Product liability can have a major impact on a business’s reputation and success, which makes specialist advice essential.

Our team of product liability lawyers advises manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers on a wide range of product safety and quality issues at all stages of the product lifecycle. These include the impact of UK and European product liability law on regulatory notification requirements, recalls, engagement with Trading Standards, packaging, labelling and advertising. We also act for clients facing regulatory investigations, compliance and recalls as well as civil compensation claims to provide comprehensive support to our clients.

Our team’s product liability law experience comes from a diverse range of sectors. For example, we advise farmers, producers and distributors in the food chain on contamination incidents and support manufacturers and engineering companies in relation to machinery and engineering failures. Our team also helps energy companies manage safety, regulatory compliance and performance issues.

Areas of focus

Our expertise in product liability includes the following:

  • Regulatory investigations and compliance, including for food safety, labelling and hygiene issues, the REACH Regulation on chemicals and the RoHS Directive on hazardous substances in electronic and electrical equipment.
  • Incident management in the early stages of a product recall or withdrawal 
  • Product recall obligations and risk management.
  • Trade description and fitness for purpose.
  • Packaging and labelling.
  • Food safety and contamination investigation/management.
  • Insurance.
  • Claims for loss and damage.

Acting for 3M in its successful defence of a claim for compensation for alleged damage to the aquatic environment arising out of the misuse of its fire-fighting products.

Pursuing an ICC arbitration against a leading German engineering company for the provision of bespoke engineered parts to a recycling facility which were not fit for purpose.

Advising a mould manufacturer in relation to the failure of its products, the resulting food contamination incident and associated claims and insurance issues.

Advising a leading food manufacturer on a claim against the overseas supplier of ingredients which caused contamination of chicken products and the associated product recall.

Successfully defending a cereal box manufacturer on a claim relating to the leaching of packaging inks into foodstuffs.

Advising a vehicle safety device manufacturer on alleged non-compliance of its products with relevant UK and European legislation.

Defending a petrochemicals business in an investigation by the Dutch police into petroleum products supplied to Continental Europe.

Acting for the UK distributor of a US manufacturer in an investigation and enforcement action by the regulator for products that breached the RoHS Directive on hazardous substances in electronic and electrical equipment.

Advising manufacturers and importers of adventure travel products on safety critical faults with telecoms equipment for shipping, inflator gas canisters on life-vests, camping-gas cookers and contaminants in plastic camping equipment.

Successfully defending a claim against a manufacturer of carbon fibre racing wheels arising from an alleged defect.

Advising a major international soft drinks manufacturer on a product recall and subsequent consumer and contractual claims.

Defending claims arising from alleged faulty engineering maintenance on railway freight wagons.

Advising a bread manufacturer on the defence of a claim by a German supermarket chain in relation to products which had exhibited premature signs of deterioration prior to sale.

Advising a range of food producers in the diary and drinks industries on contaminants in products including glass, ink, dissolved metals and histamine.

Pursuing a claim against German engineers on behalf of a spring water producer over the faulty maintenance of its bottling machinery which caused a contamination incident and a product recall.

A claim against the manufacturer and installer of a milking parlour which was not fit for purpose.

Providing advice on the application of the European safety regulations in determining whether a faulty mobile communications device and white goods would be considered sufficiently unsafe as to warrant a recall.

Meet the team
Sian Edmunds

Sian Edmunds Partner

  • Head of Food and Drink
  • Food and Farming
  • Estates and Land
  • Product Liability

Andrew Burnette Partner

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Professional Negligence
  • Banking Disputes
Ann Metherall

Ann Metherall Partner

  • Head of Dispute Resolution
  • Head of Health and Safety
  • Transport
Simon-Tilling--250px x 250px 72dpi - web

Simon Tilling Partner

  • Head of Environment
  • REACH, Chemicals and Product Stewardship
  • Energy, Power and Utilities

Latest tweets

RT @BurgesSalmonCR: Inspirational lunch and learn session @BurgesSalmon today on intersectionality – a collaborative event delivered by… https://t.co/Wj2xuFJVQL
RT @BurgesSalmon: #covid19 has significantly changed how #constructionclaims are dealt with. In this article, we take a look at the i… https://t.co/EsIoNgCT1v
RT @BurgesSalmon: Tom Whittaker, Associate in the #disputeresolution team, was delighted to join Chris Osborne and Steven Bain of… https://t.co/6p9zb66JMs

Burges Salmon careers

We work hard to make sure Burges Salmon is a great place to work.
Find out more