Consequences of a product safety or liability incident can be huge with the average cost of a recall estimated to be £6m.

But it's not just the actual cost, news of a safety issue can spread rapidly and there are sizable risks to content with such damage to your reputation / valued brand names and share price decline. Sales of your competitors' products tend to go up when brands are off the shelves and you may never get that shelf space back.

The repercussions will largely depend on the way you react which is why it is so important to have the support and contingencies in place if things go wrong.

In a market where managing risk is vital, our highly experienced Product Litigation, Safety and Recall team will get the right results for you.


  • Obtained victory for GSK in its defence of over 100 claims brought under a Group Litigation Order, along with an award for costs, in part on an indemnity basis. The case featured as one of The Lawyer's Top 20 Cases of 2019 and has made new law on the assessment of whether medicine is a defective product under the Consumer Protection Act 1987. Continues to act in relation to recovering GSK's costs, in respect of which the third party litigation funder recently paid GSK £5million in settlement of their liabilities for GSK's costs;
  • Advising a large group of defendants in relation to a potential diesel emissions group claim brought against them, over the alleged use of "defeat devices" in vehicles; 
  • Acting for a global pharmaceutical company in defence of a number of English, Scottish and Northern Irish claims for compensation brought in respect of the use of the H1N1 vaccine;
  • Acting for a global supplier of electronic components in the defence of a claim relating to allegedly defective components supplied and used in airbag control units sold to third party OEMs;
  • Trusted advisors to a number of leading food & drink brand manufacturers, including Britvic and Diageo, on product safety/recall issues in relation to their leading brands;  
  • Acting for a Fortune 500 company in a series of liability insurance arbitrations concerning losses in excess of $300, arising from one of its products installed in residential homes; 
  • As part the firm's wider instruction by Volkswagen to advise in respect of its alliance with Ford, we were instructed to advise on product liability and safety aspects of the deal;
  • Coordinating on an international basis a number of large recalls of consumer products on behalf of market-leading international brand names, including the recall of non-compliant products in the cosmetics, consumer electronics, retail and consumer and automotive sectors.
  • WE OBTAINED VICTORY for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in its defence of one of the largest pharmaceutical group actions in the UK, concerning its antidepressant drug Seroxat, and became the first UK law firm to be awarded GSK’s Global Litigation Law Firm of the Year.
  • WE HAVE RUN NUMEROUS CASES for both claimants and defendants supported by some form of Litigation Finance. 
  • WE ARE TRUSTED ADVISORS TO MANY FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies including GSK, Britvic, Diageo, and Haribo.
  • WE CAN ADVISE ON INTERNATIOANL MATTERS in all major jurisdictions. 

"AG fields an extremely strong product liability team, which draws upon experience in a series of high-profile cases, including group actions, which have been at the forefront of the development of the law, and practice in this field. They have the kind of experience that few firms can lay claim to." (The UK Legal 500 2022 – Product Liability: Defendant)

"Particularly adept at representing large corporations, including household-name retailers and manufacturers. Strong bench of both criminal and civil litigators." (Chambers and Partners, 2022 – Product Liability: Mainly Defendant)

"The team has a great reputation in relation to defendant product liability work and has acted on some of the most high-profile recent mandates in this area" (The UK Legal 500 2022 – Product Liability: Defendant)

"An experienced team known for defending product liability claims, particularly in the technology and food and drink sectors. Assists clients with product safety matters, including risk assessment, regulatory compliance, pre-launch auditing and product recalls." (Chambers and Partners, 2022 – Product Liability: Mainly Defendant)

"The AG product liability defence team stands out for the depth of its experience and quality of its clients. It has particular strength in the life sciences sector in general, with exceptional strength in the pharmaceutical sector. The team also provides regulatory and business-to-business disputes advice to an impressive range of clients, with the food and beverages sector also a source of strength." (The UK Legal 500 2022 – Product Liability: Defendant)

"Uniquely, AG’s broad practice, spanning from the regulatory and advisory space to defence work, aligned with the their spread across a number of sectors (life sciences, retail/consumer, manufacturing and tech), means they have real strength and depth in the market. It all fits seamlessly alongside their wider disputes department within the firm." (The UK Legal 500 2022 – Product Liability: Defendant)

"The product liability team at AGs is one of the go-to teams for defendants in this complex field of litigation. The team is adept at handling not just the detail of the legal issues, but, more importantly, the complexities of and pitfalls of group litigation in this context with a calm strategic resolve." (The UK Legal 500 2021 – Product Liability: Defendant)

"Addleshaw Goddard is a serious player in the field of product liability law" (The UK Legal 500, 2021 – Product Liability: Defendant) 

"They understand the clients' needs and have very good tactical and strategic nous" (Chambers and Partners, 2021 – Product Liability: Mainly Defendant)

CÉCILE BURGESS: "Cécile Burgess is a rising star… she is exceptionally bright and dedicated to her clients’ interests, with deep experience in product liability litigation and product safety work, including recalls." (The UK Legal 500, 2022 – Product Liability: Defendant)

MARK CHESHER: "Mark Chesher is everything you could want from an instructing solicitor: knowledgeable, sound in judgement and a great team-player." (The UK Legal 500 2021 – Product Liability: Defendant)


Related Insights


Welcome to the Seroxat series, where AG and Henderson Chambers – who acted for GSK – discuss the key takeaways from GSK's victory in its defence of the long-running Seroxat group litigation.
Access the series >


Sandra Bailey & others v GlaxoSmithKline UK Limited [2020] EWHC 1766 (QB)
Access the article >

External Publications

Key contacts

Meet the team
Cécile Burgess

Cécile Burgess

Partner, Dispute Resolution
London, UK

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Mark Chesher

Mark Chesher

Partner, Dispute Resolution
London, UK

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Megan Goodman

Megan Goodman

Associate, Commercial Disputes

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