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Russell S. Abrams

Fax +1.843.579.5601
Russell Abrams concentrates his practice on dispute resolution with a demonstrated talent for positioning his clients well for advantageous business solutions. Both through his 25 years of experience as a trusted attorney advisor and his background as inside counsel in the manufacturing industry, Mr. Abrams is able to deliver vigorous representation without sacrificing creative solutions. Mr. Abrams has considerable experience in manufacturing supply and distribution, product liability, warranty, antitrust/trade regulation, franchisee/franchisor relationships, land title, construction, labor relations, trade secret protection, and restrictive covenants. Over his years of practice, he has personally participated in dozens of trials both to a jury and to the bench, including in the areas of product liability, complex commercial transactions, employment, and real property disputes in Federal, state and administrative courts throughout the United States.

Professional Background

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Abrams worked at an automotive industry manufacturer for over 10 years where he held several positions of increasing responsibility. As General Counsel and Associate General Counsel for subsidiaries of a global vehicle manufacturing company, Mr. Abrams gained extensive experience delivering advice in all functional areas, including sales and marketing, distribution and motor vehicle dealerships, human resources and labor relations, finance, manufacturing operations, product liability, warranty, and engineering.

Before beginning his role as an in-house attorney, Mr. Abrams was engaged in private practice as a commercial litigator and trial attorney. He spent the earliest years of his career as a Deputy District Attorney in Portland, Oregon. During his varied career, Mr. Abrams has tried over 50 jury trials and has participated in the trial or arbitration of matters in the areas of motor vehicle franchise termination, product liability, warranty, land title, will contests, professional athlete endorsement contracts, land sale contracts, high asset dissolution, non-compete agreements, and collective bargaining agreements.

  • On behalf of both OEM and supplier, led successful negotiation of multiple contracts with the United Auto Workers. These agreements were the result of weeks long negotiations that addressed topics of controversy and importance to the parties, including, wage rates, benefits, job classifications, drug testing, and mandatory overtime.
  • Successfully represented debtors in negotiating and completing one of the largest bankruptcy sales of commercial property in the Low Country of South Carolina. The sale/settlement resulted in the resolution of all claims in bankruptcy and the attendant adversary proceedings, actually yielding a return to equity holders following satisfaction of all creditors, an extremely rare accomplishment in a bankruptcy proceeding.
  • Resolution of an aggressively contested supplier dispute by way of a combination of renegotiated terms and limited extensions of existing contracts, yielding a favorable and profitable outcome for our client.
  • Development and implementation of a distribution strategy for a network of over 500 commercial vehicle dealer locations and over 150 heavy duty engine distributor locations. The implementation included the facilitation of multiple dealership sales which varied in size from $5 million to $90 million.
  • Development and management of program to transition truck dealers following the announcement of the withdrawal of an entire brand of commercial vehicle from the marketplace. This process included building a model for dealer buyouts, drafting dealer communications, and managing all dealer initiated claims in North America arising out of the market withdrawal.
  • Represented rental car company with respect to inquiry from NHTSA with respect to processing of recalls on fleet vehicles.
  • On behalf of manufacturer, led investigation of manufacturing practices to assure compliance with industry standards and contractual specifications.
  • Successful defense of international supplier of industrial products, through appeal in the Fourth Circuit, against claim by distributor of breaches of distribution agreement.
  • Negotiation of favorable settlement in complex class action litigation involving allegations of improper charging of fees attendant to the provision of services.
  • Won award in arbitration against professional athlete on behalf of athletic apparel manufacturer with respect to claims for nonpayment of royalties and breaches of an endorsement agreement.
  • Development of successful litigation strategy and management of litigation in Brazil of disputes arising from indemnification provisions of purchase agreements in transaction involving Brazilian and US corporations.
  • Managed legal aspects of construction services of a $2 billion expansion of a vehicle manufacturing facility
  • Draft a broad variety of commercial contracts in support of clients in the automotive industry concerning the supply of vehicles and components to be used in manufacture and the aftermarket