Food

Overview

Food is a necessity. As consumers we expect that our food is safe and is as described.

This places a substantial onus on food business operators, from farm to fork, to understand and apply the complex rules applicable to their products or services.

It also requires a system of effective enforcement that is consistent, fair and proportionate.

Members of the Six Pump Food Law team are instructed by food business operators of all sizes from multi-nationals to SMEs and individuals. We are also instructed to assist and represent national authorities such as the Food Standards Agency and DEFRA, and also by local authorities.

Our barristers are very experienced in providing proactive regulatory advice to food businesses. This might involve assessing the compliance of a current product or service or advising on proposed changes to existing products or business operations. We can provide advice on matters such as borderline products and compositional, labelling or in-market requirements.

When a complaint is made or non-compliance is alleged, our team of expert barristers can provide strategic advice and guidance on how to proceed in a positive and effective way both before and after legal proceedings have been commenced.

We engage with clients in the early stages of an investigation to provide legal, practical, commercial and strategic advice and guidance. This might be in relation to a statutory appeal, judicial review or a criminal prosecution.
We work with our clients to minimise the reputational implications of being involved in legal proceedings or if a withdrawal or recall might be required.

Since the UK’s departure from the EU, our barristers have provided advice in respect of retained EU law and the changes to domestic law.

We provide domestic food law advice to non-UK based clients and members of our team work with lawyers and clients in Europe and globally.

As well as being legal specialists, our team never loses sight of the commercial and practical issues that apply in every situation.

Some of our food law barristers are members of the Food Law Group, the Society of Food Hygiene and Technology and other organisations involved in food law and practice.

One of our barristers, Ian Thomas, is a practising solicitor in the Republic of Ireland. In addition to advising on GB food law he advises on the equivalent requirements under Irish and EU law.

We are available to receive instructions via the Bar’s Public Access Scheme, also known as Direct Access. This means that in certain circumstances we can receive instructions directly from a food business.

We regularly speak at food law events and present at seminars and webinars and individual members write material for food law publications.

Testimonials

"Six Pump Court is a 'very helpful and efficient' set with a broad spectrum of cases across the consumer law field. The 'really smart barristers' are particularly sought after for their 'prominence in health and safety' and food law, and their 'in-depth knowledge' of the corresponding regulation. "

― LEGAL 500 [2022] - LEADING SET (CONSUMER LAW)

"The ‘phenomenal set’ at Six Pump Court exudes ‘charm, discretion, and confidence’ whilst representing clients involved in health and safety matters, aiding with food and environmental issues."

― LEGAL 500 [2022] - LEADING SET (CONSUMER LAW)

"Six Pump Court has broad bench strength when it comes to consumer law, and is well respected for its work in cases concerning food and trade regulations, as well as consumer credit. Its tenants regularly handle civil and criminal matters for local authorities, trade bodies, farms and retailers."

― CHAMBERS UK BAR GUIDE [2021] - LEADING SET (CONSUMER LAW)

Latest news

8th July 2022

Legal 500 Bar Awards 2022 – Six Pump Court receives nominations in four categories

Chambers is delighted to announce four nominations at the Legal 500 UK Bar Awards 2022.

28th June 2022

Withdrawal of Public Body’s decision did not end the First Tier Tribunal’s jurisdiction

Stuart Jessop acted for the Appellant in an appeal to the Upper Tribunal concerning the jurisdiction of the First Tier Tribunal when the public body decision maker withdraws its decision.

3rd March 2022

Judgment in judicial review of Food Standard Agency’s approach to transport and hygiene of food

Judgment handed down in a judicial review brought by Higginshaw Abbatoir Ltd and their Director challenging the Food Standards Agency's reliance on Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004.

24th January 2022

A Practical Guide to Food Law in the United Kingdom – new edition

Written by Ian Thomas, this new edition highlights, and provides a reference point for, some of the major changes to food law in Great Britain following exit from the EU.

26th November 2021

Discounts of 25% on books by Six Pump Court authors

Today (Friday), Law Brief will be running a Black Friday discount of 25% for all books available on their website.

