Hertford College Bridge of Sighs
Forthcoming events
Annual Westminster Conference
23 April 2015
One Great George Street, London SW!P 3AA
"Regulation of markets and networks in the UK: the state of play in a period of economic and political uncertainty"
Co-hosted with the UK Regulators Network

This year’s Westminster conference, co-hosted with the UKRN, will review the state of play of UK economic regulation ahead of the general election, including how we have got to current policies and practices and the prospects for future developments in the post-election period.

The programme will comprise a general session on the purposes and functions of delegated/devolved economic regulation together with three sessions examining more specific aspects of the situations in various sectors, developed around three general themes: promoting efficient investment; linkages among competition, innovation and stability; and promoting the long-term interests of consumers.

Platform contributors will include:

  • Richard Price (ORR)
  • Cathryn Ross (Ofwat)
  • Sir John Armitt
  • Hannah Nixon (PSR)
  • Iain Osborne (CAA)
  • James Wardlaw (Campbell Lutyens)
  • Prof Paul Grout (Bristol Univ, GEMA, and PRA)
  • Steve Smith (Lloyds Banking Group)
  • Alex Chisholm (CMA)
  • Claudio Pollack (Ofcom)
  • Ian Peters (Centrica)

Please see the conference programme for a full list of speakers. For pricing details please see the booking form.

Recent events
Competition & Regulation Conference 2014
Monday 8 September and Tuesday 9 September

The future shape of regulation and competition policy in light of changing institutions, practice and politics

For a full list of sessions and speakers please see the conference programme.

Presentations from the conference are now available.

Hertford Seminar in Regulation
Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of the Civil Aviation Authority
28 November 2014

Hertford Seminars are FOC to Corporate and Individual Members of the RPI, subject to space limitations. (Corporate Members are guaranteed at least two places.) Please see membership information.

If you would like to be on the invitation list for Hertford Seminars and other RPI events please contact Ghislaine King.

Coherence and Stability in the Conduct of Regulatory Policies
Friday, 25 April 2014, Full day conference, Westminster

Speakers included: Vince Cable, Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; Peter Freeman, Chairman, Competition Appeal Tribunal; David Gray, Chair, Gas and Electricity Markets Authority; Richard Price, CEO, Office of Rail Regulation; Cathryn Ross, CEO, Water Services Regulation Authority; and Roger Witcomb, Chair, Competition Commission. Presentations from the conference are available.

Attributes of Effective Regulators: Masterclass in Regulation
Thursday, 24 April 2014, 5-7pm
London University Senate House

Scott Hempling, former director of the US National Regulatory Research Institute, lead this training session for regulators and regulatees.

Jonson Cox, Chair, Water Services Regulation Authority
Friday, 24 January 2014, 5:30pm
Hertford Seminar in Regulation (Oxford)

"Regulation in the Water Sector: Tools available to get the best deal for customers"

Hertford College, Oxford.

Hertford Seminar: Mr. David Edmonds, Chair, The Legal Services Board
Monday, 9 December 2013

"Legal services regulation: past, present, and future". By kind permission of Hogan Lovells the Hertford Seminar in December was held in Atlantic House, Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2FG.

Please see Mr Edmonds's speech given to the seminar. The speech is also available on the LSB website. The discussion following the speech was held, as usual, under Chatham House rules.

Other past events
Hertford Seminars in Regulation
Competition Policy Conferences
Beesley Lectures
Occasional conferences & seminars
News and publications

Former energy regulators have made a joint submission to the Competition and Markets Authority in relation to its current investigation of energy markets. You can read the submission here

New papers

Banks, Monetary Policy and Competition Policy: How Do They Connect?, David Harrison, Studies in Regulation New Series

Presentations from the 2014 Competition Conference are now available.

The Customer Forum: Customer engagement in the Scottish water sector, Stephen Littlechild, Studies in Regulation New Series

The OFT's Higher Education Report: Could do better, Suzanne Rab, and Heuristics and biases in regulatory decision making, George Yarrow, both in the Letters and Notes series.

Presentations from the recent Westminster conference, "Coherence and Stability in Regulatory Policy" are also now available.

Other recent publications:

In the Essays in Regulation new series George Yarrow considers the widespread use of over-simplified, ‘corrupted’ economics in policymaking and offers some suggestions as to how the problem might be addressed: Dysfunctions in economic policymaking Part I: simple stories, complex systems and corrupted economics

In Letters and Notes, Jon Stern addresses the tendency to continue financial support for major public projects well beyond the time at which it becomes clear that further support is highly inefficient: UK Renewables Demonstration Projects: Who Pulls the Plug?

In a new paper in the RPI's Studies in Regulation series, Professor Stephen Littlechild outlines his concerns about the proposed interpretation of the competition assessment framework for the retail energy sector.

At the end of last year the RPI published two papers in the 'Letters and Notes in Regulation' series: The impact of UK shale gas development on gas prices by George Yarrow and Why airports can face price-elastic demand: margins, lumpiness and leveraged passenger losses by David Starkie and George Yarrow.

Regina Finn and Simon Less outline different forms of regulatory capture in Capture of independent sectoral regulators, an earlier publication in the 'Letters and Notes on Regulation' series.

In Security of electricity supply: is a Capacity Market the answer?, Dr Nigel Evans assesses proposals for the introduction of a ‘Capacity Market’ into wholesale electricity trading arrangements.

See the full list of Letters and Notes in Regulation.

Legal services reform

In 2013 the RPI was commissioned by the Legal Services Board to undertake a study on "Understanding the barriers to entry, exit and changes to the structure of regulated legal firms". The final report presented to the LSB and Law Society, and the executive summary are now available.

Previously RPI chairman George Yarrow submitted brief note in response to the MoJ's call for evidence in the context of its review of legal services regulation.

In 2012 the RPI was commissioned by the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) to assess the economic significance of the professional legal services sector in the European Union. The report, published in late 2012, further develops some of the material of an earlier report for the Legal Services Board, and contains a critique of existing 'econometric' work on the economic contribution of legal services. The paper was referenced in Commissioner Viviane Reding's address to the recent plenary session of the CCBE.

Alternatives to wooden headedness

The slides from George Yarrow's 2013 Beesley lecture, Alternatives to wooden headedness: (much) less costly ways of regulating carbon emissions are available here. See also background and related reading.

BIS consultation on regulatory appeals

Please see the RPI response, September 2013.

The future of independent regulation

Many presentations from last year's Westminster conference are available.

Review of appeals mechanisms for Australia’s electricity and gas networks: Final Report published

The Expert Panel final report for Australia’s Standing Council on Energy and Resources may be of interest to those concerned with issues surrounding reviews of regulatory decision making; see also the Standing Council on Energy Resources website.