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Product liability: defendant in London

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter is highly regarded for its pharmaceutical, medical device, chemical and food products practice. It often handles international unitary claims and multi-party group actions; investigations and public inquiries; and product safety and recall matters. The group is led by longstanding dedicated specialist Ian Dodds-Smith and also includes experienced litigator Adela Williams and counsel Tom Fox.

Practice head(s):

Ian Dodds-Smith

Other key lawyers:

Adela Williams; Jacqueline Mulryne; Tom Fox

Key clients

Bayer plc

Pfizer/Pharmacia

Grünenthal GmbH

Bausch

Sanofi

Work highlights

  • Advising Bayer on matters relating to the supply of products derived from plasma from the 1970s to the 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 the defence strategy in litigation in Scotland brought by over 70 claimants alleging adverse cardiovascular effects as a result of the use of Celebrex (celecoxib) for pain relief.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has a 'very strong team' led by 'doyen of defence product liability lawyersJohn Leadley. The group takes a strong cross-department and office approach, and is therefore able to cover the full gamut of a product's life cycle; core areas of expertise are risk management and regulatory compliance. It often acts for manufacturers, distributors and retailers involved in regulated industries. Kate Corby has considerable experience in contentious matters. Graham Stuart is well versed in the medical and chemical spaces.

Practice head(s):

John Leadley

Other key lawyers:

Kate Corby; Graham Stuart; Rachel MacLeod; Joanne Redmond

Testimonials

‘A very strong team under the leadership of the doyen of defence product liability lawyers, John Leadley. His characteristic combination of deep knowledge of the law, a very strong litigation sense and commercial acumen are ably shared by Joanne Redmond.’

‘Baker McKenzie has a world-class product liability practice particularly suited to corporations with a global footprint.’

‘Kate Corby has a wonderful bedside manner – she is incredibly responsive and hardworking, and she is an expert in product liability for global organisations. I trust her advice, and I enjoy working with her as an external lawyer. I was also able to have frank and open discussions about fees, which is always appreciated.’

‘Excellent team with genuine knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry.’

‘John Leadley has huge experience in product liability covering a wide number of sectors, particularly the pharma sector.’

‘Very collaborative and approachable. The team are thorough and have an in-depth, intimate knowledge of the matter and this means any advice given is targeted and fit for purpose. The team are in alignment ahead of any client calls, and equally, each team member is able to offer a different perspective based on experience, and this diversity of opinions is a highly attractive attribute for a client. The team work seamlessly as one and we have been very happy with the high level of service provided. What differentiates the team from other firms we have worked with is this – they take a commercial, risk-based approach and they are not bogged down in legal minutia or academia which has no real world application.’

Key clients

CR Bard

Stryker Corporation

Emerson

Work highlights

  • Representing CR Bard and Stryker in various high-profile proceedings, including a recently commenced group action, in which affected patients allege that products used in their treatment were defective or negligently manufactured.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP impresses with its coverage of a wide range of sectors; besides numerous instructions from the healthcare and life sciences field, the team also acts for clients from the construction, food and drink, and automotive industries. It handles product regulatory, safety and liability matters. Practice head Wendy Hopkins has considerable international recall and recovery experience. Alison McAdams is an established expert in the pharmaceutical sector. Senior associate Olya Melnitchouk is a key contact for manufacturers, hospitals and insurers.

Practice head(s):

Wendy Hopkins

Other key lawyers:

Alison McAdams; Olya Melnitchouk

Testimonials

‘The team is one of the best in product liability in the UK. It works seamlessly together with the international offices of DACB. The team is exceptionally good in the auto, life sciences (including pharmaceuticals), construction products, heavy machinery, and food and beverages sectors.’

‘Wendy Hopkins is very thoughtful and exact in her advice.’

Key clients

NHS England

NuVasive

Ipsen Pharma

Novartis

University of Cambridge

Vascutek

Optegra UK Ltd

HCA Healthcare UK

BMI Healthcare Group Limited

Rydon Maintenance

Work highlights

  • Advising NHS England on Covid 19-related issues, including indemnity, in its response to the pandemic.
  • Acting for Rydon Maintenance and HDI Global in the ongoing public inquiry, police investigation, civil litigation and claims-handling process stemming from the Grenfell Tower disaster.
  • Advising NuVasive on various product liability and safety issues.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP fields a team of 'highly experienced and extremely capable individuals' who are regularly involved in regulatory compliance and risk management, including product recall matters, as well as dispute resolution, regulatory challenges and insurance issues. The client portfolio includes names from the pharmaceutical and healthcare, manufacturing, consumer goods and tobacco industries. Philip Pfeffer also assists automotive companies. He jointly leads the practice with Howard Watson, who is well versed in the civil and criminal liabilities arising out of defective products. Senior associate David Bennett has know-how in product liability class actions.

Practice head(s):

Howard Watson; Philip Pfeffer

Other key lawyers:

David Bennett

Testimonials

‘This is my preferred team for all significant product liability matters. The team is comprised of highly experienced and extremely capable individuals who are very client-focused, and provide very clear and commercial advice.’

‘Howard Watson is excellent, and consistently provides clear and commercially focussed legal advice and support. He is a strategic thinker, extremely responsive and very user friendly.’

‘The HSF team is first-class. Very talented professionals with vast experience on a wide range of product liability, litigation and insurance issues. Incredibly reliable and responsive, very commercial in their advice, and practical. They understand the business.’

