on the full range of legal matters that its clients face. As the largest law firm in the Nordic region, the firm offers both the scope and the scale required to handle the most demanding projects. And operating as a true lockstep firm ensures that its collective experience and expertise is available to every assignment. 

Clients from all areas of the private and public sectors turn to the firm for counsel of exceptional quality. Clients include distinguished companies and organisations in Sweden and around the world. The firm’s approximately 400 lawyers are specialised in different areas of business law and industries. Meaning that they understand their clients’ commercial challenges, while having the legal expertise to find the optimal solutions. 

The firm’s fundamental objective is to always surpass the expectations of its clients. Thus it’s aim is to recruit, keep and develop the most passionate legal talent. This business model is founded on the team spirit which is deeply rooted in the firm’s corporate culture.


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Advokatfirman Cederquist KB - Public Procurement Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Recognised for its skill in acting for contracting authorities and suppliers on every aspect of the procurement process. Particularly well versed in issues relating to investigations and review procedures for contract awards, PPP projects and litigation for damages. Also highly experienced acting in support of bids with early-stage advice and drafting. Noted for its activity within the healthcare and IT sectors. Praktikertjänst and Benify are among new client wins this year.

Strengths One client highlights the team's "expertise and practical approach," as well as the "swiftness and expedience with which they handle both general questions and complex questions related to bidding and litigation strategies."

Sources also value the group's "attention to small details and focus on the project."

Work highlights Advised Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Sweden with regard to the County Council of Västmanland’s procurement of storage infrastructure.

Represented Praktikertjänst AB in a review proceeding in the Administrative Court against the County Council of Stockholm in connection with the procurement of radiology and radiotherapy services.

Notable practitioners

Mikael Engström is especially active assisting with review procedures and other procurement litigation. Clients give praise for his "profound specialist legal knowledge and analytical skills within his field of expertise."

About the Team (content provided by Advokatfirman Cederquist KB)

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Kastell Advokatbyrå AB - Public Procurement Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Reputed for its skill in procurement disputes, including advice on claims for damages and applications for review. Also noted for experience in negotiating with contracting authorities. Assists companies across a broad range of sectors, including in IT and healthcare. Increasingly represents major names in the telecommunications space.

Strengths Clients say that the "skills, service levels and delivery capacity of the team are of the highest level."

Work highlights Acted as counsel for Telia Sverige on a judicial review case against Region Västerbotten, regarding the procurement of telecommunications services for a large number of contracting authorities in the area.

Represented Ricoh Sverige in a matter against the County Board of Gävleborg, in which the client challenged a decision that the winning tender did not fulfil the mandatory requirements.

Notable practitioners

Olof Larsberger frequently acts on judicial review cases for suppliers. He is also experienced advising on non-contentious procurement matters. He recently assisted Telia Sverige with a review against 15 municipalities in Dalarna County concerning joint procurement of telecoms services.

Up-and-coming Carl Norén is experienced in a range of procurement-related litigation, such as challenges and reviews, as well as strategic advice and negotiations. He advised Adecco Sweden on damage claims and related issues pertaining to material changes in a procurement contract with the County Board of Västra Götaland.

About the Team (content provided by Kastell Advokatbyrå AB)

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Ramberg Advokater - Public Procurement Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Serves public sector clients and suppliers. Oversees all aspects of the procurement tender process. Notable expertise in the healthcare sector. Also trusted litigators on contentious procurement matters from large to small.

Notable practitioners

Up-and-coming lawyer Johan Stern is building a name in the market for his "strategic advice" and experience with general procurement matters as well as review processes. He represents a number of clients in the healthcare sector.

About the Team (content provided by Ramberg Advokater)

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Overview

Public Procurement in Sweden

Each year, the Swedish public sector buys goods, services and public works for an estimated value of EUR60–70 billion. The legislation on procurement in Sweden mainly consists of: (i) the Public Procurement Act (LOU), which mainly covers government authorities, municipalities, county councils and certain public companies; (ii) the Utilities Procurement Act (LUF), which covers certain entities and activities within the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors; (iii) the Concessions Procurement Act (LUK), which covers procurements of service and public works concessions; and (iv) the Defence and Security Procurement Act (LUFS), which covers certain contracts within the defence and security industry.

