Our consumer practice advises companies across the whole consumer sector, but particularly food and drink, retail and luxury brands. We believe in a simple principle: your lawyers are more effective when they understand your business and your industry. We deploy this expertise whether advising on brand protection, handling M&A, advising on the outsourcing of production or negotiating supply agreements.
  • Profile
  • Experience
  • Key contacts

Our consumer team advises companies across the whole spectrum of the consumer sector, but we are particularly strong in food and drink, retail and luxury brands.

Much of our work with consumer clients involves advising on M&A transactions, negotiating commercial contracts, advising on IP brand protection and licensing issues, and helping to resolve complex disputes.

We act for: manufacturers and producers; distributers and suppliers; brand owners; private equity; investors; retailers; importers and exporters; entrepreneurs; and financial institutions.

Through their immersion in the sector over many years, our lawyers understand both the commercial and legal issues faced by consumer businesses, such as:

  • a food or drinks manufacturer appointing a co-packer or bottler
  • critical brand protection concerns when licensing IP to third parties internationally
  • protecting the business while dealing with suppliers or customers in insolvency situations
  • the implementation of a selective distribution arrangement in compliance with international anti-trust laws

We advise clients worldwide. Our presence in China and Southeast Asia means we are ideally placed to advise in this fast growing and increasingly important consumer region.

We also work closely with colleagues in our hotels and leisure practice, advising clients who own and operate hotels, restaurants, pubs, bars and clubs.

"This innovative team is making noises in the sector and is one to watch"
Senior independent director, Chrysalis Group


We advised this leading frozen foods business on the acquisition of the frozen potato business of Lutosa (part of McCain), a long-term contract/outsourced manufacturing agreement and transitional service arrangements.

Combatting copycat products for luxury brands such as Moët Hennessy and Richemont

Our specialist anti-counterfeiting team effectively tackle copycats using a strategy involving criminal as well as civil prosecution and their invaluable network of contacts within law enforcement and service providers.

Senoble UK

We regularly advise Senoble UK Limited, a manufacturer and supplier of own-label desserts and pastries to supermarkets, on all aspects of its customer relationships, procurement, logistics and warehousing, real estate and employment issues.

Advising Joseph fashion house on its franchising arrangements

Teams across different Asian Stephenson Harwood offices worked together to implement Joseph's franchising strategy, allowing it to continue its global expansion.

Hotel Chocolat

We advised Hotel Chocolat, the premium chocolate grower, manufacturer and retailer on various corporate matters.

European ice cream manufacturer

We are advising a European ice cream manufacturer on their Middle East franchise arrangements. This includes drafting and negotiating franchise agreements, know-how licence agreements and trade mark licence agreements.

Accolade Wines

We acted in a £160 million claim in connection with the defective design and construction of the largest wine production and distribution facility in the UK involving multi-party English High Court proceedings.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

We advised Krispy Kreme Doughnuts on all aspects of its Myanmar franchising arrangements and manufacturing and distribution of products in Myanmar.

Gap's sole IP counsel in the UK

We lead all actions for Gap in Europe. We advise on its IP portfolio and, in particular, trade mark branding issues (prosecution, oppositions, infringements) and parallel imports.

Corporate advisory work for Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie

We provide corporate advice to fashion brands retailers Urban Outfitters and lifestyle brand retailer Anthropologie.

Latest news & insights

04 Jun 2024

From Insights

AI update – CMA's approach to AI

The Competition and Markets Authority published its AI Strategic Update on 29 April 2024, in response to the UK Government's White Paper on its approach to regulating ..


15 Apr 2024

From Insights

New Security Regulations for Connected Products come into force on 29 April 2024

On 6 December 2022, the UK Product Security and Telecoms Infrastructure Act 2022 ("PSTIA") received Royal Assent, but it is not all yet in effect.


17 May 2023

From Insights

Class wars: time to legislate for hurt feelings? (Damages for data breach - Austrian Post)

In Österreichische Post AG Case C-300/21 (the Austrian Post), the CJEU has removed one of the blockers to mass data breach claims in the EU.


© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.