Disputes & Investigations

Product Liability

The advent of strict product liability laws, coupled with a rise in consumer class actions and media exposure, poses a significant and costly risk to manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers.

It is essential for such businesses to adopt pre-emptive strategies to minimise the risk of product liability claims and to respond quickly and effectively when a claim arises. Allens leading product liability team works closely with its clients to:

  • navigate through the complex consumer protection regulatory maze and formulate pre-emptive strategies to reduce the likelihood of product liability claims; and
  • successfully defend or significantly reduce the impact of product liability claims on our clients' reputations.

We provide a full range of services including:

  • regulatory compliance;
  • packaging, advertising and promotional advice;
  • contractual advice (including conditions of sale, warranties and indemnities);
  • product recalls (for defect, contamination and tampering);
  • litigation, mediation and negotiation (including multi-claimant and multi-jurisdictional claims);
  • timely and practical crisis management; and
  • risk management programs and audits.

Many large Australian and multinational companies have entrusted our experienced lawyers to represent them in some of Australia's most complex product liability cases involving alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, blood products, breast implants and asbestos products.

Proactive risk management

Risk management is 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:

  • quality assurance systems;
  • product recall policies;
  • product information and packaging issues;
  • directors' and officers' governance and exposure issues; and
  • document management policies and risk transfer mechanisms.

Rigorous defence and dispute resolution

Specialist legal skills are required to successfully defend or reduce the impact of a product liability claim and, in particular, class actions. Our product liability team is comprised of experienced litigators who work closely with our clients to formulate rigorous and media savvy defence strategies.

Where possible, we also offer quality mediation and other dispute resolution procedures, either as an adjunct or alternative to civil proceedings.