The jeweller, the middleman and GOV UK

The jeweller, the middleman and GOV UK

Almost $50 million to one man. Not to supply PPE, because he didn’t. But to act as a middleman to sort the logistics for the jeweller from Florida whom the UK Government selected to supply £250 million worth of PPE.

The Florida jeweller is called Michael Saiger. And we can’t tell you the total he earned from those £250m+ of contracts - inexplicably the Government has blanked out the numbers - but he boasts of having secured “lucrative contracts with the government of the United Kingdom”.

And it doesn’t stop there.

The particular contract award that the Good Law Project are challenging - entered into on 4 June for £70.5m of gowns (of which a little over $16m went to the middleman) - was for 10.2m gowns, which is approximately the entire number of gowns consumed by the NHS in England from the start of the pandemic until early November. And the price we paid the jeweller (£6.91) was £2.31 above the average price we paid others (£4.60) for those gowns during the pandemic, suggesting (if those others made a profit of 10%) a profit for the jeweller of £28m, before he paid the middleman.

“Lucrative” indeed. And this was only one of (at least) six contracts the jeweller won. All of which were published unlawfully late, by many, many months.

The cozy arrangement between Saiger and the middleman didn’t last long. According to documents in an ongoing court battle, the middleman stopped performing. And we lost out: there were delays in delivering the PPE to the NHS.

But the Good Law Project's focus isn’t on the individuals who made staggering profits from the pandemic. If the Government is handing out free money, who could blame them for joining the queue? The focus is on the Government which let them.

  • What were their reasons for deciding to award this huge contract to a jewellery specialist over other suppliers?
  • Why did they pay over the odds for the PPE?
  • What steps did they take to satisfy themselves that Saiger was up to the job of delivering on such a huge order of PPE. Did they check the reliability of the subcontractor?

If their answers aren’t good enough (it’s hard to imagine how they could be), we will sue.

Good Law Project and EveryDoctor have instructed leading international firm Hausfeld & Co LLP and Jason Coppel QC and Patrick Halliday of 11KBW. Hausfeld will be paid nothing, unless the litigation succeeds. Jason and Patrick are working at heavily discounted rates.

10% of the funds raised will be a contribution to the general running costs of Good Law Project. If there is a surplus it will go to support and enable other litigation they bring.

Claimant: Good Law Project, EveryDoctor, Hausfeld & Co LLP, 11KBW Chambers

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