Freshfields advises Hays on appeal of £30m OFT fine

Jon Lawrence

Jon Lawrence

The OFT fined six recruiters for participating in a cartel that agreed to boycott ParcUK, a company launched in 2003 to act as an intermediary between recruiters and construction groups.

The OFT said this contravened competition laws and handed down a £39.7m fine to six recruiters with Hays receiving the largest proportion of the penalty at £30.4m.

Lawrence and Connolly are understood to have been advising the agency on a possible appeal of the fine, although no formal proceedings have yet been launched.

Hays chief executive Alistair Cox said that the agency had cooperated with the OFT’s investigation and that the fine was “disproportionate”.

In a statement Cox said: “Hays believes that the level of the fine is wholly disproportionate with the activities to which it relates, Hays’ involvement in those activities and the way in which the OFT has dealt with other cases in the past. The group is actively considering an appeal.”