Trading Standards Investigations
24 hour bespoke service offering advice and assistance.
Why Taylor Law?
Trading Standards authorities have the power to investigate businesses and individuals and issue substantial penalties in the event of wrongdoing. In more serious cases, criminal prosecutions may be brought, resulting in fines and possible imprisonment.
If you are notified of an investigation into your affairs by Trading Standards authorities, it is advisable to seek legal advice straight away to ensure that your rights are protected and that you do not inadvertently damage your defence.
Comprehensive expert advice and guidance
At Taylor Law we understand how disruptive an investigation into your business can be. As well as being time-consuming and potentially costly, it can be damaging to your reputation and to customer confidence.
If you instruct us to act on your behalf, we will step in immediately to liaise with investigators and minimise the difficulties caused. We will ensure that those conducting the investigation do not exceed their authority and we will make sure that your interests are represented during any investigation and subsequent interview.
Where possible, we will negotiate with the authorities and work to halt any proceedings against you.
In the event that a case is brought, you can be sure of a robust defence.
Our team is led by a senior solicitor with extensive experience who holds High Court Advocacy rights, meaning he can represent you directly in court without the need for a barrister. He has successfully defended prosecutions in respect of the quality of building and maintenance work, counterfeit goods such as clothing and the implantation of cigarettes as well as the importation and distribution of unlicensed medicine.
Trading Standards authorities’ powers
Trading standards are overseen by a number of bodies, including trading standards departments within local authorities. Larger investigations that cross local authority boundaries are conducted by National Trading Standards.
Other organisations that have the power to investigate include the Financial Conduct Authority, the Environment Agency, the Food Standards Agency, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Justice.
Those conducting investigations have a range of powers, including the following:
- Entering premises
- Requiring disclosure of documents
- Purchasing products anonymously
- Inspecting and testing products
- Seizing and detaining products
- Bringing criminal prosecutions
It is an offence to fail to provide information when requested to do so or to obstruct an officer when they are carrying out an investigation. If you ask us to act on your behalf, we can ensure that the required documentation is provided, but ensure that nothing else is released without being requested.
Trading Standards offences
Offences extend beyond the quality of goods and services to encompass marketing techniques and false claims prohibited under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
Common offences include the following:
- Counterfeit goods and trademark infringement
- Breach of consumer rights
- Labelling, descriptions, weights and measures
- Unfair commercial practices
- Consumer safety
- Faulty workmanship
- Food standards
- Animal welfare
- Underage sales
- Aggressive or misleading selling
Where a breach of the law has occurred, the authorities can issue a caution or a fixed-penalty notice, review or revoke a licence, for instance in the event of underage sales of alcohol, or bring a criminal prosecution.
The most serious breaches can result in a substantial fine and/or imprisonment. It is also open to the authorities to recover monies under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Our Trading Standards legal services
If you are being investigated in respect of a suspected breach of trading standards, we can advise and represent you throughout. Our services include the following:
- Advising you throughout the investigation process, including in respect of supply of requested documentation
- Attending interviews and interviews under caution
- Preparing written statements
- Entering into correspondence and negotiations with the authorities to resolve matters
- Challenging the issuing of notices or revocation of licences
- Putting together a strong defence in the event that court proceedings are commenced
If you are being investigated by a trading standards authority, we recommend that you seek legal representation without delay to ensure that your interests are safeguarded and to try and reach an early resolution of the issues.
Trading standards investigations can be damaging and time-consuming. At Taylor Law we will intervene early to minimise difficulties and disruption and ensure that your rights are protected.
We have an excellent track record of success in working with clients in respect of trading standards investigations and litigation, with expert civil and criminal defence solicitors in Leeds, Middlesbrough and London who can step in immediately to advise and represent you.
For an initial discussion, ring us on 0113 532 8100 (Leeds), 01642 221 108 (Middlesbrough) or 0203 780 7646 (London) or fill in our Contact Form.
“Scott is the consummate professional, honest and trustworthy with all the right contacts. Successfully represented me in my Employment proceedings, can’t fault the man, he’s a credit to himself and the legal fraternity.”