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OEMs, suppliers and tech companies alike trust us in any CASE – we advise our clients in all questions regarding connectivity, autonomous cars, sharing cars and electrification

Our experience

The product development cycle of cars and the development of new functionalities are accelerating - in part due to competition with emerging corporations and tech companies - and there is a wider regulatory environment that has to be adhered to, when developing and designing cars. Product compliance is of the utmost importance and in case product design did not meet or worked against the spirit of legal requirements, we have a wide experience when it comes to crisis and/or risk management support.

Experience highlights:
  • a leading software company: Advising on the legal framework for the use of dashcams in vehicles in 17 jurisdictions 
  • a leading vehicle glass repair and replacement group: Advising on legal questions in the context of anonymization and pseudonymization of personal data
  • a leading OEM: Advising on the legal and regulatory issues of using digital keys

Level three and upwards is also a core competence of our Automotive Sector Team. We are aware that autonomous driving touches many legal areas and have the required experience and overview of the sector. Our experience covers, amongst others, product liability, data protection, warranty law, antitrust, telecommunication law as well as behavioural, road traffic and patent law.

Experience highlights:
  • a leading OEM: Advising on all aspects of using car-generated personal data for the development of autonomous functions
  • a leading OEM: Advising on all aspects of behavioural and road traffic law regarding autonomous cars
  • Intel: Advising on the competition and merger control aspects of its acquisition of a 15% stake in. Here, a global provider of digital maps and location-based services for automotive and Internet of Things (IoT) from BMW, Audi and Daimler, entering into a collaboration agreement for the R&D of an architecture that would support HD maps for highly and fully automated driving

Connected cars are both the first logical step on the way to becoming autonomous and a way to create new business models for OEMs, suppliers and tech-companies. We advise in all these areas and have a special focus on Vehicle2Vehicle, Vehicle2Infrastructure communication, in-car-shops and over-the-air updates. We are also very knowledgeable in the areas of car-sharing, car-hauling and the use of digital keys. In all these areas we offer holistic advice from a data protection law, product liability law, regulatory law, antitrust law perspective from a one stop shop as we know one single point of contact is important.

Experience highlights:
  • a leading OEM: Advising on the display of legal texts in apps
  • a leading OEM: Advising on questions about functions-on-demand (in all relevant jurisdictions)
  • a leading OEM: Advising on the update of over-the-air legal issues (in all relevant jurisdictions)

With the changing market and regulatory environment and the many challenges the automotive industry faces at the same time we know that there is a strong need to consolidate, collaborate and to join forces through joint ventures or acquisitions. When setting up any such operation in the automotive sector, especially regarding product development, you need corporate lawyers with a strong automotive sector background, which Linklaters can provide.

Experience highlights:
  • The Hertz Corporation: Advising on the BRL 337m strategic partnership with Localiza Rent aCar S.A. (Localiza), the largest car rental network in South America and the market leader in Brazil
  • Bangchan General Assembly Co., Ltd. and Mercedes-Benz Thailand Limited: Advising on the bidding process, real estate matters, construction contract and transportation matters to establish a Vehicle Preparation Centre, valued at THB 3m
  • a Chinese OEM (listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange): Advising on its acquisition of (i) an EV battery modules R&D technology company based in the US and in Germany, (ii) a EV Motor and BMS technology company in the US, (iii) a EV manufacturing base in the US

Key Automotive events

We regularly speak at events, conferences and fairs across the globe. Swipe or scroll through the events to find out where you can meet us.  Covid-19: All upcoming events are either cancelled, postponed or virtual/hybrid. For further information, please contact your usual Linklaters contact.

Digital Auto Panel Talks | The automotive industry in times of crisis and disruption | June 2021

In order to help auto companies strategise for meeting the challenges posed by new developments within the automotive industry, Linklaters and its automotive sector group are pleased to be running a new firm-wide webinar series of Digital Auto Panel Talks. We are starting the series with the drive-in session on Wednesday, 16 June (12.30-14.00 CET) focussing on the theme “The automotive industry in times of crisis and disruption – what are the opportunities and how can you harness them?".
Read more Digital Auto Panel Talks | The automotive industry in times of crisis and disruption | June 2021

FT Future of the car summit | May 2021

We were delighted to attend, speak at and sponsor the FT Future of the car summit, which took place virtually from 11-13 May 2021.
Read more FT Future of the car summit | May 2021

FT Digital Dialogue in association with Linklaters | December 2020

Financial Times Live in partnership with Linklaters presented a 90 minute webinar on the 9th of December. The webinar unpicked, assessed and discussed the implications of three major pieces of legislation about to come within the automotive sector.
Read more FT Digital Dialogue in association with Linklaters | December 2020

Future Battery Forum | December 2020

We were delighted to attend, speak at and sponsor the Future Battery Forum, which took place (virtually) on the 10th and 11th of December. 
Read more Future Battery Forum | December 2020

ESG in the automotive sector – key points to consider

On Thursday 13 May, Vanessa Havard-Williams spoke at the FT Future of the Car Summit. 

In this short clip from her session on ‘Why ESG is relevant to the automotive sector’, Vanessa provides a brief summary of the key ESG points for the automotive sector to consider specifically in relation to product sales, supply chain management, M&A and JV opportunities and access to finance.

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