Aaron H. Jacoby

Managing Partner, Los Angeles
Aaron is the Managing Partner of Arent Fox’s Los Angeles office and leads the firm’s Automotive practice.
Aaron Jacoby, Managing Partner, Los Angeles at Arent Fox

Aaron focuses his practice on class action and consumer litigation, federal and state regulatory matters, business transactions and government investigations in the automotive industry. Aaron’s exclusive automotive industry focus enables him to counsel clients on a wide variety of operational, regulatory and litigation avoidance issues and offer pragmatic solutions to the legal challenges they face.

Managing Automotive

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Recognitions

Aaron was recognized by the Daily Journal as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers” in California in 2009, 2010 and 2017. In 2011, the Daily Journal also selected the automotive industry practice group as one of the “Top 5 Practices” in California.

Aaron has been recognized in Chambers USA in 2012 through 2018 in the category Transportation: Road (Carriage/Commercial). He has also been recognized as a leading attorney by Super Lawyers magazine.

Client Work

Aaron represents many of the industry’s largest players in a wide variety of both litigation and business matters nationally. He has taken the lead role in significant class actions and other complex litigation, including the Trygar class action filed against every new motor vehicle dealer in the state of California. His representative work also includes:

  • Defending multiple agency government investigations
  • Defending multi-plaintiff collective employment actions
  • Serving as special counsel in multistate consumer fraud class actions
  • Leading Dealership acquisition teams
  • Providing professional witness analysis/testimony in unfair business practice matters
  • Leading franchise litigation on behalf of dealers
  • Directing regulatory mapping for 50 state and federal sales, and licensing and marketing practices for national brands and dealer groups

Representative matters include:

  • Advised one of the largest public companies in the world on the automotive aspects of its $3.8 billion acquisition of the nation’s largest privately held auto dealership chain. The deal is the largest ever in the automotive retail space, and involves the sale of more than 100 car dealerships and paving the way for a major new player in the car-retailing business.
  • Represented a large national automotive group to assist in its first California acquisition. An Arent Fox team capably advised on the high-value transaction and on its California employment practices and compensation structure, regulatory compliance, and in the related real estate matters.
  • Advised a long-time client, a large regional dealership group, in its acquisition of a competitor.
  • Advised a Bay Area auto dealership in its successful acquisition of a flagship dealership in downtown San Francisco from a national automotive group.
  • Advised a prominent private equity fund in the formation of its auto retail joint venture with a prominent auto retail operator and in the acquisition of its first dealership groups. The deal involved a complicated operating structure, several obstacles to manufacturer approvals and substantial due diligence. The deal reflects a trend of increasing private equity interest in the auto retail business sector.
  • Advised a Northern California auto dealership in its successful acquisition of a flagship dealership in downtown San Francisco from an affiliate of a national automotive group.
  • Advised a dealership group in its first California acquisition when they acquired a dealership in Corona, California. This dealership group, which owns 54 dealerships in seven Western States and is reported to be the tenth largest automotive group in the country, and the fourth largest privately held group, was capably advised by the team on the high-value transaction and in its California employment practices and compensation structure, regulatory compliance and in the related real estate matters.
  • Advised one of the largest retail dealer groups in Mexico in the acquisition of their fourth Nissan dealership, expanding its US and California footprint to four Nissan dealerships in Northern California, adding to its large Mexican holdings.
  • Advised a long-time client, one of the largest dealer groups in the country, in its acquisition of a large automotive group’s Honda, Volkswagen and Buick/GMC dealerships. The acquisition target pioneered the single location auto center concept in Southern California to make it easier for customers to shop for cars. Our client now owns 13 dealerships in California and two in Florida, including the largest Honda dealership in the country.
  • Advised our client in the successful closing of a complex $130 million sale of a large regional automotive group operating six dealerships in the greater Baltimore metropolitan region. Aptly described by observers as an episode of “Game of Thrones,” this M&A transaction involved elements of trust and estate law and litigation in addition to corporate negotiations.
  • Advised our client in successfully closing a high value sale of a Mercedes dealership after an unexpected twist, as Mercedes Benz exercised its right of first refusal and assigned the time-sensitive deal to a large regional player at the very end of the calendar year.

Professional Activities

Aaron is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the National Association of Dealer Counsel. He also serves as counsel to a variety of industry associations.

