Consumer & Retail

The retail sector has had to confront momentous changes in recent years. These include increased consumer power and the rapid growth of e-commerce and the power of social media to make or break a brand. These changes have forced manufacturers, distributors and retailers to adapt rapidly and sometimes radically. Relationships with customers, suppliers and landlords have had to be re-evaluated, and contracts re-negotiated to accommodate the changes.

The developments have also resulted in greater regulation in the sector, affecting issues such as consumer protection, protection of customers’ personal information and online transacting. More recently the COVID-19 pandemic has put many consumer-facing businesses under severe financial pressure and forced them to restructure and find innovative ways of promoting, selling and distributing their products in order to survive.

Retailers and their suppliers and service providers have to consider the legal implications around these and many other aspects of their businesses, including financing, acquiring a new business or expanding internationally, supply chains and distribution networks, brand protection and advertising, consumer credit and product liability.

Consumer & Retail industry expertise

  • Supply and distribution agreements
  • Franchising and licensing
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Product labelling
  • Consumer protection and consumer credit
  • Electronic transacting
  • Product liability claims
  • Lease negotiations and disputes
  • Brand and intellectual property protection
  • Advising on prohibited practices under the Competition Act, such as excessive pricing, territorial restrictions and exclusive supply agreements


  • Advised a global holding company with investments in a diverse range of retailer on an international offering of shares for cash
  • Advised a major diverse retailer on various acquisitions and disposals
  • Representing major retail and supermarket chains in connection with diverse employment-related disputes
  • Advising numerous global and local businesses, in diverse industries including food and hospitality, personal care, automotive and education, in regard to the establishment of franchise networks and the relevant contractual and regulatory issues
  • Advising and representing manufacturers and suppliers of packaging, apparel and food and beverages in protecting their brands and designs against trademark infringement, ambush marketing and counterfeiting
  • Advising a manufacturer and distributor of various products in the beauty industry in connection with reviewing distribution agreements from international companies and disputes in connection with them, and drafting distribution agreements for local and international use

  • David Woodhouse
    David Woodhouse
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