Luke R. A. Butler is an Associate Professor in Law and member of the Public Procurement Research Group at the University of Nottingham.
Dr Butler is an expert in public procurement regulation and policy, namely the rules, policies and practices which govern how government contracts are organised (e.g. public-private partnerships and outsourcing), advertised, priced, awarded and challenged.
Luke has a particular interest in industry sector-specific applications, most notably defence procurement. Luke’s current area of focus is "single sourcing", the direct award of contracts to suppliers without open competition. This is a vital area of research given the potential risks such contracts present in terms of transparency and securing value for money for the taxpayer. The research is also timely; he is currently leading an AHRC funded project examining the use of single sourcing as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
More broadly, Luke has a general interest in comparative law in drawing lessons from how different countries regulate government contracting (especially in the EU and US) and international trade law. Both provide important insights for understanding the potential trajectory of public procurement reform following Brexit.
Luke regularly provides consultancy and training to governments, international organisations, think tanks and charities.
Alongside other world leading researchers in the Public Procurement Research Group, Luke is leading research on regulatory responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the area of public procurement. Ongoing projects include the following:
- Luke is leading a team of researchers on an AHRC funded grant examining the use of “single sourcing”, namely the direct award of contracts to suppliers without an open competition during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a vital area of research given widespread media coverage of these awards and the risks to transparency and value for money for the taxpayer.
- The Public Procurement Law Review (Joint Chief-Editors, Professor Emerita Sue Arrowsmith QC(Hon) and Luke Butler) has published a special Issue on global procurement responses to the pandemic. Luke has also written a number of commentaries on the Cabinet Office COVID-19 Procurement Policy Notes.
- Luke is also currently editing (alongside Sue Arrowsmith, Professor Annamaria La Chimia (University of Nottingham) and Professor Christopher Yukins (George Washington University) a book titled: Public Procurement in (A) Crisis: Global Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic (Hart, forthcoming 2021).
Luke is able to comment on all aspects of public procurement undertaken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and, in particular, on the legal and other regulatory aspects.