Alison’s practice focuses on advising clients on issues related to product safety and product liability. She advises on a broad range of regulatory and litigation matters across a wide spectrum of industries, including electrical equipment, industrial and consumer goods, health, wellness, medical device and pharmaceutical products, toys, food and automotive.
Alison advises companies on risk and liability issues throughout the product lifecycle including pre-market risk analysis and risk monitoring procedures, regulatory compliance (including pre-market obligations, UKCA/CE marking, labelling and warnings), investigating potential safety issues, and supporting clients in recall planning and implementing corrective action. Alison also has extensive experience in liaising with regulatory bodies and guiding clients through regulatory investigations and enforcement action. She has long-standing experience in coordinating global product safety strategies and handling associated litigation and regulatory action.
Alison handles a variety of product liability and commercial cases in the English Courts and regularly acts as coordinating counsel for matters spanning the UK, Europe and the Middle East.
Alison also advises clients in respect of safety issues that arise in the workplace, in particular in assisting clients in addressing regulatory compliance issues and responding to investigations and enforcement action taken by the Police, the HSE and local authorities. She advises on duties and liabilities of companies and directors and represents both companies and individuals at Magistrate and Crown Court level. She has represented clients across a range of industries including construction, transport, manufacturing and retail. Alison also handles civil claims arising out of accidents at work.
Alison represents both her product and health and safety clients at inquest proceedings. She is commonly engaged immediately following a death to advise on the procedural and practical issues surrounding an inquest. Alison works with clients to prepare evidence to assist coroners and advises on risks and potential liabilities which may flow from the inquisitorial process.
Listed as a leading individual in Chambers and Partners for Product Liability: Defence, Alison is also recognised in Who’s Who Legal for Product Liability Defence and The Legal 500 UK for Product Liability and Health and Safety. Client endorsements of Alison include, “Alison Newstead is always prompt and to the point. She brings quality and high service levels to the table,” and “Alison is very responsive, precise and accessible. She handles sensitive and complex work in a very able way” [Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2023]; “She has great expertise and claim management skills in global product liability claims” [Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2022]; and “[Alison] really helps us stay plugged into the regulator’s thinking” and “is a great product liability lawyer” [Chambers & Partners UK Guide 2021].
Biogra Trading Ltd v. Sistem Ecologica DOO Srbac  EWHC 3653 (Comm),  11 WLUK 293.
British Waterways v. Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance Plc  EWHC 460 (Comm).
Sayers and others v. Sanofi Pasteur MSD Limited and others  EWHC 539 (QB).
Davis v. Jacobs, Camden & Islington Health Authority and Novartis Pharmaceuticals (UK) Ltd  3 Med Law Reports 72.
Publications and Media
- In terms of compliance, it pays to be prepared., Toy World Magazine, March 2, 2023.
- New Product Liability Directive Creates Risk for More Product and Players, Sedgwick 2022 Product Safety and Recall Index, 2022.
- Cyber Alert Manufacturers Face Significant Financial Penalties, Sedgwick 2022 Product Safety and Recall Index, 2022.
- New Medical Device Regulations Add Burdens and Pressures, Sedgwick 2022 Product Safety and Recall Index, 2022.
- Toy Safety and Beyond (Sedgwick 2022 State of the Nation Recall Index), February 2022.
- In Depth: Product Liability 2022 (Financier Worldwide), February 2022 (with Leo Fielding).
- Pharmaceutical Advertising and Real-World Evidence (Corporate Disputes), January-March 2022.
- The Expanded Scope of the New Medical Device Regulation (MDR) – Are Your Products Now Subject to the Greater Scrutiny of the Regulators? (Sedgwick European Product Recall Index 2021, Edition 3), November 2021.
- The Right to Repair – A New Dimension to the Recall Landscape? (Sedgwick European Product Recall Index 2021, Edition 3), November 2021 (with Marisa Pearce).
- Proposed Revisions on Product Safety and Consumer Credit (Lexis®PSL), June 8, 2021 (with Marisa Pearce).
- Product Liability 2021 (Financier Worldwide), February 2021.
- Recalling Simpler Times (Manufacturing Management), August 9, 2020.
- Product Liability (Financier Worldwide), February 2020.
- Product Liability, Product Recall and Impact on Brand: What In-House Counsel Need to Know (The In-House Lawyer), Spring 2019.
- Autonomous and Connected Vehicles Update, June 2017.
- Autonomous and Connected Vehicles Update, May 2017.
- Autonomous and Connected Vehicles Update, April 2017.
- Is Your Business Ready for a Recall? 5 Steps to Prepare (Corporate Counsel), April 1, 2016.
- Litigation in the U.K.? 5 Things You Need to Know Before Taking Your Next Step (Inside Counsel).
- Is Your Company Insured Through The London Market? (Law360), February 2, 2016.
- Healthcare apps: comparing the US and UK approaches; Drones and robots: liability for designers, manufacturers and insurers; EU product safety and market surveillance package; Unsafe products: statistics and trends 2014; Unsafe products: identifying serious risks and notifying the relevant authorities; Unsafe products: responsibilities for notification; Risks following a product recall, part 2: criminal offences for the company and directors; Risks following a product recall, part 1: disclosure and freedom of information requests; Product recall: how well have you prepared?; The aftermath of a product recall: when the dust settles; Product liability developments in 2011: What do they mean for your business?; and International co-ordinating counsel in product liability cases: is it really necessary? (The In-House Lawyer).
- UK-based multi-national corporations at risk from Large Scale Industrial Disease Actions (Defense Counsel Journal).
- Raising the Stakes – Health and Safety Enforcement (FM Legal Update ).
- A New Product Recall Database in the UK - Revolutionising Product Recall Action? and Is Your Company Insured Through the London Market? (Shook, Hardy & Bacon's International Legal Bulletin);
- New MHRA Fees for Market Surveillance in the UK - Another Cost for Medical Industry? (Shook, Hardy & Bacon's Drug and Device Bulletin).
Alison authors the “Product Safety” and “Occupational Liability” chapters of Tolley’s Health and Safety at Work and authors LexisPSL chapters on “Product Safety” and “Product Liability”. She is a contributing editor of Getting the Deal Through: Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in 28 Jurisdictions Worldwide (Law Business Research Ltd. 2013) and Getting the Deal Through: Product Recall in 22 Jurisdictions Worldwide (Law Business Research Ltd. 2011-2019).