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Transport: aviation

Index of tables

  1. Transport: aviation
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Richard Davis - HWL Ebsworth
    • Simon Liddy - HWL Ebsworth
    • Mark Mackrell - Norton White

‘The service is very good’ at HWL Ebsworth, and the team attracts ‘matters that require a deep understanding of aviation legislation and regulations’. It counts household names such as Qatar Airlines and Sydney Airport among its clients and regularly acts for aviation service providers,  insurers, airports and airlines. Richard Davis, who possesses ‘great experience and understanding of Australian aviation law’, assists Newcastle Airport with its planned expansion, in particular with planning and environmental issues, property development and commercial and corporate requirements. The team is also advising Korean Jin Air on its application to commence services in Australia. Simon Liddy leads on aviation matters, and Davis heads the commercial and airports department. The recommended Matthew Brooks regularly acts for airlines and insurers in relation to claims and disputes brought by passengers and third parties.

Ernest van Buuren heads the transport practice at Norton Rose Fulbright and is experienced in handling major aviation incidents, regulatory matters and air charter and ground handling agreements. Aviation team practice head Thomas Young is an expert in the use and regulation of drones. He also excels in aviation and airport industry regulatory matters and recently advised a client on aeronautical legislation and environmental requirements in relation to a major construction project. In another highlight, the practice advised an airline on its lease renewals. Dale Rayner left to join King & Wood Mallesons.

Sydney-based Norton White excels in liability, regulatory and commercial matters, acting for a range of aviation industry clients such as airlines, operators and insurance companies. Mark Mackrell and Ben Martin are the names to note. The practice regularly handles cargo and passenger liability claims, renders regulatory advice and advises on aircraft transactions; the team also has notable aircraft finance expertise.

Allens provides a ‘first class’ service and has ‘very good aviation sector knowledge’. Practice head Emma Warren is ‘very strategic, commercial and responsive’; she regularly advises airports on commercial agreements, property rights and developments. Fiona Crosbie is another key name and advises aviation-sector clients on competition and regulatory requirements. She assisted Sydney Airport with terminal lease negotiations as well as the Western Sydney Airport development and also handled the related finance work, including an asset swap and capital raising. On the property side, Victoria Holthouse acted for Perth Airport on the Terminal 3 upgrade following an agreement with Qantas to operate direct flights from Perth to London. The team is also noted for its aviation finance expertise.

Clayton Utz acts for private-sector airport operators, international airlines and government departments. Notable clients include the Australian Airports Association. Canberra-based practice head Andrew Leece handles regulatory and infrastructure work and advised the Commonwealth of Australia on the Western Sydney Airport development. Highlights also included assisting Virgin Australia with its acquisition of a Boeing 737-800 aircraft. On the regulatory side, the team advised a number of airports on safety matters, building approvals and the Airports Act.

Clyde & Co LLP specialises in high-value disputes, regulatory issues, corporate transactions and insurance claims. The team has considerable experience handling aviation liability matters and is representing Malaysia Airlines on passenger claims and legal issues following the loss of flights MH370 and MH17, and acts exclusively for Emirates on its attritional claims. It can draw on the firm’s network and regularly attracts cross-border work. The team headed by Maurice Thompson has been bolstered by Ankush Chauhan's arrival from HWL Ebsworth. Melbourne-based James Cooper  is an expert in cargo and baggage claims, personal injury and compliance and regulatory issues.

Andrew Tulloch heads the insurance-focused aviation practice at Colin Biggers & Paisley. The client roster predominately consist of airlines, insurers and aircraft operators who receive advice on policy wording as well as air cargo damage and personal injury matters. Tulloch also handles fatality claims, representing both defendants and claimants. He advises QBE Aviation and its insured, the Australia Sport Rotorcraft Association, on a matter pertaining to the crash of a gyrocopter. Tulloch and Marcus Saw also act for QBE Insurance in relation to a Beechcraft Super King Air aircraft which impacted a shopping centre, resulting in five fatalities. Matthew Bode regularly handles aircraft acquisition and leasing transactions.

