Norton Rose Fullbright

Supporting a major outsourcing tender in excess of £750M


Outsource Strategy

Cambridge Management Consulting and Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) were appointed by a UK public sector body to support them on a major SI/Telecoms outsourcing tender, with a contract valued in excess of £750M. 

The outsourcing involved a multi-supplier procurement covering telecoms network, IT implementation and ongoing services, service integration and management, as well as contact centre services and provision of consumer hardware.  


The project began with the two internal teams working closely together, to gather a detailed set of requirements and a thorough understanding of the challenges facing the client.

This collaborative method of working from the project’s outset, ensured our team had a clear vision of ‘what good looks like’, and of areas of importance to the client regarding risk and issues that required specific solutions.

We assisted with the design and implementation of the tender process. A key challenge was designing a process that would allow the client to agree contractual terms, whilst competitive tension amongst bidders was ongoing.


Normally, we would seek to achieve this by providing bidders with a full draft contract to mark up as part of the tender evaluation. In this context, that approach was not possible due to the technical complexity of the project and that contract terms in one service line are dependent on the choice of supplier and technical solution in another service line.

To address this, we prepared key contract principles to be evaluated in the tender response.  This allowed the client to agree key terms while there was still competitive tension, whilst retaining flexibility.

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Knowledge & Skills

On a large and complex project, Cambridge MC and NRF would perform separate but overlapping roles.  Cambridge MC provides commercial support and advice at Board level. NRF’s role is to provide legal advice on the contract.  For both advisors to support the client effectively they will need to:

  • Create the content & strategic advice for an effective RFP

  • Ensure process compliance and appropriate governance is followed

  • Support the running of parallel negotiations

  • Be part of the team in direct commercial negotiations with bidders

  • Advise on the commercial and legal aspects of the deal

  • Write Board papers and provide high-level strategic advice

  • Capture the arrangements of the deal in a robust and enforceable contract

  • Provide and facilitate all necessary project management

  • Undertake full financial analysis of bidder proposals and make a recommendation

  • The skillsets of both advisors are needed to properly support the client. Advisors who are not used to working with others, will find it more challenging to deliver a successful project.


The benefits of appointing Cambridge MC and NRF:

  • The team is a ‘one stop shop’ for advisors.  The client avoids the procurement effort of running separate processes to appoint consultants and lawyers to support the project.

  • Cambridge MC and NRF work harmoniously together and have a proven track record.

  • Time is saved as advisors know each other and each other’s working practices; potential for personal conflict is avoided.

  • Clients receive aligned advice from one source, meaning the consultancy and legal advice will not conflict, be disjointed or leave the client in a position of uncertainty at any stage.

  • The client can efficiently communicate and interact with one set of advisors.

  • Information provided to either Cambridge MC or NRF is reliably and seamlessly communicated among the team, meaning all advisors are aligned and kept current during a project.

  • Together, we have global reach and can provide support for clients all over the world.

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