Cartels, Competition and Price Fixing
We advise individuals and companies under criminal investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority or the Serious Fraud Office, as well as for those seeking immunity/leniency for anti-competitive behaviour.
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, which removed the dishonesty requirement from the cartel offence, has spread the law enforcement net far wider than ever before. Many more business people are likely to come under investigation for the criminal cartel offence, which carries the possibility of heavy fines or prison sentences. Individuals can also be subject to confiscation of their assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Some cartel cases are prompted by whistleblowers, some by companies themselves spotting a problem, and some with a dawn raid by the CMA. We are experienced in working closely with clients to navigate the procedural and legal complexities of such investigations. We can respond rapidly and decisively to dawn raids, review documentary evidence, advise during interviews whether compelled, voluntary or under caution, and deal with competition authorities.
We are also able to provide expert advice on the powers of investigators, which often include challenges to the misuse of such powers. If a company needs to evaluate its position before seeking leniency we can conduct internal interviews or even an entire investigation. We are experienced in dealing with cross-border elements, and our expertise in extradition and contacts with lawyers from other jurisdictions can be very useful in such cases.
Our advice to individuals and companies is both strategic and commercially savvy.