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Rowan Turrall
Rowan Turrall,
All decisions now handed down by Competition Appeal Tribunal in construction bid-rigging case
16 May 2011

Following on from our previous article STOP PRESS – OFT FINES SLASHED! , the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) has now handed down all of the judgments in the appeals against the OFT’s decision regarding bid-rigging in the construction industry.

In the latest set of decisions the Tribunal has again made substantial reductions to the fines imposed. It has also overturned some of the fines entirely in cases where both liability and the amount of the penalty were challenged.

The table below summarises the final results. 

 Company name Penalty imposed by OFT and appealed  Penalty imposed by CAT following appeal  % of original penalty
 Kier Group plc and Kier Regional Limited  £17,894,438  £1,700,000  9.5%
 Ballast Nedam N.V  £8,333,116  £534,375  6.4%
 Bowmer and Kirkland Limited and B&K Property Services Limited  £7,574,736  £1,524,000  20.1%
 Corringway Conclusions plc  £769,592  £119,344  15.5%
 Thomas Vale Holdings Limited and Thomas Vale Construction Limited  £1,020,473  £171,000  16.8%
 John Sisk & Son Limited and Sicon Limited  £6,191,627  £356,250  5.8%
 GF Tomlinson Building Limited and GF Tomlinson Group Limited  £1,269,270  £468,000  36.9%
 Apollo Property Services Group Limited  £2,150,536  £399,000  18.6%
 Sol Construction Limited and Barkbury Limited  £3,337,640  £702,000  21%
 Galliford Try plc  £8,333,329  £1,395,000  16.7%
 Interclass Holdings Limited and Interclass plc  £464,406  £324,000  69.8%
 G&J Seddon Limited and Seddon Group Limited  £1,516,646  £492,000  32.4%
 Durkan Holdings Limited, Durkan Limited and Durkan Pudelek Limited (now Concentra Limited)  £6,720,551  £2,436,000  36.2%
 Francis Construction Limited and Barrett Estate Services Limited  £530,238  £169,575  32%
 GAJ Construction Limited and GAJ Holdings Limited  £109,683  £42,750  39%
 Allenbuild Limited and Renew Holdings plc  £3,547,931  £926,250 26.1%
 Robert Woodhead Limited and Robert Woodhead Holdings Limited  £411,595  £151,725  36.9%
 Hobson and Porter Limited  £547,507  £123,750  22.7%
 Quarmby Construction Company Limited and St James Securities Holdings Limited  £881,749  £213,750  24.2%
 ISG Pearce Limited and Crest Nicholson plc  £5,188,846  £950,000  18.3%
 JH Hallam (R+J) Limited and JH Hallam (Contracts) Limited  £359,588  £99,000  27.5%
 GMI Construction Holdings plc and GMI Construction Group plc*  £1,752,584  £0* (successful challenge on liability in respect of both infringements)  0%
 North Midland Construction plc*  £1,543,813  £300,000* (successful challenge on liability in respect of one of two infringements)  19.4%
 AH Willis & Sons Limited*  £120,018  £0* (successful challenge on liability in respect of 3 infringements)  0%

* successful appeal against liability and penalty 

The Tribunal extended the time for appealing the decisions until one month after the last of the judgments was handed down. Time therefore started running on 27 April 2011 and it remains to be seen whether the OFT will appeal to the Court of Appeal. After the first six decisions were handed down the OFT released a press release which stated:

“The OFT will consider this judgment in detail, alongside those in the 19 other construction cases yet to be determined, and will consider whether it should appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Financial penalties play a key role in deterring the companies involved, and other businesses, from breaching competition law. The OFT will consider whether the judgment has any implications for its practices and policies for ensuring a high level of compliance with competition law in the future.”

So for the time being, watch this space… 

For more information about the issues raised in this article or to find out more about how the Construction team can help you please contact Rowan Turrall on 0118 952 7206 or email [email protected].

Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.

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