Daimler Truck

Between Law and Technology

Legal Regulatory Prevention

Simon Dewes is responsible for legal issues for the Trucks & Buses division in particular. He works closely with engineers to investigate legal matters relating to issues such as automated driving or electromobility. It is often not easy, as there is no case law yet for many questions regarding the future of mobility.

Hello, could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Dewes: I am 38 years old and originally from Trier. I studied Law, History and Philosophy. After graduating I spent some time in Berlin and three years in Beijing writing the thesis for my doctorate. Before starting at Daimler Truck I spent three years working for a large law firm in Stuttgart. I have now been working for Daimler Truck since 2018. I like the fact that I am able to deal with complex issues here that are both legal and technical in nature.

What do you consider to be special about working for Daimler Truck?
The complexity of the issues. We often deal with new issues that are relevant to the future of mobility, and are of significant public interest. These include legal matters relating to automated driving and electromobility. My work is also very international in nature, which is hugely fascinating.

You are responsible for Legal Regulatory Prevention. What exactly does that mean?
Within the Trucks & Buses division, we handle product-related legal issues such as safety, certification and emissions, as well as matters of liability.

What exactly does your daily work look like?
I am responsible for legal issues relating to Trucks & Buses. My work often involves clearing cases, or in other words checking whether or not a new innovation is legally compliant. We assess the technical facts from a legal perspective. This is very challenging because we can only make use of rulings or commentaries in exceptional cases. We are sometimes dealing with innovations that do not yet exist on the market. That means that there are often no standard legal answers. We need to conduct extensive research, and understand the technical background of each case. That is why lawyers and engineers work hand in hand with us.

Does this mean that lawyers at Daimler Truck also need to have technical expertise?
In our field in particular it is of course necessary to enjoy dealing with technical issues. This is a particular challenge when you are just starting out. How does an engine work? What is a "normal driving pattern"? And what standards apply to autonomous driving? These are not the kinds of issues that Law students usually deal with. As a lawyer, this combination of law and technology offers a fascinating perspective that enables me to keep learning.

What is the atmosphere in your team like?
We are a young team of five colleagues that is still growing rapidly. We work in a highly dynamic unit with an open work culture, where mutual support is fundamental. We practice flat hierarchies, and often arrive at solutions through teamwork.