William J. Kohler is the founder and president of VELN.
Mr. Kohler is globally recognized in the legal services industry for his depth and breadth of experience with commercial agreements, business transactions, business disputes and regulatory compliance. He has served as the chief legal officer of major businesses. In private practice, he advises clients in the manufacturing, automotive, advanced automotive, biotech, pharmaceutical, electronics and professional services sectors.
Clients seek Mr. Kohler’s involvement in the disposition of businesses and the design and negotiation of commercial arrangements. Representative commercial matters include joint ventures, supply chain relationships, equipment sales, industrial services, commercial transport, distribution, aftermarket sales, technology development, technology licensing, software development, SaaS, eSports relationships, professional services and real property leases.
Within the automotive industry, Mr. Kohler has led some of the industry’s largest and most complicated acquisitions and divestitures, established two of the industry’s largest minority joint ventures and represented more than 100 suppliers through the bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler (now FCA). In private practice, he led the global Automotive and Manufacturing Groups of one AmLaw 200 law firm and the Autonomous and Connected Vehicle practice of another.
Mr. Kohler is an authority on legal issues relating to autonomous, connected and electric vehicles. His work in those areas, and others, has involved investment transactions, technology development, technology licensing, supply chain relationship and legislative and regulatory issues. He is the author of “Current Law and Potential Legal Issues Pertaining to Automated, Autonomous and Connected Vehicles,” published in the Santa Clara High Technology Law Journal. He is on the board of the Connected Vehicle Trade Association.
A frequent speaker on manufacturing and automotive topics, Mr. Kohler appears regularly at business, legal, and professional conferences. He has written several articles on these subjects, and he is often quoted in legal and business journals, including the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
J.D. University of Michigan Law School
B.A. University of Michigan, Honors College (high honors and high distinction in economics); Chief Editor, Michigan Journal of Economics
M.B.A. Michigan State University, Broad College of Business
Texas A&M, Master of Science, Kinesiology and Exercise Science
Designations: Top Corporate Counsel; Top Lawyer for Mergers & Acquisitions; Best Lawyers; SuperLawyer
Board member of the Connected Vehicle Trade Association. CVTA is an association established to facilitate the interaction and advance the interests of entities involved in the vehicle communication environment.
Board member of Rock Steady Boxing (for people with Parkinson’s); boxing coach
Former Board member of the Michigan District Export Council;
Former member of the Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association, Government Affairs Committee and Regulatory Affairs Committee.
Former member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Great Lakes Industries and the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce’s MichAuto Steering Committee.
Former Chair and Trustee of the Board of Trustees of the Friends School in Detroit, and a former Board Member of ORT. Technology
“Current Law and Potential Legal Issues Pertaining to Automated, Autonomous and Connected Vehicles” in the Santa Clara High Technology Law Journal
“Current Risks in Automotive Acquisitions” in the State Bar of Michigan Business Law Journal
“Warranty Cost Sharing: The Framework for Negotiations” in OESA’s Comparative Analysis of OEM Warranty Programs
“Managing Acquisitions as a Corporate Process” in Financier Worldwide Magazine “Bankruptcy Reorganization in America: Strategies, Dynamics and Law”
“Contingency Planning In An Era Of Massive Industrial Failure” in Financier Worldwide Magazine
International Distribution Relationships: Commercial and Legal Perspectives in Michigan International Lawyer
"Speaking from Experience: Setting Yourself Up for a Successful Dental Practice Acquisition" in DSO News
"Best Practices for Sellers in the Evolving DSO Marketplace" in DSO News
“Changes In Transportation Are Poised To Transform Commercial Real Estate” in Commercial Investment Real Estate
"Feds Don't Need New Powers Over Self-Driving Cars" in Crain's Automotive News
“International Distribution Relationships: Commercial and Legal Perspectives” in Texas CEO Magazine
“Literature review of studies considering the effect of forced exercise on symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease” in Clinical Kinesiology: Journal Of The American Kinesiotherapy Association