The Law Society found to have breached Competition Act

26 May 2017 | by Monckton Chambers

The Tribunal has today handed down judgment in Socrates Training Limited v The Law Society, the first Fast-Track case in the Competition Appeal Tribunal, which concerned the Law Society’s training requirements under its Conveyancing Quality Scheme (“CQS”). Socrates claimed that, as the only supplier of accreditation for conveyancing solicitors, The Law Society held a dominant position in the provision of accreditation from the launch of the CQS in late 2010 and that from 2012 onwards it abused that dominant position by requiring CQS accredited firms to purchase exclusively from the Law Society training in respect of Anti-Money Laundering and mortgage fraud. The Tribunal has today found that the Law Society came to hold a dominant position from the end of April 2015 and that it abused that dominant position by thereafter obliging CQS member firms to obtain the training in mortgage fraud and AML required for CQS accreditation exclusively from the Law Society, and that it breached the prohibitions in Chapter I and Chapter II of the Competition Act 1998 from that date.

Socrates was represented by Philip Woolfe and The Law Society was represented by Kassie Smith QC and Imogen Proud.