Competition & Markets Authority
CMA Statement on design, construction and fit-out services director disqualification
Individual directors should be held accountable if their company breaks competition law.
For this reason, the CMA has, since December 2016, secured the disqualification of 12 directors where their companies have broken competition law, in 4 separate cases. The CMA is intensifying its programme of disqualifications: 9 of the 12 disqualifications have been secured in this year alone.
The CMA notes the court’s decision that, subject to strict conditions, in the particular circumstances of this case two of the disqualified directors may continue to act as directors of certain companies in the Fourfront Group and carry out specified functions during their term of disqualification.
The CMA welcomes the court’s finding that permission to continue acting as a director is not a formality and should not be given readily and notes the judge’s comment that he did not easily reach this decision.
Importantly the underlying director disqualifications remain in place. While they apply the two directors may not take on the directorship of any other company. The court’s permission is conditional and relates only to certain companies in the Fourfront Group.
In the particular circumstances of this case, the court was satisfied that permission should be granted because of the particular needs of the companies concerned. It also put in place strict conditions, including Fourfont Group retaining an independent non-executive director responsible for supervising the group’s compliance with competition law.
Director disqualifications remain an essential measure to protect the public from directors of companies that break competition law, and send a clear message to directors of the need to ensure that their companies comply fully with competition law. We will continue to seek further disqualifications of directors where appropriate.
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