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December 29, 2009

U.S.–China Legal Team Advises China Automotive Companies in International Business Ventures

A passion for helping PRC automotive companies with strategic cross-border business transactions involving China, the U.S and U.K. led Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP (Honigman) and Faegre & Benson LLP to form a unique collaborative law firm relationship: the International Automotive Legal Team (IALT).

Faegre & Benson has maintained a thriving law office in Shanghai since 2001. Honigman brings more than 50 years of experience in the automotive industry. Both firms are leaders in their respective markets and share records of exceptional legal service, strong interests and experience in China, and the desire to work together to serve common clients.

Filling an industry expertise niche in the cross-border China legal market, the IALT advises U.S. and PRC automotive manufacturers and suppliers in their dealings with counterparties in U.S. and U.K. The firms provide counsel for all stages of international automotive mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and licensing transactions, and dispute resolution matters. The combination of their automotive industry expertise, China knowledge, and experience in successfully bridging the U.S., China and U.K. cultures is what distinguishes them from other leading international law firms.

The IALT also advises U.S. and U.K. automotive-industry companies in their investments in the China automotive market.

"We are pleased to bring our automotive-industry experience and complex cross-border transaction capabilities to the China market," says Robert B. Weiss, IALT leader for Honigman. "We look forward to serving these vibrant Chinese companies and helping them realize their international expansion goals."

Honigman advises automotive companies worldwide in a variety of matters, including acquisitions, purchasing, insolvency and troubled supplier issues. Faegre & Benson has a highly experienced and dedicated China Practice team—in the U.S., London and in its Shanghai office. It represents over 150 multinational companies on their transactions involving China.

George Martin, IALT leader for Faegre & Benson, says the combined resources of the two firms fill an important need. "The automotive sector is undergoing transformational change—with unprecedented growth and development in China, along with Chinese businesses looking to acquire businesses and make investments in the U.S.," he says.

"Our automotive legal team is focused on helping U.S. companies support development of the China market and helping Chinese companies successfully complete complex transactions with U.S. and U.K. automotive companies," says Martin. "Also, as a result of difficult times in the U.S. industry, we are seeing increased need to protect the interests of Chinese companies involved as creditors in U.S. bankruptcy proceedings," he says.

Recent matters handled by the IALT include:

  • Honigman represented GM in selling its Hummer assets to Sichuan Tengzhong Group.
  • Honigman represented a group of Chinese investors in acquiring two operating global divisions from Delphi.
  • Faegre & Benson represents numerous U.S. automotive parts manufacturers, suppliers and distributors in their in-bound China investments and various Chinese companies in the U.S. and U.K. litigation and business transactions.

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