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Home Serious Fraud: Cartels & Illegal Price Fixing

Offence of Illegal Price Fixing

Cartel behaviour and illegal price fixing allegations can be very serious indeed with equally severe ramifications. Under the provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002, cartels is a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years as well as unlimited fines. This is a very grave situation for those under investigation and subsequently charged with the offence. The Serious Fraud Office is known for launching extensive investigations into any company or business suspected of cartel behaviour and illegal price fixing. Such investigation can span across the ocean to other countries. This makes the process even more prolonged and complex.

While it is perfectly understandable that the primary objective of most, if not every corporate organisation is profit generation, where companies are suspected and subsequently found to have been involved in the running of illegal price fixing cartels, the lack of credibility attached to such allegations can sometimes be worse than the sentences imposed on conviction. The relevant authorities are particularly aggressive in the manner in which they conduct investigations into establishments that come under their radar for entering into illegal agreements to fix the prices of their products and services, thereby snuffling the consumers’ ability to choose and damaging the economy. 

Price fixing cartels are regarded as some of the major practices that prevent competition in the UK market as well as other countries where the illegal agreements ay extend to. Under the UK Competition Law, companies price fixing and entering into these illegal agreements are not necessarily restricting their actions to price fixing but also often extend the crime to the deliberate limitation of production so as to drive up prices by making demand seemingly higher than supply. Although it is rather unlikely for an organisation to be involved in an illegal price fixing cartel without knowledge of entering into such a liaison, it most certainly is not unheard of.

Our illegal price fixing lawyers have come across all manners of cases where some of our clients were not fully aware of the illegality of the arrangement they were entering into. Whereas ignorance is not necessarily an excuse under the law, it may nonetheless be cited as part of the mitigating circumstances surrounding a client’s case. In most cases, we will call on our clients’ corporate social responsibility as evidence of their commitment to their host environment and the wider community in which they operate. Cases are prepared based on their individual facts and the available evidence.

As such, any client facing allegations of illegal price fixing will be provided with a bespoke and expert legal assistance and representation by our team of experts. The bottom line is that a conviction of illegal price fixing can be very damaging to any organisation regardless of how well established it is. There is therefore every need for an expert team of criminal defence lawyers to be brought on to the scene at the earliest possible opportunity. As soon as any of the officers or directors of a company realise that they are under pending or imminent investigation for price fixing, it is most advisable that they immediately contact a team of experts who have extensive experience in defending cartels and price fixing allegations.

Our London criminal lawyers have gained vast experience in defending clients being investigated or already charged with cartel and price fixing. We are renowned for establishing and building solidly on defence grounds as well as mitigating factors that many others in the profession are very likely to overlook. With globalisation and economic interdependency, illegal price fixing agreement cases may sometimes cross borders to other shores. Our solicitors competently boast of cross border legal experience and solid knowledge of international criminal law. For all of these reasons, we are confident that we possess the most appropriate level of expertise to robustly defend your case and to achieve the best outcome possible. So why not call us today and let our experts take the weight off your shoulders!


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