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Consumer Products

United Kingdom

CMS is one of the few firms to fully support each step of the consumer value chain. From the factory floor all the way to the shop door (or the customer’s front door). We help consumer facing companies create, deliver, and sell their goods, protecting their innovation and market position every step of the way.

We support our clients on new manufacturing and research and development projects. We protect their hard-earned IP and valued brands. We advise them on the hugely complex technology, logistics and fulfilment contracts that underpin how goods reach shops and customers. We help them manage vast store portfolios. We help get them get online, selling D2C. We help them get digitised and make the most of adtech. We help them navigate the rules that govern product safety and customer engagement. We protect them when crises hit, or prevent them altogether. We help them grow through transformative partnerships and M&A.

Our expertise is reflected in the clients who trust us with their most sensitive and strategic matters. We work with top FMCG companies like Nestlé and Unilever, leading retailers such as Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Dune Group, and Yoox Net-A-Porter, and top fashion and luxury brands including French Connection, Barbour and Stella McCartney.

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    Consumer Protection Defence

    CMS has unparalleled expertise of successfully advising clients in CMA consumer investigations and enforcement actions. As of January 2020 CMS has been appointed to defend clients in over two thirds of all closed CMA consumer protection investigations. 

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    Fashion & Luxury

    Our specialist Fashion and Luxury practice helps both luxury and high street fashion brands source, create, protect and exploit their wares through an ever increasing and complex number of retail channels. The team also works hand in hand with our award winning corporate and real estate teams as well as others to provide a one stop shop to fashion and high street icons.

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    Food & Drink

    Food and drink companies operate in challenging times. Shifts in the grocery market are placing intense pressure on margins, compliance and regulatory burdens are growing, and there is mounting emphasis on supply chain transparency. Meanwhile, public interest in diet and health, animal welfare, and sustainability, as well as complex rules on nutrition and functional food claims, all form part of a complex landscape that food and drinks companies must navigate in order to run their businesses successfully.

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    Health & Beauty

    At CMS our specialist Health & Beauty Practice brings together experts from throughout the firm, all focused on providing tailored services that help health and beauty organisations navigate the legal and commercial challenges of their complex environment.

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    CMS’ dedicated Household Group brings together sector experts from across CMS, in the UK and internationally, who have extensive experience and a deep understanding of the household goods industry.

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    CMS’ dedicated Manufacturing Group brings together industry experts from across CMS, in the UK and internationally, who have extensive experience working with Manufacturing clients across a range of sectors including FMCG, Food & Drink, Textiles, Household Goods, Health & Beauty, and Automotive & Auto Parts.

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    Our experts sit at the coalface of the enormous transitions occurring in the retail sector, helping clients grapple with the most pressing issues of the day from omni-channel through to logistics and fulfilment. We are one of the few firms to fully support each element of the retail value chain – from the factory all the way to the shop floor (or the customer’s front door).

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    High­lights of our ex­per­i­ence in Con­sumer Products in the UK
    Uni­lever, the glob­al FM­CG man­u­fac­turer, on IP, com­mer­cial con­tracts, tech­no­logy and lo­gist­ics across Europe and Asia. This in­cludes ad­vising on a 'first of its kind' glob­al cloud pro­ject.Diageo, on vari­ous IP, cor­por­ate, com­mer­cial, cor­por­ate, ad­vert­ising, tax, real es­tate and oth­er mat­ters across Europe for many years.Nestlé on IP is­sues in­clud­ing its ap­plic­a­tion to re­gister the shape of a Kit Kat as a UK and EU-TM and its op­pos­i­tion by Cad­bury/Mondelez, as well as on ad­vert­ising, pri­cing and pro­mo­tion.Costco, The second largest re­tail­er in the world on the vast ma­jor­ity of the de­vel­op­ments of their new ware­houses in the UK, as well as on real es­tate, con­struc­tion, em­ploy­ment, lit­ig­a­tion, IP, tax, and health and safety mat­ters.Mer­cedes-Benz - on five sep­ar­ate civil and crim­in­al UK com­pet­i­tion law in­vest­ig­a­tions in­to the com­mer­cial vehicle mar­ket, lead­ing to set­tle­ment and suc­cess­ful res­ol­u­tion.Heinek­en on vari­ous trans­ac­tions in­clud­ing its joint ven­ture with Nam­i­bia Brew­er­ies in South Africa, the re­struc­tur­ing of Heinek­en Be­larus with Oas­is Drinks, and the IPO of Bra­lir­wa in Rwanda.New Bal­ance on com­mer­cial agree­ments in­clud­ing ad­vising on the set-up of a series of trad­ing web­sites across EuropeSam­son­ite, the world's largest travel lug­gage com­pany on UK and EUTM port­fo­li­os in­clud­ing over a hun­dred trade­marks and deal­ing with new fil­ings, op­pos­i­tions, ac­quis­i­tions, clear­ance quer­ies, cus­toms mat­ters and en­force­ment.Dune across all its IP is­sues in the UK and on the re­fin­an­cing of its debt.
    Law-Now: Con­sumer Products
    Vis­it Law-Now for leg­al know-how and com­ment­ary


