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Mobility

Shift your representation into high gear.

Succeeding in the mobility space requires the creation of innovative products, meeting tight production schedules, managing risk and adapting to accommodate the ever-changing needs of customers. As the competitive landscape continues to evolve, you need a legal team with historic success within the industry and the foresight to help you capitalize on the future. Our mobility team has the drive and depth to take on any legal issue that arises, while helping our clients execute bold, informed strategies to keep their business, and the industry as a whole, moving forward.

For more than 20 years, we have served clients spanning all segments of the mobility ecosystem, from OEMs and Tier suppliers to companies revolutionizing the transportation of people, goods and services. We are thoroughly familiar with the competitive, highly regulated climate in which our clients operate. Our invaluable insight, combined with deep industry knowledge, empowers manufacturers, mobility companies and equity firms from around the world to not simply manage through, but position themselves to thrive in today’s global marketplace.

Team Lead

Need something? Our Mobility team leader can point you in the right direction.

  • Patricia Burgess Attorney Photo
    Patricia Kirkwood Burgess

    Member

    Nashville, TN

AutoConnect 2022

The one automotive conference you don’t want to miss. 

AutoConnect is a one-day conference offering a platform for stakeholders across all segments of the automotive industry to engage in dialogue concerning the year’s most exciting and alarming trends. No other industry event draws on such broad-based expertise while offering attendees exclusive networking opportunities to truck with the very best in the automotive business.

Areas of Focus

One-stop auto shop. Unstoppable drive.

Product Liability

Driven to deliver cost-efficient solutions to minimize clients’ trial exposure. 

We not only know vehicles from the inside out, having spent years walking plant floors, talking to engineers and exploring our clients’ operations from every angle. But we also know what it takes to try product liability cases. Conducting effective pretrial discovery is only part of the story. Our product liability attorneys can aggressively pursue trial if a settlement is not what our client wants.

At trial we work in tandem with company engineers and outside consultants to communicate technical concepts in clear, yet persuasive ways. All expert witnesses are not created equal: We leverage the nation’s leading experts in a wide range of scientific topics, including metallurgy, fire, restraint systems, biomechanics, glass and glazing and crashworthiness. We know how to effectively cross-examine expert witnesses to draw out their theories, persuade judges and juries and maximize favorable results.

With a thorough understanding of both the drivers behind our clients’ businesses as well as the scientific principles involved in product liability, we are well-equipped to take on wrongful death and serious personal injury cases in jurisdictions around the world.

Commercial Litigation & Antitrust

Experience that goes the distance — from risk management to trial.

The automotive and mobility industries are as complex as they are global. Our commercial litigation attorneys work quickly to help clients avoid and resolve business conflicts, allowing them to remain focused on running their companies. When legal action is unavoidable — whether defending breach of contract claims or securing the supply chain through injunctive actions — our high-stakes, multi-jurisdictional trial experience empowers us to effectively achieve our clients’ desired goals.

Additionally, our attorneys bring deep industry knowledge to the world of antitrust law, where there are few black-and-white rules that can be equally applied to different situations. We have represented clients up and down the supply chain on everything from price fixing and price discrimination to market allocation and monopolization. Our years of experience translate to sophisticated business analysis. We work with companies to minimize the risk of antitrust litigation before entering into agreements, or proactively develop antitrust compliance programs to protect against future monopolization, tying and exclusive dealing lawsuits.

Supply Chain Management & Workouts

No supply chain is immune to breaks — here’s how to strengthen yours.

Product recalls, new regulations, natural disasters, labor strikes and, of late, a global health crisis and its rippling economic effects. The supply chain at times seems one weak link away from catastrophic financial disruption. When the future of production is uncertain, our experience representing dozens of OEMs and Tier suppliers in these high-risk, highly complex matters is critical. We’re skilled at helping OEMs and suppliers in times of crisis and equally skilled at preventing crises from ever occurring.

Our team includes lead outside counsel and former in-house attorneys for domestic and foreign OEMs, ensuring that there’s no learning curve for us when it’s time to negotiate deals between suppliers and OEMs. Our experience representing major players in purchasing, design, development or even the part-approval process allows us to quickly negotiate and draft terms and conditions as well as sourcing, tooling, confidentiality and exit agreements.

We have also handled distressed supplier workouts and many of the major bankruptcies over the last 20 years—including Takata, Collins and Aikman, Plastech, Chrysler, GM, Intermet, Revstone, Metavation, Exide and Chassix. We have navigated our clients through these uniquely complex challenges, time and time again. Whether it’s restructuring or liquidating the supplier, in or out of bankruptcy, while protecting production, we help clients quickly understand the benefits and risks associated with all options.

Mergers & Acquisitions

There’s an art to M&A transactions — we call it adding value.

Suppliers, OEMs and equity investors need legal counsel that combines in-depth industry knowledge with the finesse to craft mergers and acquisitions in ways that mitigate risk and maximize opportunity. Our experienced M&A attorneys have helped negotiate and structure complex transactions up and down the supply chain for decades. No matter which side of the deal we are on, we dig deep and ask the right questions to ensure our clients’ best interests are achieved. From the purchase price and payment terms to warranties and covenants, our attorneys efficiently navigate negotiations, ensuring critical issues are explored and resolved.

