Automotive Lawyers and Dealer Services Attorneys

The attorneys of the Sands Anderson's Automotive Law and Dealer Services Team have deep experience representing dealers, trade groups and suppliers in the vast and complex motor vehicle business, one of the largest economic sectors in the country. From the board room to the sales floor and, when necessary, in the courtroom, our team of automotive attorneys has served the interests of motor vehicle companies and owners in the full array of legal issues and business transactions. Clients especially appreciate that the attorneys on the team who have long-standing familiarity with the inherent and specific ways that issues of law affect motor vehicle dealers and the people who work with them, personally handle or directly supervise all matters brought to the team.

Administrative Agency Representation and Governmental Relations 

Our Automotive Law attorneys have successfully represented motor vehicle dealers before the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board, often in cases of first impression. They also participate in a well-developed governmental relations and lobbying practice that carries the concerns and experience of our clients to regulatory agencies including the State Corporation Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, DMV and the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board, as well as to legislators and the executive branch of government. 

Business Financing, Formation and Structure 

From incorporation to mergers and acquisitions, our dealer services lawyers can help articulate and clarify the benefits and limitations of business structure for dealerships, as well as craft and review financing agreements, partnership and shareholder documents, corporate restructuring and contracts for business sale or purchase. Sands Anderson attorneys have composed contracts of every type and complexity, helped devise innovative operational funding strategies and financial instruments, and participated in the negotiation and sale of partial ownerships and entire companies. We have well-developed skills in other business transactions, too, such as commercial real estate transactions, collections and creditors rights, leasing and buy-sell agreements, with motor vehicle dealers specifically in mind.

Dealer Franchise Law Issues 

In representing motor vehicle dealers and trade groups, our automotive attorneys have amassed a broad understanding of the arrangements between manufacturers and dealers. Clients can confidently ask for our assistance in franchise relationships, franchise system acquisition, dealerships, manufacturing, franchise law compliance and dealer rights, licensing agreements, site control and due diligence.


The automotive attorneys on our Team are highly experienced and aggressive courtroom litigators. We defend companies against claims under the Equal Credit Opportunity, Fair Credit Reporting, Fair Debt Collection and Truth in Lending laws, as well as from insurance claims, employment disputes, directors and officers liability and Sarbanes-Oxley, misrepresentation and the host of other civil actions that manufacturing and retail businesses experience. The team has a highly-developed competence in cost-effective case management-organizing and handling cases sometimes involving millions of documents and hundreds of witnesses.

Employment and Labor 

Members of the Automotive Law Team have gained extensive experience in the fields of employment counseling and litigation, as well as employee benefits matters. We are regularly consulted by our manufacturer and dealer clients on employment contracts, employee handbooks and personnel policies, non-compete agreements, regulatory compliance (ADA, FMLA, OSHA, etc.) and employee issues including grievances, harassment and termination. As well, our attorneys assist employers by overseeing all types of employee benefits plans including retirement, health benefits, dependent care and other cafeteria-style plans as well as compensation plans of all types for executives and staff.

Estate Planning and Succession Planning 

Through our Estate Planning practice, the Automotive Law Team can help with issues of wealth accumulation and protection, succession planning, estate management and trust administration. Whether your business is yours alone or family-owned, a partnership or corporation, we can advise you on how to best structure the transmission of ownership and value through the application of best practices of trusts and estates.

Land Use and Zoning 

Based in a long-standing and extensive local government practice, members of our Motor Vehicle Law Team are adept at helping with zoning and land development issues that involve interacting with municipal authorities, planning and zoning commissions, Board of Supervisors and other regulatory and legislative bodies at the local and state level. Our attorneys have handled issues as wide-ranging as condemnation and eminent domain, environmental assessment and compliance, rezoning and zoning ordinance interpretation. Moreover, our proficiency in the operations of local government allows us to assist our clients in navigating the permitting and decision processes with a minimum of effort and obstacles. 

Insurance Coverage, Product Liability and Risk Management

The Automotive Law Team includes attorneys with extensive experience handling first party and third party claims for coverage under life, health, and disability, officer and director liability, and garage owner's liability policies. We defend companies against product liability and warranty claims. We advise businesses and owners on insurance coverage obligations, duties to defend insureds and management of insurance coverage litigation.


Whether local, state or federal tax, or sales tax, property tax, business licensing and revenue, or capital gains tax issues, members of our Automotive Law Team have assisted in advising clients about their legal obligations and options. In addition, we can consult on the tax obligations for owners and executives in the implementation and fulfillment of stock option plans, repurchase plans, buyouts, mergers and asset sales, and operations acquisitions.

Alternative Dispute Resolution 

While our North Carolina and Virginia automotive attorneys are recognized as top-notch litigators, they also have significant experience in both mediation and arbitration, often helping our clients resolve disputes without a court appearance. 


Our service as general counsel to sales organizations and trade associations has given our auto dealer attorneys a broad understanding of the competitive and regulatory environment in which motor vehicle dealers, suppliers and independents operate. It is routine for clients to ask for our assistance in issues of market operations and competition, pricing, contracts and due diligence.


In our work for owners of race tracks and racing teams, we negotiate and create financing vehicles, work on land use and economic development initiatives, as well as construct and close large commercial real estate transactions. We are called on for our skills in licensing, sponsor development and trademark protection for properties, teams, manufacturers and drivers.

Call our Team of automotive lawyers and we will be delighted to explain how Sands Anderson can help you and your motor vehicle and related businesses craft and execute the best game plan. Well-developed skills acquired over decades of legal experience in the specific issues and applications of law in the motor vehicle industry enable us to quickly understand your business and legal issues. When the Automotive Law Team is working for you, you can be assured that one of our team members with senior experience in your specific motor vehicle enterprise will be personally handling or directly supervising your work, so it is accomplished efficiently and professionally.

With offices in Virginia and North Carolina, the automotive lawyers of Sands Anderson serve clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic.

Start a Conversation – Contact our Automotive Lawyers and Dealer Services Attorneys

Our team of Automotive Lawyers and Dealer Services Attorneys and support staff are experienced in handling cases like yours. You will benefit from our experience. We have Automotive Lawyers and Dealer Services Attorneys in our offices throughout Virginia and North Carolina. Find an office near you.

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