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  • Department Chair - Litigation
    p +1 614.227.2047
    f +1 614.227.2100
  • Department Chair - Corporate
    p +1 614.227.1975
    f +1 614.227.2100
  • Department Chair - Labor & Employment
    p +1 614.227.2233
    f +1 614.227.2100


The past few years have been a whirlwind for the automotive industry and its suppliers. A plunging then rebounding economy, government interventions, product innovations and recalls all have contributed to unrest and uncertainty in an industry that is at once celebrated and condemned by the media, market analysts and the public. Unfortunately, what most people on the outside see are just the industry hot buttons being played out in public forums. There are many more, complex issues on the minds of industry insiders. Issues such as union avoidance, transfer pricing to reduce taxation, intellectually property protection, immigration and workforce issues, and product liability claims require close management and smart representation to minimize production disruption and create future opportunity.

Porter Wright has represented clients in the automotive industry for many years, and we currently represent more than 50 independent automotive parts suppliers. Our clients include budding manufacturing companies that seek our assistance with incorporation, site purchase and financing, as well as large, established corporations that require securities compliance management, IP protection and joint-venture agreements.

We work together with our automotive industry clients to:

  • Advise on issues related to the formatting of product labels, owner’s manuals and protective product warnings
  • Counsel manufacturers on compliance issues related to government regulatory agencies, such as the NHTSA and CPSC
  • Counsel and advice as to when a product recall may be necessary from recognition and assessment of defect, to reporting obligations, to assisting in implementing a recall program and dealing with government agencies through defending claims
  • Assist with establishing manufacturers in Ohio and in surrounding states. This includes everything involved when starting a company: incorporating; buying a site; applying to receive incentives from the State of Ohio; financing
  • Draft supplier contracts
  • Assist in antitrust compliance
  • Assist with ISO 9000 (or most current version) certification
  • Advise on intellectual property protection, including overseas IP
  • Assist in transfer pricing
  • Counsel on patent infringement
  • Obtain patents for production methods
  • Draft distribution agreements
  • Draft joint-venture agreements
  • Counsel on environmental issues, specifically working with the EPA
  • Assist with insurance indemnification
  • Advise on international expansion
  • Assist foreign-owned suppliers
  • Counsel on workers’ comp work for self-insured suppliers/companies
  • Counsel on immigration
  • Represent clients in employment litigation (HR-related disputes and arbitrations)
  • Assist in contracting with logistics companies
  • Advise on power contracts (getting best rate for larger quantity/load usage)
  • Assist with customs matters – Ohio to/from Canada and Mexico, and receiving or shipping inventory from/to Japan
  • Advise on anti-dumping
  • Counsel on website security/software security
  • Assist in minority- and women-owned business certification
  • Assist in public relations management
  • Counsel in the purchase and sale of auto dealerships
  • Represent clients in product liability matters: catastrophic injuries from issues allegedly resulting from operating recreational vehicles; tire tread separation; injury caused by alleged motor vehicle part malfunctions/defects
  • Counsel on sub-supplier disputes, including bankruptcy, replevin and related proceedings

Regardless of the size or specialty of your business, our attorneys help spur and maintain growth for many of Ohio’s automotive supply companies. We understand the unique pressures and obstacles of the industry, and we stay focused on the efficient management of legal matters so you can stay focused on productivity.