Firms To Watch: Product liability: defendant

Led by Alex Geisler, Duane Morris LLP has a product liability team with a wealth of expertise in the automotive sector.

Product liability: defendant in London

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has a strong product and operational risk team headed by John Leadley, an expert in crisis management and international work. The team places an emphasis on taking a cross-department approach to cases which allows the them to aid clients throughout the entirety of a product's life cycle. It acts frequently for manufacturers, distributors and retailers within regulated industries. Kate Corby has significant experience in aiding clients on product liability and regulatory compliance. Rachel MacLeod and Joanne Redmond are names to note at the associate level.

Practice head(s):

John Leadley

Other key lawyers:

Kate Corby; Graham Stuart; Joanne Redmond; Rachel MacLeod

Testimonials

‘The team has deep understanding or our industry domain and accompanied our business for a long time. We appreciate their dedication to our products but also their good overview about comparable challenges from other industries. The collaboration is extremely good and there are hardly any barriers between the ‘internal’ and ‘external’ team.’

‘Kate Corby has supported our business for many years. Kate has a very analytical mind and is we appreciate her hands-on approach. We are a quite pragmatic business and with her straight-forward and direct approach she is a very good extension to our legal team.’

‘B&M has a long-established product liability team with a wealth of experience dealing with a broad range of products. They have an unrivalled multi-jurisdictional expertise and commercial “savvy”.’

‘The team is led by the superb John Leadley – the doyen of the defendant product liability world. He is ably supported by a strong team of associates led by Jo Redmond who is very much in John’s image – knowledgeable, sensible, commercial, intelligent.’

‘Not only excellent in their respective subject matter, but very approachable and pragmatic and extremely responsive.’

‘Kate Corby is outstanding. She will always respond, no matter the time of day, even if it to acknowledge the request and explain when she will revert. Kate makes her clients feel valued and she is extremely knowledgeable.’

Key clients

CR Bard

Emerson

Work highlights

  • Counsel a number of the best known US fashion brands, who we regularly advise on product launches, product safety issues, consumer claims and product recall processes.
  • Acting for a number of companies in the Emerson Group in relation to product related issues.
  • Acting for multiple claimants, who allege that they were injured by pelvic mesh products.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP‘s product liability, safety and recall team extends across a wide number of sectors, including automotive, life sciences, food and medtech. The team is involved in several landmark cases, representing clients in the Grenfell inquiry and the infected blood inquiry. Wendy Hopkins leads the group, as well as the firm’s China desk, advising on global product liability  issues across all industry sectors. Alison McAdams is well-regarded for her experience in regulatory work like the Hepatitis C litigation. Senior associate Olya Melnitchouk specialises in pharma group action litigation and provides regulatory advice to healthcare clients.

Practice head(s):

Wendy Hopkins

Other key lawyers:

Chris Wilkes; Alison McAdams; Mark Kendall; Olya Melnitchouk

Testimonials

‘The practice has a strong reputation and a large international footprint, especially in Western / Central Europe, South America and Central Asia. Strong influence from the London office and hence a good grasp on world-wide offices.’

‘Mark Kendall: laid-back, with a great network in the London market, good knowledge of food and beverages as well as automotive sector, recall specialist, great policy work.’

‘Wendy Hopkins: point of contact in international matters, esp. with a focus on China and Japan, good in leading clients and defining goals.’

Key clients

Rydon Maintenance

NuVasive

Ipsen Pharma

Novartis

Vascutek

Optegra UK Ltd

HCA Healthcare UK

BMI Healthcare Group Limited

Alcon

Numerous London Market insurers

Work highlights

  • Advising Rydon Maintenance and insurers in relation to Grenfell Tower public inquiry, civil litigation and police investigation.
  • Advising NHS England on Covid 19 related issues the establishment of Nightingale Hospitals, novel product liability issues regarding ventilators and PPE, use of Independent Sector capacity, and the vaccination programme in primary care and hospital settings.
  • Advising NuVasive, a developer of implants and software systems for spinal and orthopaedic surgery, on all aspects of their roll out of Pulse, the first solution to integrate into a single platform all the technologies required to enable better spine surgery.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP focuses on major product liability disputes and class actions, as well as product recalls and regulatory compliance advice. The team has a particular expertise in the healthcare, manufacturing, food and tobacco sectors. US-trained Philip Pfeffer advises multinational corporations such as British American Tobacco, Diageo and Associated British Foods on product liability issues. He co-leads the practice with Howard Watson, who has 25 years of experience advising clients in relation to civil and criminal liabilities arising from defective or dangerous products. Senior associate David Bennett has experience in major product liability class actions as well as recalls and other safety issues.

Practice head(s):

Howard Watson; Philip Pfeffer

Other key lawyers:

David Bennett

Testimonials

‘The HSF team is very experienced and capable, as well as being extremely user friendly.’

‘Howard Watson – He is very experienced and knowledgeable, as well as being responsive and extremely user friendly. He is someone that is very well regarded within our legal function as a very capable and trusted adviser.’

‘The team has extensive experience of product liability issues in the technology sector and, not only were they able to draw on this experience to deliver excellent counsel, but they also connected our business with leading third party (non-legal) industry expertise that we were able to utilise to good effect.’

‘Philip Pfeffer  did a great job of helping us to navigate an unfamiliar and important issue. He also put us in touch with industry expertise, drawing on his experience from previous matters. From the outset, Phil really grasped the need to balance legal and commercial considerations and his advice was pragmatic and clear. Phil wasn’t afraid to ‘get off the fence’ when advising us either.’

‘Howard Watson – genius partner with huge experience and excellent judgement’

‘Clear subject matter expertise combined with a very straightforward and efficient approach. We always feel that there is good value in seeking advice from the product liability team at HSF.’

‘Howard Watson is an ever-approachable source of clear and pragmatic advice. David Bennett always displays a razor-sharp understanding of the issues at hand and helps us navigate our way around the potential pitfalls.’

