Product liability and product safety

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 goods

  • Consumer electronic devices
  • Furniture
  • Imaging products
  • Textiles/apparels (sports and fashion)
  • Toys/children’s products
  • Wearables
  • Whitegoods/home appliances.

Health, beauty and nutrition

  • Cannabis
  • Cosmetics
  • Drinks (including alcohol)
  • Food (including GMOs).

Industrial, vehicles/transport and machinery

  • Automotive
  • Aviation
  • Biocides
  • Chemicals
  • Construction products
  • Machinery
  • Marine.

Life sciences

  • 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 product launch and development, ESG product compliance, marketing, advertising and 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.

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:

Product liability and product-related contentious matters

Providing strategic management of manufacturer’s international portfolio of individual product liability claims, up to thousands of claims at a time, across global businesses.

Mass tort litigation

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.

Criminal investigations

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

Public inquiries

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:

Product launch

Routinely managing international product launches and market entry due diligence, in 40+ countries at a time, in consumer electronics, cosmetics, medical devices, cannabis, food and drink including in respect of new and innovative technologies.

Ongoing regulatory compliance

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

Marketing, advertising and product claims

Advising on legality of product claims, including ‘green claims’ in particular and responding to or initiating complaints to relevant advertising bodies in respect of anti-competitive practices.

Corporate social responsibility

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

Regulator engagement and enforcement

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

Consumer rights and remedies

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.

Product recalls and corrective actions

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.

Product law policy and legal reform

Acting for clients in policy work, including in respect of submissions and input into prospective legislation and legislative reform.

Processes and overall programmes for product safety and liability

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

Product safety blog

In Safe Hands

Kennedys global experts keep you up-to-date with the latest developments in international product safety.

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Featured report

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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Our product liability and product safety expertise

Market recognition
  • The Legal 500 UK Leading Firm 2023

    Leading Firm

    The Legal 500 UK 2023

  • Uk Leading Firm 2022

    Leading Firm

    The Legal 500 UK 2022

  • Legal-500-UK-2021-leading-firm.png

    Leading Firm

    The Legal 500 UK 2021

  • Legal-500-EMEA-2020-leading-firm.png

    Leading Firm

    The Legal 500 EMEA 2020