Bloom slams dual advice on cartels

The Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) director of competition enforcement Margaret Bloom has told The Lawyer that she does not think law firms should represent more than one company in a cartel or price-fixing investigation.
Bloom also said companies and their directors should have separate representation in criminal investigations under the new Enterprise Act.
Bloom told The Lawyer: “If you ask me, I would prefer that they were not represented by one law firm because I think it becomes tricky for the same reasons that the European Commission does.”
As reported earlier this year by The Lawyer, the commission is concerned that even if joint legal representation does not actually encourage continued collusion between cartel members, it does appear to do so.
The European Commission and the Competition Commission both have a whistleblowing programme which is specifically designed to break cartels by linking leniency to cooperation.