Food and drink is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK and is one of the most exciting and innovative areas of business. The industry also faces continually growing and evolving pressures: from regulation and competition concerns, to issues of transparency, traceability, security of supply and fraud and environmental concerns.

Changes to international trading relationships following Brexit means that importers and exporters need to get to grips with new regulatory regimes and customs processes.

Our team of food and drink lawyers provides specialist advice to our clients based on their expert knowledge of food and drink law married with a deep understanding of the dynamics of the sector. We have a genuine appreciation of how relationships work within the industry and sector-specific regulation and practices. We also understand the strengths and vulnerabilities of the supply chain and our team works closely with clients to advise them on contractual, regulatory and brand protection concerns.

Areas of focus

Our expertise in food and drink law includes the following:

  • Supply chain contracts and disputes
  • Regulatory advice
  • Regulatory investigations and prosecutions
  • Food safety, contamination and product recalls
  • Food labelling and advertising
  • Brand protection and exploitation
  • Imports, exports and international trade
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Competition law
  • Packaging and environmental issues

Assisting a range of UK and overseas food manufacturers on bringing products to market, including advising on labelling and marketing materials, nutrition and health claims, licensing and customs processes.

Advising a high-end hospitality company in relation to an interview under caution from Trading Standards, arising from an allegation that our client had omitted to provide allergen information required under UK and EU law.

Collaborating with sustainability advisers to advise an EU institution on the prevention of food waste at supply and retail levels. This included analysing the position around food labelling and food donation liability.

Advising a food supplier based in South Africa on disputed customs duties applied to products imported into the UK.

Acting for a high end leisure services business on food safety enforcement proceedings.

Advising Colian, a Polish company specialising in the confectionery sector, on its acquisition of Elizabeth Shaw.

Advising a major international soft drinks manufacturer on supply contract issues, including international arbitration proceedings, and product recalls.

Advising Rabobank and Lloyds Bank on the £170 million refinancing of Noble Foods, the UK’s largest supplier of eggs and owner of the Happy Egg Company and Gü Puds.

Advising Ministry of Cake, the UK’s leading manufacturer of desserts for the food service market, on a management buy-out.

Advising Waitrose on product supply within their key Essentials range.

Working with Yeo Valley on intra-group IP structuring arrangements in respect of their organic yogurt and dairy brands, marketing materials and environmental claims.

Managing UK brand clearance and trade mark registrations for Starbucks.

Advising dairy producers and processors on milk supply contract issues and packaging and co-packing arrangements.

Working with Fever-Tree in relation to their European distribution arrangements and advertising and labelling issues.

Meet the team
Dominic Davis

Dominic Davis Partner

  • Corporate
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Joint Ventures
Racheal Ruane

Rachael Ruane Partner

  • Corporate Banking
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Asset Finance and Asset Backed Lending
Helen Scott-Lawler

Helen Scott-Lawler Partner

  • Head of Food and Drink
  • Commercial
  • Intellectual Property and Media
Danny Lee

Danny Lee Partner

  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Private Equity
  • Joint Ventures

What others say...

The rural team have excellent strength and breadth across the sector. In a changing landscape they have engaged in thought leadership which puts them apart from their competitors and much appreciated by clients.

Legal 500 2024

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