Product Liability Issues in the Automotive Industry – an International Perspective

11 April 2013

While most automotive suppliers and OEMs are active globally, their activities continue to be governed by laws that differ from country to country.
Differences between national laws play a major role in particular in product liability cases with regard to recalls, field action and cases of warranty, liability or recourse against suppliers.
Members of Bird & Bird’s International Automotive Group will share with you their insights and experience in this complex area and will discuss how differences between national laws affect the handling of product liability cases in the automotive industry.

Thursday 11 April 2013
09.30 - 17.00

Bird & Bird LLP
Taunusanlage 1 (Skyper)
60329 Frankfurt a. M.
>>> Directions

This event is free of charge
The programme

Registration and Coffee


10.10 - 10.40
Setting the Scene: a Brief Overview of Product Liability Issues

  • Basis of claims: Tort law, product liability legislation pursuant to the product liability directive, contract law
  • Recalls / field actions
  • Breach of duty: Product development, manufacturing process, after sales market observation and resulting warning duties
  • Impact of product safety legislation on product liability
    Christian Kessel, Partner, Bird & Bird Frankfurt

10.40 – 12.30
When Things Go Wrong: Panel Discussion on the Basis of a Product Liability Case Study Highlighting Key Differences between the Laws of Different European Jurisdictions

Members of Bird & Bird’s International Automotive Group from England, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands discuss various legal and practical aspects of an unfolding product liability case.

Panelists: Partners Jonathan Speed, Bird & Bird London; Vonnick Le Guillou, Bird & Bird Paris; Christian Kessel, Bird & Bird Frankfurt; Eggo Jan Rietema, Bird & Bird The Hague; Stefano Pravettoni, Senior Associate, Bird & Bird Milan

Moderator: Roberto Camilli, Senior European Counsel, Bird & Bird Milan

Lunch Break

13.30 – 14.00
The Specific Product Liability Implications Arising from ISO 26262
Alexander Duisberg, Partner, Bird & Bird Munich

14.00 – 14.45
Addressing Responsibility for Product Liability Risks

  • Product liability in contract drafting: A UK law perspective and a continental law perspective
    Partners Simon Shooter, Bird & Bird London and Roelien van Neck, Bird & Bird The Hague
  • Best practices for legal departments to reduce product liability risks
    Vonnick Le Guillou, Partner, Bird & Bird Paris

Coffee Break

15.15 – 15.45
Product Liability from the Perspective of a Supplier's In-House Counsel
Lorenz Gross, EMEA Corporatel Counsel, Delphi Automotive

15.45 – 16.30
Product Liability in M&A Transactions

  • Evaluation of known product liability risks for due diligence purposes
  • Provisions in share purchase or asset purchase agreements addressing product liability issues
  • Post closing responsibilities and liabilities of directors and officers for products and processes
    Oliver Köster, Partner, Bird & Bird Hamburg

Q&A and Closing Remarks

Drinks and Canapés

If you're interested in attending this event please Register or for further information, please contact or call +49 211 2005 6247.