Trading Standard and Counterfeit Good’s prosecutions or investigations can place a huge strain on any business and its key personnel.
In some instances, convictions against individuals can result in the imposition of a custodial sentence. Taking expert legal advice at the outset can often make all the difference.
At EBR Attridge LLP we have extensive experience in representing companies and individuals facing Trading Standards investigations or who have been accused of trading standards offences. We guide our clients through the process and focus on helping them achieve the best possible outcome.
Local authorities employ Trading Standards Officers to investigate consumer complaints and enforce legislation relating to the protection of consumers. The relevant legislation covers a number of different areas including:-
- Counterfeit goods/trademark infringement
- Unfair commercial practices
- Weights and measures
- Under-age sales (e.g. tobacco and alcohol)
- Consumer contract regulations (governing distance selling)
- Animal welfare
- Consumer safety
- Fraudulent activity
In addition the market for counterfeit goods can easily involve unsuspecting individuals or businesses unaware that the goods they have bought for stock may be counterfeit.
An allegation of supplying counterfeit goods or conspiracy to supply counterfeit goods needs to be defended robustly.
Any investigation involving counterfeit goods will be thorough – and may involve a number of investigating authorities, such as the Serious Crime Office, Trading Standards, Federation against Copyright Theft and HM Revenue and Customs.
Investigations involving counterfeit goods or counterfeit money are extremely intrusive and stressful for suspects – and taking advice from a specialist fraud solicitor is vital to ensure that errors and misjudgements are not made, which may later prejudice the outcome for a suspect or defendant if the case goes to trial.
Counterfeiting charges may involve high-end brands – or selling fake or pirated DVDs, CDs, toys, electrical items, jewellery, perfume, clothing, tobacco products, e-cigarettes, chemicals, pharmaceuticals or cosmetics.
In cases where a consumer has sustained injury from a counterfeit item, a supplier may also face additional charges.
Trading Standards prosecutions or investigations can place a huge strain on a business and its key personnel. In some instances, convictions against individuals can result in the imposition of a custodial sentence. If Trading Standards raise a concern with you about the way your business is operating then you should take independent legal advice, preferably prior to responding to any allegation.
Trading Standards will sometimes wish to interview individuals 'under caution', at the local authority offices or sometimes at a police station. We can attend such interviews with you. You cannot be compelled to answer questions. In many instances it will be possible to address concerns raised or negotiate formal or informal agreements/undertakings about future conduct. In cases where a trading standards prosecution ensues, we can represent you and/or your company in any court proceedings.
It is therefore vital to take expert legal advice from a specialist firm of fraud solicitors skilled in dealing with these allegations, charges and any subsequent prosecutions involving Trading Standards and Counterfeit goods. We at EBR Attridge can confidently say we are familiar and versed with the investigatory practices of organisations such as Trading Standards, HM Revenue and Customs, National Crime Agency, Serious Fraud Office, City of London Economic Unit, Financial Conduct Authority and many more.
If you are being investigated or prosecuted, please make an appointment to see a specialist fraud Solicitor who can attend upon you by telephone, face-to-face or online.