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The former chairman of the Competition Commission is to leave US firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton to take up the post of chairman at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) as the judicial body appoints four to the panel of chairmen.
Peter Freeman joined the London office of Cleary as a senior consultant in 2011, having spent five years as chairman at the Competition Commission.
His appointment to the CAT comes as the tribunal appoints four new members to the role. The other three are Monckton Chambers’ Heriot Currie QC, One Essex Court’s Andrew Lenon QC and 39 Essex Street’s Hodge Malek QC.
Chairmen of the group, who are paid £600 per day, are expected to oversee “large, high profile and complex cases often raising novel points of law and procedure”.
According to a job description for the vacancies the last opportunity to apply for the positions was in 2009, when there were “few applications from women and none from black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates”.
Appointments to the panel are made by the Lord Chancellor based on the recommendation of the Judicial Appointments Commission and following an open competition. The CAT’s membership comprises a panel of chairmen and a panel of ordinary members. Aside from the recent appointments the panel of chairmen includes judges of the Chancery Division of the High Court, Lord Carlile QC, Vivien Rose and Marcus Smith QC.
In December 2011 the specialist group set aside fines totalling more than £200m levied by the OFT against tobacco manufacturers and retailers for alleged antitrust activity, a ruling believed to be the largest defeat ever given by the CAT against the Government. The CAT concluded that the OFT’s decision to fine the companies could no longer stand in light of the detailed factual evidence presented to the CAT in hearings over six weeks in October and November 2011.