Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has been instructed to advise Tesco as the retailer fights a fine of £10m imposed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) over alleged price-fixing.
Tesco has two months to lodge an appeal through the Competition Appeal Tribunal against the OFT’s fine for price-fixing in the cheese market in 2002 and 2003.
In a statement, the supermarket said that it “reacted with surprise and dismay” following the OFT’s ruling that it colluded with suppliers and other retailers, branding the claims as “entirely without substance”.
The Freshfields team is being led by competition partner Deirdre Trapp, who has advised Tesco throughout the investigation, which is the OFT’s longest-running collusion probe.
Litigation partner Paul Lomas also advised, alongside senior associate Dan Burton and associate Mary Wilks, both in the competition team.
As well as guiding Tesco through the investigation, Trapp has advised on a number of competition matters for the retailer, including defeating the Competition Commission (CC) in a Competition Appeal Tribunal over the approval of new and extended stores (4 March 2009).