Christopher H. Grigorian

Partner

Overview

Christopher H. Grigorian is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP. His practice focuses on federal motor vehicle safety law, antitrust, trade regulation and related litigation.

Mr. Grigorian represents motor vehicle manufacturers and major parts suppliers on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issues, including recalls, defect investigations and related enforcement proceedings, compliance with Federal motor vehicle safety standards, rulemaking proceedings, FOIA and confidentiality matters, and other compliance issues under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, TREAD Act and implementing regulations. He represents a wide range of industry-related companies, including manufacturers of passenger cars and light trucks, heavy-duty trucks, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, lighting, restraint systems, tires, child restraints, electronics, driveline components, brake components, bearings, filtration products, hoses, wheels, emissions and exhaust components, and ride control products. Mr. Grigorian also advises industry associations on motor vehicle safety issues, including representation in rulemaking proceedings and advising association members on compliance issues. In addition, he advises clients on Federal and California emissions certification and compliance. Mr. Grigorian also counsels clients in connection with supplier terms and conditions and other supply chain issues.

Mr. Grigorian also maintains an active antitrust and trade regulation practice. He counsels corporate and trade association clients on issues involving distribution and pricing, relationships with customers, suppliers and competitors, and antitrust issues related to intellectual property licensing. Mr. Grigorian represents clients on the antitrust aspects of mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, including advice concerning Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) premerger notification filing and related DOJ/FTC investigations. He also handles disputes involving allegations of price fixing, price discrimination, monopolization, improper dealer terminations, and false advertising, as well as other commercial and business disputes involving a wide array of industries, such as health care and pharmaceuticals, automotive, sports, retail, and publishing.

Prior to joining Foley, Mr. Grigorian was a partner at Arent Fox. He also spent five years as a trial attorney and senior trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, litigating tax cases in federal courts throughout the United States. He received the Tax Division’s Outstanding Attorney Award in 1994.

Recognition

From 2013 - 2017, Mr. Grigorian was named one of America's Leading Lawyers in the area of transportation by Chambers USA, which described him as "exceptionally knowledgeable and very responsive.”

Education

Mr. Grigorian earned his J.D. from the Washington College of Law, American University in 1989. He received his B.B.A. in 1986 from George Washington University.

Admissions

Mr. Grigorian is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and before the U.S. District Court of Colorado, District of Columbia, District of Maryland, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Fourth and Seventh Circuits.

