Greenberg Traurig, LLP

  • Established in 1967
  • Firm Size 2041
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Automotive Dealerships

Compounding an already complicated business reality are changing market forces that affect automakers, suppliers, vendors, and consumers. Anything that affects these third parties will have an effect on the dealers either directly or indirectly, so dealers are forced to pay attention and at times, modify business practices in reaction to changes with these third parties. In addition, Federal legislation and regulators are constantly reviewing finance and other laws that impact the auto retail industry on enforcement and compliance standards and efforts often fluctuating. State legislation relating to franchise matters, facility obligations, ongoing consumer relationships, establishments of new dealer points, rights of first refusal, vehicle allocations, warranty repairs, used vehicle sales, and other aspects of the business seem to be constantly changing as well.

With all of the business and legal issues surrounding dealership operations and growth, dealers also need to address succession matters not only for their own family well-being, but often at the urging of the manufacturer. Planning for future growth and having the ability to take advantage of opportunities with an already successful dealership or dealership group can be important whether the goals are growth of the business, planning for the next generation or preparing to exit at the top of your game.

Greenberg Traurig’s automotive dealership group works with dealers, investors, buyers, and sellers around the country, providing counsel on the legal and business issues dealers face in a constantly changing industry.

We have significant experience with structuring, negotiating, and managing dealership acquisitions or sales, working on the acquisition, disposition or leasing of dealership real estate, dealership facility projects, structuring and implementing finance relationships for a single point or a multi-state group, advising on manufacturer and vendor relationships and tax analysis and planning for efficient operations and potential exits. With respect to day-to-day operational matters our attorneys advise dealers regularly on employment matters, regulatory issues, litigation, and administering employee benefit plans.

We also have tax and estate attorneys who understand the industry and the unique aspects of manufacturer relationships and how to plan for the future to effectively achieve the tax and planning goals of our clients. Our tax and planning expertise ranges from individuals to large private family offices or other equity sources.

Our wide-ranging industry experience and the firm’s national resources and reach enable us to offer practical legal services to auto dealers around the country in a way that we believe most other firms are not able to provide. Stephen Dietrich, the chair of our Automotive Dealership Practice, would love to learn about your business and share our knowledge and expertise with you.

Multidisciplinary Legal Services for Auto Dealers

  • Buying and selling dealerships (asset or stock deals)
  • Structuring investments into dealership groups through joint venture, acquisition, or other methods
  • Real estate purchasing, sales, leasing, and development
  • Dealership acquisition, floor plan, term or real estate financing
  • Employment law (including litigation and preventative education)
  • Employee compensation/ERISA
  • Tax structuring for transactions or changes to be more tax efficient in operations
  • Land-use and environmental issues
  • Vendor contracts
  • Manufacturer relationships, including rights of first refusal and facility obligations
  • State franchise law
  • Consumer complaints and litigation
  • Succession and estate planning
  • Compliance with the Patriot Act and related legislation

Dealership Acquisitions and Sales

  • Represent multiple-franchise, often multiple-state, dealers in buying and selling dealerships around the country
  • Negotiate transactions involving multiple-point operations, as well as multiple points in multiple states
  • Handle all aspects of the deals, from structuring the LOI, negotiation of the asset and stock transaction to acquisition, mortgage, floor plan, and capital improvement financing to real property acquisition and/or leasing

Structuring Dealership and Subsidiary Retail Operations

  • Lead dealers through the potential maze of red tape created by licensing and manufacturer contract issues and various reporting or record keeping requirements under federal or state laws
  • Advise on corporate governance matters and contract agreements
  • Establish tailor-made ownership structures for new capital partners
  • Create and administer employee benefits programs for dealerships

Auto Dealer Litigation

  • Defend dealers against consumer and employee claims, such as financing issues or discrimination charges
  • Defend against tax issues and class action suits
  • Assist negotiations with manufacturer requirements for showroom remodeling and upgrades
  • Offer preventative counsel to help clients avoid future litigation with respect to employment, consumer, and tax matters