‘Phil Pfeffer is a star, exceptionally skilled and incredibly dedicated. Bright, hardworking and confident. He has an amazing team.’

‘They are highly knowledgeable in the tobacco and nicotine arena. Their in-depth experience of the tobacco industry over many years means that they can offer valuable foresight in addition to advising on straight letter law.’

‘Our HSF business partners are exceptionally responsive and given their experience in the field they are able to provide timely and very practical, knowledge-based advice.’

‘The team invests its time in order to properly understand our business drivers and challenges and to align on our ultimate goals. The HSF team is also dynamic and pragmatic and is able to flex to ever-changing business needs and often provide key legal advice on short notice in urgent situations.’

‘I have worked with Phil Pfeffer on a number of litigation projects globally and I am impressed at the lengths he goes to in order to properly understand the issues at hand. He strives to be a genuine business partner and extension of the in-house legal team.’

Key clients

Diageo

BAT

Associated British Foods

Volvo Trucks

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 well-established and broad product safety, sustainability and liability practice which is sought after by manufacturers and retailers from the pharmaceutical, medical devices, cosmetics, tobacco, electrical, food and beverage, automotive and telecoms industries. It is regularly involved in multi-party litigation, including UK group actions and cross-border litigation, law reform programmes and regulatory advice. Technology expert Valerie Kenyon, experienced litigator Matthew Felwick and highly regarded senior counsel John Meltzer jointly lead the team. Other key individuals are consultant Lucy Ward and senior associates Elise Martin and Lookman Rawat.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Felwick; Valerie Kenyon; John Meltzer

Other key lawyers:

Lucy Ward; Elise Martin; Lookman Rawat

Testimonials

‘Hogan Lovells stands out for its outstanding experience, technical skill and innovation. The product liability team has long been a leader in its field with particular expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and IT and new technology risks. The in-house science team offers unrivalled internal expertise which allows for a unique understanding of the correlation between legal and expert issues. The firm has been at the forefront of innovation in the area in relation to litigation strategy and costs.’

‘Matthew Felwick co-leads the London team and has extensive experience in the area. He combines technical skill with an excellent understanding of his clients and their objectives. He is a team builder and motivator par excellence.’

‘We have had continuous support from Hogan Lovells in our case. The team has successfully addressed certain critical issues and avoided potentially significant consequences to our client.’

‘Matthew Felwik is very knowledgeable about product safety and liability issues. His analysis is very detailed and precise and his advice and suggestions are always sensible and practical.’

‘Depth of expertise. Clear and logically thorough communication style.’

‘The product liability team is stellar. It deserves its enviable reputation as one of the top practices in London. It is a team of fantastic, experienced litigators who are steeped in product liability expertise and able to cope with the most demanding litigation. They have developed an enviable cadre of clients to whom they offer superb service. They have the experience and the capacity to deal with the full range of litigation, from coroners’ inquests through to group litigation. This team fully deserves a top ranking in this field.’

‘John Meltzer is the doyen of the department. There is not much that he hasn’t seen. He is calm and authoritative, and a grand master tactician. He has particular experience in complex group litigation.’

‘Matthew Felwick is very committed and congenial. Elise Martin is highly efficient and fantastic to work with.’

Key clients

Zimmer Biomet

Ford

Novartis

Google

Viatris

NO&T

Nike

De’Longhi

Facebook

Vodafone

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 Zimmer Biomet on its European product liability litigation (including the UK Biomet group action) in relation to metal-on-metal hip replacements.
  • Advised Ford on UK litigation by owners of vehicles with EcoBoost engines.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard has considerable strength in the life sciences field, encompassing claims regarding medical devices, vaccines and pharmaceutical  products. Other instructions originate from the consumer and retail sectors, as well as from the technology, manufacturing and industrials areas. The team includes civil and criminal lawyers, and covers the full spectrum of relevant matters. Legal director Mark Chesher is well versed in product litigation cases, and managing associate Cécile Burgess is another prominent adviser to manufacturers.

Other key lawyers:

Mark Chesher; Richard Wise; Cécile Burgess; Stuart Wardlaw

Testimonials

‘The team were incredibly pleasant to deal with and gave clear, pragmatic advice.’

‘The AG product liability defence team stands out for the depth of its experience and quality of its clients. It has particular strength in the life sciences sector in general, with exceptional strength in the pharmaceutical sector. The team also provides regulatory and business-to-business disputes advice to an impressive range of clients, with the food and beverages sector also a source of strength.’

‘Uniquely, AG’s broad practice, spanning from the regulatory and advisory space to defence work, aligned with the their spread across a number of sectors (life sciences, retail/consumer, manufacturing and tech), means they have real strength and depth in the market. It all fits seamlessly alongside their wider disputes department within the firm.’

‘Mark Chesher is firmly established in this space and recognised as a technical lawyer, and Cécile Burgess is getting noticed in this area.’

‘The team has a great reputation in relation to defendant product liability work and has acted on some of the most high-profile recent mandates in this area.’

‘Cécile Burgess is a rising star in this area in my view – she is exceptionally bright and dedicated to her clients’ interests, with deep experience in product liability litigation and product safety work, including recalls.’

‘AG fields an extremely strong product liability team, which draws upon experience in a series of high-profile cases, including group actions, which have been at the forefront of the development of the law, and practice in this field. They have the kind of experience that few firms can lay claim to.’