Publications

  • “Driverless Cars Should be New Legislative Priority for Congress,” The Hill (January 24, 2018)
  • “NHTSA Announces Record Setting Civil Penalty in Consent Order With Chrysler,” Dashboard Insights (August 3, 2015)
  • “5 Antitrust Lessons for Trade Associations From 2 Recent FTC Challenges,” Westlaw Journal Antitrust (June 2015)
  • “DOT Issues Scathing Internal Report of NHTSA’s Defect Investigation Processes,” Dashboard Insights (June 29, 2015)
  • “NHTSA Seeks to Push Beyond the ‘New Normal’ and into the ‘New Paradigm,’” Dashboard Insights (June 11, 2015)
  • “What’s Next for NHTSA and Automotive Safety,” WardsAuto (May 8, 2015) 
  • “NHTSA’s Enforcement Priorities Made Clear in U.S. DOT’s Transportation Bill (Grow America Act),” Dashboard Insights (April 27, 2015) 
  • “NHTSA’s September Scrutiny,” Dashboard Insights (October 2, 2014) 
  • “A Busy Year for NHTSA Enforcement and Rulemaking,” Dashboard Insights (September 18, 2014) 
  • “NHTSA and GM Agree to Resolve Timeliness Claims Related to Ignition Switch Recall,” Dashboard Insights (May 20, 2014)
  • “A Peek at the NHTSA Provisions in the U.S. DOT’s Transportation Bill,” Dashboard Insights (May 5, 2014)
  • “How Auto Suppliers Can Prepare for Recalls,” Law360, (May 1, 2014)
  • “Expect a Busy Year for NHTSA Rulemaking and Enforcement,” Automotive World (April 28, 2014)
  • “Top Legal Issues Facing Automotive Suppliers in 2014” (White Paper, January 21, 2014)
  • “New Requirements for NHTSA Recalls and Early Warning Reporting Become Effective October 21,” Dashboard Insights (October 17, 2013)
  • “Auto Parts Distributor Avoids Liability In Robinson-Patman Suit,” Dashboard Insights (August 12, 2013)
  • “U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General Issues Report of Audit of NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation” (October 1, 2011)
  • "The Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010 — A Comparison of House and Senate Auto Safety Bills" (June 24, 2010)
  • "Recent Developments in Food and Product Safety Policy Affecting Importers and Foreign Suppliers" (October 14, 2009)
  • "Plastech-Chrysler Dispute Illustrates Challenges for Suppliers to Recover Tooling" (March 24, 2008)
  • "Foreign Tire Sales, Inc.’s Recall of Imported Tires: Lessons for Parts Importers Regarding NHTSA and Product Liability Responsibility" (July 7, 2007)
  • "Recent Michigan Cases Question Enforceability of Supply Contracts" (July 14, 2005)
  • "Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act" (September 23, 2003)
  • "Federal Trade Commission Issues Guidelines for Merger Investigations" (December 26, 2002)
  • "Recent Settlement for Violations of HSR Waiting Period Illustrates Importance of Maintaining Independence Until Mergers are Approved" (May 23, 2002)
  • Co-author, "How Exempt Organizations Can Avoid Unrelated Debt-Financed Income on Realty," 6 J. Tax’n Investments 286 (1989)
  • “Top Issues Facing the Automotive Industry in 2016,” January 13, 2016, Detroit, MI
  • “Connected Vehicles and Emerging Technologies in the Automotive Industry,” Foley & Lardner Emerging Tech Program, October 24, 2017, Palo Alto, CA
  • “Emerging Automotive Technologies: Tomorrow's Trends Today,” Foley & Lardner Emerging Tech Program, May 22, 2018, Boston, MA
  • “Product Safety Recall – The Decision Process,” Product Safety & Compliance Seminar, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, April 24-26, 2017
  • “RVIA Annual NHTSA Compliance Seminar,” Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, May 1, 2018; May 2, 2017; and May 4, 2016
  • Quoted: “The 4 Hottest Practice Areas For 2018,” Law360, January 1, 2018
  • Quoted: “3 Takeaways From The Self-Driving Car Bill,” Law360, September 8, 2017

Author

  • “NHTSA’s Approach to Autonomous Vehicles Taking Form,” Ward’s Auto, February 22, 2018
  • “Driverless cars should be new legislative priority for Congress,” The Hill, January 24, 2018
  • “SELF DRIVE Act Passes the House as Senate Prepares Its Own Bill,” Dashboard Insights, September 11, 2017
  • “Late to the Scene, the “Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research In Vehicle Evolution Act” (“SELF DRIVE Act”) Seeks to Set Course for Future Development,” Dashboard Insights, July 31, 2017
  • “V2V Communications: Motor Vehicle Safety Guidelines,” Dashboard Insights, March 16, 2017
  • “Automated Vehicles: NHTSA Has Spoken,” Dashboard Insights, March 13, 2017
  • “Cybersecurity: Yes, They Will Hack Your Car,” Dashboard Insights, March 9, 2017
  • “NHTSA Issues Recommended Best Practices for Protective Orders and Settlement Agreements in Private Litigation,” Dashboard Insights, March 24, 2016
  • “2016 Outlook: NHTSA, Automotive Safety, and Cybersecurity,” January 21, 2016
  • “Proactive Safety Principles Agreement Reached with NHTSA,” January 25, 2016
  • “Under The Hood: NHTSA’s Reporting Requirements,” Law360, July 7, 2015

Representative Matters

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Revised purchasing terms and conditions for one of the largest global automotive suppliers, including managing the roll-out of the revised terms to the manufacturer's entire U.S. supply base. Worked closely with U.S. and Japanese in-house counsel to develop terms that were appropriate in light of the company's strong relationships with its lower tier suppliers. Provided ongoing counseling regarding the implementation and enforcement of the new terms.This matter was handled prior to joining Foley.
Advised a manufacturer of premium electric vehicles on all aspects of NHTSA compliance.
Provided counseling on product safety matters for a leading manufacturer of trailer and towing equipment.