Trading Standards Investigations

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Trading Standards Investigations

Our regulatory lawyers have years of experience in defending businesses who are under investigation by Trading Standards, including a number of very serious matters which have been contested in the Crown Court.

Trading Standards investigations can cover a wide range of potential offences that include copyright, trademarks, trade descriptions, consumer credit, weights and measures and food safety, among others.

If you are subject to a Trading Standards investigation we can be on hand, at short notice, to offer guidance from the initial interview under caution. We are also qualified to represent you in the event of the case being prosecuted through the Criminal Justice system.

In the event of a successful prosecution you could receive a caution, a fine, conditions imposed upon licenses or even a revocation of your licence to trade. The last punishment could have particularly significant financial repercussions on you and your business. In some situations a custodial sentence is possible.

An investigation will begin with an initial complaint against you or your business or as a result of a test purchase made by a Trading Standards official. In taking action to investigate a complaint you will be invited to attend an interview under caution. It is very important that you get legal advice at this stage as any replies you give in the interview may be significant in any subsequent prosecution. It may also be possible in some circumstances to negotiate alternative options to prosecution, such as a written warning or a formal caution.

Prosecution and the legal process

In the event that you become the subject of a prosecution you’ll be issued with a summons detailing the alleged offences and providing a date for a first appearance at the relevant Magistrates’ Court. If you receive a summons it is important that you obtain legal advice and representation from our trading standards lawyers as soon as possible.

We are in a position to advise you about the law and Court process. We’ll also assess the evidence and advise you on the appropriate plea, taking all the necessary proactive steps to defend the case. We can also advise on other matters relevant to the case, for example confiscation proceedings following a guilty plea or finding of guilt and also in relation to any applications that may be made by Trading Standards for the forfeiture and destruction of any goods seized.

Get in touch

Contact one of our Trading Standards Solicitors if you have any queries concerning Trading Standards or criminal consumer legislation, or if you would simply like to discuss these issues with one of our solicitors in strict confidence and without obligation:

  • Request a free call back using the form on the right
  • Phone us during office hours on 0333 888 4040
  • Email us at

Who Can Help You?

Mark Wilson, Partner at Richard Nelson LLP

Mark Wilson


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Jacqui Callan


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Richard Etherington

Associate and Higher Courts Advocate

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What we do...

If you are subject to a Trading Standards Investigation we can be on hand, at short notice, to offer guidance from the initial interview to defending your business in court. Potential offences include:

  • Copyright infringement
  • Trademark infringement
  • Trade descriptions
  • Consumer credit
  • Weights and measures
  • Food safety

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