Key clients

GlaxoSmithKline

Britvic plc

KEMET Electronics Corporation

Build-A-Bear Workshop

Dixons Carphone plc

PZ Cussons

Diageo

Sainsbury’s / Sainsbury’s Bank

Volkswagen AG

Associated British Foods

Caversham Finance Limited T/A BrightHouse

British American Tobacco UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Sucessfully acting for GlaxoSmithKline in relation to its defence of over 100 claims brought under a group litigation order.
  • Advised Volkswagen relation to the product liability and safety aspects of its strategic alliance with Ford.
  • Advised Britvic on all safety issues relating to its drink products, including a recall of one of its leading brands.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP has strong international expertise and covers a range of industries, from aviation, agriculture and food, automotive, construction and engineering to medical devices and pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and retail. It advises manufacturers and insurers alike on product liabitly matters with special expertise in recalls and supply chain disputes. Neil Beresford leads the team, which also includes healthcare specialist Claire Petts. Emma Ager is a key contact for insurers and reinsurers, and Ian Plumley focuses on product recalls.

Practice head(s):

Neil Beresford

Other key lawyers:

Claire Petts; Ian Plumley; Emma Ager

Cooley (UK) LLP

Cooley (UK) LLP advises clients from the life sciences, technology, cosmetics and consumer products industries on compliance and liability matters. Its team has considerable experience in the full scope of product liability work, offering support in product liability litigation, B2B disputes, product safety and regulatory compliance issues, and international product recalls. The practice is led by the highly regarded Rod Freeman, who has longstanding experience in contentious matters. Sascha Grimm is well versed in crisis management and contentious cases. Special counsel Claire Temple has a particular focus on advising technology sector clients.

Practice head(s):

Rod Freeman 

Other key lawyers:

Sascha Grimm; Claire Temple

Testimonials

‘The Cooley team is unique because of its full lifecycle view and understanding of how issues arise and how stakeholders see them, and consequently its ability to partner with clients to drive best outcomes, when and if conflict arises. The Cooley team has unparalleled deep regulatory and legal expertise, and the way they relate to issues and clients sets them apart from all other firms.’

‘Rod Freeman is in a class of his own. He is a recognised global regulatory and legal expert, but it is his deep commitment to clients and their objectives that truly distinguishes him. Rod has also curated a team of bright, engaged lawyers who, as an ensemble or as individuals, are expert, responsive and outcome-oriented.’

‘Cooley is the kind of firm that takes its time to get to know its clients. It is amazing to find a law firm that is well versed in so many different areas of the law that impact our business; it is even better to find a firm that is dedicated to keeping us one step ahead. The individuals at Cooley take their expertise and knowledge and build out processes and flows for their clients. It is much more than giving advice and leaving a client to sort out the information for themselves. They build up their clients, ensuring their success.’

‘The individuals we work with seem like a family, not just a firm looking for billable hours. If anyone is ever unsure about a question they try very hard to connect you with someone that can help, whether that person is inside the firm or outside of it. Whenever we have an emergency they are right there as if they work full time at our company. They will pull together training and format it in a way that fits our company and how we learn. I have never seen this response rate and ability to get the information we need quickly and efficiently from a firm before.’

‘A collaborative global team with great people.’

‘Responsive, knowledgeable and trustworthy. Claire Temple is fantastic to work with.’

‘A team with vast experience and a global perspective on product safety and compliance, with an extensive network.’

‘Rod Freeman and Claire Temple are effective in their communication, being clear and straight to the point. This, in combination with their deep specialised knowledge and vast expertise, makes them an excellent team to work with.’

Key clients

Whirlpool

ACCO Brands

Shimano

Stanley Black & Decker

Polaris

Work highlights

  • Acting as the sole legal representative for Whirlpool in the Grenfell Public Inquiry, as well as representing the client in relation to all related regulatory and litigation issues.
  • Acting as international co-ordinating counsel for a complex, multi-jurisdictional global product modification programme for Foshan Midea Carrier Air-Conditioning Equipment.
  • Acting as sole counsel on Whirlpool’s long-running and significant tumble dryer corrective action campaign, which remains one of the most prominent product recalls in the UK.

Kennedys

Kennedys' sizeable team has 'great players from top to bottom'. It has a strong track record of defending insurers and reinsurers against product liability claims, in particular in the pharmaceutical and medical devices, food and consumer products, and process and engineering products spaces. The group combines cross-border insurance, dispute resolution and product recall expertise. Practice head Trevor Davies also handles mass tort claims. Samantha Silver has know-how in medical devices, consumer products and pharmaceuticals cases. Other key team members are Ben Aram, senior associate Karishma Paroha and Sarah-Jane Dobson, who joined from Cooley (UK) LLP in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Trevor Davies

Other key lawyers:

Samantha Silver; Katherine Proctor; Ben Aram; Mirjam Schorr; Karishma Paroha; Ingrid Hobbs; Sarah-Jane Dobson; Daniel Turner

Testimonials

‘Trevor Davies is one of the senior statesmen of the product liability world. Hugely experienced, superb judgement.’

‘First-rate knowledge and especially good at cross-border disputes.’

‘Mirjam Schorr is fabulous – wonderful to work with, incredibly knowledgeable and always keeps an eye on what really matters to her clients.’

