Consumer Law in General
Our Consumer Protection group has actively participated in the law-drafting committees of the General Consumers’ Secretariat of the Ministry of Finance, Development and Tourism on two occasions: in 2013 in relation to the implementation of EU Directive 2011/83 on Consumer Rights, and in 2014 - 2015 in relation to the implementation of EU Directive 2013/11 on alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes acting on behalf of the Hellenic Direct Selling Association.
Our advice extends to:
- Handling of Consumer Complaints before the competent Greek Consumer Authorities
- Structuring of T&Cs of marketing and promotional material for businesses
- Advising trade associations, such as ESEAP (Hellenic Direct Selling Association) on legal developments
- Advising major food and beverage companies in their day-to-day consumer law matters, as well as in and out of court dispute resolution of consumer complaints
We regularly advise many manufacturers of consumer products, such as Nokia, Hitachi, HP, Microsoft, including food and beverage companies, such as the Mondelez group of companies, Premier Capital (McDonalds franchisee), Herbalife and other companies.
Our firm has a specialised E-commerce practice which is highly experienced in legal developments, including B2B and B2C transactions, and advises clients on a wide range of issues, including the following:
- The establishment and operation of E- Shops in Greece
- Review of T&Cs of E-Shops operating in the Greek market
- Business structure for on-line selling in Greece by a foreign company on a B2C basis.
Our firm has extensive experience, and is particularly active, in advising clients on the implementation of Consumers’ Directive 2011/83 for trading consumer goods online in the Greek market in relation also to E- Commerce Directive 2000/31. We provide guidance regarding laws applicable to on-line trading, particularly for consumers’ right to withdraw payment and return terms of goods, standard E-shop compliance characteristics for on-line trading in the Greek market, as well as privacy matters. We have also handled various consumer complaints before the General Consumers’ Secretariat and the Consumers’ Ombudsman.
We assist companies in many markets (clothing, luxury goods, electric and kitchen appliances, technology equipment, gifts and athletics equipment) in trading products through their on-line channel to the Greek market by setting up their E-Shops and advising them on a day-to-day basis on a variety of issues arising from their business with e-consumers in Greece.
Illustrative cases recently handled by our firm include providing advice to the following:
- A UK retailer of consumer goods on a wide range of issues on how to conduct on-line selling in Greece from the consumers’ and regulatory perspective
- A major e-commerce discount coupon trading company in its e-business with customers and clients in Greece
- Decathlon S.A., a French athletics-store Company on multiple issues of launching its goods on-line to the Greek market
- H&M on issues relating to the sale of its goods on-line in the Greek market and on the operation of its on-line shop
- A Greek start-up Company, advising and drafting the Terms & Conditions for the establishment of its E–Shop.
Product Liability Experience
Because our firm has extensive experience in handling complex cases of international sales of products, both on-line and off-line, to and from Greece, we have addressed many product liability issues with international law dimensions. We have provided advice on the sale of products and the liability of the seller or of the manufacturer within Greece, taking into consideration the wide meaning of “consumer” under Greek law, which also extends to legal entities.
To this end, our advice has indicatively extended to:
- Hewlett-Packard Inc. on day-to-day product liability issues with PCs and Printers, such as warranty terms, remedies of consumers in cases of defective products, representation of the company before the Consumers’ Public Authorities (General Secretariat of Consumers and Consumers’ Ombudsman), replying to consumers complaints regarding after-sales obligations and drafting explanatory notes to the authorities
- Microsoft on various product liability claims of consumers, by drafting replies to the Consumers’ Public Authorities and regarding general obligations of the producer, supplier and seller of the products in view of the application of other provisions, such as the Greek Civil Code
- A major wind turbine supplier regarding the sale of its products in Greece, focusing on the Greek mandatory law provisions applicable to a contract involving foreign law
- A major French bottling company before the Courts of Athens regarding the defective production of a large amount of bottles of the Greek drink “Ouzo”
- Nokia before the Greek Courts in a lawsuit regarding a mobile phone defect
- A major food manufacturer on product liability claims both before the regulatory authorities as well as before the criminal law courts on food safety matters
- Major supermarket chains on food safety, as well as handling their food safety law litigation.