29th September 2021

Six Pump Court barristers recommended in nine areas of law in the Legal 500 2022

Six Pump Court has been recommended in 9 areas of law in the Legal 500 2022 with 62 individual recommendations.

10th August 2021

New podcast investigates Rebelo case and deaths linked with the slimming drug DNP

Science journalist Jessica Wapner discusses the Rebelo case prosecuted by Richard Barraclough QC and Gordon Menzies and deaths linked with DNP.

4th May 2021

Ian Thomas awarded the title of Visiting Professor

Ian Thomas has been appointed to the position of Visiting Professor attached to the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences at Ulster University.

11th December 2020

When is food waste not waste?

David Travers QC spoke at a recent food waste webinar hosted by the Institute of Food Science and Technology.

7th September 2020

Stuart Jessop acts for Claimants in judicial review of Food Standards Agency decision

Stuart Jessop acted for the Claimants in a judicial review of the FSA's decision to suspend three slaughter-men’s certificate of competence pending criminal proceedings or the decision not to instigate such proceedings.

15th July 2020

New book on Covid-19 and the law relating to food now available

This new book written by Ian Thomas examines the significant impact that Covid-19 has had on the food industry and food businesses and outlines the changing regulatory landscape.

23rd April 2020

David Travers QC and Ian Thomas speaking at remote UK Food Law Conference next week

David Travers QC and Ian Thomas will be speaking at the UK Food Law Conference next week and discounted tickets are available.

6th April 2020

Judgment in important food law prosecution concerning “use by” dates and European regulations

Richard Barraclough QC appeared for the prosecuting authority Birmingham City Council.

19th March 2020

Birmingham City Council v Tesco Stores Limited – prosecution for selling food after expiry of “use by” date”

Judgment has been reserved in the case of Birmingham City Council v Tesco Stores Limited concerning “use by” dates and the relationship of European Regulation 1169/2011 Article 24 and Article 14 of Regulation 178/2002.

18th December 2019

Mock Trial – Food Allergy Prosecution

Stuart Jessop will be acting in this mock sentencing hearing of a food allergy prosecution organised by Food Allergy Aware in associate with Blake Morgan LLP.

29th July 2019

Supreme Court refers important food safety case to the Court of Justice of the European Union

On 24 July 2019 the Supreme Court handed down judgment in R (on the application of Association of Independent Meat Suppliers and Another) v Food Standards Agency [2019] UKSC 36.

31st May 2019

Supreme Court grants permission in R v Highbury Poultry Farm Produce Limited

Stephen Hockman QC and David Hercock, instructed by Hannah Leese of Roythornes Solicitors, act on behalf of Highbury Poultry Farm Produce Limited.

1st April 2019

Mock food allergy prosecution and sentence presented to the food industry

Stuart Jessop took part in this mock prosecution at an event hosted by Blake Morgan LLP and Food Allergy Aware UK.

9th July 2014

David Travers QC to present a lecture at the Royal Society for Public Health conference on food law entitled ‘Allergies on a Plate’

  David Travers QC will be lecturing on the new EU Regulation on the Provision of Food Information to Consumers (1169/2011 EC) at a...

Events

16th September 2020

Webinar: Covid-19 and the law relating to food – protecting the health and safety of consumers

On Wednesday 16th September at 4.30pm the Health & Safety Lawyers Association and Six Pump Court will host a webinar entitled "Covid-19 and the law relating to food – protecting the health and safety of consumers".

20th November 2017

Regulatory and Planning Law Conference 2017 (Leeds)

Six Pump Court presents a Regulatory and Planning Law Conference to be held on 20th November in Leeds.

The event will cover a variety of topics providing essential updates on specialist areas, informative discussion on topical issues and practical tips for regulators and for those who represent the regulated.

Our food team

Mark Watson QC

Mark Watson QC

Call: 1994, QC: 2018
Ian Thomas

Ian Thomas

Call: 1993
Lee Bennett

Lee Bennett

Call: 1998