Automotive

Our lawyers' expertise drives the automotive industry

As an automotive sector client, you can find all the legal services you need at King & Wood Mallesons. Many of our lawyers have worked for automotive sector companies, giving them a better understanding of your business.

We have specialist automotive sector expertise across our corporate, intellectual property, competition, contract, commercial and finance law teams. This is why some of the biggest and most innovative names in the business choose us to advise them on matters of law affecting the automotive industry.

Essential Asian and European experience

Our strong Asian practice gives us the expertise and cultural understanding needed to handle matters involving Chinese companies. Just recently, for example, we advised Daimler AG and Daimler Northeast Asia on the acquisition of a RMB 5.13 billion stake in Beijing Automotive Group.

Our enhanced international platform continues to unlock opportunities for clients across the King & Wood Mallesons network. Demonstrating the benefit of this recently, a cross-border team, made up of Chinese and German lawyers across eight practice groups, advised China Automobile Development United (Beijing) Technology Investment (a joint venture of several Chinese state-owned companies active in the automotive industry) on its acquisition of German engine development company Meta Motoren- und Energietechnik GmbH from its founder and management.

Around the world, the automotive industry combines great design with successful products, creative people and real challenges – commercially, technically and legally. One of the most important business sectors in Europe, it is also one of the region's most significant exports. Our advice keeps clients in the driver's seat.

Technology and market-driven trends go hand-in-hand with changing legal challenges. Amongst other developments, we are seeing new environmental standards, new product safety rules, new competition laws for structuring dealer networks, and new requirements for financing investments. The legal landscape is rarely straightforward, but with the right advice you can map a route to your goals. Just as a supplier of navigation and radio systems did in asking us for advice on exclusivity agreements with German car manufacturers.

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A driven team of automotive enthusiasts

The lawyers who make up our automotive sector team have been chosen for their experience and their passion for the industry. Many of them have worked in-house for car manufacturers, giving them a head start on our competitors. Others are keen car enthusiasts, and spend their free time immersed in automobiles, motor racing and the latest technological developments.

Our experience in the automotive industry includes:

  • International car manufacturers and dealerships: advising our clients around franchise and dealership questions, including the establishment and operation of online car sales dealerships
  • Advising Volkswagen and a number of German automotive suppliers in China, including acting for the German Association of the German Automotive Industry in China
  • Counsel to a major supplier of navigation and radio systems on exclusivity agreements with German car manufacturers
  • Acting for a major German car manufacturer in order to enforce design patents and defend the client against competition law-based counter-actions of the infringer
  • Defending a tooling equipment manufacturer against injunctive relief and damages claims based on alleged utility model infringements
  • Representing an R&D partner of the automotive industry in the negotiation of R&D contracts
  • Advising a US automotive components supplier in its operational restructuring, involving re-locating factories, restructuring debt and rationalising the corporate structure
  • Representing an international distributor in an ICC arbitration concerning the termination of distribution agreements.

We have a full team specialising in this area.

Discover our latest insights into legal issues affecting your business

In high profile cases, the cost of regulatory investigation may just be the beginning of a much longer (and more expensive) story.

13 January 2016

We look at how the certainty of letters of credit may be impacted by wider fraudulent/illegal conduct and what can be done to mitigate the risks.

13 January 2016

We focus on website blocking injunctions, as one measure that has been used or introduced to tackle online copyright infringement.

13 January 2016

Preparing for Competition Commission investigations

18 December 2015