‘Rightly one of the major players in the market. Kennedys’ knowledge of the sector, technical know-how and experience of fighting large complex claims is second to none. They have real strength in product claims at all levels and bring their expertise to bear for every client.’

‘Karishma Paroha is real star. She runs major product disputes with aplomb, and always has a firm handle on the technical issues in the claim and the client’s needs.’

‘Kennedys are arguably now the foremost firm dealing with the range of product liability issues involving life sciences in the UK. The team is large with great players from top to bottom. The quality of the associates is particularly impressive – they can display considerable insight into the issues and tactics of these cases which in other firms may be seen (if at all) only with partners.’

‘The stand-out partners are Trevor Davies and Sam Silver. They both have incredible knowledge and experience in the field. Possibly most exceptionally, their ability to understand and implement the client’s wishes is striking. Their international experience means that they can convey to those inexperienced in English litigation the tactical considerations in running a case.’

Key clients

Chubb

AIG

Hiscox

Zurich

Generali

AGCS

GE Insurance Solutions

DePuy International Limited

Finsbury Orthopaedics Limited

Beko

XL Catlin Insurance

Janssen-Cilag Ltd

Johnson & Johnson Medical Ltd

IQVIA

Work highlights

  • Representing DePuy International Limited, the manufacturer of hip replacement products which are subject to a worldwide recall.
  • Acting for Beko plc in litigation in respect of a fridge-freezer fire which resulted in the tragic death of Mr John Wilson.
  • Representing Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of gynaecological (pelvic mesh) products not subject to a recall, in litigation around the world.

RPC

RPC has considerable experience in acting for insurers and their insureds. It is particularly active in handling claims arising from clients in the life science, but also represents clients in the automotive, chemical and construction sectors. Practice head Gavin Reese has experience in matters relating to the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and advises on Brexit complications. Legal director Peter Rudd-Clarke has particular know-how in the life sciences and consumer products sectors. Dorothy Flower is an expert in disputes arising from clinical trials.

Practice head(s):

Gavin Reese

Other key lawyers:

Dorothy Flower; Peter Rudd-Clarke

Testimonials

‘Excellent technical knowledge, effective project management.’

‘Peter Rudd-Clarke stands out for his sector knowledge and expertise, and technical ability.’

‘The RPC product liability defence team brings both strong insurance expertise and a highly commercial approach to product liability disputes. The team has been involved in many leading recent product liability cases.’

‘Dorothy Flower is one of the most experienced product liability specialists in London. She combines a detailed knowledge of the law with an impressive tactical and strategic awareness. Clients appreciate her understanding of their priorities.’

‘My experience of RPC is that they have a good grasp of the life sciences and healthcare industry, including the processes, procedures and nomenclature.’

‘Peter Rudd-Clarke is amenable and knowledgeable. He is capable of putting complex legal arguments into easy-to-understand English. He has the ability to interpret the client’s requirements and compile a robust defence.’

Key clients

Ace Chubb Ltd

AXA XL

Bard Pharmaceuticals Ltd

BSI Group

Clover Leaf Products Limited

Corin Ltd

Heidelberg Engineering Ltd

Make Yourself Amazing (MYA)

Medisoft Ltd

GC Aesthetics PLC

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.
  • Advised a client on an investigation by the HSE following a death in circumstances where there was concern that the client’s product may have been defective.

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP offers support in the full range of product liability matters, and regularly acts for manufacturer, designer, distributor and supplier clients. The team has notable know-how in the technology, IT and automotive industries. The product liability specialists in the London office are Jonathan Speed and senior associate Russell Williamson, who are both part of the wider dispute resolution group.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Speed; Russell Williamson

Testimonials

‘The team at Bird & Bird were very approachable, professional and considerate, and above all, they were simply cool, down-to-earth people. They put me at ease immediately during one of the most worrying and challenging situations of my career to date.’

‘What I appreciated most about Russell Williamson was that he just got it right from the start. I only needed to explain the complex detail once and he seemed to immediately understand it. I cannot begin to explain how much of a relief this was to me!’

Key clients

Kautex Unipart

Work highlights

  • Advising a multinational DIY/home improvement company on product liability, safety and insurance issues arising from its anticipated launch of an online marketplace.
  • Acted for Kautex Unipart in respect of a Commercial Court claim against one of its suppliers (Raval ACS) in connection with the supply of defective valves which were subsequently used in plastic fuel tanks that Kautex manufactured and supplied to an OEM customer for use in vehicles.
  • Acting for a UK-based producer of motorcycles in relation to the product recall of certain motorcycles, together with the associated product liability and insurance issues.

BLM

BLM's team is 'well known and highly regarded' for advising insurers from a wide range of industries, including food and beverages, automotive, cosmetics and engineering. It covers injury claims brought under the Consumer Protection Act, international contractual B2B disputes, and property damage product liability claims. Practice head Jason McNerlin is well versed in product contamination and recall matters. Michael Harvey has experience acting in cross-border disputes. Daniel West is another key practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Jason McNerlin

Other key lawyers:

Michael Harvey; Daniel West

Testimonials

‘The team is well known and highly regarded for product liability matters. They cover a great range of industries and they are absolutely outstanding in the insurance sector. Furthermore, the firm has maintained an excellent quality of work during the pandemic.’

‘Michael Harvey is one of the leading insurance lawyers in the UK. He is very skilled and determined.’

