Competition watchdog asks High Court to disqualify two estate agency directors

The competition watchdog has issued proceedings in the High Court seeking the disqualification of two estate agency directors.

Both were caught up in the notorious cartel case including six estate agents in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset. Two directors of another firm have already given disqualification undertakings.

The proceedings, issued yesterday by the Competition and Markets Authority, seek the disqualifications of: Michael Martin, formerly a director of Gary Berryman Estate Agents, The Property Group (2010) and Warne Investments; and Graham Thompson, formerly a director of Saxons PS.

Gary Berryman Estate Agents, Warne Investments and Saxons PS, together with four other estate agencies were found to have entered into an anti-competitive agreement to fix commission fees.

The CMA issued yesterday’s proceedings under section 9A of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 following an investigation into the directors’ conduct in relation to the breach of competition law.

It is now for the court to decide whether to make a disqualification order against each director.

The CMA added that is not planning to seek further disqualifications.

It said: “Provided they continue to comply with the terms of their leniency agreement, the CMA will not seek the disqualification of the co-operating directors of three of the estate agents which qualified for leniency under the CMA’s leniency policy.”

Last year, the CMA announced that two other directors had given disqualification undertakings after the cartel case.

They were: David Baker, former director of Abbott and Frost, who undertook not to act as a director of any UK company for three years and six months; and Julian Frost, also of Abbott and Frost, who gave a disqualification undertaking for three years.

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3 Comments

  1. Malcolm Egerton

    The same CMA that regulates reviews? Waiting for the first fine there as well.

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  3. jakethomas

    Thanks Rosalind, great article, as always!

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