A demolition director who was disqualified for his part in an illegal bid-rigging operation has had his request to be reinstated thrown out.
Former managing director of Brown and Mason Group, Nicholas Brown, saw his request to remain in post refused by the High Court after he was disqualified from office for seven years by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
Brown was part of a construction cartel which illegally colluded to rig bids for demolition and asbestos removal contracts worth millions.
Last year he admitted to two breaches of competition law for demolition contracts worth more than £30 million relating to the Shell Building on London’s Southbank and the Lots Road Power Station, also in London.
Brown took a “central role” in organising “compensation payments” worth £700,000 to his company by two competitors for fictional services and goods, which he knowingly stood to benefit from personally.
Ten construction firms were fined a total of nearly £60 million for the illegal behaviour and four directors, including Brown, were removed from office.
This week the High Court denied Brown’s appeal that he be allowed to continue in his former role at Brown and Mason because the group “needed his continued services as a director”.
He will not be permitted to act as a director or participate in the management of any company until 29 July 2030.
“Director disqualifications are a key tool for protecting the public – and making sure those at the top of the chain are held responsible if their companies breach competition law” said Juliette Enser, the CMA’s senior director of cartels.
“Bid-rigging and other illegal, anticompetitive practices, mean that businesses and consumers can end up paying over the odds or receiving worse services.
“Personal consequences, such as director disqualification, are a powerful deterrent – something which the Court’s decision clearly recognises.
“By rejecting Mr Brown’s request, the Court’s judgment has shown that protecting the public should not be undermined.”
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