The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) have the power to investigate suspected cartels or price fixing rackets. Price fixing could go on directly, or it could be done by limiting the supply of a product in the UK market to increase the price. Cartels could involve any anti-competitive practices, such as bid-rigging agreements or carving up markets between businesses.
If you are investigated over any kind of involvement in cartels or illegal price fixing, the OFT or SFO can apply to the criminal courts for orders under the Enterprise Act 2002. If the court agrees, then you could:
- Face imprisonment
- Have your assets seized
- Be ordered to pay all the legal costs of the case
Investigations and court proceedings in this area of law can be very complex and usually involve careful study of business records dating back over many years. You can guarantee that the SFO or OFT will have studied those records in detail, and it is vital that someone on your side also does the same in order to protect your best interests.
Irwin Mitchell has the experience, ability and technology to deal with and defend these serious and heavyweight investigations.
How Irwin Mitchell Can Help You
If you are affected by a cartel or price-fixing investigation, it is vital that you contact one of our solicitors immediately. Call us today if you are facing:
- Being interviewed under caution by the SFO or OFT, or
- Having a restraint order made by a court to stop you from using your assets
Careful preparation is needed before you are interviewed under caution, since anything you say or do not say during that interview can have a massive impact on your case.
If a restraint order has already been made so that you cannot use or access your assets you need urgent advice about whether it is possible to have that order changed or even reversed.
We have a team of dedicated, experienced solicitors who specialise in representing clients who are facing price-fixing or cartel-related investigations, or have been affected by such an investigation.
We represent individuals and companies and always work hard to get the best possible result for our clients. We are also able to help you if your case has an international element.
We have a great deal of experience in handling cases of cartels and illegal price fixing and we know what sort of issues you, your loved ones and your business might be facing. We have worked on some of the most high-profile price fixing cases, including Operation Holbein (an SFO prosecution for allegations of price fixing of generic drugs in the pharmaceutical industry) and the BA / Virgin price fixing case. Whatever the circumstances of your case, you can be sure that we have the knowledge and commitment to fight your case and get the very best outcome possible for you.
Funding Your Case
We act on a privately paying basis, often through insurance policies and sometimes through legal aid (we can advise you about whether this would be available for you).
We will always discuss with you the likely costs of your case and will tell you if the cost is likely to be more or less than expected. We always aim to keep your costs as low as possible and will always give you value for money.
Call Today for a No-Obligation Discussion
If you have been arrested, are on police bail or have been charged, or you believe that you may be at risk of arrest or are under suspicion of a criminal offence, then please contact our team as soon as possible.
For an initial discussion with no obligation and no fee, please call Sarah Wallace on 020 7421 3876 or Paul Haycock on 0114 274 4275, or contact us online.