Legal Group at Competition Commission

Charlotte Le Fanu made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Competition Commission

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Charlotte Le Fanu

Dear Competition Commission,

(1) How many members of the current legal team (of whatever employment status) at the CC are past employees of the City law firm Simmons and Simmons?

(2) How much money has the Competition Commission spent on legal fees from Simmons and Simmons in the last 4 years?

(3) How many of the lawyers who provide advice to the CC been accused of racial discrimination in the past 4 years?

(4) Is it the case that one of the lawyers who provides advice to the CC, Jennifer Block, was accused of racial discrimination in her previous employment by a junior employee, Juliette Twumasi-Anokye?

(5) What was the precise outcome of that serious complaint of racial discrimination?

(6) Please confirm whether it is also the case that during her time working at a regulator before she came to the CC questions were raised in Parliament about serious potential conflicts of interest concerning Ms Block, which questions directly named Ms Block?

(7) Is the senior management of the Competition Commission entirely happy that someone with a highly questionable record like Ms Block is a fit and proper person to be working as a legal adviser at the CC?

(8) Is it the case that Ms Block is a close personal friend of Ms Morven Hadden, one of the legal directors at the CC?

(9) Was Ms Block appointed to the CC in a fair and open competition?

(10) Are the Department of Business, and interested members of Parliament, aware of the full employment history of Ms Block?

Yours faithfully,

Charlotte Le Fanu

Dear Ms Le Fanu

Thank you for your information request of 24 March. Insofar as we hold the information you have requested, it is as follows.

(1) How many members of the current legal team (of whatever employment status) at the CC are past employees of the City law firm Simmons and Simmons?

- Three of the current team have at some time in their career worked for Simmons and Simmons.

(2) How much money has the Competition Commission spent on legal fees from Simmons and Simmons in the last 4 years?

- The Competition Commission (CC) has had no financial transactions with Simmons and Simmons in the last four years.

(3) How many of the lawyers who provide advice to the CC have been accused of racial discrimination in the past 4 years?

- The CC does not hold the information you are requesting.

(4) Is it the case that one of the lawyers who provides advice to the CC, Jennifer Block, was accused of racial discrimination in her previous employment by a junior employee, Juliette Twumasi-Anokye?

- The CC does not hold the information you are requesting.

(5) What was the precise outcome of that serious complaint of racial discrimination?

- The CC does not hold the information you are requesting.

(6) Please confirm whether it is also the case that during her time working at a regulator before she came to the CC questions were raised in Parliament about serious potential conflicts of interest concerning Ms Block, which questions directly named Ms Block?

- The CC does not hold the information you are requesting.

(7) Is the senior management of the Competition Commission entirely happy that someone with a highly questionable record like Ms Block is a fit and proper person to be working as a legal adviser at the CC?

- This is not a request for information that falls within the scope of the Freedom of Information Act.

(8) Is it the case that Ms Block is a close personal friend of Ms Morven Hadden, one of the legal directors at the CC?

- This is not a request for information that falls within the scope of the Freedom of Information Act.

(9) Was Ms Block appointed to the CC in a fair and open competition?

- The CC's Recruitment and Selection policy is published on the CC website. The engagement of Ms Block was consistent with this policy.

(10) Are the Department of Business, and interested members of Parliament, aware of the full employment history of Ms Block?

This is not a request for information that falls within the scope of the Freedom of Information Act.

If you are unhappy with the decisions made in relation to your request from the Competition Commission, you may ask for an internal review. You should contact the Chief Executive if you wish to make a complaint, [either by e-mail at [email address]], or by post to the following address: The Chief Executive, Competition Commission, Victoria House, Southampton Row, London, WC1B 4AD.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me.

Yours Sincerely,

Joanna Diebelius
Planning Assistant
0207 271 0209

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