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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Insurance > Product liability: defendant > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Product liability: defendant
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Arnold & Porter's team is highly regarded for its life sciences practice, which includes lawyers who are also qualified in medicine, toxicology, and pharmacy, among other areas. It represents clients in product liability litigation, including multi-party group actions and unitary claims, inquests with respect to deaths, investigations and public inquiries as well as in safety and recall matters. On the non-contentious side, the team also advises on a variety of risk management issues. Practice head Ian Dodds-Smith has an outstanding reputation in the market and also leads the firm's EU life sciences and product liability practice group. Adela Williams, who is also a registered medical practitioner and assistant coroner, is another key contact. Jackie Mulryne made partner in 2019 and, alongside counsel Tom Fox, is also noted.

Practice head(s):Ian Dodds-Smith

Other key lawyers:Adela Williams; Jackie Mulryne; Tom Fox

Testimonials

'Arnold & Porter has great strength-in-depth as well as enormous experience and is able to cover both the scientific and the legal aspects.'

'The team at Arnold & Porter is known to deliver a very good quality of work.'

'Ian Dodds-Smith is a seasoned lawyer, who helped to set the foundation in the area.'

'Adela Williams has enormous experience in the area and has great attention to detail. She manages to always secure the trust and confidence of the client.'

Key Clients

Grünenthal

Pfizer

Bayer

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Grünenthal in a group action, which claimed that individuals had been born with personal injuries as a result of exposure to thalidomide in utero.
  • Represented Pfizer in a multi-claimant litigation in Scotland arising from cardiovascular disorders following the use of Pfizer’s Cox-2 inhibitor analgesic, Celebrex, which included handling disclosure, witness evidence and expert evidence.
  • Acting for Bayer in a public inquiry initiated following the supply of Factor VIII and IX blood products caused hemophiliacs to become infected with HIV and hepatitis C.

Baker McKenzie's product and operational risk team provides its clients, which are predominantly international manufacturers, distributors and retailers, with comprehensive advice on the whole life cycle of a product. The team has core expertise in product liability litigation, recalls and regulation. Practice head John Leadley also regularly assists clients with media and communications issues concerning crisis management. Kate Corby is another key contact; she is well versed in regulatory compliance. Graham Stuart is noted for matters related to the management of environmental risk.

Practice head(s):John Leadley

Other key lawyers:Kate Corby; Graham Stuart

Testimonials

'Baker McKenzie is justifiably seen as a top team in the market.'

'John Leadley is among the leaders in the field.'

'Baker McKenzie's team head John Leadley does a very good job.'

 

Key Clients

CR Bard

Stryker Corporation

Work highlights

  • Acting for Bard Limited in the defence of multiple product liability claims concerning allegedly defective medical devices and procedures used to treat female pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.
  • Acting for Stryker in a number of product liability claims, which includes negotiating multiple pre-action settlements in Consumer Protection Act cases related to hip and knee replacement products.
  • Advised a healthcare company on addressing the requests from a UK public inquiry.

DAC Beachcroft LLP has a strong profile in the product liability space, acting for insurers as well as corporates from a variety of industry sectors, including pharmaceutical, medical device, food, chemicals, cosmetics, consumer goods and, increasingly, new technology companies. The team is led by Wendy Hopkins, who is regularly instructed to advise on products manufactured in China. Simon Pearl and Alison McAdams  have significant expertise in vaccine litigations. Other names to note are Mark Kendall and senior associates Olya Melnitchouk and Stephen Turner.

Practice head(s):Wendy Hopkins

Other key lawyers:Simon Pearl; Alison McAdams; Mark Kendall; Olya Melnitchouk; Stephen Turner

Testimonials

'The team is very experienced and gives immediate feedback. The lawyers are likable and enthusiastic about their work.'

'They are very good in all insurance and liability matters.'

'Practice head Wendy Hopkins is very structured and noted for her sharp understanding.'

'Mark Kendall is easy to work with and very experienced in recall matters and international business.'

'Stephen Turner is a highly intelligent, responsive lawyer.'

