Helping our client when Trading Standards actions nearly closed their business
We acted for our client in a very unusual case.
Our client was the subject of raids at all four of their premises by Trading Standards officers. The raids were part of an investigation into alleged breach of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 and more recent regulations and had attracted the interest of the media.
The case concerned allegations as to the stated place of manufacture of our client’s goods. During the raids, the officers removed several thousand items, including the computer systems and virtually closed down our client for a two week period. However, no charges had ever been brought against our client.
Our client had a number of claims: firstly for compensation under the 1968 Act and secondly civil claims for amongst other things trespass to goods.
The case was legally complex. There had been a change in the law between the date that Trading Standards officers obtained the warrants for the raids from the Magistrates Court and the date the raids actually took place. In this respect, the timing of the raids appeared to have been no coincidence.
We decided that it was best to focus on the strongest heads of claim and avoid our client from becoming involved in what could be highly complicated High Court proceedings. This strategy paid dividends as it made it very difficult for the authority to defend. We then wished to move the case towards mediation, but it was important to find a mediator with the expertise for this area. We chose and agreed a retired High Court judge to be the mediator and the matter was settled.
We consider the case to be a demonstration of ensuring a case is presented on its strongest legal, rather than moral, terms and ensuring the correct choice of mediator.