Key clients

AIG

Allianz

Aspen Risk Management Ltd

Aviva

Coca Cola

Direct Line Group

Generali

HDI Global

Ironshore

Mitchells and Butler

QBE

Sunseeker International

XL Catlin

Zurich

DWF

DWF acts as a trusted adviser to national and international insurers and companies which are active in the automotive, aviation and manufacturing industries, as well as from the energy and life science sectors, among others. The team is well versed in advising on the civil and criminal aspects of compliance and litigation matters. The key contacts are David Kidman, who has particular experience in claims relating to property damage and injuries; Peter Barnes, who has a specialism in dealing with Japan-related queries; Hilary Ross and Dominic Watkins. Charlotte Kelly was promoted to partner in early 2021.

Practice head(s):

David Kidman; Peter Barnes; Hilary Ross; Dominic Watkins

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Kelly; Emma Spence

Testimonials

‘Strong individuals with expert global knowledge and capability.’

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

Scania

Markerstudy

Chairo Technology

QVC

Homebase

C&C Group

Lidl

Tangle Teezer

PepCo

Misguided

Arcadia

Work highlights

  • Instructed by various London market insurers to advise on coverage issues arising out of high-profile multi-district pharmaceutical litigation in the United States.
  • Acting for an airline and its London market insurers to advise on metallurgical turbine failure in a passenger jet and associated losses arising globally.
  • Advised Chairo Technology on a project to determine the regulation of highly innovative women’s health products (marrying technology and devices) to ensure compliance globally.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's team is 'unmatched in its expertise and experience of dealing with Europe-wide product liability issues'. It regularly acts for clients from the aerospace, automotive, chemicals, food, consumer products, pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. The offering includes advising on launches, risks and compliance, as well as handling disputes. Practice head Richard Matthews and principal associate Peter Shervington are the dedicated specialists at the firm.

Practice head(s):

Richard Matthews

Other key lawyers:

Peter Shervington 

Testimonials

‘Eversheds has a very strong team. They are unmatched in their expertise and experience of dealing with Europe-wide product liability issues – notably in respect of product recall – which requires especially accurate and prompt advice under considerable time pressures.’

‘Richard Matthews is a hugely skilled and able case leader and tactician. He combines immense intellectual ability with unparalleled legal knowledge. He exudes calm authority in pressurised situations.’

‘The team has had extensive experience across many product classes and is well versed in helping its clients manage relationships with their customers.’

‘Richard Matthews and Peter Shervington are a great team who are very responsive and sensible with their advice.’

Key clients

Johnson Controls

Johnson Matthey

Allied Glass

DuPont

Assa Abloy

Smiths Group

Honda Motors Europe

Keystone Law

Keystone Law ‘attracts senior practitioners who wish to focus on the thing that they do best – namely advising and litigating‘. The team showcases a portfolio of international insurer and manufacturing clients, which it represents in matters relating to international trade as well as in property damage claims arising from fire or water. Antony Colman has an active practice involving acting in cases related to cladding, roof lining, electrical circuit protection devices, and sporting and playground equipment, among others. Jason Kallis also handles product recalls and Manchester-based Elaine Chan is well versed in insurance litigation.

Other key lawyers:

Antony Colman; Jason Kallis; Elaine Chan

Testimonials

‘Technically I consider Keystone Law to be excellent and they fully understand their client’s needs and wants. Keystone Law’s understanding of the importance of collaboration between the relevant stakeholders of a claim is one of their greatest strengths.’

‘Jason Kallis and Antony Colman are technically great, they fully understand the economics of a claim and both provide excellent levels of service. Both treat claims as a fully collaborative effort.’

‘Keystone is an excellent model. It attracts senior practitioners who wish to focus on the thing that they do best – namely advising and litigating. It means that the cadre of lawyers is exceptional – and, as far as I can see, allows them to work in such a flexible way as to maximise their potential.’

‘Antony Colman has an encyclopaedic knowledge of product liability. He is an incredibly effective solicitor and is absolutely at the top of his game.’

‘A very strong, commercially orientated team with particular expertise in insurance and product liability law. Their UK office is unique in being able to access experts in European jurisdictions in-house – and therefore in cases involving Europe-wide product cases and recalls their expertise cannot be improved upon.’

‘Antony Colman is a formidable litigator. He takes the messiest and most difficult case and has it smoothed into winning form in short order.’

‘Elaine Chan has always provided legal support and expertise to the right depth and level required for the particular case, enabling the matter to be resolved with a very satisfactory outcome.’

Key clients

Electrium Sales Limited

Samsung

Bosch (t/a BSH Home Appliances)

Yamaha UK

Work highlights

  • Represented Electrium Sales Limited in a claim regarding a fire caused by a defect in electrical equipment imported by the defendant and to which the defendant applied its trade mark.
  • Acted for a manufacturer of fittings and accessories for bathrooms and kitchens in claims arising from an escape of water from an allegedly defective fitting, causing major damage to an exclusive property.
  • Advised Allianz and HDI Global on claims relating to products made by Bosch.

Mayer Brown International LLP

Mayer Brown International LLP is regularly instructed by manufacturers and insurers alike in crisis management; defending and bringing claims; and product liability issues linked to transactional due diligence processes and in the context of transaction risk assessments. The team often handles claims linked to construction and professional negligence. Practice head Miles Robinson has experience in group actions, product recall, and labelling and regulatory issues. James Morris specialises in the construction sector.