Key Clients

Novartis

Alcon

Sandoz

BMI Healthcare

Optegra

Draeger

Fresenius Kabi

Ipsen Pharma

NHS Resolution

NHS Blood and Transplant Service

Rydon Maintenance

Clinimed

HDI

Zurich

Chubb

Allianz

QBE

XL Catlin

Newline

CNA Hardy

Hiscox

RSA

Work highlights

  • Represented BMI Healthcare and Spire Healthcare in a claim filed by numerous claimants, who alleged that the early failure of their replacement hip products has resulted in pain and muscle damage.
  • Acting for Novartis; Alcon, its eye care subsidiary; and Sandoz, its generics subsidiary, in various claims arising out of various clinical testing trials.
  • Acting for Rydon and HDI in an ongoing public inquiry, police investigation, and the civil litigation and claims-handling processes regarding the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
  • Represented Ipsen Pharma in a number of claims that allege the claimants suffered personal injury as a result of receiving an injection of botox products manufactured by the client.
  • Represented BMI Healthcare and Spire Healthcare in the High Court group litigation brought on behalf of women concerned about the fitness for purpose of silicone gel in breast implants manufactured by the now defunct French company, PIP, which resulted in the establishment of the breast implant registry.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP fields a team of dedicated lawyers, who specialise in industry sectors including manufacturing, pharmaceutical and healthcare as well as tobacco, food and beverages. It acts for insurers and corporate insureds in significant product liability disputes and provides commercial and risk management advice. The practice is jointly led by Howard Watson, who is vastly experienced in group/class actions; recall expert Tony Dempster; and Philip Pfeffer, who is well versed in the consumer products sector. Senior associate David Bennett is also noted.

Practice head(s):Howard Watson; Tony Dempster; Philip Pfeffer

Other key lawyers:David Bennett

Key Clients

Diageo

British American Tobacco

Associated British Foods

Volvo Trucks

Work highlights

  • Defended Diageo in a class action regarding its distribution of the drug thalidomide in the late 1950s/early 1960s. The team also handled the global coordination of legal and commercial issues.

The team at Hogan Lovells International LLP is regularly instructed in high-profile product liability disputes, which frequently involve multi-party and multi-jurisdictional elements. Clients also praise the group's expertise in scientific and technical issues, particularly in the life sciences area. 'Top-tier expert' John Meltzer has an excellent market reputation for his ability to handle the full gamut of product liability matters, from risk management to litigation. Valerie Kenyon's specialisation is in the technology sector and she co-heads the firm's global internet of things working group. Meltzer and Kenyon jointly lead the team with Matthew Felwick; he and Richard Welfare are noted for their automotive and food expertise respectively. Consultant Caroline Moore is involved in many of the group's most significant cases. Ruth Grant retired.

Practice head(s):John Meltzer; Valerie Kenyon; Matthew Felwick

Other key lawyers:Richard Welfare; Caroline Moore

Testimonials

'Hogan Lovells has strong knowledge in the life sciences space.'

'The team provides very good practical solutions, which take the client's business needs into consideration.'

'John Meltzer has a high profile in the product liability world. He is a sensible, experienced lawyer, who brings wisdom to any matter.'

Key Clients

Zimmer Biomet

Ford

Novartis

Google

Bristow Helicopters

Mylan

Nike

Guardian (part of Koch)

Oculus

Vodafone

Cardiorentis

Toshiba

British American Tobacco

Merck

Nest

NTT Data

Jimmy Choo

Mitsubishi Heavy Industry

Kingfisher

Fresenius

Work highlights

  • Defended Zimmer Biomet in a personal injury group action concerning the client's metal-on-metal prosthetic hip replacements, which was decided favourably for the client.
  • Acting for new client Ford in individual legal actions and a threatened High Court group action by owners of vehicles with EcoBoost engines regarding its allegedly defective cooling system.
  • Handling the whole product safety portfolio for Vodafone, which includes advising on regulatory compliance, scientific research, the development of industry standards, labelling, and product testing.
  • Acting for MSD regarding a threatened UK group action and in individual claims for compensation for conditions allegedly resulting from the administration of Gardasil, a preventive cervical cancer vaccine.
  • Advising Nike on product regulatory and compliance issues, as well as  pre-litigation and risk management matters concerning product marketing and product safety for the EU and international markets.

Addleshaw Goddard's team is a popular choice for clients from the pharmaceutical, retail, consumer goods, and food and drink industries to handle matters relating to recalls, safety and advisory work. The group is acting for GlaxoSmithKline in a group action relating to its antidepressant Seroxat; practice head Louisa Caswell leads on this. Insurance expert Richard Wise is well versed in coverage disputes. Erin Shoesmith in Manchester, who made partner in 2018, acts for the firm's corporate clients facing prosecution and investigation by regulatory bodies. Associates Mark Chesher and Cécile Burgess are regularly involved in the team's most significant matters.

Practice head(s):Louisa Caswell

Other key lawyers:Richard Wise; Erin Shoesmith; Mark Chesher; Cécile Burgess

Testimonials

'Addleshaw Goddard has a strong team that is on the rise in this area, handling in particular one of the largest pharmaceutical product liability cases in the UK.'

'Louisa Casswell is an excellent product liability practitioner and very well regarded.'

'Senior associate Cécile Burgess is an outstanding practitioner.'

