Several of the 25 contractors appealing against a combined £79m fine by the OFT for pricing collusion have said they expect to get back “millions” as the legal arguments draw to a close
The upbeat message comes ahead of next Friday’s closing date for written arguments, which follows the oral hearings in July.
A lawyer for one firm said: “It’s going very well for the contractors involved. I think they will all get some money back. Some of the big issues are going against the OFT because their arguments are paper thin.
“For example, the way they calculated the fines didn’t make any sense. The year that was used to set turnovers, which was used to calculate the value of the fine, was wrong. Also, some turnovers were global and some encompassed non-related activity. There are a huge number of weaknesses - the fines will be coming down.”
A senior manager at another firm said: “We believe they will be reduced, as the method used to calculate them was extremely questionable.”
A chief executive at a third firm said a refund was a “better than 50/50” chance, while another boss said it could be on the toss of a coin, but he expected “millions” back if successful.
The fines handed to the 103 construction firms last September totalled £129.2m. Those appealing include Kier (£17.9m fine), Bowmer & Kirkland (£7.6m) and Durkan (£6.7m).