11th March 2021

IIC UK Chapter: From rules-setting to principles-based regulation: what are the challenges and opportunities?

Chapter event

Thursday, 11 March 2021
1500 GMT / 1600 CET
Duration: 2 hours


Hosted by Oxera


The session, hosted by Oxera, looked at the evolution of the regulatory model, from traditional rule-setting to towards principles-based regulation (designed to achieve compliance with the spirit as opposed to just the letter of the law).

Examples of this shift included the Ofcom fairness framework, the proposals for a “duty-of-care”-based regime for online harms, and most recently the Digital Markets Task Force’s recommendations on how to take forward the “fairness by design” duty proposed by the CMA’s online platforms market study.

The main purpose of the session was to shed light on the impacts of this kind of regulatory approach on the commercial and operational decisions of regulated companies in the telecoms, media and technology sectors.



Cathryn Ross Director of Regulatory Affairs, BT Group

Cathryn Ross is the Group Regulatory Affairs Director at BT Group. At BT Ms Ross is responsible for developing and implementing BT’s regulatory strategy across the group, covering regulation in the UK and beyond.

In January 2020, Ms Ross was appointed the inaugural Chair of the Regulatory Horizons Council, an independent committee established by BEIS. As Chair, Ms Ross is responsible for leading the work of the council to ensure that UK regulation keeps pace with innovation and enables it to thrive while safeguarding the public.

Ms Ross was previously Chief Executive of Ofwat, the independent economic regulator for the water and wastewater sector in England and Wales. She was responsible for ensuring that Ofwat held a £120 billion industry to account in delivering against the expectations of customers, wider society and the environment. She successfully saw through the delivery of a new strategy for Ofwat, focussed on a vision for the sector of trust and confidence in water and wastewater services, and transformed the regulator in order to deliver this.

Ms Ross is an experienced regulatory and competition economist and has worked across a number of different sectors advising on economic, regulatory and competition issues. Previously, Ms Ross was Executive Director of Markets and Economics at the Office of Rail Regulation (now Office of Rail and Road). She was Executive Director of Markets and Economics at Ofwat between 2008 and 2011. She also served with the Competition Commission (now Competition and Markets Authority); and worked in economic consultancy.

Oliver Bethell Director of EMEA Competition, Google

Oliver Bethell currently leads Google’s EMEA competition team. He joined Google in 2008, working first in London before a 4 year stint in the US. He returned to London in 2017. Mr Bethell was the Competition Individual of the Year, 2018 (Global Counsel Awards and European Counsel Awards). Recent publications include https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3348636.

Tania Van Den Brande Director of Economics, Ofcom

Bio coming soon …….

William Perrin Trustee, Carnegie UK Trust

William Perrin is a Trustee of Carnegie UK Trust where, with Professor Lorna Woods he has led work on the regulation of online harms since 2018. The Woods/Perrin model of risk management of internet company systems through a statutory duty of care seemed to form the basis of the UK Government internet safety proposals and may have inspired some of the Digital Services Act approach to due diligence and risk management. Almost all of Mr Perrin’s 15 year civil service career involved regulation, some of which was successful, some not. Mr Perrin was first asked to look at internet regulation in 1994, then worked on the BSkyB/cable industry dispute in the 1990s at DTI, was Private Secretary to the Energy Minister in 1997-98, managed the 2001 Communications White Paper which created OFCOM, was a policy advisor to the Prime Minister from 2001-2004 covering communications regulation, modernising regulation of pubs bars and clubs and regulation of gambling. Mr Perrin ran a social tech media business for Channel4 for ten years after leaving the civil service and was asked by the Secretary of State to advise on the future of local tv news. He is now a trustee at a range of charities with digital activities.


Peter Andrews Senior Adviser, Oxera

Peter Andrews is Senior Adviser at Oxera.  One of his responsibilities is to develop the Regulation and Market Design Centre of Excellence. He has senior-level experience of a range of businesses in the financial sector, followed by 25 years in financial regulation.

His characteristic approach is to use practical innovation to solve major problems. For example, at a ‘Big Four’ accounting and consulting firm he divided the whole of the Bank of England’s regime of banking regulation into building blocks that were amenable to compliance systems solutions. At a large investment bank, he used economic fundamentals to value complex trading positions to achieve realistic profit recognition and facilitate risk management. As Special Advisor to the Chairman of a Russian-owned bank he negotiated extensively between conflicting parties to achieve the first Soviet-backed bond issue since 1917.

Until 2017, Mr Andrew’s was Chief Economist at the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. Here, he led a substantial economic research and consulting service, established the first behavioural economics capability at any financial regulator, built the foundations for the FCA’s Competition Division, and undertook the first empirical work on the macroeconomic costs and benefits of higher capital standards. Mr Andrew’s also represented the UK in international fora.


Event details
11th March 2021

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