Automotive Industry

Consisting of over 20 attorneys spanning across 7 different practice areas, Quarles & Brady's Automotive Team works with clients to provide comprehensive legal services tailored to meet the specific needs of the automotive industry. Our clients include automotive and motorcycle manufacturers and distributors, as well as other participants in the automotive industry.

Our team of attorneys from diverse legal backgrounds brings an in-depth understanding of the automotive industry to each matter. We focus on our clients' business goals and work with them to provide practical solutions to achieve their objectives, while minimizing risk. Our depth of experience in the industry enables our team to solve problems creatively and efficiently. This business-focused strategy coupled with our experience of serving the automotive industry for decades allows us to advise clients in the following areas:

Counseling: The automotive industry is subject to wide-ranging regulatory requirements. On the distribution side, we counsel on both large-scale dealer network initiatives as well as on practical methods for approaching and resolving individual dealer and complex market issues. We also advise on market representation strategies, both at the national and local market levels. In addition, we provide counseling in other legal areas impacting the automotive industry, including the areas of product liability, safety, intellectual property, and data privacy and security.

Transactional: Our Automotive Team has experience handling all types of business transactions in the automotive industry. We have worked with clients on matters including mergers and acquisitions, negotiating and documenting dealer establishments and owner changes, third party commercial arrangements, and the sale of products.

Litigation: We understand that litigation is at times inevitable, which is why our litigation group works with our clients as early on as possible to define and evaluate strategic options available and ensure that they know when litigation is the best option for them. We represent clients in a variety of legal disputes including class action litigation, bankruptcy, dealership litigation, and trade regulation litigation. Our Automotive Team also includes members who have extensive appellate experience in areas such as commercial litigation, dealership and franchise disputes, labor and employment disputes, products liability claims, premises liability matters, and administrative and licensing issues.

Franchise Compliance: We are able to draw upon the experience of our nationally recognized Franchise & Distribution Team that provides comprehensive counseling in transactions and regulatory matters for the full range of franchisor business, dealership, and legal needs. Our attorneys have experience drafting and updating franchise disclosure documents and handling other aspects of federal and state regulatory compliance with respect to franchise.

Commercial Contracting: Our attorneys understand the full range of issues that surround commercial contracts, especially in the automotive industry. We have experience negotiating and drafting commercial agreements, including manufacturer's representative agreements, supply agreements, vehicle warranties and service contracts, confidentiality agreements, standard terms and conditions of sale and purchase, power purchase agreements, and third-party legal opinions.

Distribution Network Setup: Our team assists manufacturers in forming new distribution subsidiaries, launching new vehicle lines and distribution networks, introducing new vehicle models, and preparing and issuing new dealer agreements. We also assist with day-to-day business operations matters once the network has been established, including on matters relating to selection and appointment of dealers, implementation of vehicle allocation systems, and the creation of facility and corporate identification standards.

Intellectual Property: We work with clients to determine the best strategy to capitalize on all of their intellectual property, focusing on protecting and commercializing it. Our team can help with sales promotion and advertising programs, along with trademark and copyright infringement, licensing, portfolio management, and resolving disputes over ownership.

Autonomous & Connected Vehicles: As the automotive industry prepares for inevitable changes brought upon by autonomous vehicles, clients rely on our decades of experience in the industry to stay ahead of the curve. Our integrated Autonomous & Connected Vehicles Group counsels clients on the potential business impact of self-driving vehicles in the automotive industry and beyond, from regulatory compliance, risk counseling and litigation to intellectual property protection, licensing, privacy, and data security concerns.

Product Liability: Our Automotive Team also includes members of our national Product Liability, Toxic Tort and Personal Injury Litigation Team that is comprised of experienced trial lawyers who have successfully handled cases in virtually all states and numerous federal courts across the country. We have represented manufacturers and distributors of automobiles and components, motorcycles and accessories, and trucks, trailers, and related components in both straightforward and complex cases. In order to ensure consumer safety within the automotive sphere, our attorneys also assist in developing product warnings literature and safety standards.

Data Privacy & Security: The automotive industry is at the cutting edge in terms of development and utilization of new technologies, which presents challenges regarding data collection and security. Our Data Privacy & Security Team regularly handles compliance and risk counseling, transactional assistance, and government investigations and litigation, as well as data breach preparation and response.