Key Clients

GlaxoSmithKline

Britvic

Build-A-Bear Workshop

Totally Wicked (Pillbox 38)

Dixons Carphone Warehouse

PZ Cussons

Diageo

Sainsbury's/Sainsbury's Bank

Steel Dynamics UK Limited

Victrex Group

Work highlights

  • Represent  GlaxoSmithKline in numerous claims regarding its antidepressant drug, Seroxat, which allegedly caused symptoms that amount to personal injury when claimants discontinued or attempted to discontinue use; the outcome of the trial will make new law on the assessment of whether the medicine is a defective product under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.
  • Acting for Steel Dynamics in relation to claims relating to defective steel supplied to it by one of Europe's leading steel mills; the steel was sold on by the client and the team is advising on potential claims against the steel mill.
  • Advised an importer of electronic cigarettes on the UK/EU regulatory regime to help them shape the characteristics of their existing and proposed products, and on permitted marketing and branding, among other areas.
  • Advised a pharmaceutical client on government proposals concerning the pricing of medicines and associated regulations relating to the provision of information further to the Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Act 2017.
  • Challenged the treatment of a branded drug under the NHS Drugs Tariff for a pharmaceutical client.

Clyde & Co LLP's client base is a mix of insurers and manufacturers, frequently from the aviation, agriculture and food, automotive, medical devices and pharmaceutical, and retail sectors. The firm's international network allows a close cooperation with product liability groups in the rest of Europe, North America and Asia, which is particularly valuable in multi-jurisdictional product recalls and disputes. Neil Beresford specialises in claims involving  insurers, manufacturers and retailers and Jason McNerlin is the key contact for recalls. Edinburgh-based duo Duncan Batchelor and Claire Raftery, as well as Victor Rae-Reeves and legal director Erika Rainger in London are other names to note.

Practice head(s):Neil Beresford; Jason McNerlin

Other key lawyers:Duncan Batchelor; Claire Raftery; Victor Rae-Reeves; Erika Rainger

Testimonials

'Clyde & Co has in-depth knowledge of product liability with subject matter experts skilled in the industry fields. They are able to deploy lawyers with knowledge of the industrial sectors / specialisms.'

'The group has a very efficient use of resources.'

'Neil Beresford is very clever and pragmatic; he is always cool-headed and reasonable.'

'Beresford is extremely bright but has a sound commercial sense and acumen. He comes over as quite laid back but it is patently obvious there is a very sharp mind.'

Key Clients

Johnson & Johnson Medical Ltd

Stryker / Depuy International (Finsbury Orthopaedics)

Travelers Insurance Company Ltd

GlaxoSmithKline

CNA Hardy/ ITH Pharma Limited

Martin Baker Aircraft Company Limited

Cooley (UK) LLP's practice is led by the highly regarded Rod Freeman, who has a strong track record in product liability disputes on an international scale. The team covers a range of work in the space for clients from the life sciences, technology, cosmetics and consumer products sectors, among others. Sascha Grimm made partner in 2019 and is a key contact for civil litigation, regulatory investigations, product liability, as well as IP and brand protection matters. Associate Sarah-Jane Dobson combines experience in regulatory matters and disputes.

Key Clients

'Rod Freeman is a fantastic lawyer, who consistently is at the top of his game.'

Kennedys is regularly instructed by global insurers, including Chubb, AIG, Allianz, and Zurich, among others to handle high-stakes matters. The team is experienced in handling product disputes in key sectors including pharmaceuticals and medical devices; food and consumer products; and manufacturing. Trevor Davies leads the practice and is a key name for international product liability claims. Samantha Silver is well versed in medical devices, consumer products and pharmaceutical-related matters, while Katherine Proctor's focus is on the property, onshore energy, reinsurance and fine arts area. The group is able to benefit from Mirjam Schorr's dual-qualification in the UK and Germany in cross-border matters. Other key names include Ben Aram and senior associate Karishma Paroha, who can act as a solicitor and barrister. Shane Sayers left the firm.

Practice head(s):Trevor Davies;

Other key lawyers:Samantha Silver; Katherine Proctor; Ben Aram; Karishma Paroha; Mirjam Schorr

Testimonials

'Kennedys has one of the best teams in the London market, with exceptional expertise in cross-border work especially.'

'The team offers pragmatic, efficient, and top-quality advice and has real experts for every type of insurance dispute.'

'Trevor Davies is held in high regard'.

'Ben Aram is an exceptional litigator, who has an incredible depth of subject-matter knowledge, while at the same time always taking a commercial approach to a dispute.'

'Mirjam Schorr is an absolute pleasure to work with and has a real understanding and expertise in cases involving issues of German law.'

'Karishma Paroha is a very good lawyer.'

Key Clients

Chubb

AIG

Hiscox

Zurich

Generali

AGCS

GE Insurance Solutions

DePuy International Limited

Finsbury Orthopaedics Limited

Beko

XL Catlin Insurance

Work highlights

  • The team successfully acted for DePuy in defending and dismissing claims in several jurisdictions, including UK, Austria, Germany and Spain in connection with the worldwide recall of hip replacement products.
  • Defending Witzenmann and insurer XL Catlin against a £2m claim alleging defective stainless steel mesh carcassing in subsea oil well hoses.
  • Acting for Johnson & Johnson, as well as its subsidiary Ethicon, as the manufacturers of gynaecological products, in the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care's review into how the healthcare system has responded to concerns raised about different medical interventions, one of them being the relevant pelvic mesh.

