In spite of the continuous growth recorded in the past years, the automotive industry does show some signs of slowing down.

To succeed in the new automotive environment, suppliers are asked to transform their existing business models and, before that, rethink their overall strategy both to catch new growth opportunities and/or consolidate the market around their existing portfolio. In order to do so a new company mindset and culture to foster innovation, which is of paramount importance to compete in the new technology areas, will have to be created.

In fact, technology will be at the basis of products and services, also impacting on the organizational structure and governance models that will have to change in order to accompany the transition from the old declining technologies until when they will coexist under the same roof.

Efficient cost base, adequate financing and new partnerships will also have to be put in place and built up in order to start thinking in open innovation ecosystems and implement the upcoming transition.



De Berti Jacchia Franchini Forlani has acquired over many years in-depth experience of the automotive industry.

Our lawyers have been assisting their clients on every aspect of their operations, advising them on complex changes in their business models in order to meet new and more sophisticated customer needs and market challenges.

Our Firm’s services include advising and assisting on:

  • Dealership, workshop and agency distribution networks
  • Competition and regulatory issues
  • Corporate advice and M&A transactions
  • Retail Finance
  • Tax
  • Real estate
  • Administrative, public procurements and public authorities’ relations
  • Reorganization, restructuring and insolvency
  • Product liability and end-user quality claims
  • Litigation
  • Employment law
  • IP rights.

More in particular, we have assisted major automobile, truck, bus, motorcycle, earth-moving and marine engine manufacturers as well as OEMs providers and manufacturers of spare parts in, inter alia:

  • The review of the compliance of business operations in Italy with requirements of competition law
  • The disposition of Italian subsidiaries
  • The setting up of subsidiaries in Italy
  • Revising and updating the contractual structure of the distribution network (dealership agreements, workshop agreements, agency agreements etc.) in relation to the implementation and assessment of network and dual distribution models under relevant EU BERs (1400/2002/EC, 461/2010/EU, 330/2010/EU) and related antitrust aspects; organisation, negotiation, and drafting of qualitative and quantitative selective distribution dealer and workshops agreements, self-assessment according to EC Regulation no. 1/2003, antitrust compliance programs
  • The revision and update of inter-company agreements
  • Public procurement issues
  • Negotiations with dealers, workshops and agents as well as factoring agreements with financial companies, credit line allocation, transfer of receivables, retention of title, financial guarantees
  • Litigation and pre-litigation with dealers, workshops and agents
  • Litigation and pre-litigation with end-customers and other counterparts
  • Real estate deals and contracts
  • Data protection issues and regulatory issues
  • Providing corporate assistance (both ordinary – including keeping the company books, taking care of board and shareholders meetings, etc. – and extraordinary)
  • Custom duties issues (for example related to the import and storage of oils)
  • Negotiation of repayment plans and supply plans vis-à-vis customers or suppliers in financial difficulty
  • Assistance vis-à-vis Italian and foreign tax authorities in issues ranging from transfer pricing to permanent establishment, including with MAPS (mutual agreement procedures) in various jurisdictions
  • Product safety and liability claims
  • Employment issues
  • Regulatory and product compliance issues (including UNECE Regulations and relevant homologation standards and type approval requirements etc.)
  • Tax, custom, and international trade compliance
  • Regulatory and product compliance issues (including UNECE Regulations and homologation standards and type approval requirements, safety assessment reports, equivalent certificates under EU BER n. 461/2010)
  • Product safety and liability, labelling and packaging issues, EN standards etc.