Trading Standards, Consumer Protection & Food Safety

Members provide specialist advice and robust representation across a broad range of consumer protection and trading standards matters including unfair commercial practices, unfair trading, fraud, intellectual property, product safety, age-restricted sales, consumer credit, loan sharking and food safety cases.

Our regulatory barristers cover all levels of prosecution and defence work, from advice on compliance to representation in the appellate courts, from the relatively straightforward to matters of the utmost gravity and complexity. Counsel are often instructed at a pre-charge/litigation stage to ensure that actions and resources are efficiently directed and focused on the critical issues. Members of the Group consistently achieve recognition and praise from the principal legal directories.

Trading Standards & Consumer Protection

Recent trading standards cases include the:

  • Prosecution on behalf of a local authority of a £1 million pound conspiracy to defraud concerning the manufacture of fake gold bangles
  • Prosecution of a group of companies and its directors for engaging in aggressive and misleading sales practices that pressured those targeted into purchasing various packages that purported to offer discounted access to holidays, cars and restaurants
  • Prosecution of three men operating a fraudulent travel company selling pilgrimages to Mecca that falsely claimed to be ATOL licenced
  • Prosecution of those involved in a computer repair scam which conned consumers nationwide and featured on BBC’s Watchdog
  • Defence of a market trader selling counterfeit clothing
  • Defence of a company director engaged in the supply of wall coatings and coverings to domestic properties accused of dishonest representation and poor workmanship
  • Defence of a company and its directors for allegedly placing thousands of dangerous products on to the market.

St Philips is the principal chambers for the national “Scam Busters” and Illegal Money Lending Teams based in Birmingham. The St Philips team includes:

  • A contributing editor for Consumer and Trading Standards: Law and Practice [Editions 2016-2019] (LexisNexis).
  • Representation in some of the leading cases including:
    • R v X [2013] 2 Cr.App.R.15: the leading authority on CPUT Regulations 2008 and corporate recklessness;
    • R v Alston [2015] EWCA Crim 9 – on the operation of the confiscation regime in loan shark/illegal gambling cases;
    • R v Lear [2018] EWCA Crim 69 – the leading authority on the prosecution of unincorporated associations and partners/partnerships;
    • R v Drain [2018] EWHC 1255 – on the operation of the forfeiture regime under s97 Trade Marks Act 1994 and its compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Food Safety

We are frequently instructed to defend and prosecute individuals and organisations charged under the Food Safety Act 1990. Matters range from relatively minor breaches resolved at first appearance in the Magistrates’ Court to jury trials involving due diligence defences and proceedings that could involve a sole trader or a national restaurant operator or supermarket chain.  Those with expertise in this field fully understand both the concern of local authorities and their respective environmental health client departments to ensure the safety of the public and the financial and reputational damage that proceedings can cause to those operating businesses in this sector.  Counsel can be made available at short notice to either make or resist emergency closure orders.

The Group also receives instructions from the Food Standards Agency and has appeared on their behalf in the Magistrates’ Court, Crown Court and the First Tier Tribunal General Regulatory Chamber.

Our Trading Standards, Consumer Protection & Food Safety Barristers:

Please get in touch with our dedicated regulatory clerking team with any questions regarding our service and expertise.

James Withers and Somaya Shaikh. +44 (0)121 246 7005
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James Puzey

James Puzey Prosecutes UK’s Largest Pipeline Operator

James Puzey, Head of St Philips Regulatory, has recently prosecuted the UK’s largest fuel pipeline operator, Exolum PS Limited, for offences of failing to ensure workers’ safety under the Health...

James Puzey

James Puzey successfully leads HMRC Counsel team

James Puzey, Head of St Philips Regulatory, has successfully led the HMRC Counsel team in the case of Bell and Mitchell v HMRC [2023] EWCA (Civ) 261. The case concerned...

Richard Atkins KC

Wm Morrison’s Supermarkets fined £3,500,000 having been convicted of health...

Wm Morrison’s Supermarkets were fined £3,500,000 on the 17/3/23 having been convicted of health and safety failings at a trial prosecuted by Richard Atkins KC of St Philips Chambers, leading...

James Withers

James Withers appointed Regulatory Senior Clerk

The St Philips Regulatory Group is delighted to announce the appointment of James Withers as its new Senior Clerk. James will be well known to many of our clients, having been part...

Jim Puzey

James Puzey successfully resists appeal by subsidiary of American Investment...

James Puzey, Head of St Philips Regulatory Team, led the HMRC counsel team that was successful in resisting this appeal by the subsidiary of the American Investment Bank, Cantor Fitzgerald....

Jim Puzey

James Puzey acts for the HSE in the prosecution of...

James Puzey, Head of St Philips’ Regulatory Group, has recently acted for the HSE in the prosecution of a developer and contractor in connection with the death of a labourer...

Ben Mills

Ben Mills, led by Nigel Lawrence QC, prosecutes Carlsberg

Ben Mills, led by Nigel Lawrence QC, prosecutes Carlsberg who were fined £3 million pounds by Mr Justice Picken at Birmingham Crown Court, following a massive ammonia leak at the...

Andrew Evans

Andrew Evans secures closure of bar where stabbing occurred

Andrew Evans successfully represented West Midlands Police in a review of the alcohol and entertainment licence of the Seven Bar in Wednesbury. The premises had long been associated with incidents...

Authentic / Fake text with magnifying glass

A helpful overview of the new sentencing guidelines for trade...

On August 5th 2021, the Sentencing Council published two new sentencing guidelines to be used when both individuals and organisations fall to be sentenced for offences contrary to Section 92...

Jim Puzey

St Philips Regulatory Prosecute Drayton Manor Case

James Puzey, Head of St Philips Regulatory Group, was instructed by the HSE to prosecute Drayton Manor Park Limited after the death of school girl, Evha Jannath, on the Splash...