Product Liability

Product Liability

Reputational risk is a vulnerability that businesses – large or small, local or international – have to manage day in day out.  Your reputation is a vital performance indicator and your product is the foundation of your reputation; whether your line of business is manufacturing, importing, distributing or retail.  Running parallel, but equally significant, ethical supply chains, however complex, are essential in the modern business economy.  The slightest oversight can have a major impact and with the frequency of product liability claims increasing, protecting your brand should be your priority.

39 Essex Chambers has been a leader in the field of product liability for many years.  The members’ experience includes group litigation/multi party actions, claims for defective design, business interruption and loss of profit, as well as supply chain recovery actions and product recalls.  Chambers has experience with risk management, assessment, prevention, data capture and crisis management. Examples include:

  • Working with a retailer, collaborating with their preferred solicitor firms as a legal supplier and contributing to the award winning improvement of their risk management/prevention processes
  • Advising on an incident involving food contamination and the crisis management that inevitably followed
  • Advising a charity on the product recall of a toy which was distributed to children
  • Claim involving a significant damage to a number of fighter jets after a sprinkler system failed highlighting a design defect
  • Instructed to undertake an independent confidential internal investigation in the aftershock of a crisis

The members work with corporate clients across a number of areas of law and are well versed in working as part of a team with business executives, general counsel and solicitors.  They also have vast experience in insurance law and the nuances surrounding that area. Chambers has historical relationships with a wealth of brokers, insurers, reinsurers, MGA’s and TPA’s.  This combined knowledge enables the members to have in-depth understanding of the commercial drivers.

As well as having knowledge across regulatory and civil proceedings, the members are prominent in the arbitration sector, both domestically and internationally, and have experience in all of the major arbitral institutions including ICC, LCIA, SIAC, KLRCA, CIETAC, KCAB, DIAC, LME and LMAA.  Members are instructed in a range of regions including Asia, Middle East, Caribbean, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

Case examples include:

  • Linkwise Group Litigation
  • The DePuy Pinnacle Metal on Metal Hip Litigation
  • XYZ v Various (The PIP Breast Implant Group Litigation)
  • The Northwick Park Clinical Trial Litigation
  • The Sudan Red Litigation
  • Seroxat Group Litigation
  • Hepatitis C Litigation
  • Scania 4 Series Group Litigation
  • Opren Litigation
  • Myodil Litigation
  • Organophosphate Litigation
  • LSD Litigation
  • MMR Litigation
  • Bowling v Pfizer (Shiley Heart Valves)
  • Dow Corning Breast Implant Litigation
  • Ide v ATB Sales Ltd [2008] EWCA Civ 424; [2009] RTR 8; [2008] PIQR P13
  • Pollard v Tesco Stores Ltd [2006] EWCA Civ 393. Court of Appeal

Who to contact

Ben Sundborg

Ben Sundborg is the Senior Practice Manager for the Product Liability team and will, along with the clerking team below, be able to help you with any questions.


Ben SundborgEmail


Call: +44 (0)20 7832 1179


View clerk's team

Neil Block QC

Neil Block QC

Call: 1980 Silk: 2002

William Norris QC

William Norris QC

Call: 1974 Silk: 1997

Matthias Kelly QC

Matthias Kelly QC

Call: 1979 Silk: 1999

Colin McCaul QC

Colin McCaul QC

Call: 1978 Silk: 2003

Charles Cory-Wright QC

Charles Cory-Wright QC

Call: 1984 Silk: 2006

Derek O'Sullivan QC

Derek O'Sullivan QC

Call: 1990 Silk: 2016

Simon Edwards

Simon Edwards

Call: 1978

David Bradly

David Bradly

Call: 1987

James Todd

James Todd

Call: 1990

Emily Formby

Emily Formby

Call: 1993

Caroline Truscott

Caroline Truscott

Call: 1998

Camilla Church

Camilla Church

Call: 1998

Katharine Scott

Katharine Scott

Call: 2000

James Burton

James Burton

Call: 2001

Sadie Crapper

Sadie Crapper

Call: 2004

Robert Lazarus

Robert Lazarus

Call: 2004

Caroline Allen

Caroline Allen

Call: 2005

Alexis Hearnden

Alexis Hearnden

Call: 2005

Andrew Deakin

Andrew Deakin

Call: 2006

Peter Mant

Peter Mant

Call: 2006

Quintin Fraser

Quintin Fraser

Call: 2006

Rebecca Drake

Rebecca Drake

Call: 2007

Jack Holborn

Jack Holborn

Call: 2008

Patrick Hennessey

Patrick Hennessey

Call: 2010

Rose Grogan

Rose Grogan

Call: 2010

Angela Rainey

Angela Rainey

Call: 2010

Hannah McCarthy

Hannah McCarthy

Call: 2010

Emma Corkill

Emma Corkill

Call: 2010

Samar Abbas

Samar Abbas

Call: 2011

Tom Tabori

Tom Tabori

Call: 2011

Melissa Shipley

Melissa Shipley

Call: 2011

Jonathan Darby

Jonathan Darby

Call: 2012

Nicola Kohn

Nicola Kohn

Call: 2012

Adam Boukraa

Adam Boukraa

Call: 2013

Sarah Bousfield

Sarah Bousfield

Call: 2013

Augustus Ullstein QC

Augustus Ullstein QC

Call: 1970 Silk: 1992

Call +44 (0)20 7832 1111 for more information

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