Kangs Solicitors have successfully represented a client who runs an auction house based in the South of England following an allegation by Trading Standards that it was misleading consumers.
The Allegation | Kangs National Regulatory Solicitors
Trading Standards alleged that our client was, by incorrectly describing items being sold, misleading potential buyers and encouraging them to bid for items at excessive levels.
The Legislation | Kangs Trading Standards Advisory Solicitors
The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (‘the Regulations’) provides:
Part 2 Prohibitions:
5.-(1) A commercial practice is a misleading action if it satisfies the conditions in either paragraph (2) or paragraph (3).
Paragraph (2) states:
A commercial practice satisfies the conditions of this paragraph—
(a) if it contains false information and is therefore untruthful in relation to any of the matters in paragraph (4) or if it or its overall presentation in any way deceives or is likely to deceive the average consumer in relation to any of the matters in that paragraph, even if the information is factually correct; and
(b) it causes or is likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision he would not have taken otherwise.
Our Client’s Defence | Kangs Solicitors Trading Standards Defence Team
Once we had taken, and considered, full and detailed instructions from our client we determined that our client had taken all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of such an offence.
Accordingly, it seemed that a defence of due diligence as detailed within the Regulations was appropriate.
The Regulations state:
Part 3 Offences
Due diligence defence
17.-(1) In any proceedings against a person for an offence under regulation 9,10,11 or 12 it is a defence for that person to prove –
(a) that the commission of the offence was due to –
- a mistake;
- reliance on information supplied to him by another person;
- the act or default of another person;
- an accident; or
- another cause beyond his control and
(b) that he took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of such an offence by himself or any person under his control.
How We Assisted Our Client | Kangs Regulatory Offence Negotiating Team
In order to try and avoid the incurrence of unnecessary costs which would have resulted from enforcement or court proceedings, we immediately sought to pursue a course of negotiation and, after many weeks, the basis for an agreed and satisfactory settlement was reached.
The Successful Result | Kangs Regulatory Defence Team
The dispute was settled upon the basis that:
- agreed terms of settlement have been reached between the parties, with the result that
- no civil action is to be taken against our client and
- Trading Standards will not seek enforcement action.
Needless to say our client was ecstatic with the result and said:
‘We are an Antiques Auction House, we were subjected to a robust Investigation by Trading Standards in relation to some antiques we sold.
We got to a point with Trading Standards where we felt they were acting beyond their legal authority and their tactics had become almost bullying in nature.
We instructed Kangs Solicitors and the matter was resolved within weeks.
The threatened prosecution didn’t materialise and we were very satisfied with the outcome.
We found Kangs a very professional team to deal with’..
How Can We Help? | Who Should I Contact At Kangs Solicitors?
We are specialists in defending alleged breaches of Regulatory matters of every conceivable nature.
Our team of experienced solicitors can provide you with all necessary advice and guidance to ensure effective representation at any stage of a case whether it be investigation, interview or Court Proceedings.
Should you have any questions or need advice on any regulatory topic, please do not hesitate to contact our Team through one of our solicitors listed below: