With the ability to provide teams of expert lawyers in each of the major jurisdictions in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Bird & Birds’ International Automotive Group ensures a uniformity of service, experience, approach as well as joined up thinking.
Our International Automotive Group advises many companies in the sector including vehicle manufacturers, distributors and dealers as well as suppliers of production parts and investment goods, logistics businesses and investors. Our involvement is broad-based, spanning the entire lifecycle of a motor vehicle, from initial design to serial production, sale, distribution and, ultimately, disposal.
Our expert team provides a full range of corporate, commercial, IP, regulatory and competition advice from our offices across Europe, Asia and the Middle East, drawing on market-leading expertise in procurement, outsourcing, anti-trust, technology, intellectual property and IT.
We are helping our clients in all the following:
- warranty issues
- import and export controls
- product safety and liability
- new designs and technology
- all forms of recalls and field actions
- financing and investment opportunities
- environmental matters such as sustainability, green procurement or electro-mobility
- commercial contracts such as supply agreements for parts and prototypes, logistics and distribution agreements
As a law firm focused on modern technologies, we are particularly well placed to assist as technology is the key to the competing demands of increased road safety, higher performance levels, environmental drivers, comfort, infotainment and value for money. Our service for you is based on a deep knowledge of the automotive industry and we genuinely understand the key dynamics of the marketplace as well as the business relationships that drive it. .
Head of Group: Christian Kessel in Frankfurt
Recent highlights of work
We advised one the world's largest producer of aluminium Alcoa Inc in restructuring and subsequent sale of its European wire harness and electrical distribution business division in Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, Portugal, Romania, Ireland and UK.
- We advised Audi AG in connection with the total IT procurement, Enterprise 2.0 System, car-to-car connectivity and similar matters.
- We advised global vehicle components manufacturer Delphi Automotive on the acquisition of the motorised vehicles business of automotive connector manufacturer FCI S.A.
- We advised the multinational sports car manufacturer Ferrari S.p.A on contracts with importers in the Asia Pacific including dealers in Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and China
- We advised Johnson Controls regarding the law pertaining to authorized dealers and drafting of an authorized dealer agreement intended to be used/applied Europe-wide; advice regarding the construction of a franchise system and drafting of a franchise agreement
- We advised the international manufacturer of motorcycles Kawasaki on business and operational matters including product liability, termination of distribution agreement, dealing with the bankruptcy of distributors and difficulties in the relationship with distributors.
- We assisted Michelin, one of the largest tyre manufacturers in the world, in the transfer of ongoing business (outsourcing) and commercial/IT related contracts.
- We provide ongoing legal advice to Neapco Europe GmbH regarding a multitude of legal and contract law issues.
- We advised TomTom, a leading manufacturer of navigation systems in Europe, on and drafting of a Framework Supply Agreement with Renault.
- We provide ongoing advice for the automotive components manufacturer Valeo for over 15 years on various patent disputes and infringement litigations including matters regarding parking sensors, head lamps, windshield wipers and rain sensors in passenger cars.
- We provide advice to one of the leading manufacturers of motor truck braking systems Wabco in numerous patent disputes in Germany, among other things in several infringement complaints before the Düsseldorf Regional Court and opposition proceedings in Munich.
Accolades“All-round advice to the sector.”
Juve Handbook for Commercial Law Firms 2012
“Unlike many competitors, [Bird & Bird] has managed to substantially expand its business in the automotive supplier sector by acquiring several new high-calibre clients.”
Juve Handbook for Commercial Law Firms 2010