Following the commencement of the Consumer Rights Act
2015 (CRA), the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has
recently issued a series of short-form guides, designed to help
small businesses navigate the compliance requirements associated
with the new legislation.
This new guidance is likely to be of particular use to any
consumer-facing ecommerce businesses that may still be getting to
grips with the requirements of the CRA.
By way of reminder:
the CRA came into force on 1 October 2015 and applies to
contracts made between business and consumers.
A "consumer" is an individual "acting for
purposes wholly or mainly outside of that individual's trade,
business, craft or profession".
A term will be unfair if it causes a significant imbalance in
the parties' rights and obligations under the contract to the
detriment of the consumer. Businesses should take particular care
in relation to terms which significantly limit the business's
liability, impose disproportionate sanctions for contractual breach
or which provide for unilateral or one-sided variation or
In considering whether a contractual term is fair,
consideration will be given to the term itself, its context within
the contract and the circumstances surrounding the contract at the
time the relevant term was agreed.
Terms describing the main subject matter of the contract and
those which set the price are not subject to the fairness
If a contractual term is unfair then it will not be legally
binding on the consumer (although the customer may choose at its
discretion to rely on the term). Enforcement bodies such as the CMA
and Trading Standards may also take action to stop the term being
used going forward.
Taking the form of short, illustrated fact sheets, the series of guides explain the importance of
using fair and clear terms when dealing with consumers. There
is a useful "myth-busting" section which debunks some of
the commonly held misconceptions about contract terms and handy
guidance which discusses the types of terms which may be unfair
(along with tips to avoid this). Topics covered in the series
include: "Cancelling a contract: when and how",
"Responsibility if things go wrong" and
"Subscriptions and automatic rollovers".
As well as updating existing law on the use of unfair terms, the
CRA also introduced new rights and remedies for consumers where
goods, services or digital content are not of satisfactory quality,
not fit for purpose or not as described. Further guidance on the
practical implications of the legislation can be found in our
previous articles on this topic:
The prospect of an internal investigation raises many thorny issues. This presentation will canvass some of the potential triggering events, and discuss how to structure an investigation, retain forensic assistance and manage the inevitable ethical issues that will arise.
From the boardroom to the shop floor, effective organizations recognize the value of having a diverse workplace. This presentation will explore effective strategies to promote diversity, defeat bias and encourage a broader community outlook.
Staying local but going global presents its challenges. Gowling WLG lawyers offer an international roundtable on doing business in the U.K., France, Germany, China and Russia. This three-hour session will videoconference in lawyers from around the world to discuss business and intellectual property hurdles.
Under the Income Tax Act, the Employment Insurance Act, and the Excise Tax Act, a director of a corporation is jointly and severally liable for a corporation's failure to deduct and remit source deductions or GST.
Under the Income Tax Act, the Employment Insurance Act, the Canada Pension Plan Act and the Excise Tax Act, a director of a corporation is jointly and severally liable for a corporation's failure to deduct and remit source deductions.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).