Catherine M. Karol

Catherine M. Karol practices in Butzel Long’s Detroit office, where she specializes in commercial transactions and regulatory compliance with numerous automotive and advertising clients. Ms. Karol is also n active in addressing emerging legal issues -- she coordinated a multidisciplinary team within Butzel to counsel clients on the Sections 301 and 232 tariffs, she advises new manufacturers of Electric Vehicles on US dealer distribution issues, and she participated in the Butzel team that is involved in the ongoing development of autonomous vehicle regulation.

Ms. Karol acquired a broad depth of experience during her long career on the General Motors Legal Staff, where she advised all levels of management on a wide range of global legal and business issues. She developed and implemented strategies for issue resolution at many levels, including dealer lawsuits, FTC and State Attorney General lawsuits, and NHTSA recalls. She negotiated complex multi-million dollar global transactions and relationships with other OEMs, Tier One parts and services suppliers, and major financial institutions. She worked with the GM dealer organizations on their Dealer Sales and Service Agreements, and she developed and implemented the legal strategy for the HUMMER Dealer network and for Saturn Corporation’s distribution of the first electric vehicle – the EV1.

She also had primary legal responsibility at GM (including throughout its bankruptcy proceedings) for GM’s advertising, promotional, and media-buying agency agreements/ relationships, sponsorships, and celebrity endorsements, and its SAG/AFTRA relationship. As GM’s Chief Privacy Officer, she led a global multi-disciplinary team to develop GM’s global privacy policy.

Ms. Karol received a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School and an A.B. from the College of New Rochelle.


  • Notre Dame Law School 1978, J.D.

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