Practice head(s):

Miles Robinson

Other key lawyers:

James Morris

Testimonials

‘Highly experienced and knowledgeable team who are there when you need them and are quick to react and give advice.’

‘Miles Robinson is the standout partner in this area. He has always provided expert advice and been able to solve any issues we have had.’

Pinsent Masons LLP

The team at Pinsent Masons LLP is experienced in assisting clients from the consumer products, electrical, automotive, food and drink, tobacco and life sciences sectors, among others. It advises on regulatory and liability matters, and handles recalls and litigation. Andrew Masterson in Leeds also has experience in recall cost recovery claims; he leads the practice together with Edinburgh-based Jacqueline Harris, who is knowledgeable in cases involving medical devices and pharmaceutical products.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Masterson; Jacqueline Harris

Other key lawyers:

Louise Nahon

Testimonials

‘The team is well placed to deal with multi-jurisdictional litigation in relation to product liability. The team in Scotland is well resourced and well led by Jackie Harris.’

‘Jacqueline Harris is especially experienced in complex cases involving product liability.’

Key clients

Smith & Nephew

Lenovo

Eon

Schneider

Kingfisher

Nissan

Chubb

Bosch

SIG Plc

Centrica

Shook, Hardy & Bacon International LLP

The team at Shook, Hardy & Bacon International LLP predominantly acts for  international clients in defence, regulatory strategy and risk management matters. Sectors of expertise include tobacco, automotive, alcohol, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, food and beverages, electronics and consumer products. Practice head Simon Castley combines knowledge in regulatory and administrative law. Alison Newstead also has experience in product safety and product recall, and Sarah Croft is well versed in group and class actions.

Practice head(s):

Simon Castley

Other key lawyers:

Trevor Bridges; Samuel Sebree; Sarah Croft; Alison Newstead

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP's 'knowledgeable, specialist and experienced' team fields civil and regulatory advisers who handle public liability and safety matters, inquests and inquiries, and product recalls, among others. Key practitioner Philip Ryan is instructed by automotive, retail, manufacturing and regulated products sector clients. Richard Marshall has know-how in white goods catastrophic failure claims, while Charles Arrand specialises in the retail sector. Roy Tozer and Susie Wakefield lead the department.

Practice head(s):

Roy Tozer; Susie Wakefield

Other key lawyers:

Philip Ryan; Richard Marshall; Charles Arrand

Testimonials

‘A solid mix of knowledgeable, specialist and experienced partners and associates provides clients with the legal input they require.’

‘Philip Ryan is a conscientious problem-solver who thinks outside the box to find appropriate solutions.’

‘A very professional, pragmatic and sensible firm with staff who are extremely helpful and willing to work with their clients to find a sensible solution to all legal matters. I have found Shoosmiths to be an excellent firm and would recommend them to others.’

‘Phil Ryan has been an excellent help to us. His advice has always been pragmatic and sensible and he and his team have been a pleasure to work with.’

‘Hugely experienced and knowledgeable in this area. A go-to practice for defendant product liability. Very robust but also intensely commercial so that the handling and defence of a claim, and the client’s commercial interests, are always in lockstep.’

‘Richard Marshall’s very personable approach belies a sharp and very capable litigator who will never capitulate when in the client’s best interests.’

‘The team very much understand the operating environment of the business, its complexities and the context of the product in discussions. Phil Ryan embodies this.’

Key clients

Hoover Limited

BGL Limited (Comparethemarket.com)

Premier Guarantee / AmTrust Europe Ltd

Chubb Insurance

HDI Gerling

Husqvarna Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Chubb Insurance in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Advising AmTrust Europe Limited on liability for cladding product liability claims in the aftermath of the Grenfell fire.
  • Sole adviser to Hoover Candy (now part of Haier plc) in appliance fire defence matters.

Taylor Wessing LLP

The team at Taylor Wessing LLP covers a range of product liability matters, including litigation, compliance, investigations, recalls and collective actions. Showcasing 'considerable scientific and legal expertise', it has know-how in the automotive and autonomous driving; food and drink; and consumer goods sectors. Its life sciences offering was bolstered by the arrival of Alison Dennis in May 2020 from Fieldfisher. The group is led by Katie Chandler, who is well versed in regulatory issues. David De Ferrars has cross-border experience.

Practice head(s):

Katie Chandler

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

‘The Taylor Wessing team brings to bear considerable scientific and legal expertise.’

‘Katie Chandler is across all the detail and handles client expectations brilliantly.’

‘Tasmina Goraya combines impressive scientific know-how with the ability to communicate the detail to non-experts in a compelling way.’

‘The team has proven to be pragmatic, efficient and very responsive while maintaining overall quality.’

‘Really good engagement from really able people.’

‘The London Taylor Wessing product liability team has been excellent in helping us manage a large number of complex medical device claims over the past years. They have worked to evaluate a logical approach to a large number of matters, how best to deal with claimants’ counsel, and exploring ways to resolve the claims or prevail at trial if necessary.’

‘An experienced team who work collaboratively with the in-house legal team.’

‘Ed Spencer is on top of everything: the science, the law and strategy.’

Key clients

Parkdean Resorts Limited

LivaNova plc

Burger King

Estrella Damm

Work highlights

  • Acting for LivaNova plc in relation to the defence of product liability claims arising out of LivaNova’s manufacture and supply of medical device products.
  • Advising a manufacturer of automated and electric vehicles on managing its portfolio of consumer and B2B product liability claims in the UK.
  • Acting for a manufacturer of consumer products on a Europe-wide product recall.

