Corporations: Notable case

British Airways / Virgin Price-Fixing Trial (2010)

William Boyce QC was instructed on behalf of a Director of British Airways plc, while Adrian Darbishire represented the company's former Head of Communications.

The accused, along with two others, denied an allegation that they agreed with Virgin Atlantic to fix the price of transatlantic flights.

The case, brought and prosecuted by the OFT, was the first trial of a charge under the cartel offence (section 188, Enterprise Act). 

The defence had argued that no agreement to fix prices had existed and no crime had been committed. 

On Monday 10 May 2010, before any evidence was called, the prosecution offered no evidence and all defendants were acquitted. 

In the words of the trial judge, Mr Justice Owen, each of the four men left court "with his reputation unsullied."

Notable cases:

Operation Tabernula (2015)
The most complex insider dealing investigation undertaken so far by the Financial Services Authority
Mark Ellison QC | Tom Broomfield

R v Williamson and Malden Plumbing and Heating Ltd (2012)
Complex three month corporate manslaughter case at the Central Criminal Court.
Edward Brown QC

R v M (2012)
Workplace death
Sean Larkin QC

Mabey & Johnson Ltd (2011)
Corporate sanctions busting
Peter Finnigan QC

British Airways / Virgin Price-Fixing Trial (2010)
First trial of cartel offence under Enterprise Act
William Boyce QC | Adrian Darbishire QC

R v Eaton & Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings Limited (2010)
First ever prosecution under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007
Mark Ellison QC | Adrian Darbishire QC

R v Network Rail & others
The Hatfield Rail Crash
Sean Larkin QC | Adrian Darbishire QC | Selva Ramasamy

Blue Arrow
High-profile, complex corporate fraud
John Hilton QC | Peter Finnigan QC

Articles:

Corporate Manslaughter
An introduction to the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 24.3.2009
Download (PDF) >

Aspects of the Section 188 Cartel Offences
Adrian Darbishire discusses aspects of the Cartel Offence, section 188 of the Enterprise Act. 27.2.2007

For more information on crime-related matters, please contact the clerks on 020 7933 8855 or barristers@qebhw.co.uk