Managing Automotive

News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Managing Automotive

Kenneth J. Murphy

Kenneth Murphy, Counsel at Arent Fox LLP
Kenneth J. Murphy
Los Angeles, CA

Ken Murphy brings more than 40 years of auto industry experience to Arent Fox’s Automotive Industry Practice Group. This experience involves multiple relationships within the industry, including business entity formation, structured financing, acquisition and development of dealership facilities, business planning (including marketing best practices and regulatory compliance), franchise and customer relations and disputes and purchase and sale of dealerships.

Client Work
Ken served as Special Counsel for Regulatory Affairs and Industry Relations for a new business bringing e-commerce to the automobile distribution system, including development of a national compliance plan to enable the company to facilitate new vehicle purchase and lease transactions nationally in compliance with laws of multiple jurisdictions. He brings a depth of experience and breadth of contacts to serve all facets of the automotive industry. His knowledge of the personnel, practices and challenges of the industry enhance his counseling of industry clients in all aspects of their business. His more than 40 years of legal practice in the Los Angeles area, including as general counsel to a champion professional boxer in his professional, business and non-profit activities, founder and general counsel of a cable television equipment manufacturer and general counsel to various Catholic religious orders provide a broad basis for effective client service.

Professional Activities
A former chairperson of United Way of Los Angeles and United Way of California, Ken continues to be active in community activities. He is also a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the National Association of Dealer Counsel, and a trustee of the Immaculate Heart Community and of Catholic Charities of Los Angeles.

Publications, Presentations and Recognitions
In 2011 the Automotive Industry Practice Group was selected as one of the Top 5 Practices in California by the Daily Journal.
Ken’s written works include:

  • “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
  • “The Bankruptcy Weekly,” National Association of Dealer Counsel, co-written with Lawrence A. Katz, David C. Meyer, Kristen E. Burgers, Melanie S. Joo, and Aaron H. Jacoby; July 8, 2009
  • “The Bankruptcy Weekly,” National Association of Dealer Counsel, co-written with Aaron H. Jacoby, Lawrence A. Katz, Melanie S. Joo, and Kristen E. Burgers;  June 17, 2009
  • “The Bankruptcy Weekly,” National Association of Dealer Counsel, co-written with Aaron H. Jacoby, Lawrence A. Katz, and Michael J. Volpe; June 3, 2009
  • “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

Kenneth’s speaking engagements include:

  • “Forward Trends in the Dealer/Manufacturer Relationship,” 2011 National Association of Motor Vehicle Boards and Commissions Fall Workshop, Reno, NV; October 2011
  • Panelist, “Retroactivity of California Laws Regarding Dealer Franchise Obligations for Facilities,” California New Motor Vehicle Board Roundtable; March 2012
  • Panelist, “Multiple Ways Internet Marketing Impacts the Dealer System,” National Association of New Motor Vehicle Boards and Commission Fall Workshop, Alexandria, VA, October 2012

Life Beyond the Law
Ken is a marathon runner and is an active member of LA Roadrunners and the Los Angeles Running Club.

Bar & Court Admissions
California Bar
US Tax Court
Supreme Court of the United States
US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
US District Court, Central District of California

University of Southern California, LL.B, 1964
Santa Clara University, BS, 1958


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Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.