Alison Newstead is a partner in Shook, Hardy & Bacon’s Global Product Liability Group, where she handles a variety of U.K. and multinational claims and regulatory issues involving electrical equipment, industrial components, automobiles, and healthcare and medical device products. Alison has long-standing experience in coordinating pan-European defence strategies for consumer product manufacturers and advises companies on the full range of product liability issues, from initial discovery of a potential safety issue, to risk management and recall action. Alison often counsels manufacturers in compliance and product safety obligations, guiding clients through risk assessment analysis and liaison with regulatory bodies.
With strong links to counsel and experts in Europe, her practice regularly spans many European states and often extends to the Middle East and Asia.
Alison’s practice also encompasses assisting those in healthcare, construction and environmental industries with general health and safety issues. She has represented clients at inquests and in criminal proceedings resulting from Police and HSE investigations alleging breaches of health and safety legislation. Alison also regularly advises on the defence of civil proceedings arising from such action.
Before joining Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Alison defended product liability claims and multi-party actions at CMS Cameron McKenna LLP, where she was a member of the MMR vaccine litigation defence team in Europe’s largest collective claim for personal injury. She has also served as a secondee in the legal department of Metronet, the maintenance service provider to London Underground, where she was responsible for all litigation matters. In this capacity, Alison led Metronet’s response to HSE investigations into alleged train defects responsible for the Chancery Lane rail crash.
Alison has published various articles, including "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); and "Raising the Stakes – Health and Safety Enforcement" (FM Legal Update ). She has also contributed to Getting the Deal Through: Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in 28 Jurisdictions Worldwide (Law Business Research Ltd. 2013), Getting the Deal Through: Product Recall in 26 Jurisdictions Worldwide (Law Business Research Ltd. 2011, 2013), and Tolley’s Health and Safety at Work.
Alison regularly speaks at conferences and training seminars. By way of example, she spoke on "Crisis Management for In-House Lawyers" at the annual C&I Health and Safety Conference in September 2010. In October 2010, she served as chair for DRI Europe’s Corporate Conduct: Emerging Sources of Civil and Criminal Liability across Europe for Corporations and their Directors and Officers, and she presented on "Risk Management Concerns" at Shook, Hardy & Bacon’s Product Recall seminar in December 2010. Alison has also presented a paper at the “Sécurité et rappel des produits” product liability conference in Paris.
Alison is a member of the law Society of England and Wales, the British Insurance Law Association, the Defence Research Institute (DRI), the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the Health and Safety Lawyers Association (HSLA), the CBI Consumer Affairs Panel, which advises on product regulations and trading issues, and the CBI Health and Safety Panel. The Legal 500 UK has recognized Alison for her work in product liability and health and safety, and Chambers UK named her a "key individual" in SHB's Health and Safety Practice. She speaks fluent French and basic German.
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.
The Law Society of England and Wales
British Insurance Law Association
Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)
Defense Research Institute (DRI)
CBI Consumer Affairs Panel
CBI Health and Safety Panel
Health and Safety Lawyers Association (HSLA)
Alison is licensed to practice in England and Wales.
1998 LPC, with commendation, College of Law, London
1997 LL.B., Warwick University
1996 Certificat de Droit Français, University of Bordeaux