Detroit law firm forms self-driving car team

Ian Thibodeau
The Detroit News

Detroit — A team of attorneys who will deal with laws and practices in the self-driving vehicle industry has been created at the Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP business-law firm.

The group will advise clients on the development, investment, patenting, licensing and use of emerging autonomous technology at a time when politicians wrestle with self-driving vehicle legislation. Lawyers on the team will also advise on the creation and development of autonomous vehicle research and testing facilities.

The team will be led by new-hire Steve Wernikoff, a Federal Trade Commission attorney, and firm partner Tom Appledorn.

“Honigman is leading the charge to help clients with guidance and strategies for the complex legal, business, IP and regulatory requirements related to autonomous vehicle technologies,” Wernikoff said in a statement. “We can help clients navigate the broad spectrum of issues and potential pitfalls throughout their product development and commercialization strategies.”

The firm in the past has worked with companies on autonomous technology, data privacy, cybersecurity and investment, among other things. Honigman has also defended clients involved with autonomous vehicle-related technology in patent infringement litigation.

David Foltyn, chairman and CEO of Honigman, said the new industry group formalizes the attorneys who already practice in those areas.

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau