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CASE study

Successfully opposing a challenge to a £5m grant award

Our client was awarded a £5m grant from the Welsh government to help establish a significant new factory facility in Wales.  That award to our client was challenged by a competitor business.  The stakes were high for all concerned: for our client, if the grant was successfully challenged, it would have had to reconsider opening its facility. The uncertainty also risked prejudicing our client’s lending facility.

We intervened in the dispute on behalf of our client, as a commercially “interested party”, working closely to resist threatened judicial review proceedings brought by the competitor at the pre-action stage.  After proceedings were issued in the Administrative Court, we prepared detailed grounds of resistance.  Our investigations into the commercial background revealed that the competitor had previously tried to exert pressure on our client to sell its business to them.  This enabled us to argue that the challenge to the award was brought for an improper collateral purpose.  Permission for judicial review was refused, and our client was awarded its costs. A subsequent appeal by the competitor also failed.  Our client was able to open its facility, on time, as planned.

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