Key clients

Diageo

BAT

Associated British Foods

Volvo Trucks

General Mills

Eat Just

Zitsticka

Work highlights

  • Acted for Diageo in relation to the global coordination of legal and commercial issues arising from its distribution of thalidomide in the late 1950s/early 1960s.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells International LLP has a broad and well-established products law practice that covers the spectrum of product safety, sustainability and liability issues.  The practice features a strong specialty in international work, often advising the EU commission on its law reform programme. Valerie Kenyon is regarded for her work in the technology sector, handling a number of diesel emissions group actions, and jointly leads the team alongside Matthew Felwick, who is particularly known for his work in the life sciences, automotive and tobacco industries. Other important names are recently-promoted counsel Elise Martin and international regulation expert Lookman Rawat.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Felwick; Valerie Kenyon

Other key lawyers:

Elise Martin; Lucy Ward; Lookman Rawat

Testimonials

‘The team is at the cutting edge of emissions litigation. As a result, they have a unique insight into what is happening in the market and how best for defendants to proceed with defending claims. They use this expertise in a practical and personable way, so that clients get the best possible service.’

‘Valerie Kenyon combines a great legal mind with a fantastic knowledge and understanding of products. Perhaps more importantly, she has these qualities whilst able to communicate effectively with non-lawyers; she is able to run conferences with experts and specialised individuals with ease.’

The team has a deep bench with technical specialists Lookman Rawat and Lucy Ward, as well as experienced litigator Elise Martin’

‘The standout partners are Valerie Kenyon and Matthew Felwick. Matthew is a very experienced litigator with significant defence experience litigating product matters in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical devices industries. Clients really appreciate that he is always strategic, hard-working, and pragmatic, especially when dealing with difficult situations.

‘Valerie Kenyon is very easy to work with, incredibly proactive, responsive and always prepared to go the extra mile for her clients. She has extensive experience of product defence work across many technical sectors with a strong focus on automotive, technology and consumer products.’

‘Hogan Lovells’ has had one of the leading product liability defence practices for decades. It has unmatched, sustained experience of many of the leading product liability group actions. Its expertise is evident in all aspects of the team, including all levels of lawyer and the unique science unit led by Dr Marion Palmer. The London practice works closely with Hogan Lovells’ international offices and co-ordinates the defence of linked product liability claims in multiple jurisdictions.’

‘Hogan Lovells have for decades been the go to firm for product liability work. They have strength and depth in a large number of niche areas, including emissions, oil spills and ESG human rights abuse cases.’

‘Valerie Kenyon is great. Always a pleasure to deal with – gets across a formidably broad range of rules and products efficiently and in a way that inspires confidence. No matter how arcane the subject matter, Valerie always has a sensible instinct that she can then develop. More often than not she has a ready to answer. Very impressive.’

Key clients

BAT

Ford

Google

Nike

Novartis

Viatris

Vodafone

Zimmer Biomet

Work highlights

  • Advised Nike on product safety and regulatory issues relating to its full range of sporting goods and innovative sports tech products globally.
  • Advised Ford on UK litigation by owners of vehicles with EcoBoost engines.
  • Advised Zimmer Biomet on its European product liability litigation (including the UK Biomet group action) in relation to metal-on-metal hip replacements.

Addleshaw Goddard

The team at Addleshaw Goddard has significant expertise in the automotive and life sciences sectors, with experience in handling group litigation work. In addition, the group utilises the firm’s strong presence in the retail and consumer sector. Recently-promoted partner Cécile Burgess serves as team leader, a product litigation specialist with experience in advising for global product manufacturers. Stuart Wardlaw and Erin Shoesmith are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Cécile Burgess

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Wardlaw; Mark Chesher; Erin Shoesmith

Testimonials

‘The Addleshaw Goddard product liability defence team stands out for the depth of its experience in both the litigious and advisory spheres. The AG team’s successful defence of the Seroxat Group Litigation for GlaxoSmithKline is one of the most notable product liability defence successes of recent years. The team combines technical expertise with strategic skill and particularly impressive client and sector knowledge. The team works daily on product safety matters so when product liability disputes arise they are already deeply immersed in the relevant sector issues.’

‘The Products team is one of the long standing groups in this area who have handled a really wide range of regulatory and crime work relating to allegedly defective products as well as heavywieght civil litigation. I have worked with them extensively on the latter, which included the long-running Seroxat Group litigation, in which the team acted for GSK. There experience in this and similar actions, including products insurance arbitrations in the same sector, alone makes them market leaders given the complexity of issues that arose and the creative thinking needed to deal with them.’

‘Cecile Burgess, a recent Partner is excellent. A thorough solicitor ideal for the no-stone-unturned approach that corporate defendants rountinely expect. Mark Chesher was also made up recently and draws on long term experience in the sector and at the tough end of litigation in Group Actions.’

‘Cecile Burgess is a superb lawyer, great tactical skill and is superb to work with.’

‘The product liability expertise within this team is second to none. They are extraordinarily diligent, committed and thorough. They work very closely with their clients, to harvest industry and sector specific know-how, and to understand stakeholders’ competing priorities. An excellent all-round service.’

‘The team work incredibly well together, and all members combine to go above and beyond. They have a camaraderie that makes them fantastic to work with. They are very collaborative.’

‘All of the individuals I have worked with are all over the details and have a very high level of knowledge and skill in their areas. They are also very personable and willing to go to great lengths to get results for the clients. They are fantastic on the law, the facts, and the practical/commercial side of things.’

