Automotive Retail and Dealerships

  • Consolidation, shifts in distribution and service models, electric vehicles (EVs) and e-commerce are all rapidly changing the landscape of the automotive retail industry, underscoring the importance of having trusted legal advisors who understand the opportunities and challenges facing dealers in today's world.
  • Holland & Knight's Automotive Retail and Dealerships Practice is made up of dedicated attorneys who have the technical know-how and deep legal insight into the automobile industry to help clients address these challenges and guide them through the ever-changing landscape.
Automotive Retail and Dealerships

Overview

Holland & Knight's Automotive Retail and Dealerships Practice includes a team of multidisciplinary attorneys who work with dealers and investors (including private equity firms, family offices, high-net-worth individuals and hedge funds) on legal issues relating to the buying or selling of dealerships, investments in dealerships and ongoing operations. Our team has significant experience across the retail dealership industry, having worked closely with automobile, motorcycle, recreational vehicle (RV), heavy truck, and industrial and construction equipment dealers and investors through a multitude of transactions. Few law firms have our distinct combination of experience, in-depth knowledge, market coverage and capabilities with automotive retail and other dealership transactions.

Our Automotive Retail and Dealerships Practice draws on seasoned attorneys throughout the firm who are experienced in mergers and acquisitions (buy/sell transactions), financing (debt and equity), joint ventures, real estate (buying, selling, leasing and development), regulatory, manufacturer relations (dealer applications, framework agreements and facility projects), labor and employment, litigation, cybersecurity and data privacy, advertising and taxation, among other areas. Several of our attorneys have worked in the car dealership sector for 15 or more years. Given this experience, our attorneys understand the business operations and how to address the unique issues that arise in the dealership world.

We are able to tap the intellectual resources of our attorneys throughout our 27 U.S. offices to address client interests on a nationwide basis. Our lawyers also have long-standing relationships with national and local accounting firms, brokers, financial specialists and wealth managers, investment bankers, lenders and insurance providers that we use to better service our clients' business and legal needs. In addition, we work with clients to connect parties through our HK Deal Flow℠ program.

Our Services and Clientele

  • dealership buy-side and sell-side transactions
  • state law and regulatory counseling
  • manufacturer relationships
  • financing, including floorplan, mortgage and acquisition loans
  • real estate acquisition, disposition and leasing
  • construction and property development
  • corporate restructuring
  • employee benefits
  • management equity plans
  • labor and employment
  • intellectual property
  • cybersecurity and data privacy
  • private equity and joint venture transactions
  • succession planning
  • tax disputes
  • reinsurance
  • advertising/marketing
  • litigation and dispute resolution
  • outside general counsel services

Select Representative Experience

  • Advising large auto dealership group in connection with multiple acquisitions in several states to expand from two dealerships to 21 through six separate transactions
  • Negotiating various framework agreements with multiple manufactures for multiple distinct clients
  • Advising several financial investors in multiple and separate joint venture transactions to partner with dealer operators to fund acquisition strategies of auto dealerships, heavy truck dealerships and construction equipment dealerships
  • Working with a large auto dealership group owned by a family office to structure and implement an acquisition and consolidation plan on a nationwide basis
  • Representing a large single-family office with its initial investment in retail automotive industry and ongoing acquisitions and group solidification; representation includes dealership acquisition, disposition and related real estate and financing matters
  • Advising several clients on the creation and structuring of management equity participation plans
  • Advising a leading provider of personal transportation solutions in connection with acquisitions to expand its footprint nationally
  • Representing a foreign car dealership as lead counsel in defense of preliminary injunctive relief sought by automobile wholesaler in Puerto Rico
  • Representing a private dealership group in the acquisition of one of the largest Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the U.S. on an accelerated timeline
  • Restructuring a large private dealership group, with operations in four states, in connection with an ownership transition, including manufacturer negotiation relating to ownership and ongoing control matters
  • Advising several clients on large-scale platform financing with commercial and/or nonbank lenders for dealership groups with operations in several states and multiple flooring sources
  • Advising several private equity groups and family offices on internal structures and processes in purchase transactions involving multiple dealership groups

Leading Lawyers on Your Side

Members of Holland & Knight's Automotive Retail and Dealerships Practice have been selected for inclusion in leading industry publications based on their work throughout the United States. A number of our attorneys are ranked in Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America guide and Super Lawyers magazine, among others. They also participate as speakers at private and public conferences, seminars and webinars, and as authors in recognized publications throughout the country.

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