Automotive

The automotive industry has enjoyed a period of growth following its emergence from the global recession. However, the sector remains subject to uncertainties, particularly in the context of instability within the global market place. Our wealth of experience in working in and around the automotive sector means we can support you in the context of this market place – helping you optimise on opportunities, navigate challenges and mitigate risk.

Working with you to succeed in a challenging industry

In addition to a challenging global market place, the industry is now grappling with the potential ramifications of the UK’s vote to leave the EU. Alongside these uncertainties, businesses operating in the sector must also respond to other developments such as technological advancements, global competition, shifting consumer demand and expanded regulatory requirements. We are well placed to help you navigate the whole range of issues that may arise. Our experience includes supporting businesses operating at all levels in the automotive supply chain. Our clients include OEMs, component manufacturers, after-market suppliers, logistics suppliers and vehicle distributors and retailers.

Our lawyers

Several members of our specialist automotive team have spent substantial periods of time working in-house with a number of automotive businesses. This has enabled us to develop an in-depth insight into the issues affecting the sector. Across the wider sector, we work with influential industry associations including the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. We are also the exclusive law firm sponsor of Drive Midlands.

Many of our team are recognised as thought leaders in the sector and are frequently asked to input into key industry events. For example, we have experts providing market leading commentary on the impact of complex technology in vehicles, including self-driving cars. Our team has experience liaising with governments, regulators, manufacturers, automotive test facilities, transport consultancies and other key stakeholders on the regulatory framework needed for the testing and introduction of driverless cars and other autonomous and partially autonomous vehicles.

How we help – some recent work highlights include advising

  • Global car manufacturers on projects such as:
    • R&D collaborations with Universities for the purpose of developing new technologies
    • Contractual arrangements including merchandising contracts, trade mark licensing arrangements and sponsorship agreements
    • The resolution of various contractual disputes including ICC Arbitration proceedings in relation to breaches of contractual arrangements or to recover debts due 
    • A contract with the Department of Energy and Climate Change under which DECC provided pre-procurement funding for the development of renewable energy technology
  • Lotus Cars Limited on the full range of commercial, real estate, corporate finance and intellectual property work
  • On the acquisition of BF1 Systems from Beru Systems GmbH as well as advising on subsequent licensing, commercial and corporate work
  • Radical Sportscars on its European and "Rest of the World" distributor networks
  • A major automotive supplier on strategic projects including the outsourcing of warehousing and logistics to the dismissal of senior staff
  • US based global supplier of systems and components for the automotive industry in connection with the closure of one of its UK sites and the consequential collective redundancy of a unionised workforce
  • A tier 1 after-market supplier on a high value supply contract for the supply of next generation vehicle batteries (and related diagnostic software)
  • Centre of Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence on the construction of a new engineering campus in conjunction with London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, the London Development Agency, the Ford Motor Company, Barking College, Havering College and other bodies
  • The biggest private vehicle fleet management company in the UK on the re-location of its entire Midlands headquarters, including on the leasehold which was conditional on the completion of various works, as well as complex negotiations with both the landlord and an off-shore superior landlord
  • Metair Investments (via its Dutch subsidiary, Metair International Holdings), the manufacturer and distributor of automotive products on its acquisition of UK-based Dynamic Batteries Services.

Our automotive clients include

  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Lotus Cars Ltd. 
  • Peugeot Citroen
  • Volkswagen Financial Services
  • Toyota Tsusho Automobile London Holdings Limited 
  • Centre of Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence
  • Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
  • Triumph Motorcycles