The aviation sector has been dominated by several high-profile and unusual losses, and airport and airline security is a priority across the sector. As the use of unmanned aerial vehicles is increasing and the technology is utilised across different sectors, law firms have noted an increase in instructions, particularly pertaining to the developing regulation governing this area.
The rail industry is benefiting from significant investment in the UK, as well as globally. Domestically, plans for HS2 are progressing, and new infrastructure projects such as HS3 and Crossrail 2 are in the pipeline. In 2016, The Rail Supply Group launched its strategy to grow the UK rail industry and support exports. Although the Shaw report, which published its final recommendations in 2016, rejected wholesale privatisation and breakup of Network Rail, the possibility of bringing more private finance into the sector remains, and firms anticipate interest and activity from outside investors.
The shipping market remains in turmoil. The appetite for disputes is cooling, and has created an increasingly competitive legal market. The dry bulk sector continues to experience poor rates of return, high levels of debt and low asset values, while low oil prices has led to a halving of bunkering costs and a rise in demand for oil tankers. However tanker rates remain well adrift of pre-global financial crisis levels and the Chinese slowdown continues to make its mark. The uncertainty surrounding the UK’s EU referendum has also impacted market confidence. In contrast, there has been an uptick in insolvency work, and many firms have been involved in the fallout after the OW Bunker bankruptcy.
The travel sector is strong despite uncertainty surrounding the 2016 EU referendum in the UK, coupled with travel concerns brought on by the global threat of terrorism. Enquiries regarding flight-delay compensation remain prevalent. Personal injury practices continue to advise on high-profile instructions throughout the world.
Index of tables
- Sue Barham - Holman Fenwick Willan
- Maria Cetta - Clyde & Co LLP
- Simon Chamberlain - Norton Rose Fulbright
- Patrick Farrell - Norton Rose Fulbright
- Mark Franklin - DLA Piper
- Nicholas Hughes - Holman Fenwick Willan
- Giles Kavanagh - Holman Fenwick Willan
- Rory MacCarthy - Addleshaw Goddard LLP
- Neil McGilchrist - Hill Dickinson LLP
- Hugh O’Donovan - Keystone Law
- Paul Phillips - Stephenson Harwood
- Gareth Roberts - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
- Robin Springthorpe - Norton Rose Fulbright
- Kathryn Ward - DLA Piper
- David Willcox - Clyde & Co LLP
This section assesses firms’ capabilities in airline, airports and regulatory work, and defendant insurance matters. Aviation finance is covered as part of Asset finance and leasing, under Finance, and aviation-related personal injury work is covered under the Travel section in this chapter.
Clyde & Co LLP’s ‘vast knowledge of and experience in the aviation sector’ extends to insured liability claims (for which it is particularly renowned), corporate, commercial and regulatory matters, and aviation disputes. ACE, Malaysian Airlines, AIG, Qantas Airlines and Global Aerospace are clients. The firm’s team of ‘top-quality experts’ includes Philip Bass, Maria Cetta, the ‘exceptionally good’ Catherine West, David Willcox (who is ‘very experienced’), Joseph Goodridge, and Gareth Lewis. The ‘brilliant’ Craig Rooney was promoted to partner in 2015.
Led by the ‘brilliant’ Giles Kavanagh, the team at Holman Fenwick Willan consistently delivers advice that is ‘above and beyond what is requested’, and is praised for its ‘strong’ aviation liability practice, in addition to its regulatory and competition experience. Sue Barham is ‘highly respected in the industry’ and the ‘very talented’ Edward Spencer is advising RAFA Shoreham Air Show on the loss of a vintage Hawker Hunter military jet at the August 2015 Shoreham Air Show. The ‘hugely experienced’ Nicholas Hughes is acting for Haughey Air on the total loss of an Agusta Westland AW139, which crashed in 2014.
