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HCR Law Events

8 February 2024

Spotlight on… Stewart Morrison

This month, we shine the spotlight on Partner and Head of Procurement and Supply Chain, Stewart Morrison. Stewart shares why no day is the same in his role as a specialist public law litigator, and also how he believes sport is the key to encouraging community engagement.

1. What type of legal advice do you provide?

I am Head of Procurement and Supply Chain at HCR. I am a specialist public law litigator and procurement lawyer with substantial experience in dealing with disputes involving public contracts engaging the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, as well as bringing and defending applications for judicial review and representing public bodies in respect of appeals under the Freedom of Information Act.

2. Why did you choose your specialism?

The area of public law and procurement provides me the opportunity to act for clients in complex and challenging cases. They involve interesting and sometimes novel points of law, and no one day is the same.

3. What type of work does your team do that is relevant to Homes England? Or have you been involved in any Homes England projects?

I have provided advice to Homes England previously, specifically in respect of matters concerning the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

More generally, the work undertaken by my team is relevant to Homes England. My team and I advise in relation to (amongst others); contentious and non-contentious procurement matters, including in respect of permitted modifications to public contracts and challenges to the award of public contracts; defending applications for judicial review; and issues arising out of the Freedom of Information Act.

4. What was your most memorable outcome for a client? And why?

It is a feature of litigation that our most memorable outcomes very often involve matters that are settled on confidential terms. However, whilst the vast majority of matters settle, my team have been involved in a number of reported cases. One case that particularly stands out is Stody Estate Limited v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, [2018] EWHC 378 (Admin). This was a test case concerning the correct interpretation of the cross compliance requirements of the Common Agricultural Policy, in which we were successful in challenging the interpretation of the Secretary of State, and having their decision quashed following trial.

5. How have you supported your local community?

I have been involved in supporting my local sports clubs and was for many years an active participant and committee member at a local cricket club. I think sport is essential for any local community as it brings together a variety of people. I also get involved with the various fundraisers organised by HCR, particularly the annual Chariots of Fire relay race. Each office within the firm fundraises for a specific local charity each year, and I thoroughly enjoy assisting the firm’s charitable initiatives where I can.

6. Why do you think a commitment to helping the planet is important? And can you give any examples where you have made a change to help the planet?

I think that a commitment to protecting the planet is important because it impacts us all. We should strive to combat climate change, to protect wildlife and to promote biodiversity.

The steps that I have taken include taking a greater interest in the source and sustainability of the products I buy including, for example, the issue of unsustainable palm oil production.

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About the Author
Stewart Morrison, Partner, Head of Procurement and Supply Chain

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