Minter Ellison acts for airports on design, construction, operation, finance and upgrade matters and represents airlines in contentious, competition and regulatory matters. Beverley Newbold leads on the contentious side and finance specialist James Mok acted for Qantas on the restructuring of leases and a number of aircraft acquisitions. The team also includes Justin Oliver, a commercial and regulatory specialist, who represented the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in a successful appeal in relation to price-fixing proceedings issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) against Flight Centre, a case that raised questions regarding the agency relationship between airlines and travel agents. It also advised IATA on aspects of its passenger agency programme, which allows passengers to purchase tickets from any accredited agent in their local currency.

The aviation finance team at Herbert Smith Freehills counts a major Southeast Asian airline, Deutsche Bank and a large Australian bank among its clients. Practice head John Angus and Sydney-based Amanda Wales are the names to note; the pair acted for Virgin Atlantic on a £220m secured bond financing in which the airline’s take-off and landing slots at London's Heathrow Airport were the security for the debt. The team also advised Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) on a secured debt facility for the funding of a corporate jet by an Australian-based private company. Secured financing structures, leasing, export credit, pre-delivery payment financing and highly structured cross-border products are areas in which the team excels.

Rebecca Johnston and David Hodgkinson jointly head aviation and aerospace boutique HodgkinsonJohnston. It specialises in all aspects of aerospace and aviation law and has expertise in the regulation of unmanned aircraft systems and drones. Sales and purchases of aircraft and aviation businesses are also focus areas, as are leases and aviation-specific contracts. It assisted the Aviation Aerospace Alliance with the development of its searchable database of global aviation laws and regulations, Aviation Law Global. A further highlight saw the pair acting for SC Aviation on a cross-jurisdictional private jet aircraft acquisition and the sale and purchase of a Challenger 604 aircraft. Clients include airlines, corporations and governments.

With a focus on aviation finance, King & Wood Mallesons acted for several aviation clients on the financing, sale and lease novation of 14 Boeing 737-800 aircraft. It also assisted Engine Lease Finance with a structured operating lease facility for six engines to Virgin Australia and advised two major financial institutions on a A$2bn master loan note facility programme for Qantas. John Canning and Dale Rayner, who joined from Norton Rose Fulbright, jointly lead the team; Canning is experienced in cross-border structured finance transactions in the aviation sector and Rayner focuses on asset and structured finance. Aviation-related dispute resolution and regulatory work are also areas of expertise.

Mills Oakley Lawyers ‘responds to issues quickly’ and the team is ‘very strong and client focused’. The ‘calm and collected’ Gavin Douglas receives praise for his ‘adaptability’ and ability to ‘very quickly get up to speed with different laws’; he jointly heads the practice with Tom Lennox. Key strengths include domestic and cross-border transactions in the sector, aircraft trading and financing, charter agreements, regulatory compliance and aircraft operating agreements. It has a niche specialism in fixed and rotary wing aircraft operations and regulations. The client roster includes Qantas, Regional Express Holdings and Babcock Offshore Services.

Transport: shipping

Index of tables

  1. Transport: shipping
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Clyde & Co LLP has significantly bolstered the team with the addition of marine insurance specialist Jonathan Wyatt from Sparke Helmore Lawyers, and with special counsel (and offshore oil, gas and marine specialist) Barry Cameron, who joined from Transocean, the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor. Novel matters included the team’s work with litigation funding companies and running marine-related class actions; it represented the claimants comprising the commercial fishing fleet and businesses reliant on fisheries in a class action against a port authority for environmental damage arising from vessel channel deepening and dredging activities in the port of Gladstone, the world's fourth-largest coal exporting terminal. Polarcus DMCC instructed the team in a $4m charter party dispute in relation to Polarcus’ provision of a seismic survey vessel to an Australian oil and gas company. Practice head Maurice Thompson represented Transocean as owner of an offshore drilling rig in a dispute with a global energy company in relating to the failure of a blow-out preventer at a site between East Timor and Australia.

HFW’s ‘highly recommended’ team, headed by Gavin Vallely, is ‘the best we have used’; it is able to draw on the strength of its global shipping offering and includes Nic van der Reyden, who possesses ‘comprehensive subject matter expertise’, as well as ‘client focus and attention to cost’. The team has been acting for Triton Shipping in relation to a collision at Port Botany, a £1.3m case, which has been settled during London-based mediation proceedings, and notable work also included Vallely’s advice to the Federal Department of Employment on its amendments to the Seafarer’s Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992. Another strength is the team’s work in the offshore energy sector, where it attracts matters involving floating production storage and offloading units (FPSOs) and support vessels, oil and LNG transport vessels and the carriage of specialist cargoes. Hazel Brewer and Stephen Thompson are singled out; the team also includes newly promoted partner and shipping and marine disputes specialist Simon Shaddick.