Burges Salmon LLP

The team at Burges Salmon LLP, which is noted for being ‘completely committed to the client and the best outcome‘, has niche expertise in the food and drink sector. It is instructed by manufacturers, distributers and retailers in food safety and labelling matters, product recalls and withdrawals, and a wide range of product liability disputes. Sian Edmunds is a dedicated specialist in this field, and leads the team with commercial law practitioner Helen Scott-Lawler.

Practice head(s):

Sian Edmunds; Helen Scott-Lawler

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Burnette

Testimonials

‘Easy to work with and very thorough. Completely committed to the client and the best outcome, however difficult the circumstances.’

‘Sian Edmunds is extremely knowledgeable and quick to grasp complex scientific issues and knows their significance and how to act on them. Sian is a pleasure to work with as well as always having her clients’ interests at the forefront.’

‘The firm have a very wide breadth of experience in the industry and are highly respected in the sector. The team structure not only strengthens the contribution made to the case but ensures that resources are used efficiently and effectively. The team are very adept with technology and are good at not losing sight of the commercial objectives.’

Work highlights

  • Advised Synergy Flavours Ltd, an international manufacturer and processor of food flavourings and additives, in relation to the supply of contaminated onion powder by a third party.
  • Represented a manufacturer of specialist frozen food products in relation to the supply to it by a potato supplier/processor from the Netherlands of potato pieces contaminated with pieces of golf ball, wood and metal.
  • Acted for a Chinese exporter seeking to export a large range of food and drink products into the UK, including on import and customs risks and requirements, forbidden products, labelling requirements, health and nutrition claims, and storage and distribution risks.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's offering includes advisory, corporate investigation and defence services, and its work is often of cross-border nature. Here, it works closely with offices within the firm's international network. The team is regularly instructed by corporate clients from a variety of industries, including manufacturing and consumer goods. Teresa Hitchcock leads the Sheffield-based group; she is noted for her broad practice, which covers product safety, food safety, health and safety law, and the regulatory aspects of healthcare.

Practice head(s):

Teresa Hitchcock

Other key lawyers:

Alastair Clough; Taryn Jones

Testimonials

‘I have worked with Teresa over several years on product safety and regulatory matters. Her technical knowledge, judgement, and tactical and strategic skills are second to none. Her particular strengths are the ability to hone in on the heart of the issue in the midst of heightened crises, her credibility with C-suite board members and her no-nonsense, matter-of-fact yet warm style. She extinguishes nerves and charts a pragmatic path through regulatory mazes, blended with commercial and operational approaches that salvage customer and stakeholder trust.’

Key clients

LG Electronics Inc

Arconic Inc.

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Arconic to act for the cladding manufacturer AAP SAS in the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry.
  • Assisting LG Electronics Inc. with a product safety concern, and advising on how to manage this across a number of jurisdictions.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is praised for its 'internationality and broad client base'. The group acts for manufacturers, distributors and retailers from the automotive, food and drink, life sciences, retail and technology industries. Rustam Dubash heads up the commercial dispute resolution practice, and John Doherty leads the product liability team; he is 'very bright, organised and very good indeed with clients'. Associate Nick Bamber advises on EU product safety and regulatory requirements.

Practice head(s):

Rustam Dubash; John Doherty

Other key lawyers:

Nick Bamber; Elise Bevan

Testimonials

‘One of the great strengths of the team is its internationality and broad client base, which leads to great experience in different industries. From my perspective, they give reliable and practical advice to their clients at reasonable costs. They have an excellent international network for the benefit of their clients.’

‘John Doherty is a very experienced partner who represents the interests of his clients in a friendly and committed, but emphatic manner. He is always available for his clients and gives his advice considering their economic interests.’

‘Penningtons’ regulatory team has remarkable domestic and international expertise in the commercial and litigious aspects of regulation. We appreciate the partner involvement from the matter’s very beginning to its end, and the team’s creativity in dealing with the risks identified and developing strategies to ensure a favourable outcome for clients.’

‘I consider John Doherty to be a truly fantastic lawyer who cares for his clients and understands their needs, with a remarkable command not only of the legal  issues, but also the technical aspects of the matters under consideration.’

‘Nick Bamber handled the large scale of our needs very well and explained the directions we should be looking at to resolve our legal requirements.’

‘The team was very easy to get a hold of during the Covid-19 working from home period. Their video conferencing technology worked very well and a team of three lawyers worked together with us to resolve our legal issues.’

‘Penningtons is a high-end, competent firm that builds relationships with its clients. I have met staff a few times and they are always interested in the business and everything about you. They are professional and quite fabulous.’

‘John Doherty is very bright, organised and very good indeed with clients.’

Key clients

Joy Organics LLC

Andreas Stihl Limited

The Conran Shop

British American Tobacco

Vana Health, Inc.

Breathe Happy Ltd.

Sales Force National PTY Ltd Xenexus

Veg of Lund

AB

Work highlights

  • Advised British American Tobacco on a range of product safety and liability issues, including clean nicotine delivery products, also known as potentially reduced risk products (PRRPs).
  • Assisted Andreas Stihl Limited with product liability claims, regulatory compliance and risk issues, encompassing appropriate labelling and presentation to ensure the safety of its market-leading professional power tool range.
  • Advising The Conran Shop on product safety obligations, recall and associated disputes.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons' team is 'extremely bright and very hardworking'; it acts for insurers and reinsurers as well as companies in a wide range of product liability matters. It can showcase strength in the pharmaceutical, medical devices, food and drink, and automotive sectors. Jason Bright's broad practice spans product liability losses, commercial property claims and intellectual property liability. Sherry Goodman-Smith is 'an outstanding lawyer'. James Pollock leads the firm's insurance practice.

