Have you been accused of a Trading Standards offence? The consequences of a breach can be severe and include substantial financial penalties and imprisonment. It is crucial that you seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible.

The team of expert solicitors at Lawtons have experience in this complex area of law. If you are the subject of an investigation, call us today on 0333 577 0522.

A Trading Standards investigation can be a distressing time, especially as it is not always clear how the investigations have been started – or even why.

With such little clarity, it is likely to considerably impact your personal and professional life. For peace of mind, it is important to seek specialist legal advice to help guide you through proceedings. This will ensure minimal disruption and increase the chances of a positive outcome.

At Lawtons we have years of experience in working with Trading Standards and we are able to provide specialist assistance. You do not have to be the subject of an investigation to get assistance – even if you are simply looking for advice on how best to comply with regulations, we can help.

 

What are Trading Standards?

Trading Standards is an umbrella term for regulating Trading Standards. It is usually aligned with local authority standards departments, working with a number of bodies including the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

 

What are the laws around Trading Standards? 

Legislation around Trading Standards covers many different potential offences. It is specifically relevant to any business concerned with the supply of goods and services or manufacture.

Trading Standards conduct various investigations including:    

  • Breaching copyright
  • Dealing in counterfeit goods
  • Breaching trademark regulations

All of these breaches can lead to prosecution.

 

 

What areas of my business can be impacted by Trading Standards?

A number of areas could become the subject of prosecution by any party under Trading Standards, at any given time. These include:

  • Weights and measures
  • Licensing
  • Food labelling
  • Advertising and sales
  • Product safety and recall
  • Food safety
  • Supply of age restricted products to minors
  • Trade descriptions

 

What are the penalties for Trading Standards offences?

Depending upon the offence, there are severe penalties served for non-compliance with Trading Standards regulations. These range from a formal caution and financial penalties to a term of imprisonment – it is the potential for reputational damage and the consequences of this that must also be taken into account. Depending on what is alleged and the outcome, after the actual court case is concluded trading standards sometimes seek to recover additional money from the accused party. This arises where the Trading Standards Authority allege that the person financially benefited from any breach. 

 

How should I approach a Trading Standards investigation?

The best advice is to always take a proactive approach to a Trading Standards investigation, so the assistance of an experienced solicitor can prove invaluable to you and the longevity of your business.

 

 

What should I do if I am accused of a Trading Standards offence?

If you are faced with an investigation or prosecution from Trading Standards, knowing where or how to start to prepare your case can seem daunting, particularly with the array of complex legislation involved.

Our team of expert solicitors at Lawtons are specialists in this field, fully versed in the workings of Trading Standards and available to help and support you and your business. You can be safe in the knowledge that your rights are protected and your business operations will be defended with maximum authority.

Get in touch with us to find out more about Trading Standards regulations and investigations and how we can help you. Calling our team could be one of the most important steps you make in protecting yourself, your organisation and its reputation.

 

 

Useful links

 

Q&A

How do Trading Standards investigations start?

In their efforts to protect consumers, Trading Standards officers respond to and investigate consumer complaints and then conduct inspections of businesses for compliance with legislation.

Can Trading Standards prosecute?

Yes, many breaches of Trading Standards are criminal offences, and as such can be prosecuted in the magistrates’ court or Crown Court. The penalty for such offences is often a fine.

Can Trading Standards close my business down?

Trading standards cannot close a business down. However, they can apply for court orders which may then cause the closure of a business to be ordered.