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About the automotive sector

The automotive industry is extremely important to the UK and its economy; being one of the country’s major employers supporting over 800,000 people within its supply chain and with many other sectors being reliant upon its overall success.

The sector has come under significant pressure in recent years, following the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit, causing global disruption to supply chains and overall uncertainty, leading businesses to rethink and adapt their strategies to meet the changing marketplace.

More recently, the sector has come under the regulatory spotlight, following the Financial Conduct Authority’s focus on motor finance and commissions, bringing press attention and scrutiny for many dealerships.

There has also been substantial changes that have greatly impacted the sector creating both opportunity and risks for businesses. Advancements in technology and innovation, the changes in both government and international policy,  together with the onset of electric and alternative power sources, has meant the industry has had to adapt its focus accordingly.

Richard Coates's Profile

Richard Coates

Partner & Head of Automotive

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Our automotive legal expertise

We have a national team of leading automotive lawyers that offer the complete range of services needed for those who operate in the automotive sector.

The team understands the challenges, risks and opportunities businesses face within the sector, with some having worked in-house, and work closely together to stay on top of key market developments to provide clients with a full service offering to meet their needs.

The team acts for a wide range of businesses within the automotive sector from SMEs to major national and international groups.

In addition, we provide further support for those in the automotive community through a programme of free webinars, blogs and other thought leadership initiatives, to ensure they keep up to date with all the latest insight and legislative changes affecting the sector.


How we can help your motor industry business

We have a dedicated team of automotive lawyers who specialise in supporting businesses within the supply chain, both nationally and internationally from manufacturers to retailers, providing us with an embedded understanding of the landscape. Our team can support on a wide range of matters including:

  • Dispute avoidance and resolution
  • Contracts for the provision of services and goods
  • Corporate work including mergers and acquisitions
  • Infrastructure investment
  • Development of retail units
  • Advice on international and national distribution systems
  • Intellectual property, patents, anti-counterfeiting and enforcements
  • Outsourcing
  • Franchising
  • HMRC and HSE investigations
  • Employee training and compliance
  • Business immigration
  • Automation and other technological developments
  • Procurement, leasing and maintenance of fleet
  • Environmental and sustainability issues
  • Dealing with complaints and misselling claims, including complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service
  • Reviewing and drafting regulatory documentation and structuring regulated businesses
  • Consumer credit and insurance broking advice
  • Financial services regulation advice and compliance support
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"In my experience where Freeths have been involved, their legal team understands exactly how the automotive industry works from a contractual and operational perspective."

Bob Batty | UK Director | Automotive Services International

Notable automotive matters

We understand the pressures and challenges affecting the automotive sector. We work proactively with our clients, keeping them informed of any key market developments, regulatory issues and innovative solutions.


  • BB

    "Richard Coates at Freeths is invaluable his real experience and understanding of automotive litigation has proved invaluable to the client."

    Bob Batty, UK Director

    Automotive Services International

  • PD

    "The Commercial Dispute Resolution team in Birmingham is outstanding. They are an agile and flexible team; always willing to go the extra mile and...

    Paul Daly, Audit Partner

    UHY Hacker Young

  • BB

    "In my experience where Freeths have been involved, their legal team understands exactly how the automotive industry works from a contractual and o...

    Bob Batty, UK Director

    Automotive Services International

  • PD

    "Richard Coates is my go-to solicitor for commercial disputes work. He is bright, engaging and is never afraid of tackling difficult issues head on...

    Paul Daly, Audit Partner

    UHY Hacker Young

Upcoming Automotive events

Past webinars

Meet our team

Jonathan Hambleton's Profile

Jonathan Hambleton

Milton Keynes Office Managing Partner

Simon Barker's Profile

Simon Barker

Partner & Head of Intellectual Property

Richard Coates's Profile

Richard Coates

Partner & Head of Automotive

Luke Dixon's Profile

Luke Dixon

Partner & Head of Data & Information

Adam Edwards's Profile

Adam Edwards

Partner & Head of Financial Services

Chris Holwell's Profile

Chris Holwell

Partner & National Head of Construction & Engineering

Andrew Maxwell's Profile

Andrew Maxwell

Partner and Head of Competition


We are proud members of the National Franchised Dealers Associations.

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Whatever your legal needs, our wide ranging expertise is here to support you and your business, so let’s start your legal journey today and get you in touch with the right lawyer to get you started.

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