Irish PPP disputes in Commercial Court

A High Court judge in Ireland has referred proceedings against Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) regarding the awarding of a services area PPP to the country’s Commercial Court

Mr Justice Brian McGovern has admitted the case brought against TII by fuel companies Applegreen and Tedcastles Oil Products in August, to the court established to provide efficient and effective dispute resolution in commercial cases. 

Before it was merged into TII, the National Roads Authority appointed Topaz Energy Group as preferred bidder in May 2015 for the design, construction, operation and maintenance and financing of two service areas located on the M6 motorway east of Athlone and on the M9 motorway south of Kilcullen, together with the  fit-out, operation and maintenance and financing of a third service area on the M11 motorway north of Gorey.

Applegreen and Tedcastles Oil Products formed a consortium called SuperStop 2 to bid for the PPP and want the court to order that their bid was the most economically advantageous. Maxol, another bidder for the contract was also added as notice party to the case.

Arthur Cox is representing the plaintiff and McCann Fitzgerald is representing the defendant in the case, which will next be heard on 23 November. The National Development Finance Agency is the authority’s financial adviser.

Meanwhile, the dispute regarding the awarding of the DIT Campus at Grangegorman PPP between BAM PPP PGGM Infrastructure Cooperatie (plaintiff), the National Treasury Management Agency and the Minister for Education and Skills had hearings at the commercial court in the past week, with Arthur Cox representing the plaintiff in this case also.

This court uses a detailed case management system that is designed to streamline the preparation for trial, remove unnecessary costs and stalling tactics, and ensure full pre-trial disclosure. The judge can adjourn proceedings for up to 28 days to allow resolution of the dispute through some form of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, conciliation or arbitration.