Expert Trading Standards Defence Solicitors – helping you defend your business and reputation.

If you are involved in a Trading Standards investigation, we can provide advice and representation at any stage, including an initial interview under caution. Our experienced Trading Standards Prosecutions solicitors have successfully represented many individuals and businesses facing investigation or prosecution by Trading Standards for alleged breaches of Trading Standards law, as well as a wide array of other regulatory offences. We have a dedicated team of expert criminal defence solicitors who have extensive expertise in defending prosecutions brought by Trading Standards.

Trading Standards Investigations can cover a range of offences, including copyright, trademarks, weights and measures, food safety, trade descriptions and consumer credit. In the event that the prosecution is successful, you may face a range of penalties including a caution, a fine, licence conditions, or even losing your trading licence. The latter could have severe financial consequences for both you and your business. Depending on the severity of the case, a custodial sentence may also be imposed.

The investigation process starts with a complaint lodged against you or your business. It can also result from a test purchase conducted by a Trading Standards official. If an investigation is launched, you will be asked to attend an official “interview under caution”. Seeking legal advice at this stage is crucial as your responses during the interview could be important in any potential further action. In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate alternative solutions to prosecution, such as a formal caution or a written warning.

Therefore, obtaining legal advice at an early stage is crucial. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your case, please contact us through our contact page here. Alternatively you can phone 0333 240 7373, or email us at


What can Trading Standards investigate or prosecute for?

Trading Standards investigations or prosecutions can be conducted by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or the Local Authority’s Trading Standards department . They do so to protect consumers and to investigate and prosecute individuals or businesses of any kind. They can investigate and prosecute  for matters which can range from issues relating to the sale of counterfeit goods; fair trading in terms of pricing, descriptions of goods and services, and terms and conditions; the sale of unsafe or dangerous goods; incorrect product labelling; incorrect weights and measures; under-age sales; breach of trademark regulations and breach of copyright laws.

What are the types of matters that Trading Standards can prosecute?

  • Advertising and sales
  • Consumer credit and contracts
  • Counterfeit goods
  • Food labelling
  • Food safety
  • Licensing
  • Product safety and product recall
  • Trade descriptions
  • Under-age sales
  • Weights and measures

What powers to Trading Standards officers have?

Trading Standards officers have broad powers.  They can require the submission of documentation and exercise many police-like powers while investigating potential criminal offences. Moreover, they can carry out test purchases to collect evidence against you, examine and test products, and enter your premises with or without a warrant. Trading Standards also has the authority to confiscate and retain goods and documentation, restrict the marketing of items, and pursue a prosecution against individuals and businesses in criminal courts. Considering their extensive jurisdiction, it is crucial to obtain professional legal advice when dealing with any Trading Standards investigation.

What to do in case of a Trading Standards investigation

An investigation by Trading Standards can be intrusive and concerning to any commercial entity, be it a sole trader or a large multi-national corporation.  A successful prosecution can result, in a custodial sentence or a fine, along with the reputational damage that may follow from adverse media coverage.

No matter the source of the investigation – whether it stems from a complaint from a member of the public, a rival company, or a test purchase initiated by Trading Standards – our team of expert Trading Standards defence solicitors are ready to support you in dealing with and resolving the matter at hand.

What is the Trading Standards investigation process?

If you or your business have been contacted by Trading Standards, they may wish to interview you under caution.

An interview under caution is a formal meeting that is conducted by Trading Standards when they suspect a person or business of having breached trading regulations. During this interview, the individual or business representative is questioned about the alleged breaches of Trading Standards law, and their answers will be recorded and can be used as evidence in any subsequent legal proceedings. It is strongly advisable to approach these interviews with caution and seek professional legal advice from expert Trading Standards defence solicitor to ensure that your rights are protected, and you are well-prepared for the questioning process. Even if you feel that you have not done anything wrong, it is still strongly advisable to seek prompt expert legal advice from criminal defence solicitors. Our experienced lawyers at Reeds can help.  They fully understand the pressures that will be placed on you to protect your personal and professional reputation, and to achieve the best possible outcome from any investigation or prosecution.

What can happen in case of a Trading Standards prosecution?

A prosecution by Trading Standards can result in a range of consequences that can have a significant impact on your reputation and financial stability.

One of the most significant consequences of a prosecution by Trading Standards is the damage to your business reputation. Negative publicity can quickly spread, harming your brand and causing a loss of customer trust. This can also lead to a decrease in sales and long-term damage to your business.

If you are convicted, the Court can impose financial penalties. These can be substantial and may include fines, costs, and compensation. In some cases, a prosecution can also lead to imprisonment, particularly in cases of serious breaches of trading standards regulations. Trading Standards can also commence confiscation proceedings whereby they will seek to recover your “benefit” from the criminal conduct of which you have been convicted.

It is important to note that a prosecution by trading standards can also result in a criminal record, which can have far-reaching consequences for your personal and professional life. This can impact your ability to secure future employment, obtain credit, and even travel overseas.

What can I do to defend a Trading Standards prosecution?

For more information, please contact any member of our specialist team.  Alternatively, click here to provide us with your details and a member of the team will contact you as soon as possible.


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