Brick Court silk takes top CAT job

The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) has finally announced its new president, more than eight months after Sir Christopher Bellamy retired from the post.

Landing the top job is Gerald Barling QC of Brick Court Chambers, whose promotion to the Queen’s Bench was announced earlier this month.

Barling, who took silk in 1991, represented the successful claimants in the landmark Factortame cases and acted for B&Q in the Sunday trading litigation, which culminated in the reform of the Shops Act.

Barling’s election marks a change of heart for the CAT, which reportedly had been looking for a Chancery judge to fill the role.

According to the CAT’s website, the president can be “a lawyer qualified in any part of the United Kingdom and of at least 10 years’ standing”, and who “must appear to the Lord Chancellor to have appropriate experience and knowledge of competition law and practice”.

The CAT hears appeals on decisions from the Office of Fair Trading and other regulators. Bellamy, who set up the CAT in 1999, is now a senior consultant at Linklaters after serving as president for eight years.

Barling was unavailable for comment.