Key clients

GlaxoSmithKline

Over 55 authorised BMW/MINI dealerships

Britvic plc

KEMET Electronics Corporation

Diageo

Volkswagen AG

British American Tobacco UK Limited

B Braun Medical Limited

Weyerhaeuser Company

Work highlights

  • Acting for over 55 past and present BMW/MINI authorised dealerships in the defence of diesel emissions group claims being brought on behalf of over 44,000 potential claimants.
  • Acting for KEMET Electronics Corporation as defendant in a multi-million pound claim issued in the Technology and Construction Court (London).
  • Acting on a number of confidential product safety instructions for FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and equivalent clients in the Automotive, Retail & Consumer and Manufacturing sectors.

Arnold & Porter

The product liability team at Arnold & Porter is well-regarded for its expertise in handling claims involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices and food products. The practice is known for handling multijurisdictional matters and multiparty group actions and public inquiries, including the infected blood inquiry on behalf of Bayer plc. Adela Williams heads the firm's European Life Sciences and product liability practice, representing pharmaceutical and medical device clients in unitary litigation and group actions. She is supported by product safety specialist Tom Fox and former practice head Ian Dodds-Smith.

Practice head(s):

Adela Williams

Other key lawyers:

Ian Dodds-Smith; Tom Fox; Libby Amos-Stone

Key clients

Bayer plc

Pfizer/Pharmacia

Grünenthal GmbH

Sanofi

Work highlights

  • Advising the client on matters relating to the supply of products derived from plasma during the 1970s – 1990s in the context of the continuing Infected Blood Inquiry (IBI) chaired by Sir Brian Langstaff
  • Representing Bayer and Sanofi in the continuing litigation brought by over 200 claimants alleging personal injuries (principally congenital malformations) arising from exposure to hormone pregnancy tests in the 1960s and 1970s
  • Advising Pfizer and its affiliate, Pharmacia and co-ordinating defence strategy in litigation in Scotland brought by over 70 claimants alleging adverse cardiovascular effects as a result of use of Celebrex (celecoxib) for pain relief.

Clyde & Co

The product liability and recall team at Clyde & Co has an impressive international reach, with partners across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It has significant expertise in aviation, agriculture and food. In addition, lawyers are experienced in medical devices, manufacturing and renewable energy. Neil Beresford  leads the team, specialising in environmental liability and professional liability. Emma Ager is another name to note who regularly acts for major insurers of the Bermuda form.

Practice head(s):

Neil Beresford

Other key lawyers:

Claire Petts; Emma Ager; Michael Harvey

Work highlights

    Cooley (UK) LLP

    The experts on Cooley (UK) LLP‘s product compliance & liability team offers support to clients across all product sectors. In particular, the team works heavily within the life sciences and technology sectors, working on complex domestic and international matters for major clients. Rod Freeman leads the team with over two decades of experience and a strong reputation in the technology sector. Sascha Grimm has experience spanning product liability litigation and regulatory investigations, as well as particular experience in crisis management.

    Practice head(s):

    Rod Freeman

    Other key lawyers:

    Elisabethann Wright; Sascha Grimm

    Testimonials

    ‘The level of knowledge within Europe and US is extraordinary and is standing out compared to competitors. The team also has a great foundation of global understadning of the sector and is well informed on upcoming changes in regulations and enforcement praxis.’

    ‘Efficient in their communication, no over extensive responses. Knows more about enforcement and praxis and not just the regulations in themselves, which is very important.’

    ‘This practice is unique in that it offers global coverage unlike many other firms, it is a one stop shop and uniquely qualified to handle a global supply chain / product distribution in multiple countries. No need to hire and manage multiple different firms in multiple different countries for the same matter or product.’

    ‘The individuals I work with stand out because of their diligence, no task will slip through the cracks or be delayed with this team.’

    ‘The Product Liability team are specialists in their field. They have a sound understanding of the legal issues and work collaboratively with their clients to reach commercially viable solutions thinking more broadly about other considerations outside of just the legal aspects.’

    ‘Rod Freeman is a leader in the field of product liability. He and Jamie Humphreys are mindful of the commercial considerations a business faces and are innovative in strategizing and take a creative approach when advising to address the multiple considerations a business is facing. They can also be relied upon to be proactive in flagging key legal developments that may impact the client to allow businesses the time to consider and react.’

    Key clients

    Estee Lauder

    Google/Fitbit

    Meta

    Nintendo

    Nike

    Polaris

    Stanley Black & Decker

    Uber

    Whirlpool

    Zoom

    Work highlights

    • Acts as the sole legal representatives for Whirlpool in the Grenfell Public Inquiry which was instituted by the UK Government following the Grenfell Tower Fire
    • Represented IQVIA, the world’s largest provider of biopharmaceutical development services, in its dispute with Cardiorentis, a Swiss pharma company that engaged our client to conduct an enormous global clinical trial (excess of 23 countries) to test its primary product – a heart failure treatment.
    • Acted as international products counsel for this global cosmetics manufacturer for many years, providing strategic product liability focussed advice on a large portfolio of brands and products, across the entire product lifecycle.

    Kennedys

    The products law and life sciences team at Kennedys defends manufacturers in high stakes product liability litigation both nationally and internationally. In particular, the practice features specialisms in the life sciences, automotive, engineering, cosmetics and general consumer sectors. Samantha Silver became team leader in May, with a focus on medical devices and pharmaceuticals. She takes over for Trevor Davies, who is experienced in mass tort claims and international product recalls. Sarah-Jane Dobson focuses on multijurisdictional regulatory, litigious and policy matters while Ben Aram has particular expertise coordinating the defence of mass tort claims. Legal director Karishma Paroha is another important part of the team, a dual-qualified solicitor and barrister specialising in pharmaceuticals.

    Practice head(s):

    Samantha Silver

    Other key lawyers:

    Sarah-Jane Dobson; Trevor Davies; Ben Aram; Karishma Paroha

    Testimonials

    ‘I have found Kennedys to be highly professional and thorough in their practice. Their breadth of knowledge is such that they have been able to engage on any issue I have brought to them. I have found their work to be comprehensive & of very high quality. The have a large network of lawyers so not only are they in a position to help with the many regulatory issues relevant to product compliance but, geographically, they are well positioned to have recourse to accurate and detailed local knowledge.’