LOU, LUF and LUK came into force on 1 January 2017, as a result of the implementation of the 2014 EU directives on procurement and concession contracts. Before 1 January 2017 there was no specific act on concessions procurement in Sweden.

Considering that the regulatory framework for public procurement is based on EU directives, the Swedish procurement legislation mainly corresponds to such legislation in other EU countries. At least, this applies to contracts which represent a value above the EU threshold values, where the EU directives in their entirety are applicable. When it comes to contracts which represent a value below those thresholds, and contracts regarding social and certain other services (regardless of value), Sweden has adopted procurement rules which correspond to the EU directives to a large extent. In effect, the Swedish procurement legislation actually goes beyond what is required by the EU.

Direct awards of contracts (i.e. without tenders in a certain form) are permitted in Sweden under certain circumstances, for example if the contract value is below certain thresholds stipulated by the Swedish legislature (approx. EUR60,000 for contracts covered by LOU, approx. EUR115,000 for contracts covered by LUF and LUFS, and approx. EUR275,000 for contracts covered by LUK).

Current market and legal issues

There is a rather wide criticism in Sweden that public procurement has a clear bias towards law enforcement, whereas aspects of 'a good deal' are neglected. Indeed, the Swedish procurement legislation is perceived as difficult and inflexible and is sometimes applied in this way, causing unnecessary legal review procedures, delays and difficulties in providing public services. However, such difficulties are generally not a consequence of the legislation as such, but more often a matter of competence within the contracting authorities.

In June 2017, a government review was announced with the aim to simplify the procurement rules below the EU threshold values and to consider measures in order to decrease the number of court cases regarding public procurement. It remains to be seen whether or not appropriate changes to the legislation will meet these goals.

Another obstacle against 'good deals' is inadequate follow-up of public contracts. Insufficient follow-up opens the way for abnormally low tenders, designed to win the contract but in fact speculating on non-compliance with the terms of the contract. The negative effects of such tenders can for example be mitigated by using a model for contract award which gives more weight to criteria based on quality in relation to price, or even using a model where the price is fixed and the competition is based on quality criteria only. In LOU and LUF, a mandatory requirement for contracting authorities to reject all abnormally low tenders is stipulated (more far-reaching than the EU Directives), where the supplier does not submit a satisfactory explanation for the low tender.

Still, follow-up of a contract is essential in order to ensure good value for money and has become a high priority in Sweden. In this regard, the EU directive rules on modification and termination of contracts - which have been implemented in the Swedish legislation as of 1 January 2017 - have certainly become a welcome additional tool for the contracting authorities.

The function of improving the various conditions for 'good deals' in public procurement is the responsibility of the National Agency for Public Procurement, which has an overall responsibility for developing and supporting public procurement in Sweden. The objective of this agency is, inter alia, to promote efficient and sustainable public procurement, and to promote the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in public procurement procedures. Furthermore, the agency provides guidelines and support on all aspects of public procurement.

Illegal direct awards are not only obstacles against 'good deals'; they also constitute a serious breach of both EU and Swedish law. It is possible to bring actions in Swedish administrative courts against the effectiveness of agreements preceded by illegal direct awards. This is not only a risk for contracting authorities but also for companies which have entered into such contracts. The Swedish legislature has taken an all-or-nothing approach. Basically, if an agreement is considered ineffective, all contractual obligations are cancelled, not only those which are still to be performed. However, even if a contract is concluded as a result of an illegal direct award, it might be saved from ineffectiveness due to overriding reasons relating to the public interest. This exemption has been applied in some situations by Swedish administrative courts, inter alia, for contracts regarding maintenance of public roads, certain medtech equipment and support services for certain forms of public transportation.

