Criminal cartels: can companies be prosecuted?
By Robin Barclay
On 1 April 2014, a new and improved criminal cartel offence will be introduced in the UK by virtue of section 47 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (ERRA13). By removing the requirement for an individual to have acted dishonestly in relation to commercial arrangements that involve deliberate price fixing, market sharing, bid rigging and limiting output, the new offence should make it easier for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to launch prosecutions of individuals involved in prohibited hardcore cartels.
However, by omitting to change the cartel offence so that it embraces corporate criminal liability as well, the question remains: could the CMA or SFO charge a company with cartel crime?
At first blush the answer is ‘no’, owing to the fact that the cartel offence, as created by section 188 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (EA02), applies to individuals and not companies. On this basis therefore so far as principal offenders go, commercial organisations and companies cannot be prosecuted because that was parliament’s intention…
Click on the link below to read the rest of the Outer Temple Chambers briefing.
News from Outer Temple Chambers
News from The Lawyer
Briefings from Outer Temple Chambers
Police ordered to pay Human Rights Act damages for failure to conduct an adequate investigation into allegations of rape
Katarina Sydow examines the High Court’s decision to award Human Rights Act damages in respect of an inadequate police investigation following allegations of rape.
Experts’ literature deserves more attention in the earlier stages of cases because of the devastating effect that it can have at trial.