    ‘My primary dealings have been with Sarah-Jane Dobson. In the course of my dealings with Sarah-Jane I can only say good things. On a personal level she is always friendly and a pleasure to work with. On a professional level she has demonstrated patience, in depth knowledge and professionalism. She is skilled in making complex matters accessible and easy to understand. We harvest information from their “In Safe Hands” Product Safety Blog and I find the content is topical and well written.’

    ‘Newly in charge, Sam Silver, brings a wealth of experience in large-scale and high profile product litigation with a stable of premier clients. She exudes common sense and tactical nous. She is really a top player in the field.

    ‘Kennedys now has one of the UK’s pre-eminent product liability defence teams. The scale and experience of the team is such that it is currently running the defence of a series of group actions on behalf of high profile clients such as Johnson & Johnson. The firm’s standing is such that it is trusted with the co-ordination of the defence of linked product liability claims in multiple jurisdictions. The team stands out for its technical expertise, with many of the lawyers trained or deeply experienced in product sectors such as medical devices and life sciences.’

    ‘Trevor Davies is the doyen of London product liability defence practitioners. From the highly successful defence of metal on metal hip claims to the ongoing defence of pelvic mesh claims for Johnson & Johnson, Trevor leads on some of the most high profile product liability actions being litigated in the UK. He is rigorous but also pragmatic when it is in his clients’ interests. He is also a skilled leader of a large team which includes leading partners Barnaby WInckler and Samantha Silver. In addition to the partners, Elaine Barker and Katherine Ciclitira both stand out as hugely committed and knowledgable.’

    ‘With the arrival of Sarah-Jane Dobson in 2021, the Product liability team of Kennedys has significantly strengthened its offering for companies of all industry sectors. They are very responsive, analytical and also very pleasant to work with, which is always a plus. The presence of Kennedys in a multiple of jurisdictions makes it very easy for them to conduct worldwide regulatory analysis and recalls.’

    ‘Sarah-Jane Dobson is a young, dynamic partner who will put in all the work and enthusiasm you need to develop a strong defense for your case, with the counsel of Trevor Davies and Samantha Silver who lead the Product Liability practice and work on many very high profile litigation.’

    Key clients

    Johnson & Johnson Medical Ltd

    Chubb

    AIG

    Beko Plc

    Hiscox

    Zurich

    IQVIA

    Allianz (AGCS)

    DePuy International Limited

    Finsbury Orthopaedics Limited

    Janssen-Cilag Ltd

    HDI Global SE

    Allianz Verischerung

    Stryker

    Riverstone Management Ltd

    Travellers

    Amplify Goods (Pro bono client)

    Work highlights

    • Reprsenting manufacturers of hip replacement products subject to a worldwide recall. The scale of this matter is huge: this is a worldwide hip claim involving 90,000+ patients. Over 7,000 EMEA claimants so far have intimated a claim, of which over 2,000 are being brought in the UK. We continue to shape the litigation strategy while at the same time set new legal precedents across many jurisdictions.
    • Instructed by Beko plc in respect of a fridge-freezer fire which resulted in the tragic death of Mr John Wilson. The firm successfully acted for Beko in an extremely important (and widely commented upon) decision in the High Court on the question whether it was possible for consumers to circumvent the limitations of the Product Liability Directive/ Pt I of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 by instead bringing a claim for breach of statutory duty of safety regulations made under Part II of the CPA.
    • Representing manufacturers of gynaecological (pelvic mesh) products not subject to product recall. These products are the subject matter of litigation around the world. We are handling all England and Wales claims directly and acting as lead lawyers managing all claims arising in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

    RPC

    RPC has a strong reputation for representing insurers and their insured parties on significant liability exposures, such as the PIP and 'metal-on-metal' group actions. The team also represents clients on the automotive, chemical and construction sectors. Practice head Gavin Reese deals with a broad range of international product claims and is experienced providing advice in relation to the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and European regulations. Dorothy Flower, who also heads the Life Sciences team, is an expert at handling disputes arising from clinical trials.

    Practice head(s):

    Gavin Reese

    Other key lawyers:

    Dorothy Flower; Lucy Dyson; Mamata Dutta

    Testimonials

    ‘They are competitively priced and have far more practical experience in dealing with product laibility cases than many of their better known rivals.’

    ‘Mamata Dutta: tenacious, clever and charming’

    Gavin Reese: a great tactician and very bright’

    ‘RPC has a very well-established product liability defence practice. RPC’s practice builds on the firm’s outstanding insurance specialism and much of its product liability work is insurer based. The team is particularly strong on policy and coverage questions. The team also has vital group litigation experience, having been involved in leading group claims involving breast implants and metal on metal hips.’

    ‘The team is lead by Dorothy Flower who is one of the most experienced product liability solicitors in the UK. She brings a highly commercial approach and strategic judgment to her cases and stands out for her ability to see the big picture amongst the wealth of factual and expert detail that characterises product liability disputes.’

    Key clients

    Ace Chubb Ltd

    AXA XL

    Bard Pharmaceuticals Ltd

    British Standards Institution Group

    Clover Leaf Products Limited

    Corin Ltd

    Heidelberg Engineering Ltd

    Make Yourself Amazing (MYA)

    Medisoft Ltd

    Work highlights

    • Advised Augment Bionics on limiting its liability risks when supplying PPE during the Covid-19 crisis
    • Defended manufacturers and clinics against allegations that breast implants are defective
    • Defence of a claim from a UK manufacturer who was seeking recall and replacement costs for the end food products made with an alleged substandard raw ingredients.