The Swedish Competition Authority, the supervisory authority for public procurement, has in recent years taken several actions against illegal direct awards by legal proceedings regarding imposition of procurement fines on contracting authorities. When calculating the amount of a procurement fine, consideration shall be given to the gravity of the violation. The fine may however not exceed 10% of the value of the contract in question and the maximum fine that can be imposed is SEK10 million (approx. EUR1 million).

The Swedish legislation on public access to information plays an important role in public procurement and is more far-reaching than in most other EU countries. In principle, anyone is entitled to contact public authorities in Sweden (including most municipal companies but not government-owned companies) and request access to an official document, such as the winning tender in a public procurement.

Admittedly, the far-reaching public access to information in Sweden might be seen as a business risk for a tenderer, since the tender may be disclosed to competitors. However, the public authority must consider if the tender contains, inter alia, business secrets which must not be disclosed. Sometimes tenderers request in their tenders that certain parts of the tender shall be treated as confidential. Such requests should be as informative as possible, clearly stating the risk of damage if the information is disclosed.

Business risk or not, public access to official documents in Sweden simplifies the examination of the authorities' compliance with the procurement legislation, and therefore also facilitates meaningful legal reviews of on-going procurements. Accordingly, the number of legal review procedures in relation to the total number of procurements in Sweden is high, compared to most other EU countries. In 2016, almost 4,200 cases were registered by the administrative courts regarding review applications filed by disadvantaged bidders. The success rate for court complaints (i.e. a decision by the court that the procurement shall be corrected or recommenced) stands at around 30% of the total number of cases reviewed by the administrative courts.

The large number of procurement challenges has resulted in a voluminous and steadily expanding case law, which holds the key to many practical procurement issues which are not answered in the Swedish procurement legislation.

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Senior Statesperson

Eva-Maj Mühlenbock

Advokatfirman Lindahl

From the Chambers Europe guide

Eva-Maj Mühlenbock has an excellent record in the market for her work on complex procurement procedures. She is highly experienced assisting clients from a variety of industries in contentious cases, and also advises on non-contentious matters. She boasts notable expertise in the IT sector.

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Band 1

BOKWALL RISLUND Advokatbyrå

From the Chambers Europe guide

Leading lawyer Carl Bokwall has 20 years' experience in public procurement, and serves a broad base of major national corporates and state-owned companies. One client comments that "he has agood understanding not only of the law, but also knowing how to apply it in a way that is constructive for us as a business."

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Band 1

Hannes Snellman

From the Chambers Europe guide

Joakim Lavér has an excellent reputation for his work advising clients from sectors such as telecommunications, healthcare and infrastructure on public procurement matters both contentious and non-contentious. Market sources value that "he's very experienced: he knows exactly what's important in a case and he gets to the point fast." He recently assisted Elekta Instrument with a tender to supply radiation therapy equipment to the Nya Karolinska Solna hospital in Stockholm.

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Band 1

Hamilton Advokatbyrå

From the Chambers Europe guide

Fredrik Linder advises a diverse client roster including companies in the medtech, transport and telecommunications sectors on public procurement strategy, agreements and litigation. One client says: "He is very service-minded and well rounded, from working on complex issues to delivering training sessions to our team that are very appreciated." He also receives praise for his leadership, with sources saying: "He is great at leveraging the expertise of the broader Hamilton team to deliver a top-notch result."

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Band 1

Kristian Pedersen

Advokatfirman Kahn Pedersen

From the Chambers Europe guide

Kristian Pedersen advises on a full range of public procurement matters, acting for clients in sectors such as energy, utility services and construction. Clients say that "he delivers work of the highest quality and makes it his priority, and you feel like you can talk with him like one of your colleagues." Sources also appreciate that "he is very hands-on, very reliable, and he gets back quickly - even if it's odd hours he responds almost immediately, he is always available."

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Band 1

Anna Ulfsdotter Forssell

Delphi

From the Chambers Europe guide

Head of department Anna Ulfsdotter Forssell is considered to be "one of the leading experts in public procurement in Sweden." She is retained by both suppliers and contracting entities on a range of procurement work, from strategic advice to litigation. Clients praise the depth of her expertise, saying: "She has great knowledge of the law and the background of the law, the directives of the EU and the basis of it."