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions

Aaron has been ranked nationally by Chambers USA, and has been listed in Southern California Super Lawyers magazine.

Aaron speaks and writes frequently regarding issues affecting the automotive industry. His articles and presentations include:

  • “Ethics and Regulations: Who's at the Wheel?,” Los Angeles World Affairs Council’s “Future of the Automobile” Conference, Los Angeles, CA, May 3, 2018
  • “Disruptive Influences in the Car Industry,” National Automobile Dealers Association Floor, Las Vegas, NV, March 23, 2018
  • “Framework Agreements: The Financial Impact & Legal Issues,” National Association of Dealer Counsel Fall Conference 2017, Chicago, IL, October 23, 2017
  • Privacy, cybersecurity, connected cars and driverless vehicles,” Westlaw Journal Automotive, November 29, 2016
  • “Disruption and The Future of the Automotive Industry,” Southern California Honda Dealer’s Conference, Santa Barbara, CA, July 23, 2016
  • “Current Buy-Sell Environment,” 3rd Annual Dealership Buy/Sell Summit, Las Vegas, NV, March 30, 2016
  • “Auto Distribution: Current Issues & Future Trends,” FTC Workshop: Auto Distribution: Current Issues & Future Trends, Washington DC, January 19, 2016
  • “Automotive Industry Legal Update: Recalls, Pay Plans, and Top Issues Facing Dealers,” Southern California Honda Dealer’s Conference, Newport Beach, CA, July 11, 2015
  • “Recall Madness,” National Association of Dealer Counsel’s Fall Conference, Chicago, IL, October 27, 2014
  • “Internet Advertising and Marketing,” National Association of Motor Vehicle Boards and Commissions’ 2014 Fall Workshop, San Diego, September 18, 2014
  • “Recent Automotive Legal Trends: Technology, Recalls, Lawsuits & Arbitrations,” Southern California Honda Dealer’s Conference, Newport Beach, CA, July 12, 2014
  • “CFPB activity should be a lesson for auto lending industry,” Daily Journal, co-written with Melanie Joo, June 30, 2014
  • “Heroes, villains and Tesla’s dealer battles,” Daily Journal, April 18, 2014
  • “What is an Autonomous Vehicle (AV)? Google’s prototype,” New Motor Vehicle Board’s 10th Industry Roundtable, Sacramento, CA, March 14, 2013
  • “Avoid Fraud and Embezzlement in Your Dealership,” NADA Convention & Expo 2013, Orlando, Florida, February 8–11, 2013
  • “‘Subtle’ Conflict of Interest in US-China Dispute at WTO,” Daily Journal, co-written with Nancy Noonan, October 8, 2012
  • “International Dealerships,” National Association of Motor Vehicle Boards and Commissions’ 2012 Fall Workshop, Alexandria, VA, September 20, 2012
  • “2012 Legal Forms and Update,” GM CFO 20 Group Conference, Dana Point, CA, July 2012
  • “The Arent Fox and AAS New Laws Workshop,” Universal City, CA, June 19, 2012
  • “Class Action/Employment,” 2012 8th Annual NADC Member Conference, Scottsdale, AZ, May 1, 2012
  • “Woman Will Win in Small Claims Court, California Honda,” VOA News, February 8, 2012
  • “Forward Trends with Dealer Presence on the Internet: Third Party Web Portals vs. Regulatory Hurdles,” 2011 National Association of Motor Vehicle Boards and Commissions Fall Workshop, Reno, NV, October 2011
  • “Class Action Webinar,” May 26, 2011
  • “Class Action Lawsuits: Proactive and Reactive Measures,” 2011 National Association of Dealer Counsel Annual Member Conference, Chicago, IL; April 4, 2011
  • “Manufacturer/Distributor Pressure to Upgrade Facilities,” New Motor Vehicle Board’s Industry/Attorney Roundtable, Sacramento, CA; March 30, 2011
  • “Dealership Acquisitions and Due Diligence,” Los Angeles, CA, November 3, 2010
  • “Risk Management,” Annual Conference of National Alliance of Auto Dealers Advisors, Dana Point, CA, November 1, 2009
  • “The Future of UNICAP Compliance,” Transmission, co-written with Robin C. Gilden, October/November 2009
