Trading Standards Solicitors in London

If you’re facing a Trading Standards investigation or enforcement action, our highly skilled team of solicitors are on hand to help you.

Trading Standards law is complex but can have serious consequences for those found in breach, including long-term damage to your business, hefty fines, and even prison sentences. It’s therefore essential to consult a specialist Trading Standards solicitor to handle the matter on your behalf.

We understand how distressing it can be to experience Trading Standards officers visiting your business and potentially accessing important business information or testing and removing goods.

We’ll be by your side throughout the process, ensuring the legitimacy of the investigation and protecting your legal rights at every step. We will provide expert advice on the best way to approach the matter so as to cause minimal disruption or reputational damage to your business as well as how to comply with any orders or requirements efficiently and cost-effectively.

For uncomplicated, practical advice please get in touch with our Trading Standards solicitors in London. We have local offices in Hounslow, Slough, Twickenham, Mayfair, and Chancery Lane. Alternatively, please fill in our enquiry form to the right of the page and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

What our Trading Standards solicitors in London can do for you

Trading Standards can take both civil and criminal action in relation to breaches of consumer law. We have extensive experience supporting and guiding individuals and businesses through Trading Standards investigations, including defending them in any criminal proceedings and protecting their legal rights at all times.

Our full solution service includes liaising with Trading Standards when they initially contact you – for example, in relation to the supply of information – and conducting negotiations where relevant – such as in relation to the removal of goods or access to containers or electronic devices.

We will provide constructive advice on remedying any breaches and assist your compliance with any orders to change or improve the conduct of your business.

We can also advise and represent you during any interviews under caution where you are under suspicion of a criminal offence, make representations against prosecution on your behalf, and advise in relation to any related civil action such as freezing orders and restraint orders.

What is Trading Standards?

Trading Standards is an overarching term to describe local authority departments which enforce Trading Standards laws and regulations and other organisations such as the Food Standards Agency, the Competition and Markets Authority, Office of Fair Trading, and National Trading Standards.

What do Trading Standards do?

Trading Standards officers are authorised to enforce trading standards laws across a vast range of areas, including:

  • Age restricted sales
  • Banking, finance, and consumer credit
  • Animal rights and welfare
  • Food standards and safety
  • Fair trading, including pricing, description of goods, labelling, and terms and conditions
  • Consumer and product safety
  • Agriculture
  • Intellectual property
  • Money laundering
  • Fireworks, explosives, and petroleum
  • Mass marketing scams and fraud
  • Doorstep crime
  • E-crime
  • Medicines
  • Cosmetics and health
  • Cigarettes
  • Weights and measures

What powers do Trading Standards officers have?

Trading Standards officers (also referred to as “enforcers”) have broad powers under Schedule 5 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to investigate breaches of consumer law, including:

  • Power to require information – this power can be exercised without visiting the business’s premises and is often used to investigate terms and conditions. The enforcer must serve a notice specifying why the information is required
  • Power to observe the carrying on of a business and the power to carry out a test purchase
  • Power to enter commercial premises with or without notice – the enforcer must provide 2 days’ written notices before entering the premises unless an exemption applies. The enforcer also has a number of associated powers, including the power to:
    • Inspect products or test equipment
    • Require the production of documents
    • Seize and detain goods and documents
    • Break open containers, including accessing electronic devices

The Consumer Rights Act also includes 2 criminal offences related to the powers of Trading Standards enforcers:

  • The offence of intentionally obstructing an officer
  • The offence of purporting to act as an officer

Why are Trading Standards visiting me?

Trading Standards may visit you if they receive a complaint or after they’ve undertaken a risk-based assessment. For example, they may take into account the type of your business, its trading history, and the kinds of products and services it provides. Some Trading Standards also carry out routine inspections.

Trading Standards officers will always carry photographic identification which shows their name, department, and the local authority they come from. However, if you have concerns about the legitimacy of the officer’s inspection, you should contact your local authority as soon as possible.

Can Trading Standards close my business down?

Trading Standards cannot directly close down your business. However, they have a number of enforcement powers they can use if you’re found to be in breach of consumer law which may indirectly damage your business.

What enforcement action can Trading Standards take?

Trading Standards officers can take a wide range of enforcement action against people and businesses who breach consumer law. Depending on the severity of the breach, you could face formal warnings, substantial fines, restrictions on your business activities, a criminal conviction, or even a prison sentence.

Below are some of the consequences you could face:

  • Improvement notices – commonly used to enforce health and safety law, improvement notices require you to remedy a breach
  • Prohibition notices – these are used to require the immediate termination of the activities causing the breach
  • Seizure of goods – for example, to remove unsafe or counterfeit goods from the market
  • Prosecution for criminal offences – including fraud, trade mark and intellectual property offences, and misleading consumers
  • Proceeds of crime recovery action – used to recover money made from criminal activities

Trading Standards criminal prosecutions

Trading Standards will sometimes request to interview individuals in relation to alleged illegal activities “under caution” at the local authority offices or the police station. You should never attend these interviews without first obtaining legal advice or taking a solicitor to represent you because anything you say could be used to charge you with an offence or as evidence during a prosecution.

If you’ve been accused of a criminal offence and invited to an interview under caution in relation to a Trading Standards offence, our team includes highly skilled criminal defence solicitors who can provide you with clear, practical advice and representation.

Why choose our Trading Standards solicitors in London?

At Lovell Chohan, we have years of experience successfully helping businesses with all aspects of Trading Standards investigations and prosecutions. Our primary goal is always to achieve the best outcome possible in the circumstances, and we’ll carefully tailor our advice to suit your individual business needs and commercial strategy.

We are accredited by the Law Society in Criminal Litigation, for our expertise across criminal Trading Standards cases. We’re also accredited in Lexcel for our client-centred approach and excellent legal practice management.

We pride ourselves on our accessibility, with members of our team able to speak a broad range of languages, including French, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, and Welsh. We can also arrange interpreters for speakers of other languages, even at short notice, and have a built-in induction T-Loop system for people who are hard of hearing.

Lovell Chohan is independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Get in touch with our Trading Standards solicitors in London today

For uncomplicated, practical advice please get in touch with our Trading Standards solicitors in London. We have local offices in Hounslow, Slough, Twickenham, Mayfair, and Chancery Lane. Alternatively, please fill in our enquiry form to the right of the page and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.