Consumer Protection

Egan Meyer provides advice, assistance and representation in relation to consumer protection law, in particular:

  • Food safety;
  • Product Safety;
  • Trade Descriptions and Misleading Claims and Omissions;
  • Unfair Practices;
  • Misleading Prices and Advertising; and
  • Trade Marks and copyright.

Food Safety Law

Egan Meyer is set up to serve businesses involved in the food industry, ranging from single-shop takeaways to international manufacturers. The firm understands the procedures followed in a prosecution by Environmental Health (including those brought under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013, the Food Safety Act 1990 and Food Labelling Regulations 1996) and if you are facing an enforcement action or prosecution it can provide expert advice at every stage. The firm’s services includes advising clients in relation to:

  • Investigations or prosecutions by Environmental Health or Trading Standards Services;
  • Improvement Notices, including appeals; and
  • Food Hygiene policies and procedures.

Product Safety

Egan Meyer can advise businesses accused of placing or supplying unsafe products. This includes clients who are importers, manufacturers, own-branders, re-conditioners, wholesalers and retailers, any one of which may face enforcement action by:

  • a local authority’s Trading Standards Services;
  • the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA);
  • the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (“MHRA”); or
  • the Health and Safety Executive (“HSE”).

Trade Descriptions and Misleading Claims and Omissions

Egan Meyer can assist a business which is being investigated for unfair trading practices, including allegations relating to the making of misleading claims or omissions about their product or services.

Unfair Practices

Egan Meyer has the expertise to defend clients accused of “unfair commercial practices”, a term that is used to refer to a number of criminal offences created by the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, including a general prohibition against business activities that are not professionally diligent and materially distort, or are likely to materially distort, the economic behaviour of the average consumer.

Misleading Pricing and Advertising

Egan Meyer can assist clients under investigation by a local authority Trading Standards Services in relation to unfair commercial practices banned by the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, including allegations of:

  • “Bait advertising”, i.e:
    • Offering goods that don’t exist; and
    • Offering just a few items at an advertised price with no hope of meeting large demand;
  • Making misleading comparisons;
  • Promoting one product with the intention of selling something else (“bait and switch”);
  • Falsely stating that a product will only be available for a very limited time, or that it will only be available on particular terms for a very limited time, in order to elicit an immediate decision and deprive consumers of sufficient opportunity or time to make an informed choice; and
  • Describing a product as free or without charge if the consumer has to pay anything other than the unavoidable cost of responding to the offer and collecting or paying for delivery of the item.

Trade Marks and Copyright

Egan Meyer can act for clients accused of using copyright, registered designs or trade mark, without the owner’s permission. Jim Meyer and Richard Egan have many years of experience dealing with actions brought by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (“FACT”), the Federation Against Software Theft (“FAST”), local authority Trading Standards Services and the police.

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