  • “From Old to New – Regulation in a Post-Economic Collapse World,” Annual Conference of the National Association of Motor Vehicle Boards and Agencies, Charlotte, NC, October 4, 2009
  • “Auto Industry Best Practices/Litigation Risk and Prevention,” Los Angeles, CA, September 22, 2009
  • “Senate Bill 424, a Ray of Hope,” Transmission; July/August 2009
  • “The Bankruptcy Weekly,” National Association of Dealer Counsel, co-written with Lawrence A. Katz, Stephen K. Gallagher, Victor P. Danhi, Melanie S. Joo, and Kristen E. Burgers, July 22, 2009
  • “Auto Dealers’ Uphill Battle,” Daily Journal, July 20, 2009
  • “What a Difference a Year Makes / New Opportunities in the Auto Industry,” Southern California Honda Dealers Conference, July 17, 2009
  • “The Bankruptcy Weekly,” National Association of Dealer Counsel, co-written with Lawrence A. Katz, Melanie S. Joo, and Kristen E. Burgers, July 15, 2009
  • “The Bankruptcy Weekly,” National Association of Dealer Counsel, co-written with Lawrence A. Katz, Kenneth J. Murphy, David C. Meyer, Kristen E. Burgers, and Melanie S. Joo, July 8, 2009
  • “The Bankruptcy Weekly,” National Association of Dealer Counsel, co-written with Lawrence A. Katz, Rebecca M. Aragon, Kristen E. Burgers, and Melanie S. Joo, July 1, 2009
  • “The Bankruptcy Weekly,” National Association of Dealer Counsel, co-written with Lawrence A. Katz, Kristen E. Burgers, and Melanie S. Joo, June 24, 2009
  • “The Bankruptcy Weekly,” National Association of Dealer Counsel, co-written with Lawrence A. Katz, Melanie S. Joo, Kristen E. Burgers, and Kenneth J. Murphy, June 17, 2009
  • “The Bankruptcy Weekly,” National Association of Dealer Counsel, co-written with Lawrence A. Katz, Dana C. Nifosi, Stephen K. Gallagher, Kristen E. Burgers, and Melanie S. Joo, June 10, 2009
  • “The Bankruptcy Weekly,” National Association of Dealer Counsel, co-written with Lawrence A. Katz, Michael J. Volpe, and Kenneth J. Murphy, June 3, 2009
  • “Bankruptcy, Employment and Franchise Issues,” Greater New York Auto Dealers’ Association, May 7, 2009
  • “Dealers Beware: The Employee Free Choice Act and the RESPECT Act,” Dealer Magazine, Vol. 16, No. 1, co-written with Michael J. Volpe and Shaffin A. Datoo, January 2009
  • “Class Action Assessment & Prevention – Avoid the Lights Out Lawsuit” complimentary webinar, May 21, 2008
  • “New York Legislature Takes Aim at Dealership Pay Plans,” DealersEdge Car Dealer Insider; May 15, 2008
  • “Dissecting the LAW® 553-CA Retail Installment Sale Contract,” National Association of Dealer Counsel, Irvine, CA, February 28, 2008
  • “Dealer Education as a Complement to the Agency’s Regulatory Role,” Fall Workshop of National Association of Motor Vehicle Boards and Commissioners, Portland, ME, October 21–24, 2007
  • “Class Action Litigation,” Colorado Dealer Management and Leadership Summit, Denver, CO, August 15, 2007
  • “Class Action Litigation Resulting from Non-Disclosure,” National Auto Industry Defense Counsel Meeting, Baltimore, MD, November 10, 2006
  • “Class Action Litigation,” Recreational Vehicle Dealers’ Association Meeting, Rancho Mirage, CA, November 8, 2006
  • “F&I Menus and the Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights,” Transmission, October 26, 2006
  • “Pause in Auto Lease Action About to Come to an End,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, August 18, 2006
  • “California Car Dealers Brace For Continuation of Auto Lease Test Case,” DealersEdge Car Dealer Insider, August 15, 2006
  • Industries
  • Bar & Court Admissions
    • California Bar
    • US District Court, Northern District of California
    • US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
    • US District Court, Central District of California
  • Education
    University of San Francisco School of Law
    JD
    ,
    1988
    University of California, Santa Cruz
    BA
    ,
    1983

Awards

Awards

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