More NewsOFT Considers Wider Use of Director Disqualification Powers

OFT Considers Wider Use of Director Disqualification Powers

The UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has published proposed changes to its guidance on director disqualification orders in competition law cases.

A company director can be disqualified from acting as a director for up to 15 years if their company is involved in a breach of competition law and the court considers they are unfit to be involved in the management of a company as a result.

The OFT’s guidance currently indicates that the OFT or a regulator would focus on cases where a director was directly involved in a breach of competition law, such as cartel activity. Under the proposed changes, the guidance would indicate that the OFT or a regulator would also focus on cases where a director should have taken steps to prevent a breach or where a director ought to have known of a breach but did not.

The consultation also considers a number of other changes to the detail of the OFT’s guidance. The consultation period will end on 20 November 2009.

Ali Nikpay, OFT senior director of policy, said: “We know that the prospect of being disqualified as a director is one of the most powerful deterrents to anti-competitive behaviour. Our proposals aim to increase the incentives on company directors to take responsibility for competition law compliance and tackle behaviour that harms competition.”

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