When considering the range of business or legal issues linked to the automotive sector in Belgium, experts tend to focus on the “traditional domains” of manufacturing, assembling, or distribution. In truth, the automotive sector is far broader and more complex. Cases may involve newer technologies and processes, including data driven solutions, software-based dealer management systems, customer service centres, logistical support companies, financing schemes, mobility as a service, alternative fuels, product recall, autonomous vehicles and much more.
Liedekerke’s experts in the automotive sector advise and represent clients in all of these areas, leveraging the right combination of expertise, foresight and pragmatism needed to ensure that legal support adds value to a business.
The automotive industry is notoriously challenging to navigate—fiercely competitive and tightly regulated, its crises are known for disrupting global supply chains and exacerbating the already precarious economic climate.
In order to operate confidently in this challenging environment and adapt to volatile market conditions, it is more important than ever for companies to have access to the necessary degree of bespoke legal expertise. Only with knowledgeable and experienced guidance can they navigate the complex dynamics and regulatory hurdles that define this industry.
We work with major car manufacturers and importers, OEM, IT companies, R&D laboratories, and industry bodies. We help them create and implement the right strategy, for their distribution network/channel and for the sale of their products or services.
Our Automotive Team has experience in:
setting up and restructuring distribution networks, including withdrawal from the market;
drafting and negotiating dealer contracts;
handling disputes with dealers, suppliers and clients, including termination of agreements;
advising on regulatory and competition matters;reviewing advertising campaigns;
advising on the sharing of driver data and vehicle-to-vehicle communications;
advising and assisting on corporate transactions;
advising on employment matters such as labour plans;
assisting with VAT optimisation,etc.
Our Relevant Experience
Acting for numerous vehicle manufacturers and importers in relation to their dealer network (setting-up, management, reorganisation and withdrawal)
Advising a leading electric vehicle manufacturer on a regular basis regarding conformity of products (such as batteries) and the sharing of vehicles data
Assisting a major Japanese automobile manufacturer in various aspects covering its operative business, including claim and risk management, promotional campaigns, legal documentation drafting, the reorganisation of dealer agreements and network, and the use of social media
Advising a key player active in the automotive industry on a continuous basis on data protection matters, e.g. background checks; tracking of GPS data for non-compliance with lease agreements; monitoring of legal developments such as Schrems II; contract drafting regarding the lease agreements and use of data
Assisting several automotive companies on data protection-related questions in the context of connected vehicles and their roll-out in Belgium
Assisting a major automobile manufacturer in relation to its participation in consortium agreements and grant agreements related to hydrogen infrastructure and fuel cell electric vehicles
Assisting and advising several automotive manufacturers on the roll-out of online platforms
Assisting a large automobile company with i.a. damage repair business on the labour law issues
Assisting an electric-vehicle manufacturer contemplating an expansion into Europe with the employment law aspects of their activities in Belgium, their obligations as employer, the drafting of required documentation, the actual implementation of the company work rules, and the design of a bonus plan, amongst others
Assisting a client in the automotive industry with the implementation of a large-scale IT infrastructure revamp, providing ongoing assistance with the drafting and negotiation of IT agreements at play, and assisting with addendums to supplier agreements regarding information security requirements
Supporting a manufacturer in the automotive industry in relation to claims caused by a defective raw material batch, as well as in successfully dealing with a product recall threat
Advising a France-based European leader in online used cars sales on the restructuring of its Belgian activities following a series of acquisitions
Assisted a platform company held by BlackFin Capital Partners in its acquisition of an important player in the automotive inspections and valuations sector