RPC has an experienced team acting for insurers in claims arising particularly in the life sciences area, where Dorothy Flower is a key name, but is also active in the automotive, chemicals, household goods and technology fields. The group regularly acts in disputes which span multiple jurisdictions and works closely together with the firm's Singapore and Hong Kong offices. Gavin Reese took over the practice lead from Flower, and he and consultant Nick McMahon have longstanding experience in the field. Legal director Peter Rudd-Clarke advises on regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):Gavin Reese

Other key lawyers:Dorothy Flower; Nick McMahon; Peter Rudd-Clarke

Testimonials

'In all cases, the team has an eye for detail, it explains procedures in a way that is easy to understand and, importantly, is open to dialogue from all interested parties when agreeing a claim's next steps.'

'The team operates well together, key individuals are technically expert and also understand the client's particular and economic drivers.'

'While being highly regarded for their life sciences expertise, that reputation masks the strength in a wider range of product liability claims as well. Recent cases showcases RPC's depth of skills.'

'Dorothy Flower needs no introduction or embellishment. Her name is synonymous with and guarantees quality.'

'Gavin Reese is a very strong lawyer. He combines a ferocious intellect with a down-to-earth manner which clients adore.'

'Peter Rudd-Clarke is a star in the making. He is committed, focused and achieves stellar results for his clients.'

Key Clients

QBE

XL Catlin

Clover Leaf Products Ltd

Corin Limited

Bard Pharmaceuticals Limited

Make Yourself Amazing

BSI Group

Work highlights

  • Represented Corin and insurers in a metal-on-metal group litigation, which was eventually vacated.
  • Acts for Clover Leaf Products, the former UK distributor of PIP breast implants, and its insurers in the related litigation.
  • Acting for Bard Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures an opioid pain relief patch, in the defence of a claim concerning an alleged accidental opioid overdose.
  • Representing cosmetic surgery company Make Yourself Amazing in litigation concerning a claim involving an allegedly ruptured implant.
  • Defended a British manufacturer of electrical equipment in litigation claiming that a defective television caused a domestic house fire.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon International LLP handles the full gamut of product liability matters at an international level, including advice on risk management,  as well as developing strategies pertaining to defence, and assisting with regulatory issues. It also has notable expertise in a variety of industry sectors, where it acts from clients from sectors including tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceutical and medical devices, and automotive, among others. Practice head Simon Castley combines dispute resolution expertise with knowledge of regulatory and administrative law. Alison Newstead is a key contact for inquiries related to medical devices. Other noted team members include Sarah Croft, Trevor Bridges and Samuel Sebree.

Practice head(s):Simon Castley

Other key lawyers:Alison Newstead; Sarah Croft; Trevor Bridges; Samuel Sebree

Testimonials

'Simon Castley is a very good and well-regarded lawyer.'

Bird & Bird LLP is noted for its expertise in the technology and automotive  sectors and, as such, is a popular choice for issues concerning driverless vehicles. It advises clients at an international level on all stages of the product, from the initial concept and design phase through to its supply, use and disposal. The practice is jointly led by Jonathan Speed and senior associate Russell Williamson, who both have a strong dispute resolution background. The group also has strengths in the luxury goods and medical devices sectors.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Speed

Other key lawyers:Russell Williamson

Testimonials

'First and foremost, the team has the requisite experience to deal with legal issues within the relevant business sector and is further noted for its ability to treat its clients with the highest levels of professionalism and courtesy.'

'Extremely capable team, with both broad and deep knowledge and expertise in product liability.'

'Jonathan Speed is a very commercially minded partner who provides clear advice.'

'Senior associate Russell Williamson provided specific liability advice for completely new business models in a way that is extremely comprehensive and showcased his knowledge of the regulations, case law, and precedence.'

BLM fields a strong team of dedicated practitioners, who are regularly instructed by insurers, manufacturers and corporate clients. The firm also has a specialist food group, which assists with related claims and consultations. Jim Sherwood heads the practice and is a key contact for fire and flood damage and commercial property claims, as well as regulatory issues. Edinburgh-based Ian Leach has been active in the field for more than 30 years and has a particular focus on pharmaceutical disputes. Michael Harvey and Carys Oatham are also noted.