Active Involvement in Industry and Dealer Organizations

  • Significant relationships with accounting, operational, and service professionals in the industry
  • Working relationships with most major traditional and non-traditional lenders and finance sources in the industry

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4.8/5.0 (924 reviews)
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  • 5.0/5.0 Review for Ginger Pigott by a Partner on 05/16/13 in Products Liability

    Ginger is a very experienced litigator. She carefully analyzes and prepares her cases. She is a tough litigator and negotiator. In addition, she has a nice touch with witnesses on both sides of the case. Would recommend her to any client, and I'd... Read more

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    Ginger is a very experienced litigator. She carefully analyzes and prepares her cases. She is a tough litigator and negotiator. In addition, she has a nice touch with witnesses on both sides of the case. Would recommend her to any client, and I'd work with her on any case. Read less

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    Mr. Freylikhman is a creative thinker, and his expertise in his practice area increases every day. He is passionate about his work and it phous.

    Mr. Freylikhman is a creative thinker, and his expertise in his practice area increases every day. He is passionate about his work and it phous. Read less

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Diversity

At Greenberg Traurig, we are committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The individual attorneys at Greenberg Traurig are committed to nurturing diversity throughout the firm and creating an environment where differences are embraced and utilized creatively.

For us, diversity is about taking action - opening doors for lawyers.

That commitment is reflected by the fact that overall, 40 percent of Greenberg Traurig's attorneys worldwide are women or minorities as defined by the American Bar Association. As of Dec. 31, 2014, our U.S. employees, including attorneys and staff, who met the definition of minority persons reflected a total of 29 percent of our employment base. Approximately 32 percent of our U.S. attorneys and 52 percent of our U.S. employees are women.

Greenberg Traurig's commitment to diversity and inclusion goes beyond any single committee. Committees cannot nurture; they cannot mentor; they cannot create an environment where differences are embraced and utilized creatively. Committees do not lead. Our diverse attorneys however, can and do.


* We welcome and reflect the communities we represent better than any other major law firm in our markets.

* We do not simply rely on a "committee" to achieve this.

* We do so through a commitment to providing a fair opportunity for each of us to reach our full potential.

* We have the personal dedication of many at Greenberg Traurig who identify and bring into our firm this very special diversity.

* The Minority Law Journal 2014 Diversity Scorecard has recognized us as follows:
o No. 1 Ranking, African American Partners
o No. 1 Ranking, Hispanic American Non-Partners
o No. 2 Ranking, Hispanic American Partners


* The National Law Journal has previously recognized our attorneys as among:
o No. 2 Ranking, Female Partner Numbers, Female Scorecard (2013)
o "The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America" (Three) (2008)
o "The 50 Most Influential Women Attorneys" (Two) (2007)
o "The 100 Most Influential Attorneys in America"
(Two diverse attorneys; three total) (2006)


Diversity in Action: Fostering Diversity in the Profession and Preserving the Pipeline

Greenberg Traurig's Diversity Leadership Community has initiatives that focus on fostering an environment within the firm that supports and encourages diversity and inclusion, and increasing diversity in the profession by increasing access to a legal education for minority students. Helping today's law students and lawyers become tomorrow's business and legal leaders means a larger, more diverse marketplace and a greater pool of talented professionals. And that means more business opportunities for everyone - our firm, our colleagues and, most importantly, our clients.
 
In this way, our approach to diversity and inclusion mandates a high-level of personal responsibility with regard to the recruitment and retention of diverse attorneys. Attorneys in recruiting, hiring and supervisory roles are continuously made aware of the progress of our efforts. Our personal approach to diversity and inclusion means that Greenberg Traurig lawyers are active at their alma maters and at law schools local to their offices, participating in such programs as career panels; "Meet the Employer" days; and mock interviews, among others.

It has been, and continues to be, our goal to create a well-balanced workforce that contains a significant presence of minorities and women.