DLA Piper is ‘an outstanding firm’ for aviation work.The team is co-led led by the ‘very responsive’ Tony Payne, who was promoted to partner in 2015, and the ‘exceptional’ Mark Franklin, who has ‘vast experience in the sector’. Highlights included acting for Allianz as lead reinsurer on the loss of an ATR72 aircraft operated by Aerocaribbean in November 2010; and advising Airbus Helicopters and its insurers on claims arising from the 2013 helicopter crash into the Clutha Pub in Glasgow. Kathryn Ward is ‘brilliant’. Vanessa Leigh left the firm in 2016.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘knowledgeable’ team is led by Gareth Roberts, who is experienced in corporate and M&A transactions, and Kim Dietzel, who is noted for EU and UK competition law. It advised Virgin Atlantic on its £220m secured bond financing, using a major proportion of its landing and take-off slot portfolio at Heathrow airport as security for the debt. Other clients include TAG Farnborough Airport, easyJet, TUI Travel, Gatwick Airport, UK Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA) and Heathrow Airport Holdings. Gregg Rowan and Gavin Williams are also recommended.
Hill Dickinson LLP provides advice in a ‘clear, commercial and practical manner’. The ‘highly capable team’ is led by Joanna Kolatsis who is noted for her ‘personable approach’, and acts for clients including Thomas Cook Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways, flydubai, and Swiss International Air Lines. Also recommended are Roderick Palmer, who is noted for transactional work, ‘excellent’ consultant Neil McGilchrist, associate Alastair Long, who joined from Boyes Turner in 2015, and Saleema Brohi, who is now a consultant. Jeremy Robinson joined Watson Farley & Williams LLP in September 2015.
The ‘outstanding’ Patrick Farrell leads the ‘formidable team’ at Norton Rose Fulbright, which is noted for its ‘vast expertise’ across commercial, dispute resolution, insurance and regulatory matters. The firm’s client list represents a who’s who of multinational air carriers, including easyJet, AirTanker, Alitalia, Delta Air Lines and Jet2.com. Chris Randall, Ian Giles and consultant Tim Ingham are additional key figures in the team, which was strengthened in 2015 with the recruitment of Robin Springthorpe and Simon Chamberlain from Bird & Bird LLP. Charlotte Winter was promoted to partner.
Stephenson Harwood is noted for its ‘high level of client care’ and for its ‘exceptional litigation experience’. Highlights included acting for BCI Aircraft Ireland on a $82m dispute. The team also advises Ryanair on litigation and arbitration in the UK and Europe. Team head Paul Phillips ‘has a very strong strategic grasp of the industry and a formidable understanding of the issues which commonly arise’. Senior associate Chloe Challinor joined from DLA Piper in June 2016. Russell Binch recently left the firm.
Paul Briggs heads the team at Bird & Bird LLP, which provides ‘good turnaround times’ to a client base that includes Air Asia, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Etihad and Emirates. The team is also experienced on IT-related matters for the industry, and has a growing Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) practice. Sophie Eyre is recommended. Robin Springthorpe and Simon Chamberlain joined Norton Rose Fulbright in 2015.
Hogan Lovells International LLP’s ‘strong’ airports practice advises on a range of domestic and international regulatory, acquisition, development and financing matters for clients including Aéroports de Paris, TAV, Belfast City Airport, Macquarie and Regional Airports Limited. Andrew Briggs, Andrew Gallagher and counsel Charles Ford are recommended.
Holland & Knight (UK) LLP acquired Clark Ricketts LLP in May 2016, bolstering its aviation practice in the UK. The ‘very experienced’ team is advising Haughey Air on a contractual dispute with AgustaWestland arising out of the purchase of a AW139 helicopter, and is also advising on the related fatal accident that occurred in March 2014. Key figures include consultant Ian Clark, Tim Murray, Gwyn O’Flynn and the ‘deeply knowledgeable’ Robert Ricketts.
The ‘academically rigorous’ team at Ince & Co is led by the ‘thorough’ Gillie Belsham and includes the ‘extremely commercial’ Anna Anatolitou, who joined from Bird & Bird’s Abu Dhabi office in 2015; ‘her understanding of the Middle East aviation industry is second to none’. The practice advised on the fire on board an Ethiopian Air, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, caused by a lithium battery. Also recommended are Philippe Ruttley, who leads the EU and competition team, and consultant Chris Walsh. Hugh O’Donovan joined Keystone Law in 2016.
The team at Kennedys is led by Simon Balls and was bolstered by several key hires in its Singapore and Hong Kong offices. Standout figures in London include the ‘astute’ Robert Ireland, ‘very strong’ Alexandra Rodina and ‘very experienced’ Mark Welbourn. The practice acted for British Airways on liability and subrogation issues relating to flight 2276, which caught fire during take-off from Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport in September 2015. Former department head John Korzeniowski left to establish The Air Law Firm LLP.
