Automotive

What we do/ Specific Areas of Focus

  • Analysis and development of motor business models, corporate business structuring, support for organic growth and expansion through M&A
  • Comprehensive legal assistance in setting up complete cycle and assembly facilities, liaison with government and municipal authorities
  • Expert review and support under the anti-monopoly law, representing clients during anti-monopoly examinations and initiation of cases for competition law violations
  • Legal advice on building up and developing dealership networks, development, modification and termination of dealership, distribution and leasing agreements
  • Environmental, sanitary and nature conservation aspects of operations by manufacturers and other entities involved in the motor sector
  • Trade mark registration, patenting, development of and legal support for licensing and other agreements, legal assistance in fighting counterfeits
  • Employment restructuring, staff reduction and job elimination, interaction with trades unions, legal due diligence of labour law compliance by motor businesses, identification and mitigation of possible risks; corporate pension plans
  • Advice on various legal aspects of localising manufacture of spare parts and SKD units, including set up of joint ventures, car manufacturers’ trade mark and know-how protection, marketing and distribution
  • Advice on customs matters, preferential customs treatment of SKD importation and vehicle import
  • Tax planning and tax restructuring, legal advice on all aspects of taxation in the Russian Federation and other European countries
  • Legal support for financing of distribution networks and dealerships, long- and short-term loans and ensuring repayment of borrowings
  • Land, real estate and construction services for the motor business: lease of office and warehouse premises, testing tracks, trial grounds and training centres
  • Comprehensive legal support for consumer relations, including legal assessment of marketing campaigns, customer loyalty programmes, personal data processing and storage, assistance in claims handling and representation in customer disputes
  • Pre-trial settlement and comprehensive defence in court disputes for all kinds of legal action, legal assistance in enforcement proceedings, recommendations on how to prevent unfair business practices in the motor industry

Motor vehicles have long since become indispensable for us – in addition to being a comfortable means of individual travel, they provide public transportation, carry loads and passengers for business purposes, provide for mobility and responsiveness by various special-purpose machines and engines and also participate in some of the most thrilling sports competitions. Millions of people and thousands of entities are in one way or another connected with the   motor industry, including manufacture, distribution, servicing and use, and take a keen interest in related manufacturing and consumer news.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP attorneys have extensive experience in rendering legal support to the motor industry in the Russian Federation and Europe, assisting with incorporation, development, restructuring and protection of manufacturing companies, their assembly and distribution divisions, dealership chains and service organisations, as well as the financial arms of car manufacturers, lenders and insurers that are part of the motor business. Our team always stays abreast of the position taken by the relevant government authorities, business associations and consumer protection societies. 

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP specialists combine unique experience of rendering legal support to major and medium-scale projects in the Russian motor industry with a profound knowledge of and practical skills in applying legal tools for restructuring, financing and commercial operation of businesses on the European  vehicle manufacturing, sales and servicing markets. Our client list includes some of the leading Russian motor   companies, along with global motor  corporations. 

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP is on the subcommittee for strategic automotive innovations set up under the CCI RF Committee for enterprise in the automotive sphere.

To our clients we offer integrated legal support for various projects, both complex and specific, and professional   advice on all kinds of legal issues faced by motor market players. 

Clients:

Automotive

  • Chrysler
  • Peugeot Citroen Rus
  • Nissan Russia
  • Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
  • Magna International
  • Kia Motors
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Hyundai Motor CIS
  • GM-Avtovaz
  • General Motors
  • Geely International Corporation
  • Ferronordic Machines
  • Rolf

Experience

Automotive

BP, Nissan, Volkswagen

Adviced BP, Nissan, Volkswagen on processing employee personal data in the international communications between different offices.

Great Wall Motors

Handled a complex project for Great Wall Motors to recover over USD 50 m from a group of unscrupulous Russian counterparties. Aspects such as liquidation and insolvency of legal entities, application of international regulations and ICC Rules were involved.

Komatsu

Provided comprehensive advice to Komatsu on a construction project for a building machinery assembly plant in the Yaroslavl Region including: site acquisition, re-categorisation and re-zoning, investment agreement, permission documentation, construction, engineering infrastructure, and environmental aspects.

Chrysler

We advised Chrysler on customs activities as part of a project to equip foreign-made vehicles with the ERA-GLONASS system. Our work scope included reviewing matters relating to exporting the system from Russia, applying customs regimes, etc.

Peugeot

Represented Peugeot in an arbitration court dispute with a consumer and the insurer over a car design flaw. This case was a matter of principle for Peugeot since, should the consumer have prevailed, there would have been a risk of all cars of this make being recalled to fix the design. The lawsuit against Peugeot was dismissed.

Caterpillar Financial

For Caterpillar Financial, we successfully handled over 40 disputes, worth millions of US dollars in aggregate, relating to recovery of leased out vehicles. The cases were complicated by a need to manage lawsuits and enforcement proceedings in dozens of Russian courts located in different regions, from Kaliningrad to Sakhalin.

Jaguar Land Rover, Avtoframos (Renault), Volvo Cars, Philips

Jaguar Land Rover, Avtoframos (Renault), Volvo Cars, Philips, Xerox, Alliance Healthcare: Successfully representing companies before the Supreme Commercial Court concerning VAT on bonuses granted by suppliers to their dealers.

Major automobile holding company

Advised a major automobile holding company on the impact of US and EU sanctions against Russia on a syndicated loan received from the VTB Group and secured by equipment pledge and real estate mortgage.

Rolf Group

Advised Rolf Group, a major Russian car dealer, on its merger with PELICAN AUTO (BMW, Nissan and Škoda dealerships in the Moscow Region).

Danone, Guardian Industries, Kimberly-Clark and many others

Provided comprehensive legal support to Nissan Motor, Danone, Guardian Industries, Kimberly-Clark, Kronospan, Lafarge, Magna Automotive, Mars, Oriflame, TEVA Pharmaceutical, Efes Brewery and many others for various Greenfield industrial development projects in different regions. Matters advised on included acquisition of land plots for development, forest and farm land re-zoning, liaisons with authorities, public procedures, regulatory issues and licences, design and construction, environmental, project financing, infrastructure and utilities, litigation and legislative work in the federal, regional and municipal parliaments.

Independence Group

Acted for one of the main BMW distributors in Russia – Independence Group – in a case over TM infringement when selling cars. The client faced a gigantic claim for USD 2 trillion in damages. This was the first case in Russia when such an immense amount was claimed in compensation. We managed to reduce drastically the ultimate compensation to a sum of only USD 6,000.

Ferronordic Machines AB

Advising Ferronordic Machines AB an authorised dealer of Volvo Construction Equipment, Terex Trucks, Dressta, Mecalac and Rottne in Russia, on the offering and listing of its ordinary shares on Nasdaq Stockholm.

Zeppelin

Acted for Zeppelin, a leading worldwide dealer in Caterpillar machinery, during a dawn raid conducted by the FAS Cartel Department in a joint investigation with the EEC’s Antitrust Department.

News & Insights:

Automotive