Product Liability and Product Safety

In times of rapid technological progress and an increasing legislative and media focus on product liability and safety, we stand at your side as an experienced and reliable partner.

Our product liability specialists advise on all aspects of product liability and safety – from risk prevention and management during the development phase of a product, to (cross-border) supply chain and distribution management, to questions of product safety and liability, recalls and warnings, individual consumer compensation claims and collective redress. Our advisory practice also encompasses support in communications with authorities, customers, insurance companies and the media and global crisis management.

Our clients benefit from our expertise in numerous industries (including, in particular, consumer products, healthcare and automotive), decades of experience in product safety and product liability law and our global network, which enables us to advise on coordinated product recalls and the strategic defence of simultaneous actions across numerous jurisdictions. We provide advice on all legal issues arising throughout the lifecycle of a product - at any time and around the globe.

Our experience

Contract drafting and quality management

Many liability cases can be avoided by preventive measures: By selecting the right contractual partners and suppliers, by providing instructions for use precisely tailored to the product and its user, through internal quality management and through a distribution network that allows swift action worldwide in the event of a suspected risk. Our lawyers advise on all of these aspects, from research and development cooperations, to distribution and supply agreements and contracts with end users. In addition, we have been drafting general terms and conditions for decades, a wealth of experience that is of particular benefit to clients who are expanding their product portfolio in times of fast paced technological innovation. We provide precise legal and strategic advice that takes into account sector and industry-specific needs as well as the business objectives of our clients. Our knowledge of industry-specific market characteristics allows us to take a tailored commercial approach to any given situation.

Warnings and recalls

When product safety is at stake, the ability to make quick and informed decisions is of the utmost importance. Our teams are specialized in assessing complex factual backgrounds under great time pressure and asking the right questions early on in order to assess and evaluate commercial and legal risks. Our years of experience provide us with the necessary technical expertise to understand production processes, testing methods and functional correlations.

At the same time, we ensure that all strands of work in a product safety crisis - regarding customers, contractual partners, authorities, the press, investors and insurance carriers - are aligned and in support of the overall strategy. The decision for or against a recall, for example, requires the consideration of numerous aspects in each individual case. We support our clients in these critical phases by quickly obtaining and evaluating information and making precise legal assessments in all relevant jurisdictions. Our Product Liability Subgroup has proven to work swiftly and reliably using the strength of our global network.

Conflict management along the supply chain

In many cases, the ultimate allocation of liability is economically just as important as the initial procurement of information and early communication to the market. Particularly within long-term contractual relationships, classic litigation is not the dispute resolution mechanism of choice. Instead, cooperation with suppliers in the handling of recalls and replacement deliveries while not compromising insurance cover is often decisive. We guide our clients safely through what can be a minefield of conflicting interests and support them in reducing risk and finding solutions that ensure successful future cooperation along the supply chain.

Due to extensive experience in the field of contract drafting and interpretation, we can quickly analyse and evaluate legal frameworks across borders. In addition, regular work with technical experts enables our lawyers to advise on the robust documentation of damages at an early stage, to understand damage calculations and, if necessary, to question them. On this basis, we can successfully guide our clients through negotiations with contractual partners and insurers alike.

Dispute Resolution

Developments in procedural and substantive law, such as plans for collective redress mechanisms across Europe or the introduction of the Medical Devices Regulation, are presenting companies with new challenges and questions. Our lawyers will reliably support you in this evolving area of law with competence, experience and commercial understanding. Whether in disputes with insurers or in defending consumer claims, our clients appreciate us for our legal expertise, efficiency, as well as for our professional and resolute litigation style.

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