Practice head(s):Jim Sherwood

Other key lawyers:Ian Leach; Michael Harvey; Carys Oatham

Key Clients

Allianz

Aviva

Direct Line Group

Generali

QBE

Sunseeker International

Zurich

Work highlights

  • Representing Occulentis BV against claims pursued in England, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and Germany relating to alleged calcification of its lenses and consequent loss and injury sustained by claimants.
  • Acting for Royal & Sun Alliance in a €4.2m claim relating to damage to fruit crops in Belgium following a product liability dispute between the suppliers of fertiliser and the owners of the orchards where the damage allegedly occurred.
  • Acting for Sunseeker International and its insurer in respect of claims concerning a fire that is alleged to have originated on a vessel manufactured by Sunseeker.
  • Representing the Medical Protection Society in multiple claims brought against an individual practitioner, with claims involving both medical negligence allegations and product liability allegations in relation to the medical implants used.
  • Instructed by QBE in relation to a fire on a Princess Yachts International  luxury yacht relating to insured risks and the fire damage caused by products incorporated into the yacht.

Acting for insureds and insurers alike, DWF provides its clients with seamless support across Europe, Africa and Asia. The team includes various industry specialists: David Kidman is knowledgeable in the life sciences sector while Bristol-based Peter Barnes focuses on the aviation, automotive, engineering and construction industries. Dominic Watkins is noted for his expertise in technical food law compliance work and food litigation. John Groome acts for insurers and reinsurers in casualty coverage and product liability claims. Hilary Ross is well versed in regulated industries, where she advises on the compliance of products, systems and safety across the EU. Senior associate Tom Mungovan has strong technical expertise in chemical and medical issues.

Practice head(s):David Kidman; Dominic Watkins

Other key lawyers:Peter Barnes; John Groome; Hilary Ross; Tom Mungovan

Testimonials

'The team handles the most complex, sensitive cases with exceptional skill and good judgement.'

'The DWF group provides good, reliable coverage advice. The lawyers are very approachable and experienced.'

'David Kidman handles sensitive, often high-profile cases with rare skill. He combines his exceptional legal knowledge with good judgement and commercial sense.'

'John Groome has significant knowledge of US laws and coverage and product liability.'

Key Clients

RSA Insurance Group

QBE

Aviva

Chubb

HDI Global

Zurich

Travelers Insurance Company

MS Amlin

Direct Line Group

Newline Group

Pepsico

Marks & Spencer

2 Sisters Food Group

Morrisons

Chivas Brothers

Weight Watchers

Whitbread Group

Red Bull

Ferrero

WSH Group

Liberty Mutual Insurance

Tokio Marine Kiln

Pret A Manger

John Lewis Partnership

Work highlights

  • Advised Jelly Belly on EU requirements for labeling and food compliance, as well as assisting the client with its plans for expansion across the EMEA region.
  • Successfully acted for a supermarket chain in an investigation following the sale of a bread product which was erroneously labelled without the necessary allergen information; the client avoided prosecuted.
  • Appointed as the regulatory adviser across the EU for a global sugar refining company.
  • Assisted a British meat producer with multiple invitations to attend an interview under caution in relation to potential breaches of food hygiene legislation.
  • Advised a food producer on product naming and advertising in compliance with EU law.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is experienced in a variety of industry sectors, with notable expertise in the automotive and technology space, where the team is regularly instructed to advise on product safety and regulatory matters, as well as on emerging technologies. Other work includes defending clients in product liability claims, recalls and withdrawals, brand protection, and compliance advice. Leeds-based Richard Matthews leads the UK team, as well as the firm's pan-European practice, and is well versed in handling multi-jurisdictional disputes. Principal associate Peter Shervington, also in Leeds, has considerable knowledge of the automotive sector.

Practice head(s):Richard Matthews

Other key lawyers:Peter Shervington

Testimonials

'Peter Shervington has an incredible ability to engage and explain a subject in a clear and understandable way. I would recommend him, and by default Eversheds, wholeheartedly.'

'The team has a huge knowledge base and experience in dealing with consumer product liability claims, particularly involving products being sold in multiple jurisdictions.'

'Richard Matthews  has unrivalled experience in the field - and is especially strong at recognising and advising upon both the legal and commercial implications of any dispute.'

'Peter Shervington  is extremely adept in mastering difficult issues of technical and expert evidence so as to ensure it is deployed to best effect in his client's favour.'

Key Clients

Johnson Controls

Johnson Matthey

Allied Glass

DuPont

XL Insurance

Sodexo

Assa Abloy

Bettys and Taylors Group

Smiths Group

Honda Motors Europe

Siemens

B/S/H Group (formerly Bosch Siemens Hausgerate), a Bosch Subsidiary

Kingspan

Ricoh Europe PLC

Mayer Brown International LLP's team has considerable experience in the food, consumer products, automotive, energy and medical devices sectors. The team stands out for its close collaboration with the firm's other departments, which enables the group to provide comprehensive advice on construction, IP and regulatory aspects in the product liability space. Miles Robinson heads the practice and is a key contact for group actions, as well as recall, labelling and regulatory issues. Other team members include Mark Stefanini and recently promoted partner James Morris.

Practice head(s):Miles Robinson

Other key lawyers:Mark Stefanini; James Morris

Testimonials

'The team comprises of trusted advisers, who are responsive and provide business-oriented solutions.'

