Office of Fair Trading

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Office of fair trading

The Enterprise Act of 2002 introduced dramatic changes to UK competition law and heralded the creation of the Office of Fair Trading(The OFT) The functions of the OFT include the enforcement of competition and consumer protection rules. In the criminal fraud context, the OFT has a key role in the investigation of all forms of anti-competitive behaviour, particularly suspected cartels.

The OFT has sweeping investigative powers to examine allegations of price-fixing, market sharing and bid rigging which can result in criminal prosecution. 

Our business defence solicitors are available to represent you through any investigation ensuring that you receive robust pragmatic proactive strategic and tactical advice. 

A conviction for a cartel offence is punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment.

The ‘leniency’ program allows the OFT to issue a “No Action” letter against a person who reveals the existence of a cartel.

The Act enables:

  • the disqualification of directors of companies where there have been breaches of competition law 
  • the OFT to utilise number of investigative powers including the authority to request information or documents 
  • Interviews under caution and prosecution.  The Act creates a criminal offence of providing false or misleading information in an investigation. An offence can also arise where documents have been altered, suppressed or destroyed, where there has been a requirement to produce them.
  • the OFT to issue warrants to enter premises.

The Act is also applicable to completed or anticipated mergers referred to the Competition Commission. 

Our team will work with you together with external experts and barristers to ensure that you have the best form of defence.  Rob Rode is the key contact in this area.

We are:


  • Criminal Law firm of the year 2017 (Corporate Insider Business Excellence) 
  • Regional Criminal Defence firm of the year 2017 (ACQ5 Awards)
  • Fraud law firm of the year 2017(Corporate Intl Global Awards)
  • Fraud law firm of the year 2017 (Global Law Experts)

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