Westminster Business Forum

Next steps for consumer protection in the UK - dispute processes, enforcement and the consumer markets green paper

Morning, Thursday, 15th November 2018

Sixty One Whitehall, London SW1A 2ET


This seminar will discuss next steps for consumer protection in the UK - focusing on the future legal framework for consumer protection in light of measures to modernise consumer markets and bringing out latest thinking on what might be done to improve the enforcement process.

The conference will bring together businesses, legal experts, consumer groups and enforcement agencies with policymakers to assess the feasibility and next steps for key measures in the Government’s green paper on modernising consumer markets, which proposes giving civil courts powers to impose financial penalties on companies who breach consumer law, enhance alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes and improve the enforcement of consumer rights, as well as the launch of the Office for Product Safety and Standards' strategy to protect businesses and consumers from unsafe products.

Delegates will assess how the consumer protection framework might best ensure consumers are adequately protected whilst ensuring that businesses and markets remain competitive.

They will also share latest thinking on reducing the overall number of disputes and the cost and time of mediation - particularly in key areas such as ticketing, retail, utilities, rail, property, telecoms and hospitality - as well as looking at the proposed reforms to the Ombudsman Services.

Attendees will also discuss the future for enforcement in relation to changing consumer habits and markets - such as the growth of e-commerce, the gig economy and big data - and options to strengthen the accountability of businesses and coordination between enforcement agencies at local and national level.

Following the Government’s analysis of the effectiveness of ADR in resolving consumer disputes, further sessions will consider what more might be done to develop the quality and efficiency of ADR and support greater consumer awareness and business engagement in the sector - looking in part at the future role that ADR can play in supporting businesses to improve their consumer outcomes.

Guest of Honour

Beth Martin

Deputy Director, Consumer and Competition Directorate, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Guest of Honour

Beth Martin

Deputy Director, Consumer and Competition Directorate, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Keynote Speakers

Dr Matthew Vickers

Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman Designate, Ombudsman Services

Jason Freeman

Director, Consumer Law, Competition and Markets Authority

Matthew Upton

Director of Policy, Citizens Advice

Judith Spilsbury

Head of Training & Special Projects, Radiocentre

Lord Harris of Haringey

Chair, National Trading Standards Board and Vice Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Crime and Scamming


Yvonne Fovargue MP

Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Consumer Protection


Meghna Tewari

Head of Retail Market Policy, Ofgem

Dr Christine Riefa

Reader, Brunel University London

Senior speaker confirmed from Financial Ombudsman Service

Leon Livermore

Chief Executive, Chartered Trading Standards Institute

David Travers QC

Barrister, Six Pump Court

Helen Dewdney

Consumer Champion and Author, The Complaining Cow

Thomas Docherty

Head of Public Affairs (Nations and Regions), Which?