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Product liability and product safety

Our global reach enables us to deal effectively with product issues across the product lifecycle wherever and whenever they arise in the world.

Kennedys has a market-leading product liability and product safety practice across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas and the Middle East. We provide a comprehensive service to our clients where we are able to deal with all their product-law-related issues, from cradle to grave of the product lifecycle.

We act for parties along the entire supply chain and have in-depth expertise in high-profile and complex matters involving a wide range of products including:

  • Consumer electronic devices
  • Furniture
  • Imaging products
  • Textiles/apparels (sports and fashion)
  • Toys/children’s products
  • Wearables
  • Whitegoods/home appliances.
  • Cannabis
  • Cosmetics
  • Drinks (including alcohol)
  • Food (including GMOs).
  • Automotive
  • Aviation
  • Biocides
  • Chemicals
  • Construction products
  • Machinery
  • Marine.
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Medical devices

Our clients are manufacturers, leading distributors and retailers, as well as their insurers and reinsurers.

We are often sought out in high-stakes, international matters to assist companies navigate the ever-more complex and global nature of modern-day product law issues. In our capacity as overall strategic legal advisers in such matters, we often coordinate the input of international external legal and non-legal specialists.

Our product law expertise


We have in-depth knowledge of all aspects of product law matters across the product lifecycle.

We regularly advise on ESG product compliance, product claims, ongoing regulatory compliance, regulator engagement and enforcement, consumer rights and remedies, product recalls and other corrective actions, product liability and product-related contentious matters, mass tort litigation, and product law policy and legal reform

Products Life Cycle Infographic V2

Product liability and other product-related contentious matters, including mass tort litigation and collective redress

In respect of our market-leading practice in product liability and product-related contentious matters we regularly do the following:

Successfully defending multi-jurisdictional, large product liability matters including successfully defending a landmark group litigation action (300+ claimants) in respect of to DePuy’s Pinnacle ULTAMET® Metal-on-Metal Articulation hip prostheses on behalf of the manufacturer. This case clarified the legal test for all defective products under consumer protection legislation in Europe. Handling over 7000+ product liability claims across EMEA in respect of an allegedly defective medical device.

Successfully defending global manufacturers in a 4-year criminal investigation undertaken by safety authorities for alleged breaches of EU product safety laws.

Acting for core participants in high profile, sensitive issue public inquiries, to include the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, the IMMDS (Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety) Review and the Infected Blood Inquiry.

Acting for clients in inquests which allege product-related deaths.

Product safety, including corrective actions and recalls

Our product safety specialism sees us regularly advise and act in the following capacities:

Advising clients on ad-hoc regulatory compliance obligations, across a broad range of sectors, including in respect of Brexit-related issues and legislative change.

Advising on legality of product claims, including ‘green claims’.

Regularly advising companies on product supply chains, design and disposal relating to environmental and ethical corporate social matters.

Acting as liaison between companies and product safety authorities in respect of ad-hoc queries, regulatory investigations or for proactive relationship-building purposes.

Advising manufacturers in respect of consumer rights, including in respect of warranties and ongoing obligations in the event of insolvency and end of product life issues.

Routinely coordinating some of the largest global product recalls and supply chain withdrawals undertaken, in respect of 100+ jurisdictions at a time, including in respect of home appliances, cosmetics and consumer electronics (lithium-ion batteries), medical devices and textiles.

Drafting product safety, product recall and product liability international processes for global companies.

2022 product liability and safety forecast: trends and future risks

Product innovation – highlighted by COVID-19 vaccines – continues to make headline news. As the adoption of emerging technologies gathers pace, regulation is evolving to reflect this changing environment. We consider developments in the product safety and product liability sphere, and provide an overview of the topics and trends that are likely to impact corporates and their insurers in the months ahead.
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