Norton Rose Fulbright comprehensively covers the sector, assisting with matters related to ship finance, asset restructuring and insolvency, commodities, casualty response, environmental and regulatory issues, sanctions, and cybersecurity. The international client base includes financial institutions, government departments and marine insurers, as well as oil and gas and commodity companies. Ernest van Buuren and Hazel Brasington jointly head the 11-partner team, which handles high-quality contentious and non-contentious work.

Colin Biggers & Paisley’s five-partner team, headed by Andrew Tulloch, acts for shipowners and P&I clubs, charterers, marine insurers, exporters and importers and commodity traders on a wide range of matters, among them charterparty disputes, cargo and liability claims, ship sale and purchase, procurement, trade and commodity disputes, personal injury claims and ship finance. Tulloch acted for the Country Fire Authority in a multimillion-dollar dispute arising out of a vessel fire on board the livestock carrier Awassi Express, and in a high-value matter, acted for two AIG-insured companies defending claims arising from the grounding of the Miclyn Venture while carrying materials for the Gorgon Tanks LNG project off the coast of Western Australia. Stuart Hetherington advised a cruise vessel operator on chartering arrangements for a cruise service into the Arctic and Antarctica. The team also includes marine transactions specialist Stephen Thompson and Michelle Taylor, who joined from Norton Rose Fulbright.

HWL Ebsworth’s firmly established practice can rely on a large number of ongoing client relationships. Contentious work included representing Mount Isa Mines, Glencore and Navigators Insurance as owners of Thor Commander’s cargo in a dispute arising out of salvage services provided after an engine breakdown near the Great Barrier Reef. In an emerging area of law, the team advised the board of directors and receivers of insolvent Italian shipowner Rizzo-Bottiglieri-de Carlini Armatori in relation to applications to the Federal Court of Australia for recognition under the Cross-Border Insolvency Act. In a cross-border maritime dispute, the team acted for Australian fishing company Seafish Tasmania regarding its $2m sale of fishing quota rights to a Dutch-owned fishing company. The head of the firm’s shipping and trade practice, Joe Hurley, ‘is able to break down legal issues that enable understanding and an orderly response’, and ‘accommodates and listens prior to providing advice’. Maritime liability law expert Anthony Highfield and Simon Liddy are also recommended.

Perth-based firm Cocks MacNish attracts a strong flow of Western Australian maritime work, particularly regarding the development of offshore oil and gas fields, but also handles national and cross-border matters for oil companies, government departments and ship financiers as well as shipowners and charterers. Longstanding practitioner and practice head Timothy Cocks enjoys an excellent reputation; Ashley Nichols has experience in P&I matters and maritime casualty investigations.

Mills Oakley Lawyers has a strong marine insurance track record, ‘demonstrates strong experience and skills in handling high-value, complex cases’ and ‘delivers effective, successful results’. It represents a substantial proportion of marine insurers in Australia, and regularly acts for a number of European insurers. It represented Australia Capital Financial Management in relation to a claim against a freight-forwarder for misleading conduct and breach of warranty in relation to the issuance of bills of lading. Practice head Frazer Hunt and senior associate Maurice Lynch are the names to note; both deliver ‘work of the highest quality’, which is ‘always clear, concise and to-the-point’, and have ‘unparalleled knowledge of marine claims’. The team’s ‘depth of knowledge provides a great level of comfort from a client’s perspective’.

Based in Brisbane, Thynne + Macartney has a strong Queensland presence and the team includes Michael Fisher, who handles commercial issues as well as disputes; marine insurance specialist Matthew Hockaday; and former shipmaster and consultant Brian White, who regularly handles shipping casualties investigations. It enjoys a good reputation for P&I-related issues and cargo damage claims and acts for ship managers and agents, shipowners and charterers and repairers. Vero National Marine, QBE Insurance, the International Transport Intermediaries Club and all members of the International Group of P&I Clubs are among the team’s clients.

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