'Mayer Brown has expert knowledge and a calm approach.'

'Miles Robinson is a great listener and gives considered advice that is commercially savvy.'

Key Clients

Perrigo

Sunseeker International

The team at Pinsent Masons LLP handles the full gamut of product liability matters, ranging from advice on product compliance and regulatory requirements to product recall and the defence of claims. It also has a good technical understanding of numerous industry sectors, including food and drink, retail and medical products. Andrew Masterson leads the national team and is regularly instructed in defence and costs recovery claims. Jacqueline Harris in Edinburgh is an expert in medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Leeds-based legal director Louise Nahon is also noted.

Practice head(s):Andrew Masterson

Other key lawyers:Jacqueline Harris; Louise Nahon

Testimonials

'Lawyers who are not just legal experts but who also have significant knowledge of other industries.'

'The team is always highly professional, friendly, comprehensive and gives quick advice, even in difficult situations.'

'Louise Nahon's excellent engineering knowledge combined with significant litigation experience make her a real asset in any technical claim.'

Key Clients

Smith & Nephew

Syngenta

Eon NSchneider

Delphi SA

Heidelberg /Hanson

Chubb

Bosch

SIG plc

Centrica

Work highlights

  • Defended Schneider Electric in a $11.5m claim involving a two-week refinery shutdown allegedly caused by the failure of switch gear manufactured by a legacy business now owned by Schneider.

Shoosmiths LLP's team handles compliance and non-contentious matters; regulatory enforcement, investigation and prosecution; and product recalls and any resulting civil disputes. The department, which is led by Birmingham-based Alex Bishop and Roy Tozer, acts for manufacturers and retailers from a variety of sectors, with noteworthy experience in the automotive space. Other names to note are Philip Ryan and Paul Eccles in the Thames Valley office, Charles Arrand in Milton Keynes and senior associate Richard Marshall, who is based in Manchester.

Practice head(s):Alex Bishop; Roy Tozer

Other key lawyers:Philip Ryan; Paul Eccles; Charles Arrand; Richard Marshall

Testimonials

'Shoosmiths has a roster of fantastic clients who stay because of the great service they receive.'

'Hugely competent and punch well above their weight for a firm of this size with considerable experience and expertise in product liability. The team also is very effective in finding practical solutions for its clients which best serve their commercial interests.'

'Paul Eccles has sound commercial judgement.'

'Richard Marshall has exceptional knowledge in the field of product liability and he is a true asset to the firm.'

Key Clients

Hoover Candy Group

Ikea

Calor Gas Limited

Hitachi Rail

Chubb

HDI Gerling

Brentagg

Vauxhall

Volkswagen UK

The White Company

Citroën

Work highlights

  • Defending PSB UK Limited in the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry, which is looking into the design and operation of PSB’s ventilation system and its fire response mode. The team also handles  any resultant civil claims.
  • Successfully represented Hoover Candy Group in litigation arising out of fire claims.
  • Assisted British American Tobacco with labelling, regulatory compliance and a significant number of recalls concerning its e-cigarettes.
  • HDI Gerling instructed the team to represent its insured BASF in a claim against multiple defendants for catastrophic personal injuries after an accident at one of the insured's factories.

The Bristol-based team at Burges Salmon LLP has considerable experience in the food and drink industry, where it acts for an impressive client portfolio. It covers the full gamut of product liability matters, including compliance, recalls and reputation management, as well as disputes with suppliers and distributors over faulty products, and investigations. Sian Edmunds has a strong track record in the field. Andrew Burnette is a key name for civil fraud, professional negligence and product liability matters.

Practice head(s):Sian Edmunds; Andrew Burnette

Testimonials

'A strong team with in-depth knowledge of food and drink product liability matters.'

'Burges Salmon LLP has competent, knowledgeable and sensible practitioners, with a keen eye for commercial realities and the best tactics for the particular situation.'

'Sian Edmunds has an outstanding knowledge of the law relating to agricultural matters and food. She is also canny and articulate and very good at explaining a complicated subject to make it sound simple.'

 

Work highlights

  • Acting for a supplier and manufacturer of food flavourings in a claim against another supplier arising from the supply of onion powder contaminated with plastic.
  • Acted for a manufacturer of 'superfoods' in connection with a potential dispute following the receipt of a cease-and-desist letter from a well-known food manufacturer.
  • Advised a European food supplier on labelling, advertising and regulatory compliance issues in relation to a range of products designed to meet special dietary requirements.
  • Representing a global company in a claim against a supplier arising from the supply of defective glass bottles.

The team at DLA Piper is well versed in advising clients on product compliance, regulatory and product safety matters, recalls, investigations and transactional projects covering multiple jurisdictions. The group is instructed by retail, home appliance, and pharmaceutical companies, among others. Teresa Hitchcock in Sheffield leads the firm's safety, health and environment team; she is experienced in assisting clients with a variety of matters, including labelling and product withdrawals. Alastair Clough, who is also based in Sheffield, advises on regulatory and healthcare matters.