Practice head(s):

James Pollock

Other key lawyers:

Sherry Goodman-Smith; Jason Bright

Testimonials

‘Simmons and Simmons are outstanding. The team are highly organised and integrated, extremely bright, very hardworking, and highly dedicated to their clients and to achieving the best possible outcome for them. They are a real pleasure to work with.’

‘Jason Bright is exceptional: extremely bright, immensely hardworking and dedicated, and a brilliant manager of a team, who is superb at achieving the commercial aims of his clients, and an absolute pleasure to work with.’

‘Sherry Goodman-Smith is an outstanding lawyer who is very clever, extremely hardworking, great with clients and an absolute pleasure to work with.’

Work highlights

  • Advising a leading UK supplier of medical devices and equipment as part of inquest proceedings in which it was alleged that the client had manufactured a defective product.
  • Acting on behalf of a large Japanese manufacturer of tractors and heavy machinery following allegations of defective design causing extensive personal injury and property damage to consumers based in the UK.
  • Acting on behalf of insurers and their insureds in relation to the distribution and sale of defective glass wine bottles, which contained cracks in the neck area, thus posing significant safety risks to consumers.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs' team handles product liability matters for clients manufacturing and selling food and drink, industrial products, medical devices, toys and chemical products, among others. It has experience in the criminal and regulatory aspects of product liability matters and in relation to civil claims, contractual protection and risk management, and product recalls. Manchester-based Rob Elvin is the dedicated specialist and practice head, and is supported by Dave Gordon and director Nicola Smith in Birmingham.

Practice head(s):

Rob Elvin

Other key lawyers:

Simon Garbett; Nicola Smith; Dave Gordon

Testimonials

‘Very knowledgeable about product regulatory matters. Capable of engaging an international team on short notice.’

‘Nicola Smith is very knowledgeable and capable of drafting very well-structured advice.’

Key clients

Mamas and Papas

RKW t/a Tower Housewares

Luceco Plc/Nexus Industries Limited

Molson Coors

Acorn Mobility Services

Huntsman

Makita

American Greetings/ Clintons Cards

Starco

Kobayashi Pharma

Essity

Avery Dennison

Work highlights

  • Advised various importers and manufacturers of hand sanitiser during the Covid-19 pandemic on the regulation and potential liabilities of these products, including biocidal product authorisation, classification, labelling and packaging, and borderlines with cosmetics and medicines.
  • Advised a wheel and tyre manufacturer on a product liability claim, following advice in relation to legal requirements for recall and potential safety risks.
  • Advising a power generating company on the requirements for conformity assessment and CE marking under the Machinery Directive in connection with the re-design of existing machinery within a power station.

Travers Smith LLP

The team at Travers Smith LLP combines expertise in regulatory compliance and defence with knowledge of civil liability matters. Under the lead of dedicated specialist Doug Bryden, the group regularly acts for pharmaceutical, chemical and consumer goods sector clients. It also handles crisis responses and investigations. Heather Gagen is a key contact in contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Doug Bryden

Other key lawyers:

Heather Gagen

Key clients

Intega

Work highlights

  • Continuing to defend a multinational medical devices manufacturer in a long-running cross-border product liability case.
  • Acting for an electronics and computer manufacturer in a detailed internal investigation and UK/EU regulatory defence concerning a non-compliant product line concerning excess restricted chemicals.
  • Advising a global sports equipment manufacturer on numerous product compliance and take-back concerns.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's areas of expertise encompass the retail and consumer goods, automotive, technology, chemicals, and food and drink sectors. The team advises clients on product compliance and product recall matters, as well as on their interaction with regulators. It is led by regulatory consultant Nicky Strong and HSE specialist Jon Cooper. Gavin Matthews and Ashley Borthwick are well versed in the retail sector.

Practice head(s):

Nicky Strong; Jon Cooper

Other key lawyers:

Ashley Borthwick; Gavin Matthews 

Testimonials

‘This firm has great expertise in this area. They have helped us not only to defend any claims but also to ensure our products meet the various laws and regulations throughout the EU and further afield. Their billing is very transparent and fees are very competitive.’

‘We work with Nicky Strong, who has a wealth of experience in this area of law. She is responsive, articulate and keeps us well informed of regulatory changes. Given the nature of the business she tailors her advice depending on the audience and has also created guides and workshops for our colleagues to attend so that they understand the requirements.’

Key clients

Kingfisher plc

B&Q

Tempur-Sealy

Intersystems Corporation

Kanlaon Limited – Don Papa Rum

Post Office

Work highlights

  • Advising Intersystems Corporation on the application of the Medical Devices Directive and the upcoming Medical Devices Regulation (MDR), which replaces the directive.
  • Advising mattress developer and manufacturer Tempur Sealy on its product compliance strategy across the group.
  • Advising Kanlaon Limited – Don Papa Rum on the requirements of the new Spirit Drinks Regulation, which applies from May 2021, and the impact this will have on the current formulation of the various Don Papa Rum products.