Automotive (Corporate)

Automotive

The UK automotive industry is big business: in 2018 it generated revenues of £82 billion and accounted for more than 800,000 jobs. Eighteen of the world's 20 largest automotive suppliers have a base in the UK. British motorsport also continues to dominate globally: six of the current ten Formula 1 teams are established here.

Our knowledge covers the entire automotive sphere, encompassing both the commercial manufacturing industry and the dynamic world of motorsport.  Our Automotive Group acts for the major car marques, suppliers, distributors, dealers, Formula 1 teams, professional drivers, sponsors, investors, private enthusiasts and vintage car collectors.

Why we are different

We don't just provide legal advice. We are problem-solvers, creating innovative solutions to enable our clients to overcome hurdles other law firms would find insurmountable. For example:

  • When the Caterham F1 team ran out of money at the end of the 2014 season, we set up a crowdfunding scheme to enable it to race in the final grand prix.
  • When the margins of the luxury German car marques were being hit by cheap copies of their alloy wheels, we won a landmark High Court decision which throttled the replica wheel industry.
  • When BMW wanted to buy part of Rolls Royce, our lawyers found a way to split the ownership of the Rolls Royce brand between automotive and aerospace.

Our Automotive Group advises on all the issues you might face, including brand protection, corporate and commercial, regulatory and compliance, restructuring and insolvency, competition, employment, property and dispute resolution.

  • Advising BMW, MINI, Audi and Mercedes on intellectual property issues, in particular brand protection and anti-counterfeiting.
  • Acting as external general counsel for Apollo, AC Cars and De Tomaso on all IP, commercial and corporate matters.
  • Acting for Maranello on its import and distribution agreements for Ferrari and Maserati cars.
  • Acting for Invicta Cars on its distribution and dealership agreements.
  • Advising on partnering agreements between major car manufacturers (including BMW, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota, Renault and Nissan) and equipment manufacturers.
  • Tax advice to the Volkswagen Group, Ford, Vauxhall and Toyota.
  • Successfully representing Mercedes-Benz in a landmark technical VAT case before the Court of Justice of the European Union worth over £300 million.
  • Acting on product recalls for car and motorbike manufacturers.
  • Acting on an Office of Fair Trading investigation into price fixing and market sharing between one of the world's largest car manufacturers and its vehicle dealerships.
  • Acting For Dana Holding Corporation, a leading Tier 1 automotive supplier, on multiple cross border M&A and JV transactions.
  • Acting for Affinia Group Inc. in connection with multiple M&A transactions and Logistics Outsourcing transactions.
  • Represented Genuine Parts Company on its acquisition of Alliance Automotive Group.
  • Acting for JSP, a major supplier of parts to the leading car manufacturers.
  • In relation to classic and super cars, advising on their acquisition and sale, disputes over their authenticity and renovation, obtaining injunctions to prevent their sale and freezing injunctions against fraudulent suppliers.
  • Advising major automotive suppliers on the sale of significant hybrid fuel cell R&D projects going through Pre-Production Approval Process with major OEMs.
  • Acting for Euro Car Parts (UK's leading supplier of aftermarket parts), most recently on the acquisition of Andrew Page.
  • Acting for leading B2B motor finance company Evolution Funding in a private equity deal to support its expansion. The deal remains subject to regulatory approval from the FCA.
  • Advising the management team on a secondary buyout of the Autovista Group, which provides pricing and specification intelligence for Europe’s automotive decision-makers under their brands Autovista, Eurotax, Glass's and Schwacke.
  • Acting as external general counsel for BYD (UK), the most successful supplier of EV buses in the UK.
  • Acting for JSP, a major supplier of parts to the leading car manufacturers.
  • Advising major automotive suppliers on the sale of significant hybrid fuel cell R&D projects going through Pre-Production Approval Process with major OEMs.
  • Acting for the liquidators of the Force India F1 team on the complex and high pressure disposal to Racing Point.
  • Acting on the title sponsorship deal for an F1 team for the 2019 F1 season.
  • Acting for the Marussia and Caterham Lotus F1 teams on all legal issues, including contracts with drivers and sponsors, agency, supply and sponsorship agreements, licensing, broadcasting, corporate, employment and competition law issues, and various commercial disputes.
  • Acting for various racing drivers and their management companies.
  • Advising on the competition law issues arising under Formula 1's Concorde agreement.
  • Representing the Peugeot works rally team on its sponsorship agreement with Phillip Morris (Marlboro).
     
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