Practice head(s):Teresa Hitchcock

Other key lawyers:Alastair Clough

Key Clients

Newell Rubbermaid UK

Juul Labs Inc

Lloyds Pharmacy Limited

Smart Things Inc.

Magic Leap Inc.

Tenmat Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Newell Rubbermaid on advertisements and packaging requirements for products on the EU market, as well as on product composition and labelling laws under classification, labelling and packaging and REACH regulations.
  • Advised Juul Labs on regulatory risks and compliance requirements concerning launching an electronic cigarette in the EU market.
  • Assisted Lloyds Pharmacy Limited with the acquisition of two companies, Prescribing Support Services and Optimed Health, which required due diligence on regulatory and healthcare matters.
  • Advised Smart Things on product labelling requirements regarding bringing a new electronic product to the EU market.
  • Advised Tenmat on the risk management of its products in a highly regulated environment.

Keystone Law's team is regularly instructed by insurance companies to handle a variety of product liability matters; it is experienced in handling disputes that arise from international trade and has a specialised marine practice. Key contacts at the firm are Antony Colman, who has strength in multiple sectors, including technology, food and medical devices, and Jason Kallis, who is a key contact for product recalls and resulting claims.

Other key lawyers:Antony Colman; Jason Kallis

Testimonials

'Keystone Law stands out for its unique set up, quick processes with less bureaucracy and very client-focused practitioners.'

'Antony Colman is a very experienced product liability lawyer, who is reliable and always available when needed.'

Key Clients

HDI Global SE (London)

HDI Gerling Industrial Insurance Co Ltd

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company Limited

Royal & Sun Alliance

Allianz Global CS - UK

Work highlights

  • Acted for HDI Global in defending a claim for an allegedly defective pool liner manufactured by the client.

  • Acted for HDI Gerling in defending the insured client, a manufacturer of pumps and pump systems, against a claim that a flood was allegedly caused by the failure of a pump.
  • Acted for Royal & Sun Alliance in a recovery matter for Electrium against electricians who failed to act on a recall after its miniature circuit breakers caused a series of fires.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's impressive client list reflects the team's experience in the tobacco, retail and technology sectors as well as in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry. The practice, which is led by John Doherty, handles international product liability cases, regulatory matters and dispute prevention and strategy. Senior associate Tim Wright, who is based in Basingtoke, also has clinical negligence expertise.

Practice head(s):John Doherty

Other key lawyers:Tim Wright

Testimonials

'Pennington's product liability team has first-rate experience in complicated international issues, but is set apart by its personal touch and great attention to detail. Partners lead the team, with the support of really talented associates, and are always there to support the client.'

'John Doherty has wide-ranging knowledge of product liability law and gives advice and opinions on cases with a balanced view of the pros and cons. His strong moral character gives reassurance that the legal advice given reflects the true legal position.'

'Doherty is bright and dedicated.'

'Tim Wright has great depth of knowledge and experience in handling liability cases.'

Key Clients

The Conran Shop

Andreas Stihl Limited

DAF Trucks Limited

Bharat Forge

British American Tobacco

Veg of Lund

Work highlights

  • Advised Veg of Lund on product safety and regulatory compliance in relation to the supply of its consumer products in the UK.
  • Assisted The Conran Shop with product safety and recall issues.
  • Advised Andreas Stihl Limited on product safety regulatory compliance issues.
  • Advised DAF Trucks Limited on product safety regulatory compliance issues.
  • Assisted British American Tobacco with product safety regulatory compliance and product liability issues.

Simmons & Simmons' practice is noted for its expertise in the pharmaceutical, and food and beverage sectors but has also noted an increase in work in the automotive, tobacco/ e-cigarette and life sciences space. The group acts for insurers and companies in product liability matters. Key contact and practice head Jason Bright has more than 20 years of experience in product liability  and intellectual property liability.

Practice head(s):Jason Bright

Testimonials

'The team is expertly led and individual members are tenacious in supporting their clients' interests.'

'Jason Bright has always been very client focused and sensitive to the commercial interests of clients. His experience goes back many years and demonstrates a depth of knowledge and a great feel for the subject and the processes involved.'

Key Clients

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG

Kubota Corporation / Kubota (UK) Limited

Sompo Nipponkoa Insurance

Munich Reinsurance

MS Amlin

Talbot Underwriting

Chubb

Brit Insurance

Allied World

Argo Global

Work highlights

  • Representing Allianz and its insured manufacturer in relation to significant losses suffered following an alleged defect within a printing press machine.
  • Defending HDI Gerlingof and Marley Plastics in product liability claims brought by Plasgran Limited, concerning alleged defects in waste extruded PVC supplied by the client.
  • Acted for Sompo and its insured Mugen Denko in respect of claims for failing to properly design a protective airbag jacket worn during horse riding.
  • Acting for Munich Re in an excess of loss programme issued to a global medical technology insured specialising in orthopaedic reconstruction, and in particular the design and manufacture of joint replacement systems for knees and hips; claims have been lodged against the insured on a worldwide basis alleging metal-on-metal injuries as a result of its hip replacement/resurfacing systems.