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Band 2

Morvarid Dorkhan Nilsson

Magnusson

From the Chambers Europe guide

Morvarid Dorkhan Nilsson of Magnusson is a well-established name in the field and heads the public procurement practice at the firm. Market sources say: "She has deep knowledge and good skills to educate on procurement." She maintains a particular focus on the defence and pharmaceutical sectors, advising on both the supplier and contracting sides of matters. 

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Band 2

Advokatfirman Lindahl

From the Chambers Europe guide

Henrik Seeliger is experienced acting on major public procurement matters across a range of sectors, most notably in transport and construction. He is also active on the academic side of public procurement law.

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Band 3

Kaisa Adlercreutz

Front Advokater

From the Chambers Europe guide

Kaisa Adlercreutz of Front Advokater is experienced with a broad range of public procurement mandates. She is recognised in the market for her work in both contentious and non-contentious cases. She is also an expert in competition law. 

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Band 3

Per-Owe Arfwedson

BOKWALL RISLUND Advokatbyrå

From the Chambers Europe guide

One client describes Per-Owe Arfwedson as "a quick lawyer, very perceptive, able to find information himself and always able to understand the core of the problem and translate it into lawyer language." He regularly assists with complex procurement matters, including challenges to awards and tender processes, for clients operating in a range of sectors. He is notably experienced with healthcare, pharmaceutical and TMT cases. 

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Band 3

Advokatfirman Kahn Pedersen

From the Chambers Europe guide

Erik Olsson receives praise from market commentators for "being very hard to beat in the courts, as well as driving the academic side of public procurement forward." He frequently advises major national clients on a range of procurement negotiations and related legal matters, as well as representing them in disputes. Clients say: "He is very service-minded, and he tackles the problem that he can see from both sides, being able to explain from both why businesses have done what they have done."

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Band 3

Mannheimer Swartling

From the Chambers Europe guide

Sven Vaxenbäck is an integral part of the public procurement practice, assisting suppliers and contracting entities on a range of advisory matters, as well as representing them in court. Clients say he is "very efficient and pragmatic, to the point," and add that "he is very easy to work with, very reliable, available and able to answer quite difficult questions quickly."

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Up and Coming

Hamilton Advokatbyrå

From the Chambers Europe guide

Mikael Dubois is known by market sources for his "business-minded and tactical approach." He acts for both suppliers and contracting bodies, with particular experience assisting clients on cases involving the courts.

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Up and Coming

Kastell Advokatbyrå AB

From the Chambers Europe guide

Olof Larsberger frequently acts on judicial review cases for suppliers. He is also experienced advising on non-contentious procurement matters. He recently assisted Telia Sverige with a review against 15 municipalities in Dalarna County concerning joint procurement of telecoms services.

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Up and Coming

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton Advokat KB

From the Chambers Europe guide

Sylvia Lindén of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton Advokat KB is best known for her experience in the transport sector. She primarily advises on contractual negotiation for suppliers.

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Up and Coming

Kastell Advokatbyrå AB

From the Chambers Europe guide

Up-and-coming Carl Norén is experienced in a range of procurement-related litigation, such as challenges and reviews, as well as strategic advice and negotiations. He advised Adecco Sweden on damage claims and related issues pertaining to material changes in a procurement contract with the County Board of Västra Götaland.

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Up and Coming

Ramberg Advokater

From the Chambers Europe guide

Up-and-coming lawyer Johan Stern is building a name in the market for his "strategic advice" and experience with general procurement matters as well as review processes. He represents a number of clients in the healthcare sector.

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Associates to watch

Advokatfirman Cederquist KB

From the Chambers Europe guide

Mikael Engström is especially active assisting with review procedures and other procurement litigation. Clients give praise for his "profound specialist legal knowledge and analytical skills within his field of expertise."

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Associates to watch

Delphi

From the Chambers Europe guide

Clients describe associate-to-watch Sara-Li Olovsson as a "thorough, very dedicated and very smart" adviser. She supports clients on both sides of public procurement agreement in a variety of matters, including litigation.

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