    Shook, Hardy & Bacon International LLP

    The product liability team at Shook, Hardy & Bacon International LLP regularly acts as coordinating counsel on global matters involving product recalls, liability litigation and regulatory compliance issues across a broad spectrum of industries. Team head Simon Castley works extensively on mass claims and defending clients across multiple jurisdictions, especially throughout Europe and the Middle East. Alison Newstead specialises in advising clients on product safety issues  and offers guidance on risk and liability issues across a product’s lifespan. Other important names in the team are medical devices and automotive expert Sarah Croft  and Samuel Sebree, who focuses on international litigation.

    Practice head(s):

    Simon Castley

    Other key lawyers:

    Alison Newstead; Sarah Croft; Vitor Castro; Sam Sebree

    Testimonials

    ‘A team with longstanding and deep expertise in product liability issues over a range of sectors, involved in strategically significant projects with large international clients. The London office are a very impressive and likeable bunch.’

    ‘Sarah Croft quickly understands and gets to the heart of the issue, is able to see the bigger picture and predicts the likely concerns of clients.’

    ‘From the very beginning, the law firm has distinguised itself through its exceptionally high level of reactivity and its adressee-oriented communication. This is combined with a very high level of professional competence and the motivation to achieve the best results. In short, they are fast, good and solution-oriented.’

    ‘Sarah Croft works on our cases with outstanding competence and passion.’

    ‘Alison Newstead is an outstanding solicitor with great judgement and work ethic. She is part of a very good team handling high value clients with very sensitive reputations.’

    ‘The London team is very helpful and cooperative and consists of great product liability experts. They can rely on the resources of the US law firm which is very well-known in this field and has an impressive track-record. They have access to very good scientific resources and can deliver focused advice.’

    ‘Alison Newstead is very pragmatic, a great problem solver and a dedicated attorney who listens to clients and seeks to understand the specificity of each product liability issue faced by the client. It is a great experience working with her.’

    Bird & Bird LLP

    Bird & Bird LLP‘s product compliance and liability group offers a cradle to grave service for clients, providing commercial and regulatory advice on design, testing, labelling, and safety for clients in the UK and EU. This support is bolstered by the team’s close relationship with the firm’s tech, automotive and retail sector groups. Jonathan Speed and senior associate Russell Williamson are the product liability specialists in London who are part of the wider dispute resolution team.

    Practice head(s):

    Jonathan Speed; Russell Williamson

    Work highlights

    • Advised a leading UK satellite television service in relation to a business-critical product safety issue arising out of the supply of defective power supply units (as forming part of a TV set-top-box system).
    • Advised a global technology and network company in relation to product liability and safety issues arising from the supply of a radio receiver device which (owing to non-conformance with dynamic frequency selection requirements) could cause interference with weather and national radar systems.
    • Advised a multinational home improvement company in connection with the launch of an online marketplace, which facilitates the sale of products from third party vendors to customer purchasers. Specifically, we advised the client on product liability, safety and insurance issues arising from this new business model.

    DLA Piper

    DLA Piper‘s London regulatory team works closely with the firm’s teams in other countries, giving them a global reach and allowing them to take on major cross-jurisdictional matters from around the world. A number of big arrivals this year has dramaticall increased the team’s offering. Most notably, Nick Rock has come from Reed Smith LLP, bringing with him a specialism in international health and safety, product regulatory, chemicals, ESG and climate change law. He co-heads the team with Teresa Hitchcock, who provides advice to EU and UK clients on regulatory compliance, labelling and product withdrawals. Senior associate Annie O’Connor is another new arrival, coming from Reed Smith LLP along with Nick Rock.

    Practice head(s):

    Teresa Hitchcock; Nick Rock

    Other key lawyers:

    Alastair Fairclough; Taryn Jones; Annie O’Connor

    Testimonials

    ‘I heavily rely on DLA and its product liability group to guide me on UK and EU environmental health and safety, product and chemicals regulations, and climate change laws. The team assembled by Nick Rock provides client service over-and-above what I have experienced from other teams. Further, the reach of DLA means I can always find someone in a locale that has specific knowledge of difficult subjects.’

    ‘Nick is one of the most thoughtful partners I have the pleasure of working with and he is very giving of his time. I rank him as one of the top environmental and product regulatory attorneys I have worked with in my 11 years of practice.’

    ‘Annie O’Connor is a very impressive senior associate who excels in communication and she is someone I directly rely on for guidance. Nick seems to give Annie room to flourish – something that is often rare at large firms – and I much appreciate this since it means Annie can and will respond to inquiries even when Nick is not available.’

    ‘Analytically sound, excellent communicators, pragmatic approach to lawyering.’

    ‘Teresa Hitchcock and Taryn Jones are excellent at distilling complex issues and proposing alternative approaches that are legally sound and commercially pragmatic.’

    Key clients

    Tokyo Electron Limited

    Arconic Inc.

    Verkada

    GKN

    Work highlights

    • Instructed to act for the cladding manufacturer AAP SAS in the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry.
    • Advising the client on PFAS restrictions in relation to its products.
    • Advising the client on product compliance obligations to bring a new product to the market.

    DWF

    The product liability team at DWF is frequently instructed by major global insurers, with a strong international presence and expertise in the manufacturing, construction, life sciences, aviation and agriculture sectors. Peter Barnes specialises in handling high value and technical product liability claims within the fields of aviation, engineering and construction. He leads with product compliance expert Dominic Watkins and Hilary Ross , noted for her experience in the food industry.

    Practice head(s):

    Peter Barnes; Hilary Ross; Dominic Watkins

    Other key lawyers:

    John Groome; Charlotte Kelly

    Testimonials

    ‘Peter Barnes and his team are outstanding. Quality legal professionals, with a keen eye on detail and their clients. Not afraid to think outside of the box.’

    ‘Peter Barnes – is an outstanding Client Partner who is attentive and always delivers output of the highest quality providing us and our insureds with the very best care and service.

    Charlotte Kelly never fails to impress. A keen eye for the detail and understands our market.’

