Ajay qualified as a Solicitor in September 2019 and joined Birketts upon his qualification. He is a Solicitor in our Public Sector Team advising predominantly in the areas of public procurement, commercial contracts and subsidy control (including previously the EU state aid regime). Prior to joining Birketts, Ajay undertook a two year training contract in-house with a public authority during which time he advised upon a broad range of public sector matters.
Ajay’s role involves:
- Advising upon all aspects of public procurement including within development and infrastructure projects as well as in respect of innovative project financing models. This includes advice on the structuring of agreements to ensure compliance with the relevant regulations and the appropriate preventative measures required to mitigate the risk of challenge. He has also advised in respect of managing mid-term contract variations to public contracts as necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Providing commercial contract advice encompassing the drafting and review of various agreements including, but not limited to, service contracts, software supply and maintenance agreements, data processing agreements and funding agreements. He has also advised on public concessions agreements as well as the use of side letters and deeds of variation to bring into effect contract variations.
- Advising (previously) on state aid regulations and their application in commercial settings, notably within high value development and infrastructure projects. This included advice in respect of the appropriate application of ‘exemptions’ such as the Market Economy Operator Principle (MEOP) and the appropriate use of the De Minimis Regulations. Ajay now advises on subsidy control regulations and has advised generally on replacements to state exemptions such as De Minimis. He has also provided guidance to clients on how the new subsidy control system will operate and best practice for compliance, based upon technical guidance.
Some of Ajay’s recent work includes:
- Advising a contracting authority as to the structure of a multi stakeholder hotel development project to ensure compliance with public procurement regulations. Ajay advised in particular on whether elements of the structure amounted to a public works contract which would necessitate a competitive procurement process.
- Advising a local government body as to the public procurement and state aid issues which arose in respect of a mid-term contract variation necessitated as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This was supplemented with commercial contract advice to bring the variations into effect.
- Providing public procurement advice to a local government body as to the re-procurement of contractors in the event of unforeseen circumstances which threatened to derail the development of a town centre cinema complex.
- Advising a local government body as to the structuring of an infrastructure and development project in respect of a town centre regeneration initiative to ensure compliance with the then state aid regulations.