Labor Relations, Immigration & Workforce

Working hard to ensure our clients have strong working relationships.

Our labor and employment team has walked the plant floors and understands the unique challenges manufacturers and suppliers face every day — from unions and strikes to trade secrets and immigration issues. We counsel on the complete range of issues arising in the employer/employee context. We draft and enforce employment agreements, joint-development agreements, and restrictive covenants to protect your company’s information assets. We also have considerable experience handling collective bargaining, responses to grievances and labor arbitrations, as well as class and collective actions, including those brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

In addition to traditional labor and employment matters, we provide a full range of inbound and outbound immigration services as well as I-9 compliance training and government enforcement actions. Our experience serving hundreds of automotive OEMs and suppliers has given us an in-depth understanding of the industry’s global workforce mobility requirements, procedures, timelines and more. Our attorneys are fluent German, Japanese and Spanish speakers, with solid relationships in both key and developing markets around the globe. No matter where our clients are located, we integrate seamlessly with our clients’ overseas professionals, adapting and honoring their cultural norms and regional practices.

Global Services & Trade Regulation

The auto supply chain is global, and we’re everywhere our clients need us.

Our team works with clients in a wide range of cross-border legal matters. No two cultures are alike, and our team includes native speakers of the languages where many of our clients work and operate, as well as an extensive network of foreign attorneys who work closely with us in the automotive, manufacturing and technology sectors. By understanding vast differences in cultures, language and legal systems, we can quickly and effectively help clients resolve supply chain issues, create enforceable rights and duties, and deal with complex global business matters. Whether it’s importing or exporting goods, our international trade team provides strategic planning to help maximize profitable growth and market expansion while minimizing duties, fines and risks.

Advanced Vehicle Technology

Helping clients innovate as technology accelerates.

Advances in autonomous driving, connectivity, electrification, and smart mobility are transforming the industry, making contracts between OEMs, vendors and suppliers that much more complex. And while existing laws have yet to catch up to the technology, deep experience is essential to navigating this next frontier. Our experienced team works with all the key players in the mobility space to mitigate risks, maximize opportunity and fully deliver on their enterprise technology initiatives.

This includes helping SaaS and PaaS companies and suppliers identify ways to monetize their new technologies, including how to package these services and whether to sell directly to OEMs or work with Tier suppliers. We also make introductions to cutting-edge software or platform developers, work with clients to successfully integrate new technologies into the existing infrastructure or supply chain, and identify solutions to address the regulatory overlay for this new, more connected landscape.

Environmental Law

Helping companies comply as they innovate.

Our environmental team helps OEMs and suppliers proactively comply with a range of regulations, from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. We counsel clients on how their new installations, expansions, products, systems, facilities and more will impact the environment and proactively develop strategies to mitigate those impacts and avoid unnecessarily stringent permit conditions.

We will also walk the plant floors, review all manufacturing operations, permits, record keeping and reporting and applicable standards to ensure systems are in place to maintain current and ongoing compliance. Should a company face a state or federal Notice of Violation, our team can help determine the options and the best course of action in order to avoid any production disruption, minimize exposure and provide counsel during every step of the process.

Lending & Commercial Services

Auto knowledge matters, especially in money matters.

Innovative companies must have capital to compete in today’s fast-changing marketplace, yet just-in-time inventory and extended payment terms can make it difficult for mobility companies to finance new initiatives and product lines. We help clients overcome these challenges. Our deep understanding of the industry, coupled with extensive experience handling financing transactions, means we are well-positioned to achieve our clients’ capital objectives.

Our attorneys work with suppliers to leverage existing assets to obtain funding based on the value of their inventory, equipment and receivables. We arrange “traditional” cash-flow loans, receivables sale transactions, as well as taxable and tax-exempt bonds to help bridge the gap created by many OEMs’ extended payment terms. We also guide borrowers through the procedures and due diligence unique to each transaction, identifying the right options to successfully achieve their goals.

State & Local Tax

Experience adds up in tax strategies.

Income. Franchise. Federal. Real property. Tangible. Intangible. Sales and use. Excise. Motor vehicle. Fuel. Taxes in the mobility and automotive industries come in many forms and quickly add up if not managed strategically. We work with suppliers and OEMs to ensure that tax considerations inform each and every business decision they make. We focus on providing solutions for our clients’ immediate tax needs as well as on proactive measures that will give them a degree of certainty with respect to long-term tax planning.

In addition to structuring and planning transactions, we help clients take advantage of government incentives and tax credits; collaborate with government relations firms to arrange off-the-books rulings and accommodations; and represent taxpayers in court during traditional audit defense, valuation disputes and other issues. On an international basis, numerous OEMs and suppliers have sought our counsel because we understand their cultural practices and can help them develop legally sound tax structures for reducing their tax burdens.

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