The MVG advises clients on a wide range of statutory and regulatory matters, including franchise and dealer law, antitrust, intellectual property, employment, finance, tax, and bankruptcy. We help our clients navigate the often-complex web of state and federal regulations applicable to the motor vehicle industry.
Dealer Network & Market Representation
We regularly counsel manufacturers and distributors on market representation strategies. We have assisted clients with preparing and implementing new dealer agreements and operating standards, drafting sales and distribution agreements, creating brand standards, and developing margin programs. We have also worked with our clients to develop effective strategies to launch new franchise networks and customized allocation programs for new products. And we have helped our OEM clients develop policies in such key areas as corporate identification, minority dealer representation, dealer ownership transfers, product allocation, warranty compensation, and pricing.
In addition, our clients routinely turn to us to guide them through the contractual and regulatory thicket applicable to dealership buy-sell transactions and other ownership transfers. We work with outside counsel for the transacting parties to manage the transfer process, review dealer applications, and evaluate complex dealer ownership structures (such as embedded trusts and LLCs), and advise manufacturers and distributors on their pre-emptive rights and obligations, such as rights of first refusal and turn-down, in single-dealership and multi-dealership transactions.
Antitrust, Competition & IP Matters
We regularly counsel manufacturers and distributors on antitrust and competition issues relating to sales, marketing, and distribution. We have advised our clients on the creation of e-commerce programs and “one-shop” retail sales platforms, the adoption and enforcement of advertised and resale pricing policies, the structure of margin and incentive programs, and the provision of other forms of dealer network support.
We have also advised our clients on the negotiation of supply agreements with competitors, helped them create and implement internal antitrust compliance policies, and counseled them on appropriate communications with OEM industry associations and dealer councils.
In addition, we represent OEMs and distributors in a wide variety of non-patent intellectual property matters, including trademark and copyright licensing and enforcement, intellectual property aspects of business transactions, gray market trading, and registration of trademarks in the United States and abroad.
Finance & Payments Platforms
The MVG works with our Fintech (FIGx) Group to assist our clients with finance and payments platforms. The FIGx Group is uniquely positioned to assist clients that need to understand prepaid access, payment networks, ACH, real-time payments (Clearinghouse and FedNow), digital and mobile banking, and other novel issues relating to the movement or acceptance of money. The Group has represented payments companies and advised on cutting-edge digital, mobile, and non-traditional payments.