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Related people 1
David Budd David Budd
t: 604 691 6111
Email David Budd email
Jonathan Fleisher Jonathan Fleisher
t: 416 860 6596
Email Jonathan Fleisher email
Gordon Goodman Gordon Goodman
t: 416 869 5712
Email Gordon Goodman email
Shane Hardy Shane Hardy
t: 416 869 5384
Email Shane Hardy email
Peter Henein Peter Henein
t: 416 860 5222
Email Peter Henein email
Chris Hersh Chris Hersh
t: 416 869 5387
Email Chris Hersh email
Stefanie Holland Stefanie Holland
t: 416 860 6467
Email Stefanie Holland email
Alison R. Manzer Alison R. Manzer
t: 416 869 5469
Email Alison R. Manzer email
Frank Robinson Frank Robinson
t: 416 869 5991
Email Frank Robinson email
Jennifer Wasylyk Jennifer Wasylyk
t: 416 860 6890
Email Jennifer Wasylyk email
Larry M. Weinberg Larry M. Weinberg
t: 416 860 2987
Email Larry M. Weinberg email


Related people 2
Lauren Grossman Lauren Grossman
t: 416 869 5348
Email Lauren Grossman email
Bryan Woodman Bryan Woodman
t: 416 860 6728
Email Bryan Woodman email


The automotive industry represents a large industrial sector in North America which contributes significantly to the Canadian economy. Currently the industry is in flux giving rise to a high level of uncertainty. The only certainty in the industry is change.

The Cassels Brock automotive industry group includes lawyers who can assist clients being challenged by change. Our lawyers not only understand the legal aspects of the industry but also the underlying business concerns. Cassels Brock provides a wide range of legal expertise including business law, contract drafting, competition law, financial services, product liability, insurance, tax, franchise and dealership law, insolvency and restructuring, technology (clean and traditional), international trade, and advertising and marketing law. We offer our clients a full range of services and issue-driven solutions to meet industry challenges.

We represent companies working in every facet of the sector, including dealers, logistic firms, lenders, car rental companies, vehicle and equipment manufacturers, distributors, suppliers (Tier 1 and others) and trade associations. We regularly advise on all aspects of contract work including drafting distribution agreements as well as mergers and acquisitions, supply and manufacturing agreements, outsourcing arrangements, financing, commercial disputes, product liability, franchise law compliance, bankruptcy and restructuring.

An overview of our expertise in key areas includes:

Business, including Franchise and Intellectual Property

Key contacts: Shane Hardy (Intellectual Property), Larry Weinberg (Franchise)

Representative Transactions

  • Acting in all matters relating to manufacturer and distribution operations in Canada, including compliance with Canada’s broad ranging franchise laws, preparation of dealer agreements, supply chain, financing and tax advice and dealer operations
  • Acting in respect of acquisition and divestiture transactions for automotive parts suppliers
  • Acting for Cerberus Capital Management, LP in connection with its acquisition of GMAC
  • Acting for Cerberus Capital Management, LP in connection with its acquisition of the Chrysler Group
  • Acting for Cerberus Capital Management, LP in connection with its acquisition of the National and Alamo Car Rental businesses
  • Providing general advice to Toyota regarding their day-to-day operations including areas such as competition law, franchise law compliance, dealer relations, dispute resolution and litigation 
  • Providing advice to Isuzu Trucks on their expansion to Canada
  • Providing advice to Chamco, a Chinese auto manufacturer, on their planned expansion to the North American market
  • Advising with regard to carbon emissions research for the auto industry
  • Acting for Martinrea International Inc., Hy-Drive Technologies Ltd. and other companies that make hydrogen-assisted fuel devices for internal combustion engines
  • Acting as corporate counsel for a number of name brand car rental companies
  • Acting on behalf of manufacturing on grey market matters 

Financial Services, including Insurance

Key contacts: David Budd (Financial Services), Gord Goodman (Financial Services and Insurance), Alison Manzer (Financial Services)

Representative Transactions

  • Acting for an automobile finance company in the securitization of automobile leases and the purchase of automobile conditional sales contracts
  • Acting on financings, usually credit facilities and demand debentures supported by a full range of guarantees and security and involving Canadian, US and EU financial institutions, for automotive parts subcontractors 
  • Acting for Bank One on the establishment of a $75 million revolving line of credit facility for Porsche Financial Services Canada G.P.
  • Acting for a leading Canadian and non-Canadian banks, as well as non-bank commercial finance companies, in auto loan fleet finance and truck financing (operating, TRAC and conditional sales contracts)
  • Acting for Harley-Davidson in establishing the wholesale and retail finance program
  • Acting for Harley-Davidson in connection with their entrance into a global line of credit facility valued at over $1 billion
  • Acting on the formation of an automobile warranty finance
  • Establishing numerous automobile finance and leasing companies

Product Liability Defence and Litigation

Key contacts: Peter HeneinStefanie Holland

Representative Transactions

  • Acting for both North American and foreign auto manufacturers in defending product liability claims relating to occupant restraints systems, vehicle design, crashworthiness, handling and stability and property damage
  • Defending both individual and class action claims relating to product issues for the auto industry
  • Acting for an automobile manufacturing client in the defence of an alleged product liability claim where evidence relating to the alleged defect was shown to have been lost through the negligence of the engineer retained by one of the parties to the action
  • Acting for an automobile distributor and achieving the successful resolution of litigation following the persistent pursuit of motions seeking sanctions for the destruction and tampering of evidence by adverse parties 


Representative Transactions

  • Played a significant role in the recent North American automotive industry restructuring. Acting for the Federal Government of Canada, through Industry Canada,  in connection with the court-supervised sale of both General Motors and Chrysler, the transaction involved over US $12.5B of new Canadian Government financing and included a host of extremely time-sensitive issues, including cross-border bankruptcy, M&A, financing and litigation 
  • Acting for numerous dealerships, including Nissan and Ford, on corporate restructurings
  • Acting for the Canadian Automotive Dealer Association

Regulatory, Competition and Public Policy

Key contacts: Chris Hersh (Regulatory)

Representative Transactions

  • Product Recall
  • Acting for Suncor Energy, Inc. with regard to Sulphur in Diesel Fuel Regulations
  • Providing opinion advice to Canadian Petroleum Products Institute on Sulphur in Diesel Fuel Regulations
  • Providing advice on product recall and compliance issues
  • Dealing with all aspects of international trade, including transfer pricing and duties and quotas under Canada’s bound WTO commitments and under the NAFTA – we can help steer this through Ottawa with our experience in regulatory and other Federal government areas (importing new vehicles is highly complex – most of the issues relate to Transport Canada requirements, road-worthiness certifications etc.)
  • Advising on Motor Vehicle Dealer Auto Legislation