Helping automotive businesses thrive through change
For decades, we’ve been a leading partner to clients in the automotive industry, guiding them through accelerating change and innovation. We advise on the intertwined commercial, regulatory and legal issues that affect your business, and help you achieve your goals.
We’re one of only a few law firms with an integrated approach to, and comprehensive experience in, the automotive industry. Many of our lawyers have worked at automotive companies or for related technology and service businesses.
Our team also includes a former chief counsel to the US auto safety regulator, a partner with a degree in materials science engineering, and former officials, government ministers, trade negotiators and political advisors.
Automotive clients – and those in the wider transportation, mobility and related industries – rely on us to protect their vital interests in technology and regulation.
“In this era of electrification and automation, our technical insight and industry experience will help you make the most of new technology.”
We work with OEMs, suppliers, technology companies, distributors and investors, helping both established and new entrants evolve and grow. We understand the dynamics of transformation in the industry. We’ll support you in implementing cutting-edge business models, building new relationships, and navigating developing areas of law.
In this era of electrification and automation, our technical insight and industry experience will help you make the most of new technology. We’ll ensure you stay ahead of legal and regulatory changes while meeting your core responsibilities in safety, liability and compliance.
Clients turn to us for advice on the entire value chain. This includes:
- M&A, strategic alliances and joint ventures
- supply chains
- product liability risk mitigation and litigation
- safety and emissions regulation
- IP, data privacy and cybersecurity
- trade and government affairs
With 90+ offices in more than 40 countries, we provide guidance in all key automotive markets such as the US, Japan, Korea, Germany, the UK, China and Australia. From design to manufacturing and production, and marketing and sales to transactions.
Awards and recognition
- Defending Toyota and four of its suppliers in a six-patent investigation at the US International Trade Commission, resulting in a finding of no violation.
- Defending an international automotive battery manufacturer against claims of US patent infringement in Delaware district court.
- Advising on the establishment of a unified treasury management system for a global truck manufacturer.
- Advising on a joint venture between three major automotive OEMs, for the establishment of an EV charging network for trucks and buses along major European highways.
- Advising the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on a range of data protection, spam policy and privacy issues arising from recalls of Takata airbag inflators in Australia. Additionally, advising on the terms and implementation of the compulsory recall of vehicles equipped with certain Takata airbag inflators.
- Successfully representing both the captive bank and the controlling entity of a major global automotive group in the appeal against a fine imposed by the Italian Competition Authority in a major cartel case. The administrative court annulled the fine worth hundreds of millions of euros.
- Supporting a US headquartered supplier intensively in Germany and the UK on employment, commercial, data protection and corporate matters to enable several transformation processes related to internal structures, products and processes.
- Advising a major automotive OEM, across the US, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada, on a joint venture with a competitor to develop, produce and commercialize hydrogen-based fuel-cell systems primarily for use in heavy-duty trucks, as well as other applications.
- Advising a manufacturer of premium cars on its GDPR compliance program including the legal assessment of 3000+ data privacy processes and the design and implementation of GDPR compliant processes and policies, as well as several digitization projects on a global level.
- Advising Hyundai/KIA Motors in Asia and Europe on its EUR100 million, Series A investment in Arrival, a company creating and designing state-of-the-art electric vehicles.
- Advising BASF on the establishment of its strategic cooperation with Norilsk Nickel for the production of battery materials for electric vehicles in Harjavalta, Finland. BASF aims to create sufficient supply to equip approximately 300,000 full electric vehicles per year with its battery materials. This is part of a multi-step investment plan with an overall volume of more than EUR400 million.
- Negotiating strategic arrangements with Google for cloud-based services to support connected vehicle programs, including licenses to utilize Google Automotive Services (GAS).
- Advising Cruise (a world leading autonomous driving company majority-owned by General Motors) on the acquisition of Astyx from Zukunft Ventures (a subsidiary of major car parts manufacturer ZF Friedrichshafen) and the founders of Astyx. Astyx specializes in the development and manufacturing of next generation, high-resolution radar and satellite communication systems, and is a spin-off of Daimler Benz.
- Representing dozens of US and German clients in intellectual property defense across a wide range of technologies including navigation, infotainment, wireless standards patents, safety systems and fuel injection.
- Assisting an autonomous vehicle company in building, developing, testing and commercializing entire autonomous vehicles from ground, developing and implementing a legal and regulatory strategy for unprecedented vehicles and systems. Our role included conducting regulatory risk analysis, as well as developing and implementing novel compliance solutions and arguments under federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
- Representing a leading multinational manufacturer that is developing, testing, and commercializing autonomous driving systems and that partners with OEMs to integrate those systems into vehicles, in parallel enforcement actions brought by NHTSA and a state agency.
- Regularly counseling several automobile OEMs on regulatory compliance, recall, enforcement, regulatory development, and related matters.
- Advising a fuel-cell electric vehicle manufacturer regarding vehicle safety, performance, and emissions requirements and regulations. Our role included assisting the company in application of emissions and ICE-based standards to hydrogen electric drivetrain, and working with the company and regulators DOT to develop compliance paths for fuel-cell electric engines powering trucks, ships, and trains.
- Assisting an Asian automaker seeking to build and sell vehicles in the US, in evaluating legal and regulatory requirements, commercial and other law considerations for entering the US market, in conducting comprehensive regulatory and legal risk analysis, and in developing strategies for addressing and mitigating risks.
- Advising a major auto OEM in the US, in the process of acquiring a self-driving car manufacturer, on evolving regulatory issues and compliance, AV-related intellectual property and commercial law issues, leading regulatory and operational due diligence and related deal term negotiations, and working with the acquiring company after closing to obtain federal, state, and local regulatory approvals, and permits.
- Assisting battery companies seeking to manufacture and sell EV batteries in the US regarding regulatory risks and compliance strategies, new US tax credits, funding, and incentives for EVs, battery manufacturing and supply, and related clean energy projects.
News and insights
FHWA finalizes new standards and requirements for electric vehicle chargers
6 March 2023 .6 minute read