Squire Patton Boggs' areas of expertise include handling the criminal and regulatory aspects of product liability matters as well as civil claims, contractual protection and product recalls. The team has a particularly strong track record in the industrial and consumer products industries, as well as the food and beverage sector; it also works closely with the firm's US group, which is regularly involved in pharmaceutical cases. Rob Elvin, who is based in Manchester, heads the environment, safety and health group. Birmingham-based Simon Garbett and director Nicola Smith are also noted.

Practice head(s):Rob Elvin

Other key lawyers:Simon Garbett; Nicola Smith

Key Clients

Mamas and Papas

Molson Coors

Acorn Mobility Services

Morgan Advanced Materials

Luceco Plc/Nexus Industries Limited

Mayborn Group

Clipper Logistics

Makita

American Greetings/ Clintons Cards

MacDermid Performance Solutions

Elior

Gate Group

EI Group plc

Halewood International

Selecta TMP AG

Marstons

Navitas Organics

Work highlights

  • Acted for Mamas and Papas on the recall of child car seats and in subsequent prosecution and confiscation proceedings.
  • Ongoing advice to Gate Group on legislation updates covering EU level and national food and drink liability laws.
  • Advised an equipment provider on product safety issues, regulatory obligations and a potential dispute.
  • Advised a global business on liabilities for food labelling, particularly in relation to allergens.
  • Assisted a blue-chip client with a dispute relating to allegedly defective components.

Travers Smith LLP has particular strength advising clients on chemical and industrial product compliance as well as in product liability disputes. The client portfolio comprises of a mix of sectors, including consumer products, electronics, toys, cosmetics, automotive, pharmaceutical and medical devices, and tobacco. Practice head Doug Bryden specialises in product compliance, safety and recalls, and regulatory defence, and he has also experience in chemical and hazardous substances controls. Heather Gagen is the key contact for dispute resolution matters for individual and group actions.

Practice head(s):Doug Bryden

Other key lawyers:Heather Gagen

Key Clients

Integer

Greatbatch

Insurers, specialist underwriters, and corporations alike instruct Weightmans LLP, which acts on a broad range of product liability matters. The team handles disputes, recalls, supply chain issues and compliance. Fiona East leads the group; she is well versed in brand reputation matters and has notable expertise in the automotive sector. She is supported by Simon Durkin, who is a key contact for insurers; and Stephen Robb in Leicester, who is particularly involved in product liability claims. Aviation expert Andrew Krausz joined the firm in 2018 from Clyde & Co LLP.

Practice head(s):Fiona East

Other key lawyers:Simon Durkin; Stephen Robb

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is a popular choice for retail and consumer brands to advise on product safety, crisis management and technical compliance. The team has also noted an increase in work in the manufacturing sector. Consultant Nicky Strong in Southampton, who is experienced in regulatory matters, and Bristol-based Jon Cooper, who specialises in health and safety issues, jointly lead the group. Other key practitioners are Stuart Wardlaw in Newcastle and managing associate Ashley Borthwick, who is based in Bristol.

Practice head(s):Nicky Strong; Jon Cooper

Other key lawyers:Stuart Wardlaw; Ashley Borthwick

Testimonials

'The firm goes above and beyond what is required in the preparation and presentation of a case.'

'Jon Cooper is a class act leader in his field.'

'Ashley Borthwick is an up-and-coming practitioner and quality operator.'

Key Clients

Kingfisher plc

B&Q

Colgate-Palmolive (UK) Limited

Tempur-Sealy

Intersystems Corporation

DS Smith plc

elf Cosmetics

Post Office

Work highlights

  • Ongoing advice to Kingfisher on product safety, quality and assurance matters and assisting the company with limiting the exposure of the business, as well as senior management, to criminal sanctions and product liability claims.
  • Assisting B&Q with compliance issues concerning a wide range of products, as well as with product safety matters including product withdrawals and recalls.  The team was also instructed to handle investigations by regulators, including Trading Standards, in relation to suspected defective or unsafe products.
  • Acting for Colgate-Palmolive on product regulatory issues and advising on potential challenges under the cosmetic regulations against competitors' product claims.
  • Assisting Tempur Sealy with its product compliance strategy across the group; recent work included advice on product testing strategy and methodologies, as well as the potential framing of comparative claims based on these test results.
  • Ongoing advice to Intersystems on the application of the EU Medical Devices Directive concerning bespoke information management and lab management systems.

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