Greenberg Traurig creates and supports partner programs with women, minority, gay/lesbian or disability-focused bar associations. We attend and sponsor events at these organizations regularly throughout the United States. The firm works closely with national and local minority bars to address the fostering of diversity and inclusion in the profession on many levels. We support the work of several organizations, including MCCA, NAPABA, NASABA, NBA, NLGBTBA, HRC, HNBA and others.

Additionally, we provide funding through the Holly Skolnick Greenberg Traurig Fellowship Foundation for lawyers and law students to work with public interest groups. Through the Foundation, Greenberg Traurig serves as the largest sponsor of Equal Justice Works Fellowships in the United States and has invested approximately $8 million to support, in whole or in part, almost 127 Equal Justice Works Fellows since 1999.

We invite clients to join us as we work towards:

* Cultivating strategic partnerships with clients and potential clients to leverage our diversity platform to create and deepen relationships and cultivate business opportunities.

* Encouraging our lawyers to facilitate opportunities for our diverse and women lawyers to develop relationships with clients before and after new matters are received.

* Broadening the pipeline of diverse attorneys by expanding relationships with minority bar associations and other legal diversity organizations through our combined support of these networks.

* Focusing on strengthening mentoring programs for female and diverse attorneys at every level.

* Instituting a program that provides a variety of mentoring, rainmaking and training opportunities that can be accessed by a wide range of diverse attorneys across a variety of underserved communities.

* Engaging our Affinity Groups and their allies as a forum for professional development and business development opportunities, as well as for recruiting and retention assistance and as a social exchange to promote inclusion.

Diversity in Action: Employee Resource Networks

Greenberg Traurig's Employee Resource Networks (Affinity Groups) have the goal of addressing the needs of our attorneys and professionals who are diverse. We support Affinity Groups for our attorneys who are African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, LGBT and women, and we continue to gauge opportunities to expand those groups as our needs and demographics dictate.

The firm's Affinity Groups are as follows:

* African American Affinity Group

* Asian Pacific American Affinity Group

* Hispanic American Affinity Group

* Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affinity Group

* South Asian American Affinity Group

* Women's Initiative

Our goals include:

* Mentoring of junior attorneys within the specific group;

* Recruitment and retention of diverse attorneys;

* Active participation in organizations addressing specific groups; and

* Serving as a forum for group members to discuss and explore issues and opportunities that will add value to client relationships.

Women's Initiative

As an example of our approach, Greenberg Traurig's firm-wide Women's Initiative focuses on retaining and supporting women attorneys through professional development and work/life balance initiatives, as well as through business development training programs and networking opportunities.

We work with like-minded organizations to address these issues on a broader scale in a variety of industries and communities.

Our program targets:

* Attracting and retaining talented women attorneys.

* Supporting business development for women attorneys.

* Serving as industry leaders.

* Impacting the community through leadership and service.

* Maintaining a culture that benefits women attorneys.

Diversity in Action: Suppliers

Greenberg Traurig is committed to the development of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and Small Business Enterprises (DBE & SBE) suppliers.

As such:

* All business concerns, large and small, majority- or minority-owned, are afforded an equal opportunity to compete.

* A national director of procurement within the firm supports this practice.

* We are committed to diversity with respect to our vendors and suppliers.

* We are amenable to using diverse vendors and suppliers recommended by clients.

Diversity from the Top Down

Cesar L. Alvarez, Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig, leads our diversity efforts. This is a matter of personal responsibility for him, having entered the U.S. as an immigrant with humble beginnings.

He has previously been honored as follows:

* "Lifetime Achievement Award," Hispanic National Bar Foundation

* "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America," The National Law Journal

* "50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America," The National Law Journal

* "Top Most Powerful Hispanics," The Black Book of Poder

* "25 Best Latinos in Business," Hispanic Magazine, The Power Issue

* "President's Award of Merit for Diversity Efforts," The Florida Bar

* "Spirit of Excellence Award," ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession

* "Lifetime Achievement Award," Chambers USA Awards for Excellence

* "CEO of the Year" award, Multicultural Law Magazine

* "Attorney of the Year Award," Hispanic National Bar Association

 

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