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. The consequences of a breach can be severe and include substantial fines or imprisonment.
With such little clarity, it is understandable that any issue 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 to ensure minimal disruption.
At Lawtons we have years of experience in working with Trading Standards and we are able to provide specialist assistance, even if you are simply looking for advice on how best to comply.
Trading Standards and the law
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 Food Standards Agency (FSA).
Legislation covers many different potential offences and is of specific relevance 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.
More specifically, 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
- Food labelling
- Advertising and sales
- Product safety and recall
- Food safety
- Supply of age restricted products to minors
- Trade descriptions
Prosecution and sentences for Trading Standards offences
Whilst there are severe penalties served for non-compliance with Trading Standards regulations – ranging from a formal caution, financial penalties to a term of imprisonment – it is the potential for reputational damage and the consequences of such that must also be taken into account.
The 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.
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.