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Many retailers are household names and this makes them incredibly newsworthy.

A look over the headlines from recent months shows the range of areas where retailers can find that their mistakes quickly escalate into reputation damaging “scandals” – horsemeat in the supply chain; tax avoidance by multinationals; Black Friday; zero hours contracts and data security breaches to name just a few.

Legal reputation management combines practical experience of trade mark, defamation, privacy, malicious falsehood, harassment and data protection law.


Here is how the retail sector could be at risk:

  • Protecting intellectual property: brands are at the very heart of a retailer’s value and as such it is vital to ensure the brand is protected. Retailers in particular face issues such as counterfeit goods, copycat domain names, lookalike products and parallel imports.  We advise retailers on how to protect brands and products and how to take steps against any potential infringements.
  • Managing social media: In the retail sector more than most, our clients are using technology, connectivity and social media to engage with customers and to gather more information about the customer in order to truly personalise their offerings.  But that same technology and connectivity is increasing the speed at which reputation damage can escalate into a major problem for retailers.  Whilst social media offers many opportunities for retailers, there are risks.  Retailers can find themselves at the centre of a media storm if they get it wrong or others highjack the message.
  • Evolving supply chains: In the technological world we now live in, consumers expect to be able to access products and services online instantly.  Failure to meet expectations can quickly result in disgruntled customers and bad publicity, such as faced by a number of retailers following Black Friday.

We help UK and international retailers run their businesses. From the legal aspects of day to day operations (store portfolios, supply chain, logistics, staff, trading law, brand and multichannel) to legal support on special projects (M&A, private equity, store disposal and acquisition, franchising, outsourcing, redundancy and change programmes).  For all these aspects, managing corporate risk and reputation is critical.

Photo of Tom Leman

Tom Leman

United Kingdom
Head of Retail & Consumer
t: +44 (0)20 7418 7146

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