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    24 March 2020
    Joint activ­it­ies with oth­er FM­CG sup­pli­ers dur­ing Coronavir­us
    20 April 2020
    CMS Ex­pert Guide to a Leg­al Roadmap to Can­nabis
    01 May 2018
    Food for Thought - Mus­ings on Re­cent Re­tail Stat­ist­ics
    Just when you thought you'd heard the last of the Beast from the East, the met­eor­o­lo­gic­al phe­nomen­on has drif­ted back in­to dis­cus­sion this month after a sharp de­cline in re­tail ex­pendit­ure was re­por­ted...
    05 June 2020
    Court en­forces ban on stat­utory de­mands be­fore Bill is passed
    The gov­ern­ment re­cently pub­lished its Cor­por­ate In­solv­ency and Gov­ernance Bill which in­cludes a tem­por­ary “ban” on stat­utory de­mands. In its cur­rent form, the ban will pre­vent land­lords and oth­er...
    5 September 2019
    Ker­nel: Au­tumn 2019
    Wel­come to the latest edi­tion of Ker­nel, our Scot­land food and drink bul­let­in. In Ker­nel, we ex­am­ine cur­rent leg­al is­sues af­fect­ing the Scot­tish food and drink in­dustry and provide bites­ize art­icles on key de­vel­op­ments.
    23 November 2017
    How short-lived bar­gains mean buy­ing cheap can prove dear
    Wheth­er you like them or loathe them, the Christ­mas-themed re­tail sales events of Black Fri­day and Cy­ber Monday look to be here to stay. This year's blitz kicks off again on Fri­day when re­tail­ers will...
    03 June 2020
    New reg­u­la­tion paves way for GDPR-size fines for con­sumer law breaches
    New con­sumer reg­u­la­tions come in­to force in the UK on 2 June 2020, im­ple­ment­ing changes re­quired by one of the fi­nal EU Reg­u­la­tions ad­op­ted pri­or to the UK’s de­par­ture from the EU, and pav­ing the way...
    August 2019
    How block­chain will re­volu­tion­ise the gam­ing in­dustry
    13 September 2017
    The rise of Vir­tu­al Real­ity in re­tail
    Vir­tu­al Real­ity (VR) has been on the re­tail in­dustry's radar for the last few years, but with the in­tro­duc­tion of more af­ford­able head­sets such as Google Card­board, re­tail­ers are start­ing to take more...
    02 June 2020
    Is COV­ID-19 a “Ma­ter­i­al Change of Cir­cum­stances” which would jus­ti­fy a...
    Land­lords of un­let units in shop­ping centres or of­fices will not be­ne­fit from the Gov­ern­ment’s Ex­pan­ded Re­tail Dis­count 2020/21 for Coronavir­us. It is pos­sible though that that they could make Checks...
    8 July 2019
    Tak­ing Stock 2019
    The out­look for Con­sumer & Re­tail
    10 August 2017
    The "dir­ect to con­sumer" mod­el
    You may have heard of brands selling "dir­ect to con­sumer" - but what does this mean ex­actly, and what are the be­ne­fits and pit­falls for a brand? In es­sence, selling dir­ect to con­sumer (DTC) is where brands...