Product Liability & Compliance

An end-to-end service across the full product life cycle 

Product compliance is critical to ensuring a product meets the expectations of customers and the market generally. It's also vital for protecting against potential product liability for consumer harm, and potential significant reputational and financial risk.

Product safety remains a key priority for the ACCC, and being a consumer-facing business is now a key indicator of class action risk in Australia. Product-related claims often attract a high level of public and media scrutiny.

We provide an end-to-end service across the full product life cycle to assist product manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers to adopt pre-emptive strategies to maximise product returns and minimise the risk of product liability claims, and to respond quickly and effectively when a claim arises.

How can we help?

Our leading product liability and compliance team works closely with clients to navigate the complex consumer protection regulatory framework. We can assist you in formulating strategies to maximise the commercial success of products and pre-emptive strategies to reduce the likelihood of product liability claims.

Risk management and compliance are essential to protect market share and to avoid damage to corporate reputation. We offer our clients highly effective risk management programs and audits, which cover issues such as:

  • preparing risk management and product recall policies;
  • contractual advice (including conditions of sale, warranties and indemnities);
  • product labelling, information, packaging, advertising and promotion;
  • quality assurance systems;
  • advising on regulatory compliance and product standards; and
  • directors' and officers' governance and exposure issues.

If a claim does arise, our market-leading product liability specialists put clients in the best position to successfully respond to the claim. Many large Australian and multinational companies have entrusted our product liability specialists to represent them in some of Australia's most complex product liability cases and class actions involving motor vehicles, vaccines, alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, blood products, breast implants and asbestos products. We also have extensive experience managing complex and high profile product recalls and mandatory reporting.


Product liability class actions

We have a leading product liability class action team with a wealth of experience defending class actions for multi-nationals such as Ford and Nissan (vehicles), Pfizer (pharmaceutical products), Phillip Morris (tobacco), Du Pont (Benlate® fungicide) and Dow Corning (breast implants).

Defending Ford in power shift transmission class action

Defending Ford in a major consumer class action brought on behalf of 70,000 group members, raising allegations about defects in the power shift transmission in certain Ford vehicles.

Acting for Nissan in relation to Takata airbags

Defending Nissan in the high profile class action proceedings relating to alleged safety issues with Takata airbags. This case is being conducted in parallel with a nationwide mandatory recall and class actions in other countries.

Defending Du Pont class action

We acted for Du Pont in class action proceedings in relation to crop damage alleged to have been caused by its Benlate® fungicide.

Compliance and risk management

We provide compliance and risk management policies addressing key issues including standard identification, record keeping and reporting. We assisted AGL with its product safety policy and processes, particularly on electrical safety and product testing. We also conduct product liability training.

Packaging, labelling and advertising

We advise a range of clients, particularly in the food and beverage, consumer products and pharmaceuticals sectors, on requirements for product packaging, labelling and advertising. Our clients include large multinational companies such as Mondelez and Ferrero.

Compliance with product standards

Our team assists clients to identify and comply with Australian standards, and to develop related compliance frameworks. We are experienced in engaging with the ACCC and state and territory regulators about the application of product standards.

Product recalls and mandatory reporting

We advise clients including Samsung, Schweppes, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, Western Digital and Porsche on product recalls and mandatory reporting obligations. We can help develop a product recall policy, advise on whether a report or recall is necessary and engage with the regulators.

Personal injury litigation

We have extensive experience defending personal injury claims, including acting in litigation arising from the use of pharmaceuticals (Pfizer), tobacco products (Phillip Morris), electrical products and vaccines (CSL).