Product liability

Product liability

As a business involved in making, handling or selling products, you are bound to incur some associated product risk.

Shoosmiths' product liability team can advise and support businesses like yours on all aspects of risk associated with the manufacture, distribution, sale and disposal of your products

We can also ensure you comply with Trading Law, Environmental obligations and the Advertising and Marketing of your products.

We fully understand the importance of preservation of your brand, so the service we provide in handling and defending product liability matters is underpinned by the overriding need to secure and protect brand, consumers, profit and market reputation.

Receiving instructions from in-house legal departments, insurers and customer care teams, we support manufacturing and retail clients operating in the automotive, food, defence, and healthcare sectors, having an ability to understand complex and technical issues quickly.

We advise on the management of product liability risk; for example issues associated with the launch of new products in different jurisdictions and the compatibility of components incorporated in other products, in order to avoid/restrict exposure and ensure regulatory compliance.

In the event of an actual or potential product failure, we provide immediate crisis management support to your business, with practical and commercial advice on assessing risk and deciding whether to withdraw product from the market, including, where necessary, assistance around recall strategies across different jurisdictions, public relations support and media management, as well as liaison with regulatory authorities, in order to avoid enforcement action.

If claims result in defective product cases, we will work with you to secure the best outcome for your business, whether through litigation or alternative means of dispute resolution.

We provide clear and proactive advice in all aspects of civil liabilities and associated legal and contractual liabilities of others in the supply chain, as well as potential criminal liability.

Our blend of experience and skills enable us to deliver an all round 'product' service to you whilst limiting damage to your brand.

Work highlights

  • Advising on and overseeing the large scale recall of a pyrotechnic product, including worldwide and cross-jurisdiction tracing, recall and regulatory authority liaison
  • Advising a large producer and retailer of electrical and fire safety wiring on product safety, its recall process of more than 20 tonnes of defective and unsafe wiring, negotiating a £1m civil settlement with a third party supplier, and liaising with trading standards, the Health and Safety Executive and relevant trade associations to provide information to consumers
  • Advising a marine navigation company on compliance with EU guidance on the requirement to notify a design fault as a safety issue and confirming that a recall was not necessary
  • Successfully defending a claim on behalf of a leading motor manufacturer arising from alleged design and manufacturing defects in the braking mechanism of one of its most popular models
  • Advising and assisting a leading manufacturer on the UK recall of white goods regarding electrical safety issues and subsequently reviewing the client's product recall/crisis management practices and procedures