Chambers has been a market leader in the Life Sciences sector for over 30 years and was a founding member of the Food Law Group in 1990. Members of Chambers write a number of the leading practitioner texts, including Butterworths Law of Food and Drugs (edited in Chambers for over 20 years).

Gough Square’s barristers act in matters involving food (including novel foods and dietary supplements), cosmetics, cosmeceuticals, tobacco (including novel tobacco products), novel psychoactive substances, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and borderline medicinal products.Members of chambers act for businesses and individuals involved with food production, import/export, packaging and retailing, in addition to acting for enforcement agencies across the whole range. We have particular expertise in defending food poisoning cases. Members of chambers have recently been instructed to prosecute cases against manufacturers and supermarkets on the verification of drained weight, governed by the WELMEC guidance, in relation to various tinned foods, including beans and peeled potatoes. These often involve detailed consideration of the due diligence defence.

Chambers is one of the few sets to maintain genuine specialism in enforcement, advertising, importation, and licensing in this field. Members have particular experience of regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings brought against businesses in the Life Sciences sector.

Representative work includes:

  • Acting for some the UK’s largest beauty companies on labelling and content cases involving cosmetics and cosmeceuticals.
  • Developing particular recent expertise in Cannabidiol (CBD) and novel foods regulation. Members of Chambers include some of the Bar’s leading experts on CBD regulation – the first novel food authorisation process undertaken by UK regulators since Brexit. Chambers represented the CBD industry before the EU Commission inquiry on CBD in 2019 and has subsequently acted for UK CBD retailers in challenging decisions taken by the Food Standards Agency and local authorities.
  • Regularly acting for both regulators and businesses in enforcement proceedings brought against importers and manufacturers.
  • Representing all of the UK’s major supermarkets in a range of regulatory and enforcement proceedings involving food safety, labelling, allergen requirements, and misleading food descriptions.
  • Advising on novel tobacco product regulation and acting in enforcement proceedings involving such products
  • Advising on health claims and nutrition claims – e.g. perimeter advice and compliance with the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation 2006