Public Law

October was a hugely exciting month for those of you who just can’t get enough when it comes to competition law guidance (you know who you are).

First, the OFT issued its draft guidance on how Chapter 1 of the Competition Act will apply to ‘land agreements’ (or, as real people call them, “property agreements”) once the law is changed on 6 April 2011.

That was followed by this useful, if chunky, guidance on State Aid from the Department of Trade and Industry Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. (The serial name changes have led me to conclude that the DTI saw some grizzly Mafia-killing in 2007 that forced it to enter the witness protection program. Anyone with me on that? No? Okay then.)

Most recently, the OFT issued two more pieces of guidance, this time on how businesses can comply with the Competition Act. One note was aimed at directors, and sets out what the OFT expects them to do to prevent their companies from breaching the Act, and the circumstances in which they’ll be protected from disqualification if a breach happens anyway. The other is a more general note for directors and managers, on how to encourage a culture of compliance within an organisation. We recently issued an update on this latest guidance, which you can find here (click through to reach the guidance itself).

All of the OFT guidance is currently in draft form and subject to consultation, so if you have any views then the proper thing to do would be to submit them to the OFT. But the brave thing to do would be to offer them in comments below.

Charles Livingstone

Partner at Brodies LLP
Charles works with a broad range of commercial, public sector, charitable and individual clients, advising them on public law issues including judicial review, human rights, information law and the powers and duties of local and other public authorities. He is named by Chambers & Partners in both Competition Law and Administrative & Public Law.
Charles Livingstone

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