OFT ends DLA complaint after APPC U-turn

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has closed DLA Piper‘s complaint that a lobbying industry body was guilty of anticompetitive behaviour.

The OFT closed the case after the Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) climbed down from its position requiring that those that contract public affairs or lobbying services should only deal with APPC members.

The issue for law firms was that they would have to disclose client names in order to become members, contravening confidentiality. The APPC backed down on this point, providing a new set of guidance in conjunction with two other lobbying bodies (The Lawyer, 29 October).

DLA Piper competition head Mike Pullen said the firm was pleased the OFT recognised that the APPC had backed down from its position to avoid a detailed investigation.

He added: “We’ll continue to press for an official register of public affairs consultants at Westminster, which we believe would be a major step forward to clarity and transparency.”