    Key clients

    RSA Insurance Group

    QBE

    Aviva

    Chubb

    HDI Global

    Zurich

    Travelers Insurance Company

    MS Amlin

    Direct Line Group

    Pret A Manger (Europe) Limited

    Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Company, Tokyo

    Tokio Marine Kiln Insurance

    Tokio Marine HCC

    Halfords Group Plc

    H Young Holdings Plc

    G-Cube

    Scania

    Markerstudy

    Chairo Technology

    QVC

    Homebase

    C&C Group

    Lidl

    Tangle Teezer

    PepCo

    Misguided

    Arcadia

    Asahi Intecc

    Work highlights

    • Instructed on behalf of a global vehicle manufacturer and their insurers in relation to a £15million pound claim which may have global repercussions. Present court proceedings ongoing.
    • Acting for London Market and Global insurers following 82hr fire at a semi conductor factory in Japan. Ramification of the fire has been shortages of DAC and ADC chips used by manufacturers around the globe.
    • Instructed by various London market insurers to advise on coverage issues arising out of high profile Multi-District pharmaceutical litigation in the United States

    Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

    Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has undertaken a number of major multinational product recall and compliance projects for leading clients in the industrial, automotive and and medical devices sectors. The team places an emphasis on compliance and has built a strong reputation for its work on specialist compliance issues. Richard Matthews leads the team, advising clients on their response to product failures in the automotive, chemicals, food and pharmaceuticals sectors. He is supported by newly-promoted legal director Peter Shervington , who handles commercial disputes arising from product liability issues.

    Practice head(s):

    Richard Matthews

    Other key lawyers:

    Peter Shervington

    Testimonials

    ‘Specialist product liability team covering both UK and the European Markets. The premier team for high profile and difficult cases – often relating to fatalities or which give rise to group litigation. Unrivalled experience and expertise – the go-to team for the multinational companies.’

    ‘Richard Matthews – outstanding team leader. Inspires with his calm and impeccable judgment in the highest pressure situations. No-one knows more about how to successfully defend high profile product liability claims.

    Peter Shervington – huge intellect. His command of complicated technical and expert evidence is unparalleled.’

    ‘The Eversheds team worked well over multiple jurisdictions, using Eversheds offices globally (particularly in the UK, Germany and USA) and coordinating with other counsel where required.’

    Keystone Law

    Keystone Law offers ‘an amazing stable of thoroughbred lawyers‘ with a portfolio of major international insurer and manufacturing clients and a key expertise in dealing with property damage claims arising from fire and water. Antony Colman is experienced in product liability in both the UK and Germany, acting for insurance and manufacturing clients. Elaine Chan is an expert in commercial and insurance litigation and Jason Kallis specialises in issues surrounding product recalls, repair actions and property damage.

    Other key lawyers:

    Antony Colman; Jason Kallis; Elaine Chan

    Testimonials

    ‘Keystone Law provides an amazing stable thoroughbred lawyers to practice law without the attendant management concerns of large firms. It has provided a happy home to favourite solicitors like Antony Colman. It allows him to do what he does best-which is to advise and represent his trusted clientele in their important product liability and insurance litigation. I have not worked with anybody else in this area at this firm.’

    ‘Antony Colman is a fantastic lawyer. He takes the time and trouble to understand the clients their products, and the challenges they face. He is an excellent lawyer – and a first rate litigator. He has earned respect and trust of his long-standing and loyal clients as the result of the sheer quality of his tireless work on their behalves. I have worked with him for many years. He is one of the best in the field and his strategic insight and intellectual acumen that he is a formidable opponent. His fluency in German is that he has particular rapport with German companies and insurers – and has carved out a niche practice in this area. He’s not only clever and calm but also very courteous – a deadly combination in any litigator.’

    ‘Keystone’s team are a niche Defendant product liability firm with particular experience in serious accidents caused by defective products.’

    ‘Antony Colman is an outstanding product liability lawyer. He specialises in high value, cross-border claims where his European connections and exceptional legal knowledge means that there is no-one better to turn to in the event of a product defect.’

    Key clients

    A manufacturer of fittings and accessories for bathrooms and kitchens

    a supplier of roofing systems and façades; (2) a supplier of cladding materials; (3) their insurer

    A foreign event production company and its insurer

    Electrium Sales Limited

    Samsung

    Bosch (t/a BSH Home Appliances)

    Yamaha UK

    Work highlights

    • Acts in several matters for an importer and supplier of electrical equipment. Defects in the equipment led to fires. Claims under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 having been extinguished, and the issues are the duties of the supplier including those to examine, test and warn and the circumstances, if any, in which the supplier might be liable for the acts and omissions of the manufacturer.
    • Monitoring and advising generally on fires and related damage caused by misuse or defective batteries manufactured by the Insured entity and pursuing distributors and retailers for breach of distribution agreements made between Samsung and its distributors.

    Mayer Brown International LLP

    The ‘highly responsive and knowledgeable’ product liability team at Mayer Brown International LLP have deep experience in covering high stakes crisis management and product liability issues within the construction sector. The team also has a strong international offering due to the firm’s global presence. As well as being practice head, Miles Robinson also co-heads the firm’s global product liability and mass torts practice and is well known for his expertise in defending large scale group actions, product recall and regulatory issues. He is supported by Mark Stefanini and James Morris.

    Practice head(s):

    Miles Robinson

    Other key lawyers:

    Mark Stefanini; James Morris

    Testimonials

    ‘The team around Miles Robinson provides very fast, accurate and practical advice.’

    ‘Miles Robinson is one of the best lawyers I know, very pragmatic, solution oriented and always with actionable advice’

    ‘The team are highly responsive and knowledgeable and very fair with their pricing.’

    ‘Miles Robinson – High level of experience and knowledge, very calm and collected and takes the stress away from what can be a very stressful situation.’

