Automotive Litigation

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Revolutionary change is impacting the global automotive industry on all levels, as significant megatrends and breakthrough innovations redefine all aspects of mobility and the rules for future success. The speed and magnitude of this transformation have forced companies to rethink product development processes, investments, partnerships, and technology. The industry is also challenged by sudden supply chain disruptions, the emergence of new competitors, a limited supply of skilled workers, global chip shortages, and dramatic swings in material costs. Combined with the global shift from internal combustion engines (ICE) to battery electric vehicles (EV) driven by worldwide climate concerns and an estimated investment of over $200 billion, the entire industry is being reinvented.

Companies operating in this framework of change and uncertainty are likely to face an array of disputes and disruptions at all levels of their business. From disagreements that arise over daily operations to enterprise-wide disputes that risk the viability of a company, the need for vigorous advocacy has never been greater.

Our Experience

Dickinson Wright has unparalleled experience in all aspects of the automotive industry that trace back to its origins over a century ago. We have been advisors and advocates through the years as the industry has faced new competitive challenges, consolidations and prior reinventions. Our automotive litigation teams have broad capabilities and profound knowledge of all aspects of this industry, and have helped shape the practices that are at the core of its operations.

Clients benefit from our automotive team’s successful litigation for domestic and foreign original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers in federal and state courts and various arbitral forums. We have represented clients in virtually every conceivable role, serving as national counsel, regional counsel, lead trial counsel, national discovery counsel, special assignment counsel for experts, and particular issues, among other capacities. Our automotive litigation practice includes representation of clients in all types of business disputes, including breach of supply agreements pricing disagreements, tooling disputes, and warranty claims. 

Our Services

From establishing pre-litigation strategies and risk avoidance techniques to alternative dispute resolution and decisive litigation, our lawyers represent manufacturers and suppliers alike through the final resolution of each matter in federal and state courts and various arbitral forums.

Our work includes:

  • Appeals & Advocacy

  • Labor & Employment Litigation

  • Automotive Workouts

  • Patent Litigation

  • Bankruptcy,  Restructuring & Insolvency    

  • Product Liability & Personal Injury

  • Business & Commercial Litigation

  • Regulatory Compliance

  • Class Action Lawsuits

  • Supplier Disputes

  • Dealer/Distribution Litigation

  • Toxic Torts

  • Environmental Litigation

  • Trade Secrets/Noncompetes

  • ERISA Litigation

  • Trademark Litigation

  • Intellectual Property Litigation

  • Troubled Suppliers

Preventative Counseling

With over a century of experience serving the automotive industry, we regularly advise clients on day-to-day issues, conduct compliance audits, and provide offsite training and seminars. When the law changes, we make sure that our clients are immediately informed. Our team regularly conducts client seminars and hands-on training to avoid mistakes that lead to litigation and alternative dispute resolution. We have found that these services help our clients avoid repeating mistakes and improve their procedures to avoid future litigation or minimize the risk and expense of litigation.

Business Litigation

  • Breach of Supply Agreements

  • Stop Shipment Threats

  • Consumer Litigation

  • Supply Chain Disputes

  • Injunctive Relief Product Liability

  • Terms and Conditions

  • Motor Finance Recovery Litigation    

  • Tooling Disputes

  • Pricing Disagreements

  • Warranty Claims

Dealer & Distribution Litigation

As trade regulation practitioners, we routinely counsel clients on the complex federal and state laws and regulations governing dealer and distributor relations. If a dispute in this area should escalate to litigation, our clients benefit from our creative and efficient approach to litigating disputes. Clients ranging from global automakers and suppliers to smaller, privately-held businesses trust us to successfully represent their interests in a variety of disputes, including complex wrongful termination cases, “Dealer Day in Court” actions, and state and federal matters concerning unfair and deceptive trade practices. Our automotive litigation team has tried dealer and distribution cases in state and federal courts across the country and possesses particular experience in international arbitration forums.

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