When dealing with consumers, traders have a legal obligation to trade fairly and honestly.
The Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, colloquially known as ‘Unfair Trading Regulations’, (‘the Regulations’) are designed to protect the public from unfair or misleading trading practices and ban misleading omissions and aggressive sales tactics.
John Veale of Kangs Solicitors comments upon the Regulations.
Kangs Solicitors has vast experience and is highly regarded nationwide for assisting clients facing crime allegations of every nature, including those involving regulatory offences, where investigations and prosecutions are being carried out by prosecuting agencies such as the Trading Standards Agency, local and other regulatory authorities.
Our team is led by Hamraj Kang who is recognised as a leading expert in the field of financial crime. He is one of only two solicitors nationally to be ranked as a ‘star individual’ for six consecutive years in the legal directory Chambers & Partners.
Other members of the team are ranked in the Legal 500 and also ranked in Chambers & Partners.
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The Regulations | Kangs Consumer Offences Defence Solicitors
The Regulations are extremely detailed and comprehensive covering many issues. In order to assist navigation a ‘Guidance’ is provided in four parts, highlighting the issues.
Includes a very useful flowchart to assist consideration and identification of commercial practices considered unfair.
Outlines the specific prohibitions, misleading and aggressive practices and the general duty not to trade unfairly.
Deals with compliance, enforcement, offences and investigative powers.
Includes a glossary of terms and explains the concept of the ‘average consumer’ being themain beneficiary of the Regulations.
This makes provision for where the conduct:
- contravenes the requirements of professional diligence and
- is likely to appreciably impair the average consumer’s ability to make an informed decision with regard to the product.
Provides for where there exists false or deceptive practice in relation to specific factors such as:
- where the description of the product contains false information, or
- the overall presentation deceives or is likely to deceive the average consumer.
Makes provision for omission, unclear or untimely provision of material information.
Makes provision for:
- aggressive harassment, coercion or undue influence which is
- likely to significantly impair the average consumer’s freedom of choice or conduct.
The Offences | Kangs Trading Standards Solicitors
It is a criminal offence to be in breach of the Regulations which at Schedule 1 outlines thirty-one specific practices that constitute a criminal offence.
Enforcement and Penalties | Kangs Trading Standards Solicitors Team
- The Regulations are generally enforced by the Trading Standards Agency and Local Authorities.
- A criminal prosecution may be conducted in either the Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court.
- Upon conviction in the Magistrates’ Court, a defendant may receive a fine to a statutory maximum, and in the Crown Court, a fine, a prison sentence up to a maximum of two years, or both.
Potential Defences | Kangs Trading Offences Defence Solicitors
Potential defences to a Prosecution under the Regulations include:
- evidence that the alleged offence was due to the act or default of another person or
- that the defendant took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of the alleged offence by them or a person under their control.
How Can We Help? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
The Regulations are highly complicated and open to conflicting interpretation. It is essential that if you become aware of any investigation or potential prosecution you seek expert advice immediately.
Should you require assistance please do not hesitate to contact: