Competition Decisions Committee

The Competition Decisions Committee (CDC) exercises certain decision-making powers in competition law investigations on behalf of the FCA. It decides whether there has been a competition law infringement and whether to impose a financial penalty in respect of an infringement, other than in settlement cases.

A CDC will be appointed in any particular case after the FCA has issued a Statement of Objections. The Board has authorised a pool of persons (the CDC Panel) who can be appointed to a CDC.

The terms of reference of the CDC are found in our corporate governance materials.

The current members of the CDC Panel are as follows:

Lesley Ainsworth

Lesley Ainsworth was appointed to the CDC Panel in December 2018.

Lesley is also a Panel Member of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), a role she has held since July 2013. During her time at the CMA she has served on the panels for the energy and investment consultants market investigations. Lesley has over 30 years of experience working in the legal sector, including as a competition lawyer and partner at Hogan Lovells. She holds voluntary positions as Vice Chair of governors at St Albans School and is a member of the governing body of St Albans School for Girls.

Lesley is also a member of the Payment Systems Regulator’s Enforcement Decisions Committee and Competition Decisions Committee.

Robin Mason

Robin Mason was appointed to the CDC Panel in July 2015.

He is a Professor of Economics with extensive experience in competition and regulation and is Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) at the University of Birmingham. Previously Robin was Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Business School at the University of Exeter, and Professor of Economics. His area of academic expertise is industrial organization in general and, in particular, the economics of regulation and competition. He is a fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research, and a companion of the Chartered Management Institute. He has been an ordinary member at the Competition Appeal Tribunal since 2017.

Robin was a member of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (formerly the Competition Commission) Panel between 2009 and 2017. He has worked with several of the utility regulators in the UK, including Ofgem (on cost of capital, as part of their review of price controls) and Ofcom (where he served as a member of the panel of economic advisers). He has also advised the Prime Minister of Mauritius on competition legislation, and provided expert advice for ComReg, the Irish communications regulator. He has acted as an economic consultant and expert witness for a number of private sector clients.

Robin is also a member of the FCA’s Regulatory Decisions Committee and the Payment Systems Regulator’s Enforcement Decisions Committee and Competition Decisions Committee.

Philip Marsden

Philip Marsden was appointed to the CDC Panel in February 2016.

Philip is a competition lawyer with over 30 years’ experience in advising corporates and governments, particularly on fast-moving consumer markets and agency decision-making.

Philip is Professor of Law and Economics at the College of Europe, Bruges, teaching the core LL.M. competition course and is co-founder and General Editor of the European Competition Journal, and the Oxford University Press Competition Law case reporter series. Philip’s past career includes being: a member of the Board of the Office of Fair Trading; an Inquiry Chair and Senior Director of Case Decision Groups at the Competition and Markets Authority; a board member of the Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities; chairing the British Institute’s Competition Law Forum, and working in private practice in London, Toronto and Tokyo, and as a competition official in Canada.

Philip is also a member of the FCA’s Regulatory Decisions Committee and the Payment Systems Regulator’s Enforcement Decisions Committee and Competition Decisions Committee. He is Deputy Chair of the Bank of England’s Enforcement Decision Making Committee and a Member of OFGEM’s Enforcement Decision Panel.

Malcolm Nicholson

Malcolm Nicholson was appointed to the CDC Panel in July 2015.

Malcolm was a partner at Slaughter and May specialising in competition matters for over 25 years until his retirement in 2009. He was a Panel member of the Competition and Markets Authority (formerly the Competition Commission) from 2009 to 2017. He was a non-executive director of the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust from 2010 to 2012, and a director of the Solicitors Regulation Authority from 2009 to 2013. Since 2012 he has been a member of the Conduct Committee and Chair of the Case Management Committee of the Financial Reporting Council.

Malcolm is also a member of the FCA’s Regulatory Decisions Committee and the Payment Systems Regulator’s Enforcement Decisions Committee and Competition Decisions Committee.

Simon Polito

Simon Polito was appointed to the CDC Panel in December 2018.

Simon is a competition law specialist, with over 35 years’ experience working at Hogan Lovells. After leaving Hogan Lovells in 2011, Simon became Deputy Chairman of the Competition Commission. He then became Inquiry Chair at the CMA, a role he held for four years. Whilst at the CMA, he chaired Phase 2 mergers inquiries, the payday lending market investigation and four Case Decision Groups.

Simon is also a member of the Payment Systems Regulator’s Enforcement Decisions Committee and Competition Decisions Committee.

Alasdair Smith

Alasdair Smith was appointed to the CDC Panel in December 2018.

Alasdair is also currently a Member of the Determinations Panel at The Pensions Regulator, a Commissioner at the Scottish Fiscal Commission, and Emeritus Professor of Economics and Member of UK Trade Policy Observatory at the University of Sussex. As a Deputy Chair at the Competition Commission, and an Inquiry Chair at the CMA between 2012 and 2017 Alasdair chaired nine merger inquiries and the market investigations in private motor insurance and retail banking. Alasdair was appointed as Senior Adviser within the Payment Systems Regulator in 2018.

David Thomas

David Thomas was appointed to the CDC Panel in December 2018. 

David has more than 30 years of experience in regulated sectors as both an accountant and economist and is currently a Specialist Panel Member at the Competition and Markets Authority. He is also a member of the Consumer Panel at the Civil Aviation Authority. David started his career at PwC and has held roles at Ofcom and KPMG, before starting his economic consultancy company, DT Economics in 2016. During his career, he has advised over 150 operators and regulators on matters such as competition, regulatory pricing, cost modelling and customer engagement.

David is also a member of the Payment Systems Regulator’s Enforcement Decisions Committee and Competition Decisions Committee.

Tim Tutton

Tim Tutton was appointed to the CDC Panel in December 2018.

Tim is also a Panel Member of the CMA, a Non-Executive Director at Bristol Water plc, an Honorary Lecturer in Economics at City University and a freelance adviser on economic and regulatory issues. As a Panel Member at the CMA, he has served on the panels for the payday lending and investment consultants market investigations. Tim has over 30 years’ experience in economic regulation. During his career, he has been a Senior Adviser at Oxera, UK Director of Regulation at National Grid and Director of UK Utility Regulation at PWC.

Tim is also a member of the Payment Systems Regulator’s Enforcement Decisions Committee and Competition Decisions Committee.