David Greene is a partner with Edwin Coe Solicitors, and is head of the dispute resolution department. While he deals with a wide range of commercial disputes he has been working in relation to the grocery trade for some 10 years acting for suppliers, retailers and wholesalers. He lead the team that successfully challenged the OFT in its refusal to refer the retail grocery trade to the Competition Commission and continues to work for the ACS in the Commission’s work. He is also pursuing judicial review proceedings under the Supplier Code of Practice (SCOP) for a supplier to Asda.
Of the Commission’s work, he says: “There is no doubt that the conclusions thus far are disappointing. FWD and ACS have put before the Commission compelling evidence of unfair price differentials and yet the Commission has been very timid in its findings.
“It has concentrated on undramatic changes to SCOP and the appointment of an ombudsman, but there must be doubt about the effectiveness of its proposals. The Commission has also made proposals for a competition test in planning and following the work of ACS and FWD drawn back from removing the needs test. We have yet to see the final report and we are all making continuing efforts to ensure a level playing field in the sector to promote growth and innovation.”