    Pinsent Masons LLP

    The litigation and regulatory team at Pinsent Masons LLP are experts in complex product liability litigation and product regulation. The practice has experience dealing with clients in the consumer products, automotive, electrical, food and drink and life sciences sectors with a full UK and EU coverage. Jacqueline Harris leads the team with deep experience handling complex product regulation and liability litigation in the UK. Legal Director Zoe Betts has developed a broad practice with considerable expertise in health and safety related advice and litigation.

    Practice head(s):

    Jacqueline Harris

    Other key lawyers:

    Zoe Betts

    Key clients

    Smith & Nephew

    SIG Plc

    Chubb

    Shoosmiths LLP

    The ‘exceptionally knowledgeable’ regulatory, insurance and commercial litigation team at Shoosmiths LLP regularly works on high profile matters involving major disasters, inquests and public inquiries, as well as offering advice on prosecutions, product recall and regulatory compliance. Philip Ryan's practice places a heavy emphasis on automotive, retail, manufacturing and regulated products, especially tobacco and e-cigarettes. Richard Marshall specialises in representing insured and self-insured entities while Charles Arrand has significant experience acting for retailers.

    Practice head(s):

    Roy Tozer; Susie Wakefield

    Other key lawyers:

    Phil Ryan; Richard Marshall; Charles Arrand

    Testimonials

    ‘Exceptionally knowledgeable in this area and punching well above their weight. A very safe pair of hands and hugely capable in defending complex claims. Will always go the extra mile for their clients.’

    ‘Richard Marshall: one of the most capable litigators in this area.’

    ‘The team is genuinely collaborative across its platform of branches nationwide. This is actually difficult to achieve and is often undermined by rivalry between London and other branches. In the case of Shoosmiths they seem to have created a very positive and collaborative working environment enabling the necessary talent to be brought to a case. There also seems to be a good availability of talent from Partner to Associate. In fact some of the Principal Associates are very talented.’

    ‘Hayley Saunders and Phil Ryan – Partners. Hayley and Phil provide H&S and regulatory advice. Both make you feel that you are in safe hands. They provide sensible balanced advice’

    Key clients

    Hoover Limited

    BGL Limited (Comparethemarket.com)

    Premier Guarantee / AmTrust Europe Ltd

    Chubb Insurance

    HDI Gerling

    Husqvarna Limited

    Taylor Wessing LLP

    The product liability and product safety team at Taylor Wessing LLP is known for advising global brands on a variety of issues, including liability litigation, product recalls, compliance, regulatory investigations, inquests and food safety. In particular, the team has a large international presence, with many cross-jurisdictional matters across Europe and Asia. Katie Chandler leads the team with broad experience in the technology, life sciences, automotive and food and drink sectors. She is supported by life sciences and high tech expert, associate Edward Spencer.

    Practice head(s):

    Katie Chandler

    Other key lawyers:

    David De Ferrars; Tasmina Goraya; Edward Spencer; Alison Dennis, David Clarke

    Testimonials

    ‘Taylor Wessing are rightly regarded in the very top handful of product liability teams, combining detailed scientific expertise with legal nous.’

    ‘Partner Katie Chandler is always across the detail and gives clear, commercial advice. Senior Counsel Ed Spencer is another stand-out, with judgment beyond his years.’

    ‘The team was able to provide excellent support on a complex issue that occurred in the field.’

    ‘Katie Chandler was able to get quickly up to speed in a complex situation and helped us to achieve the results we were looking for. This involved excellent coordination and communication throughout the process.’

    Key clients

    Abbott Laboratories

    Anika Therapeutics

    LivaNova Deutschland GmbH

    Trust.com

    Whirlpool Company Polska S.p.Z.o.o.

    Burger King UK

    Fruit of the Loom, Inc

    Zapp

    Getac

    Parkdean Resorts Limited

    Estrella Damm

    Burges Salmon LLP

    The cross-departmental food and drink group at Burges Salmon LLP works for important clients across the food chain as part of a growing firm-wide focus on food law.  The practice includes an expertise in due diligence for product liability and and regulatory risks in relation to business mergers and acquisitions. Sian Edmunds has considerable experience in food safety and labelling, as well as product recalls and withdrawals. She is supported by professional negligence expert Andrew Burnette and associate Abigail Jones.

    Practice head(s):

    Sian Edmunds

    Other key lawyers:

    Andrew Burnette; Abigail Jones

    Testimonials

    ‘They are able to provide advice in a technical area of the law (food) in a commercial, client-friendly way.’

    ‘High quality of legal services, prompt feedback.’

    ‘Sian Edmunds is prompt, commercial and pragmatic.’

    ‘Sian Edmunds is a very client-oriented professional who renders legal services of high quality.’

    Key clients

    Apetito

    Baxter Storey

    CTH

    Synergy Flavours

    Agropecuaria Montelibano SA

    Zooplus AG

    Virgin Atlantic

    Ornua

    Work highlights

    • Advised CTH Invest and Ferrero in the due diligence exercise undertaken by Ferrero prior to its successful bid to purchase Burton’s Biscuit Company.
    • Advised on the risk and potential liability under UK law of Warsteiner labelling the front of a new beer product ‘Warsteiner Alkoholfrei’.
    • Acted for Agropecuaria Montelibano SA, a Honduran melon exporter, in dealing with a recall and Food Standards Agency investigation in relation to a salmonella outbreak.

    Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

    The product liability team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is known to work for large multinationals on a range of contentious and non-contentious compliance matters. Particularly, the team does work within the automotive, retail, life sciences, technology and food and drink sectors. Team head John Doherty is experienced in handling EU product safety and regulatory requirement matters. Elise Bevan is a specialist in transvaginal mesh claims on behalf of claimants and Lisa Page provides regulatory advice on medical devices.

