The Law of Luxury Goods: A New Area of Focus in the Legal Profession

The legal profession is one of the hardest to break into for aspiring graduates, both in terms of academic requirements and securing a training contract.

Despite this, there are a growing number of niche sectors within the industry, particularly as technology evolves and economic trends continue to cause shifts in the professional landscape. This is embodied by the rise of the luxury goods sector, which is now valued at around £148 billion despite an increasingly uncertain economic climate.

As a result of this, we have seen a number of new lawyers and graduates elect this as their business development focus, as they look to carve out a productive and potentially lucrative career.

The Law of Luxury: Operating in an Increasingly Competitive Space

The recent growth of the luxury goods sector has certainly not gone unnoticed by the new generation of lawyers, who have identified this as a viable niche in 2017. This has created challenges in itself, however, as the sector is now increasingly competitive and forcing lawyers to work hard in a bid to win the business of recognised luxury brands and importers.

While competition may be fierce, however, the desire among luxury brands to work with lawyers is undoubtedly stronger than ever. This is due to the recent emergence of so-called fashion or ‘luxury’ law, which has thrived as the turnover associated with high-end goods has increased by 50% during the last decade. As a result of this, brands are increasingly aware of the value that experienced lawyers can add to their business, regardless of their cost of service or underlying fees.

One of the main reasons for this is the heavily regulated nature of luxury trading, particularly in terms of price-fixing agreements and the drive to eliminate anti-competitive behaviour in niches such as the fragrance sector. Given the cost of establishing a luxury brand and the growing pressure that they are under to comply with independent regulations, the need for knowledgable legal services is more pressing than ever before.

Similarly, the relatively high price points associated with luxury goods tends to create a discerning and expectant client base, who are increasingly likely to initiate litigation proceedings in instances where they feel as though they have been failed by brands.

The Last Word

Ultimately, the underlying nature of the luxury goods industry and its recent growth has made is a viable target for aspiring graduates and newly qualified lawyers. Make no mistake; establishing yourself in this sector is challenging, however, as a growing number of legal professionals choose to enter the marketplace