The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has come under fire for its claims that a legal loophole is preventing it from forcing reluctant companies to hand over documents during its investigations.
OFT chief executive John Fingleton recently told MPs that there were problems with the 1998 Competition Act because, although the regulator required companies to provide information, it could only prosecute individuals for witholding documents or supplying false or misleading evidence.
The OFT argued that it struggled to identify specific people to prosecute because the majority of information was provided to the regulator by law firms representing the companies in question.
But competition lawyers have rejected the OFT's claims, insisting it has ample powers to obtain documents from companies if need be.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer litigation partner Jon Lawrence, who specialises in competition and regulatory disputes, told The Lawyer: "I haven't come across instances where the OFT's investigations have been thwarted by tardy or incomplete information… Requests are often extensive and burdensome and [the companies involved] have to expend considerable effort, time and money to avoid the risk of sanctions."
DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary competition partner Mike Pullen said the laws clearly gave the OFT powers to prosecute if companies failed to produce requested documents.