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At Farrer & Co, we provide comprehensive legal solutions to retailers and other consumer-facing businesses. With a focus on private capital and owner-managed entrepreneurial retailers, we offer unparalleled expertise to help businesses navigate the complex landscape of this dynamic sector.

Our work in the retail & consumer sector

We are proud to have advised some of the country’s leading brands, as well supporting overseas companies selling to UK consumers. Our expertise spans high street and online retail, fashion, digital media, education businesses, and museums and galleries. Our work for these clients informs the work we do for clients in other sectors, whether they operate a small retail business or engage in B2B contracts where our retail experience is relevant.

Recent client highlights include advising:

  • A luxury department store offering designer fashion, beauty, food & wine, both online and in-store.
  • A British clothing retailer, selling primarily online and by mail order and catalogue. The company sells in several countries.
  • A luxury fashion brand that sells ready-to-wear collections incorporating clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories.
  • An international manufacturer, distributor and retailer of high-quality tiles, bathroom and kitchen equipment.
  • A specialist property asset management company focused on the investment and management of shopping centres and retail environments across Europe.
  • The UK's first fully certified organic supermarket.
  • An American multinational footwear and apparel company.
  • A chain retailer of fashionable women's sport & exercise clothing & accessories.
  • The UK arm of an Italian luxury retailer.
  • An Italian designer, manufacturer and retailer of luxury furniture.
  • A global footwear brand in drawing up an Acceptable Use Policy for Generative AI.
  • A US based fashion company facing claims for breaches of GDPR and cookie rules.
  • A high-end London fashion brand to protect its trade marks and trading rights throughout the UK and Europe.
  • A US based online retailer impacted by the point-of-sale e-commerce platform cyber-security breach.
  • A UK based manufacturer on potential liabilities arising from an alleged product fault that halted a multi-billion-pound construction project.
  • A UK fashion house in a brand dispute with a US online resale platform;
  • A retailer of high-end kitchens in a branding dispute with its Italian manufacturer.
  • A CEO and owner of a South American luxury retail chain in connection with a share purchase dispute.
  • An international furniture manufacturer on disputes with a supplier and with a household name retailer about liabilities following a large product recall.
  • A large UK fashion retailer on design and copyright claims brought by a US shoe maker;
  • The founder of an award-winning British skincare brand on matters arising from the sale of the company.

Our transactional services

  • Establishing your brand in the UK: We help overseas brands looking to sell to UK consumers, whether by opening bricks and mortar stores, licensing deals, or selling online via local fulfilment partners. Our local expertise helps foreign clients break in to the UK market as well as providing support from the outset on choice of legal entity, financial support, lease negotiations and employment and immigration advice.
  • Investment and funding: In the retail and consumer industry, securing private capital is often crucial for growth and innovation. Our team specialises in structuring and negotiating business critical transactions, offering bespoke legal solutions that align with the unique needs of our clients acting on equity fundraisings, debt facilities, joint ventures and licensing and franchise transactions.

  • FinanceOur Banking team advises on an extensive range of finance arrangements for retail and consumer clients, from term and revolving credit loan facilities to more complex leveraged debt funding structures, including those involving alternative sources of capital, such as mezzanine finance. The team’s extensive experience and reputation in this sector is built on the client relationships it has developed, supporting clients through their market cycles from advising on initial financings to refinancings. This experience, coupled with its technical excellence and a client focused approach, allows the team to provide a high-quality level of service and innovative solutions to the challenges facing our clients.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: Farrer & Co advises both sellers and acquirers on mergers and acquisitions within the retail and consumer industry. Our team has a proven track record of facilitating successful transactions, providing strategic advice, and conducting thorough due diligence to protect our clients' interests.

Our advisory services

  • Consumer protection: Consumer trust is paramount in today's retail environment. We take a proactive approach to consumer protection, advising clients on compliance with consumer protection legislation, including the Consumer Rights Act, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, and the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation etc) Regulations. These laws underpin responsible and compliant practices for consumer-facing business. We advise on drafting terms and conditions, returns, customer complaints distance selling, promotional claims, and dealing with local trading standards and the CMA. Post Brexit and with consumer protection reform on the horizon, we understand the direction of travel and can advise clients on how to stay ahead of the curve.
  • Intellectual property and brand protection: A retailer’s brand is the cornerstone of its success and we advise clients on registering, exploiting and protecting their intellectual property rights. From trade mark registrations to licensing and franchising, our lawyers advise on the full range of IP and brand-related matters in the UK and overseas. We help manage large brand portfolios for a number of well-loved household names. We also help creators with new ideas take proportionate and cost-effective decisions about branding at start-up stage.
  • Data protection: Dealing with customer personal data is inherent to retail. We draft the full suite of policies required under the UK GDPR, advise on electronic marketing, and help clients when customers assert their rights (including data breaches, subject access requests, and ICO complaints). We also help clients build and then harness customer data in a compliant manner, and advise on compliant international transfers for global businesses.
  • E-commerce and technology: As the retail landscape evolves, so do the legal challenges associated with e-commerce and technology. Our firm stays ahead of the curve, with expertise in the supply chain contracts underpinning e-commerce and the distance selling rules which must be complied with. Recent experience includes advising on distribution agreements, ‘software as a service’ contracts for IT outsourcing, and data security advice for an online brand.
  • Real estate: Whether you are looking to secure your flagship store in prime central London or document the use of edgy space for a product launch, our real estate specialists can help. We advise on the acquisition, fit out and disposal of stores and office space whether on the high street or on retail parks, as well as day-to-day property management issues.
  • Sustainability and Compliance: In an era where sustainability and ethical business practices are paramount, our firm assists retail and consumer clients in navigating complex regulatory landscapes. We provide guidance on compliance with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards, helping businesses align with evolving consumer expectations.

Our dispute and regulatory services

  • Dispute Resolution: Resolving disputes efficiently is crucial in the fast-paced retail sector. We have litigators with deep sector experience in retail who have worked with some of the UK's largest retailers advising on property disputes, contractual conflicts, intellectual property disputes, and data security incidents.  We also have a specialist reputation management team who assist retail clients in maintaining and restoring their reputations when they come under threat from the media, regulators, activists, or others.
  • Regulatory compliance: From consumer credit issues to getting advertising and marketing right, we advise on a range of specific laws and regulations which apply to businesses who sell to consumers.

How can we help?

Contact the team about services for businesses:

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