Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Monday, April 5, 2021

Whistle-Blowing on the Lawyers Cartel: An Analysis of Anti-Competitive Trade Practices in the Malawian Legal Profession

Whistle-Blowing on the Lawyers Cartel: An Analysis of Anti-Competitive Trade Practices in the Malawian Legal Profession

Lusungu Mtonga

University of Cape Town

Abstract

Competition Law is mainly concerned with promoting consumer welfare. Competition Law aims at encouraging competition by prohibiting anti-competitive trade practices. The Competition and Fair-Trading Act prohibits certain horizontal practices i.e., certain arrangements or agreements between firms that are in actual or potential competition. Among other things, the Competition and Fair-Trading Act prohibits price fixing and other arrangements that have a substantial negative impact on competition. This paper argues that there are a number of trade practices in the Malawian Legal Profession which violate provisions of the Competition and Fair-Trading Act. More specifically, the paper argues that The Scale and Minimum Charges Rules are anti-competitive because they prescribe the fee or minimum fee that Legal Practitioners can charge for certain specified services. The paper argues that this is a form of price fixing that affects consumer welfare; therefore, contravenes the Competition and Fair-Trading Act. The paper further argues that the complete prohibition of advertisement and touting in the Malawian Legal Profession is anti-competitive and violates provisions of the Competition and Fair-Trading Act.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/antitrustprof_blog/2021/04/whistle-blowing-on-the-lawyers-cartel-an-analysis-of-anti-competitive-trade-practices-in-the-malawia.html

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