Recent market disruptions have stressed how critical it is for businesses to examine their supply chain vulnerabilities.
Recent years have exposed the fragility of the global supply chain. Weather, pandemic, war, and obstinate suppliers can all disrupt the flow of goods through the economy. At McDonald Hopkins, we understand the scale of the supply chain and recognize how critical it is to have a reliable, responsive and experienced single source to call upon when your supply chain is at risk, or when the supply chain puts your business at risk. This is why we have developed a multidisciplinary team that can ensure that whether you’re moving and transforming raw materials into finished products, transporting those products, or distributing them to the end-user, that your business is protected and operating efficiently.
Our team has experience working with raw material suppliers, manufacturers, logistics companies, distribution centers, and retailers in a wide variety of industries such as medical devices, chemicals, autos and automotive components, aerospace, consumer products, technological and electrical components, food and beverage items, industrial machinery, telecommunications equipment, and life science and pharmaceutical products. Our team will be there when the flow of goods and materials is at risk.
We are prepared to act quickly and effectively when your production or supply chain is at risk. We have been involved in negotiating, and when needed litigating, hundreds of supply chain disputes. Our attorneys handle disputes related to the quality of goods, recall litigation, tooling disputes, and virtually every other aspect of litigation in the manufacturing sector. Overall, our team has been involved in hundreds of matters involving these common industry issues. The following is a very small representative summary of matters handled by our attorneys.
- Successfully represented a brake manufacturer in a multi-million dollar supply dispute related to defendant suppliers’ effort to terminate contract due to higher commodity pricing for friction materials.
- Successfully defeated motion for preliminary injunction filed against microchip distributor after damaging winter storms.
- Obtained an injunction requiring defendant supplier to continue to ship fasteners at agreed pricing despite dramatic increase in steel prices.
- Defended multi-million dollar warranty recall claim against a supplier by an OEM related to recalled hub and wheel bearings.
- Successfully pursued claims for breach of NDA and disclosure of confidential and propriety information to competitors relating to a new design which removed weight from a component part.
- Successfully defended a claim for breach of contract relating to MRO indirect materials from Suppliers, including performance metric issues and shipping and receiving issues into North American plants.
Intellectual property (IP) serves as a cornerstone for building and executing successful supply chains. Our cross-functional team of IP attorneys have extensive experience working with companies on all types of IP issues at each level of the supply chain, including OEMs, suppliers, distributors and retailers. We focus on strategically leveraging IP to achieve specific business goals, and execute on that strategy. This includes:
- Negotiating and preparing appropriate supply agreements, licenses, non-disclosure obligations, restrictive covenants, infringement indemnities, limitations of liability, and other IP-related matters.
- Product protection and risk mitigation strategies—including analyses on infringement, freedom to operate, IP landscape, and the state of the art both domestically and internationally.
- IP filing strategies and how to best seek protection in key jurisdictions to best protect supply chains.
If your IP is misused by those inside or outside of your supply chain, we have extensive experience in handling IP infringement, trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, false advertising, domain-name (UDRP) disputes, IP-related breach of contract, and antitrust matters.
Supply chain disruptions can quickly become disruptions to a labor force. Attorneys in our Labor and Employment practice have practical experience assisting clients with all aspects of employment and labor law matters – from providing advice and counsel regarding individual employee issues to assistance in significant business restructuring, and practicing before state and federal agencies and courts. Our employment team understands complex manufacturing and supply chain challenges and is well-versed in areas such as disability, FMLA and related leave, OSHA investigations and workplace safety, wage compliance audits, and workers compensation.
Since the early 2000s, we have counseled over 100 different automotive and manufacturing industry clients as they addressed financial issues caused by changes in the industry, the broader economy, or other factors including the impact of pricing and other commercial issues with suppliers and customers. We have extensive automotive and manufacturing experience in utilizing the financial impact of issues and parties’ need for just in time production to obtain concessions and accommodations that simply cannot be attained otherwise. While we are active, aggressive dealmakers, we do recognize that our clients must continue to operate in their space and that there is a need to not burn bridges when using financial distress to achieve results. Because of our experience, our clients have been able to walk this fine line to get the maximum from their customers or suppliers while still maintaining the relationship.