01 October 2023 - Consumer Lawyer

What is consumer law?
Consumer laws protect consumers against issues such as fraud or misselling when purchasing goods or services. Consumer markets must comply with the rules and regulations of this directive. This practice area also protects organizations with respect to matters such as copyright or intellectual property rights theft A selection of consumer protection laws that protect individual consumers from unfair sales practices of goods, services, and digital content.

What does a consumer protection lawyer do?
Consumer law is broad and consumer lawyers deal with many topics. Credit advice to customers including drafting credit agreements, acting in court proceedings and representing before hearings, for example, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). Trade Standards where attorneys work for individuals, businesses and enforcement agencies on a full range of trade standards matters such as misleading pricing, under-selling and trademark infringement. Proceedings are brought under laws such as the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or the Enterprise Act 2002. Advising on consumer contracts to ensure that employers comply with relevant legislation regarding standard terms and conditions or, conversely, assisting consumers with unfair terms contracts. Dealing with designers, manufacturers, importers, retailers and consumers in various industries such as cosmetics, food and beverage and pharmaceuticals in product safety and liability.

Skills Needed to Become a Consumer Protection Attorney
This area of practice is ever-evolving and often controversial because it affects all areas of life, from buying a home, traveling, and even selling tickets to major entertainment events. The ability to absorb large amounts of information and provide advice or draft documentation quickly and efficiently is essential. Due diligence is a big part of the job and so attention to detail is a must. As both lawyers and barristers are involved in consumer law work in court, advocacy skills and the ability to think on their feet under pressure are in demand. High intellectual ability and sound judgment are required by companies and groups that hire consumer lawyers.

What are the different types of consumer disputes?
According to Consumer Rights 2015 consumers can pursue these matters through Small Claims Court:

Selling defective electrical products
Failure to deliver products purchased online
Defective new car
Dispute claims or insurance coverage
Legal work of craftsmen (plumbers, electricians, bricklayers)
Poor quality furniture or not as described
Product or Service Warranty Disputes
Refund issues with airlines, hotels and tour operators

The Consumer Rights Act provides legal rights, so all items that consumers buy must be fit for purpose, of satisfactory quality and match the description given at the time of sale.

How to become a consumer protection lawyer?
To work as a solicitor, you can take the Bar Qualifying Examination (SQE) or, if you qualify, you can study the Legal Practice Course (LPC). If you qualify through the SQE, you will need to complete two years of Qualifying Work Experience (QWE). To prepare for the SQE, we recommend studying one of our SQE courses, which are designed to give you the knowledge and skills for a successful career as a lawyer. If you are eligible to study the LPC you will need to secure a two-year training contract with a law firm. To find out which path is right for you, visit our Becoming a Lawyer page. Once you have completed your two-year training contract or QWE, you can apply to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to be admitted as a solicitor. To become a barrister, you must complete a law degree before completing the Bar Practice Course (BPC) or a conversion course if you are not a law graduate. You must therefore protect the student. Apart from an educational degree, becoming a consumer protection lawyer requires someone who is well-versed in economics and consumer-facing issues. Because the areas of consumer law are varied and subject to rapid change, a genuine interest in how society behaves and what our values are.

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