    Practice head(s):

    Clare Arthurs; John Doherty

    Other key lawyers:

    Lisa Page; Elise Bevan

    Testimonials

    ‘The team’s strengths and capabilities are very much in the field of product liability. Both partner and associate have a lot of experience of product liability cases. Both are also able to call on the support of colleagues to carry out extra research if the need arises.’

    ‘John Doherty always provides very thorough advice, giving a balanced legal view and assessment. This enables making decisions about a case knowing that one has all the legal issues laid out and a good idea of the pro’s and con’s of the options.’

    ‘Their technical and legal knowledge and attention to detail is always absolutely spot on. They clearly care about their clients and really go the extra mile to ensure that client objectives are met and all relevant avenues, legal and commercial, are considered. They’re also just really nice people and easy to work with.’

    ‘John Doherty and Lisa Page are both excellent lawyers, with very impressive knowledge of the sectors in which they work. I have found them to be meticulous and conscientious and a pleasure to deal with.’n.’

    ‘Penningtons’ team has outstanding knowledge about the product liability practice in the UK. Moreover, Penningtons’ strength lies in its network with EU law firms which makes it possible to keep pace with rapid developments and respond promptly to requirements posed by governmental authorities in EU countries concerning product liability matters.’

    ‘John Doherty. His work is impressive. His first priority lies in the client’s satisfaction, not to mention his expertise in this field. He is always quite responsive and considerate of the client’s needs and expectations.’

    ‘They have experts in every field that we have needed, and they reply back quickly and efficiently. All our needs, of a small foreign start-up, working in international markets, with a food supplement product that requires legal expertise in all different ways, have been met.’

    ‘They all seems to know their areas of expertise extremely well and thus are efficient in giving you relevant legal opinions in a timely and cost effective manner.’

    Key clients

    AB

    Breathe Happy Limited

    Sales Force National PTY Ltd (t/a ‘Zenexus’)

    Work highlights

    • At the commencement of the UK’s Covid Lockdown No.1, urgent advice and assistance was required to be provided to Breathe Happy Limited concerning the production and marketing of their novel reusable face masks. This involved providing initial guidance on the British Standards and alternative regulatory regimes in England and Wales.
    • Compliance advice to leading global furniture producer re importation and sale of products in the UK market, pre and post-Brexit, including:   status as importer and/or producer and its related responsibilities and potential liability.

    Simmons & Simmons

    Simmons & Simmons‘ team is known for offering services for insurers who underwrite product liability cover and independent companies confronted with product liability related claims from third parties. David Kidman joined the team this year, bringing a specialism in product recall, property damage and policy coverage in the life sciences and food and drink sectors. Associate Emma Spence regularly advises on policy coverage issues in the retail, food, electrical goods and construction sectors.

    Practice head(s):

    James Pollock

    Other key lawyers:

    David Kidman; Emma Spence; Russell Cowie

    Testimonials

    ‘The team give well considered, practical and pragmatic advice.’

    ‘David Kidman is an experienced lawyer who gives appropriately detailed and well considered advice which is helpful and pragmatic. He recently joined Simmons & Simmons bringing with him the highest quality of skill and considered advice. He stands out as a calm, logical voice offering reassuring direction with the minimum of fuss.’

    ‘An outstanding team that has just taken its standing to another level with the hire of the brilliant David Kidman and Emma Spence.’

    ‘Emma Spence is a brilliant lawyer. Clever, hard working and tenacious. A real star.’

    ‘David Kidman is a huge name in the product liability world. He is highly intelligent, insightful, has superb judgment and outstanding market experience.

    ‘David Kidman and Emma Spence moved this year to Simmons & Simmons from DWF. This move has significantly improved the profile of Simmons & Simmons in this area. The addition of high profile product liability disputes and policy expertise is an obvious with Simmons & Simmons’ wider premium insurance practice.’

    ‘David is one of the leading London market practitioners for product liability disputes and policy matters. He is instructed by an impressive array of leading insurers who value his detailed knowledge of the specialist issues that arise. He is particularly strong on dealing with the complex interaction between policy and substantive issues. Emma Spence is a rising star in the area who stands out for her ability to get on top of the complex factual and expert evidence issues that characterise this area.’

    Key clients

    Great American Insurance Group

    MS Amlin

    Axis Specialty Europe SE

    3M United Kingdom plc

    QVC UK

    Pret A Manger (Europe) Limited

    Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe

    Zurich Global Corporate

    Welbeck Healthcare Limited

    AIG

    Squire Patton Boggs

    Squire Patton Boggs‘ environmental, safety and health team has specialist expertise in advising both on the criminal and regulatory aspects of product liability. The team frequently acts on civil claims, risk management and product recalls in the food and automotive sectors, with specialty chemical lawyers and a worldwide food and beverage litigation team. Rob Elvin leads the team with extensive expertise in the nuclear, gas, chemical, engineering and construction sectors. He is supported by Birmingham-based lawyers Simon Garbett, who heads the firm's automotive group and compliance expert Nicola Smith.

    Practice head(s):

    Rob Elvin

    Other key lawyers:

    Simon Garbett; Dave Gordon; Nicola Smith

    Testimonials

    ‘Expert knowledge with ability to structure technical advice in a clear and comprehensible manner’

    Key clients

    #Molson Coors

    American Greetings/ Clintons Cards

    Kobayashi Pharma

    USN (internal referral)

    Essity

    Tunstall (internal referral)

    Michelman

    AKW DLP

    Carl Zeiss (internal referral)

    Work highlights

    • Advice to a wheel and tyre manufacturer on various product liability claims, and connected advice in relation to legal requirements for recall and potential safety risks.
    • Advising healthcare company on potential obligations for notification, product withdrawal and recall in respect of an assistive technology product in the healthcare market, categorised as a general consumer product and involving advice on obligations under UK electrical equipment and general product safety regulations.
    • Advising a global manufacturer of construction and insulation products on a waste and producer responsibility mapping exercise across multiple European jurisdictions.