Ofgem snubs law firms over energy supplier probe

Energy watchdog Ofgem has cut out the middle man and gone straight to the bar for advice on its investigation into energy suppliers.

The regulator instructed 13-year-call ;barrister Thomas de la Mare of Blackstone Chambers to assist on the seven-month inquiry.

Ofgem found that at least 4.3 million customers were being overcharged but did not go so far as to say that the energy suppliers were colluding to fix prices.

The initial results of the investigation marked the start of a consultation on Ofgem’s findings that will close on 1 December.

Ofgem warned that unless companies agreed a suitable package of measures, it would consider ­referring the industry to the European Competition Commission.

Ofgem legal director of markets Duncan Sinclair said the bulk of the work was handled in-house but de la Mare was brought in to assist on public law and European Community issues.