The OFT commenced a one-year trial of a Procedural Adjudicator role on 21 March 2011. In March 2012, the OFT decided to extend the Procedural Adjudicator Trial for a further year, until 21 March 2013.
The Procedural Adjudicator during the trial period to date has been Jackie Holland, Senior Director, Policy Group.
On 16 October, 2012, the OFT announced the further extension of the trial, until such time as the OFT's responsibility for competition law enforcement under the Competition Act 1998 is transferred to the Competition and Markets Authority.
The Procedural Adjudicator during the extended trial remains Jackie Holland, Senior Director, Policy Group.
The purpose of the trial is to provide a swift, efficient and cost-effective mechanism for resolving disputes between parties and the case teams in Competition Act 1998 investigations, in respect of the following procedural matters:
The Procedural Adjudicator is not able to review decisions on the scope of requests for information or other decisions relating to the substance of a case.
The Procedural Adjudicator is only able to review decisions in cases in which the OFT has decided to open a formal investigation under the Competition Act 1998, that is where the OFT has reasonable grounds to suspect that competition law has been breached and the OFT has decided to prioritise the case for investigation. These are cases in which the section 25 Competition Act 1998 threshold, that allows the OFT to use its formal powers of investigation, has been met.
The Procedural Adjudicator will only become involved in a procedural matter at the request of a party to an investigation and only after the party has been unable to resolve the dispute with the Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) of the investigation.
From 21 March 2012 the Procedural Adjudicator's role has been expanded to include the chairing of oral hearings in Competition Act 1998 cases and the reporting to the relevant decision-maker(s), following the oral hearing, on any procedural issues that have been brought to her attention during the investigation as well as on whether the oral hearing was properly conducted.
For further information, please refer to the Trial of Procedural Adjudicator in Competition Act 1998 Cases: Updated Briefing Note (pdf 63kb).
One year extension of the Procedural Adjudicator Trial (March 2012)
Launch of the Procedural Adjudicator Trial (March 2011)
More information about the role of the Procedural Adjudicator:
For a further discussion of the role of the SRO, see the OFT's Procedural Guidance:
A party wishing to apply to the Procedural Adjudicator for a review of a procedural decision will need to make an application as soon as possible and, in any event, within five working days of being notified of the SRO's decision on the issue in question. The application should be submitted by email (to email@example.com), with a hard copy also sent by post to:
Senior Director, Policy Group and Procedural Adjudicator,
Office of Fair Trading,
2-6 Salisbury Square,
London EC4Y 8JX.
The application should be no longer than five sides of A4 paper and should include the following details:
The applicant must also enclose or attach copies of relevant correspondence between the applicant and the case team/SRO relating to the issue in question. In the case of a procedural issue relating to the disclosure or non-disclosure of information or documents, the application should include copies of the relevant information or documents where these are in the applicant's possession. If the applicant has concerns about providing a copy of such information or documents to the Procedural Adjudicator, they should raise these concerns with the Procedural Adjudicator before submitting the application.
The Procedural Adjudicator will acknowledge receipt of an application within two working days and indicate the process that will be followed to resolve the issue in question.
The Procedural Adjudicator will provide an opportunity for each of the applicant and the case team to present their arguments orally on the telephone or at a meeting before issuing a short, reasoned decision.
The Procedural Adjudicator's decision, or a summary of it, will be published either at the time of the Procedural Adjudicator's decision or at the end of the OFT's investigation, subject to the redaction of confidential information.
The Procedural Adjudicator will deal with the application as quickly as possible, with an indicative administrative target of taking decisions in 90 per cent of cases within 10 working days from receipt of the application.
Where the Procedural Adjudicator is unable to take a decision regarding an application, for example if the Procedural Adjudicator has a conflict of interest in relation to the issue in question, or if the Procedural Adjudicator is expected to be away from the office for a period of time that would prevent a decision being taken in a timely fashion, the Procedural Adjudicator will designate another OFT official, with no conflict of interest in relation to the issue in question, to act as the Procedural Adjudicator in relation to the application. The applicant will be informed of any such arrangements when the Procedural Adjudicator's office acknowledges receipt of the application.
Jackie Holland joined the OFT in 2008 as Director of Competition Policy and has been the OFT Procedural Adjudicator for Competition Act 1998 cases since 21 March 2011. In July 2012 she became Senior Director, Policy Group. Her group's recent projects have included consultations on revised leniency and penalty guidance, guidance for businesses and directors on competition law compliance, guidance on the application of competition law to land agreements, research into Drivers of Compliance and Non-Compliance with Competition law, the review of the OFT's director disqualification guidance and the development of the OFT's new Short-form Opinion tool, as well as the development of the Competition Act Procedural Guidance and the Procedural Adjudicator trial.
Jackie qualified as a solicitor in 1995 and was previously a Senior Associate in the Competition Group of Slaughter and May, where she had extensive experience of advising on EU and UK competition law.
Senior Director , Policy Group and Procedural Adjudicator
020 7 211 8447
All applications to the Procedural Adjudicator for the review of a procedural decision should be sent to the Procedural Adjudicator's dedicated email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Procedural Adjudicator's decisions, or a summary of them, are published either at the time of the decision or at the end of the case, subject to confidentiality redactions as appropriate.
Back to: Competition Act 1998