Hinckley Allen helps Law Warehouses Inc. reach $2.5 million settlement

Hinckley Allen attorneys Christopher H.M. Carter and Daniel M. Deschenes represented Law Warehouses, Inc. (LWI) in a lawsuit against the New Hampshire State Liquor Commission (NHSLC), which agreed to pay a $2.5 million settlement to LWI. This settlement is believed to be the largest payment ever made by the state of New Hampshire in resolution of a challenge to an award of a public contract.

LWI, which provided liquor warehousing and transportation services for the state’s liquor stores for more than four decades, alleged that NHSLC unlawfully violated competitive bidding standards by awarding a 20 year, $200 million contract to Exel, Inc., an Ohio-based affiliate of Deutsche Post DHL. LWI’s contract proposal had included more than $11 million in revenue sharing for the state and a 500,000 square foot distribution solution.

LWI filed suit against NHSLC in February 2013, three months after the contract was awarded to Excel, alleging that NHSLC officials held unfounded personal ill-will against LWI and manipulated the contract bid process. After losing the NHSLC contract, LWI was forced to lay off 100 of its 125 employees. The 5th generation family-owned distribution company is now in the process of rehiring its employees and pursuing new growth opportunities in the warehousing and transportation business.

Hinckley Allen represented LWI on a number of legal issues relative to the NHSLC bidding process. In addition to Christopher Carter and Daniel Deschenes’ successful litigation work, Hinckley Allen’s Suzan Lehmann represented LWI in its bids for short and long term NHSLC contracts, including the most recent warehouse contract. Previously, Suzan helped LWI secure two successful short term contracts with NHSLC, providing strategic counsel, bid and proposal preparation, and contract drafting and negotiations.