Automotive & Mobility
Gleiss Lutz has been firmly established in the automotive and automotive supplier industry for decades. From its very beginning, the firm has advised national and international companies in this sector and is involved in high-profile cases on a regular basis. For our clients this means that we not only offer expert know-how on the relevant legal areas, but can also back this expertise up with sound experience in the industry. Accordingly, we provide companies with practical and tailor-made legal advice which is oriented to the strategy of the specific company.
“Very good connections with the automotive industry, especially with regard to product regulation and market entry”
Trademark, designs and unfair competition
We advise our clients in their search for new trade marks, assist in registration procedures in Germany and abroad and manage trade mark portfolios. We conduct legal disputes over trade marks for our clients.
A focus of our work in this area is providing support in multinational trade mark conflicts which are of particular importance for automotive brands which are used internationally. Another focus of our work consists of court-related procedures with which we enforce the design rights of automobile manufacturers. We review our client’s drafts of advertising measures. We attack unfair advertising for our clients and defend advertising against attacks, in particular by associations and, more recently, increasingly in disputes relating to the passenger car energy consumption labeling regulation.
Product liability and safety
In scarcely any other sector are the subjects of product liability and product safety of such central importance. Thanks to our many years of experience, we have the expertise necessary to minimise risks for our clients and guide them safely through crises should they arise.
We additionally assist in setting up the necessary processes and structures (such as quality assurance systems), in the establishment of recall management systems and in preparing risk assessments. We take care of communications with the authorities in Germany and abroad, execute cross-border warnings and recalls and assist in official proceedings (e.g. fine proceedings), as well as in judicial proceedings on recourse claims.
Steadily increasing use and integration of electronic systems will likely spark exponential in growth vehicle intelligence in the near future. The move towards autonomous driving poses major challenges for the entire industry - not only from a technical but also from a legal aspect - especially with regard to product liability and road traffic rules and regulations, tort law, intellectual property as well as data privacy.
Our established expertise in the automotive sector as well as our strong commitment in the field of autonomous driving means we are perfectly placed to advise clients on projects in this area.
Antitrust / Antitrust Compliance / Distribution Cartel Issues
We advise companies in the automotive sector on antitrust-related fine and investigative proceedings before the Federal Cartel Office, the European Commission and the German and European courts. Our competition/antitrust team also has many years of expertise in the area of preventive compliance.
We identify antitrust risks for our clients which often arise due to industry-specific structures and particularities. We then offer tailor-made compliance solutions on the basis of our assessment of the situation. Another central element of our compliance services is the provision of antitrust training sessions. A further focus of our activities is merger control. Our antitrust specialists carry out the notification of planned mergers to the Federal Cartel Office, as well as the European Commission. We additionally plan and coordinate merger control notifications worldwide. Finally, for many years we have been advising our clients in the automobile industry on questions involving the passenger car block exemption regulation and other industry-specific issues. In particular, we also advise on the structuring of distribution channels, as well as on typical problems involved in supply chains, which tend to be very complex.
Gleiss Lutz has long been recognised as one of Germany’s preeminent employment law firms. We advise and represent national and international enterprises in all areas of individual and collective employment law.
Clients benefit from our high standards of quality, our unrivalled experience as well as our extensive specialisation. Gleiss Lutz is a byword for outstanding legal advice oriented to the automobile and automobile supplier industry’s specific needs and the client’s economic goals.
We have successfully advised clients for decades in disputes regarding the infringement, legal validity and exploitation of patents and utility models, as well as on the protection of inventions and know-how.
Our litigation work focuses on complex national, pan-European and international patent disputes. Another focus of our work is on technology transfers, in particular licensing agreements and R&D cooperations. In the automotive industry we regularly structure and negotiate technology-based contracts, both individually and within the framework of corporate transactions.
Gleiss Lutz is one of Germany’s leading M&A law firms. We regularly support renowned German and foreign OEMs and suppliers, listed or medium-sized companies, as well as financial investors engaged in public takeovers, acquisitions, carve-outs of business divisions and any subsequent sale, as well as in joint ventures in the automotive sector.
We have the necessary resources and the international network to implement complex transactions, such as worldwide carve-outs and tendering processes with multifaceted legal and operative challenges. Established teams draw on their comprehensive expertise and experience to offer proven and individually tailored solutions. All of this makes Gleiss Lutz the ideal partner for transactions in the automotive sector.
Gleiss Lutz has long been a go-to firm for restructuring, insolvency and distressed M&A, and in the past few years has advised on almost every major restructuring and insolvency case in Germany.
One of the particular strengths of our restructuring practice is the law firm’s full service approach. Our restructuring and insolvency experts work together with leading practitioners from other key fields, drawing on the firm’s wide-ranging expertise. As a result, we provide a one-stop service to clients on restructurings and refinancings, as well as transactional and litigation matters – both in and outside of court-supervised bankruptcy proceedings. Gleiss Lutz has particular expertise in restructurings and insolvencies in the automobile sector. As a result, partners in the law firm have advised on many of the leading cases of the past few years.
In litigation matters with contracting partners, we have been successfully advising and representing our clients in Germany and abroad for several decades. Together with our clients we develop tailor-made strategies for resolving conflicts, taking the specific negotiating situation into consideration, and are very familiar with modern forms of alternative dispute resolution.
If disputes cannot be resolved out of court, we advise and represent our clients on the enforcement of their claims or defense against unjustified claims before the national German courts and international arbitration tribunals. We also have comprehensive experience with summary court proceedings which always play an important role in the automotive sector if there is a threat that the start of serial production (SOP) could be delayed. We also have particular expertise on disputes on general commercial issues, arising for example from framework agreements, supply agreements, contract manufacturing agreements, contracts for work and services, distribution agreements and joint ventures.