Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn’s newest practice group blends specialties that seem to have been lifted from the pages of both John Grisham’s legal thrillers and Philip K. Dick’s sci-fi adventures. The Michigan-based firm’s new Autonomous Vehicle industry group will handle matters the transportation industry, one fueled by self-driving vehicles and the legal complexities they are sure to cause.

The group’s formation was announced in August, and former Federal Trade Commission (FTC) veteran lawyer Steve Wernikoff was hired to co-lead along with partner Tom Appledorn.

“The establishment of an Autonomous Vehicle industry group made perfect sense for us given our tremendous experience working with clients in the automotive, technology, regulatory, manufacturing and privacy/data sectors,” said David Foltyn, Chairman and CEO of Honigman. “Not only will this formalize the growing capabilities of attorneys who are practicing in this area, it also solidifies an important milestone in the firm’s strategic growth initiative.”

The industry group focuses on advising clients on the development, procurement, investment, patenting, use and licensing of these new transportation technologies. Wernikoff, who served as the FTC’s Enforcement Director in the Office of Technology Research and Investigation, said the firm will help clients strategize when it comes business, IP, and regulatory requirements.

“We can help clients navigate the broad spectrum of issues and potential pitfalls throughout their product development and commercialization strategies,” Wernikoff said.

Honigman’s Autonomous Vehicle industry group includes several attorneys with a combination of work experience, graduate and undergraduate degrees in the sciences or engineering. The team also includes attorneys that are Certified Information Privacy Professionals (CIPP/US), a gold standard certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

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