This article examines the criteria for the recovery of damages for illegal procurement decisions in the UK and France. The focal point of this analysis is the gravity threshold of the breach. There is a clear difference in approach in these two jurisdictions: whilst a simple breach of law is sufficient to trigger liability in France, in the UK, a 2017 Supreme Court ruling established that a sufficiently serious breach needs to be proven. This discrepancy has many explanations; inter alia the traditional Anglo-French disparity when it comes to general rules on liability of public bodies or the fact that the French legal culture is generally more contentious than the English. In this paper I reflect on these differences and analyse the conditions for triggering liability in each country. Finally, I make some reflections on how these differences of approach might impact the effectiveness of the remedy.