Manufacturing INDUSTRIES

Heavily influenced by world economy and global politics, representing the manufacturing industry requires exceptional insight into and a thorough understanding of worldwide corporate and trade regulations, policies, and procedures. From business advice to navigating the merger clearance process, from advice with regard to customs laws to litigating intellectual property issues, we are an established leader at the cutting edge of policy, law and economic analysis in the United States and abroad.

The firm has a proven track record in representing clients, including industrial manufacturers, chemical manufacturers, and oil and gas producers, in a broad range of highly technical, complex and high-stakes matters. Our special strength lies in our transatlantic experience, with lawyers located in the US and Europe, and significant experience in China. The firm has represented or advised clients from around the globe before administrative, judicial and legislative bodies in the United States and more than a dozen other countries, as well as in proceedings under the World Trade Organization (WTO), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and World Customs Organization.


Highlights of our experience assisting corporate clients includes:

  • Represented a premier US NYSE listed diversified manufacturing firm in the $425 million purchase of a German based medical products and systems manufacturer.
  • Represented a leading US public company in the purchase of announced $102 million acquisition of the Illinois-based imaging business of a UK public company.
  • Represented a major East Coast manufacturer of Process Controls and Tools in its $63 million acquisition of a Pennsylvania-based manufacturer and marketer of stationary scanners.
  • Represented a major regional diversified manufacturer in its $38 million acquisition of the mechanical petroleum dispensing systems division of a French petroleum services company.


WilmerHale has one of the nation’s highest rated litigation practices, with a particularly strong Supreme Court and appellate practice. We have handled litigation matters for chemical and manufacturing clients involving class actions, internal investigations, international arbitrations, and federal regulatory issues. We also have one of the world’s leading international arbitration practices and have successfully handled a number of very substantial arbitrations for chemical and manufacturing companies.

  • In the Fourth and Sixth Circuits, we successfully argued that a manufacturer of oral polio vaccine cannot be held liable based on allegations that the vaccine was not manufactured and tested in accordance with federal regulations unless the claimants have expert testimony that the alleged violations would have increased the risk of vaccine-associated paralysis (American Cyanamid Co. v. St. Louis University (4th Cir. 2003); Graham and Lundy v. American Cyanamid Co. (6th Cir. 2003)).
  • Represented a major European chemical tanker company in a grand jury investigation into an alleged global customer allocation agreement among carriers and in related private class action litigation.
  • Obtained a favorable award for a major German conglomerate in a fast-track ICC arbitration, sited in Zurich with Swiss and English law applying, involving a dispute over control of a joint venture company valued at more than $1 billion.
  • Presented oral arguments in a case involving the finality of class-action settlements in toxic tort litigation (Dow Chemical Co. v. Stephenson).


Some of our relevant regulatory-related experience includes:

  • Persuading the Justice Department to challenge the Premdor/Masonite merger, one of the few vertical mergers the Department has challenged in recent years.
  • Winning FTC clearance for Bayer AG's $8 billion acquisition of Aventis CropScience, making Bayer the second largest crop science company in the world.
  • We have represented companies, groups of companies, and governments in the negotiation of complex settlement agreements for US antidumping and countervailing duty investigations of steel, semiconductors, lumber, and other products.
  • We have advised companies on the establishment and improvement of compliance programs for the US Export Administration Regulations (including the anti-boycott regulations), the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the US economic sanctions regulations enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.