Headline work for Slaughter and May included advising Rolls-Royce on SFO and DoJ investigations into alleged bribery and corruption in overseas markets. Efstathios Michael, Bertrand Louveaux, - Andrew Johnson and Tony Beare are all recommended.
Led by the ‘excellent’ Rory MacCarthy, the team at Addleshaw Goddard LLP counts British Airways, LATAM Airlines, Flybe, Kahala Ireland and Vueling among its clients. Rebecca Garner was recently promoted to partner. Phil McDonnell recently left the firm.
Baker McKenzie LLP’s multidisciplinary team is led by Peter Strivens and acts for clients including International Airlines Group, Macquarie, Hermes Airports and Deutsche Lufthansa. Samantha Mobley is noted for antitrust and competition matters.
The ‘very professional’ department at Dentons is highly regarded for its strong aircraft finance practice, and acts on a range of corporate, disputes and TMT matters. The team advised Virgin Atlantic on a high-profile IT project, and advised the Airports Commission Secretariat on the recent Davies Commission Report on Airport Capacity in the UK. Team head Nick Chandler is recommended alongside Serge Sergiou.
Eversheds LLP fields a team of ‘very commercially aware lawyers who deliver a great service’. The firm acts as principal legal services provider for IATA, and also advises Heathrow Airport on employment and pensions matters. Richard Prowse in Birmingham, Simon Masters in Manchester and Tom Bray in Cardiff are the key contacts.
Gowling WLG’s multidisciplinary team is particularly noted for its ‘fantastic’ experience in aviation disputes. DNATA, Thai Airways, Alitalia and Delta Airlines are clients. Birmingham-based James Gordon heads the team, which includes Andrew Manning Cox, who is ‘calm under pressure’ and is praised for his ‘keen commercial awareness’.
Keystone Law attracts praise for its ‘extremely focused, hands-on and personalised’ service. Highlights included acting for Athena Services in a claim against Hawkeye Engines. Consultant solicitors Trevor Sears, Tamsin Hayward and Alex Ferrari are recommended. ‘Outstanding’ barrister Hugh O’Donovan joined from Ince & Co in 2016.
Winston & Strawn London LLP bolstered its UK aviation offering with the recruitment of Christopher Boresjo and Mark Moody from Simmons & Simmons. In addition to its aviation finance practice, the team also advises on regulatory issues, tax, emissions compliance and aviation insurance matters.
Alina Nosek leads asb law LLP’s ‘knowledgeable’ team, which includes travel team head Rebecca Thornley-Gibson, and consultants Humphrey Dawson and Tim Brymer, who possess ‘in-depth expertise’. EasyJet is a client.
The ‘excellent’ team at Gordon Dadds is led by Richard Elliott and advises on commercial matters in the aviation sector.
Alan Meneghetti heads the team at Locke Lord LLP, which advises on airline, airport, general aviation, product liability and aviation coverage matters. Ipeco Holdings, Ethiopian Airlines and Aegean Air are clients.
The ‘prompt and thorough’ team at Simmons & Simmons is noted for its contentious capability. Stephen Moses was recently promoted to partner in 2015 and is ‘always responsive’. Former team head Christopher Boresjo moved with Mark Moody to Winston & Strawn London LLP in 2016.
Boutique aviation firm The Air Law Firm LLP was established in November 2015 by Aoife O’Sullivan and John Korzeniowski, who joined from Kennedys. Clients rate its ‘strong industry knowledge’ and ‘constructive and refreshing approach to the market’.
Index of tables
- Jonathan Bevan - Allen & Overy LLP
- Andrew Briggs - Hogan Lovells International LLP
- Mark Brunton - Eversheds LLP
- Adrian Clough - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
- Simon Coppen - Burges Salmon LLP
- Mark Elsey - Ashurst
- Simon Gwynne - Hogan Lovells International LLP
- Matthew Hanslip Ward - Dentons
- Anne Harris - Eversheds LLP
- Paul Hirst - Addleshaw Goddard LLP
- Fiona Hobbs - Linklaters LLP
- Naomi Horton - Ashurst
- Paul Irving - Winckworth Sherwood LLP
- Tom Johnson - Norton Rose Fulbright
- Chris McClure - Shoosmiths LLP
- Christopher McGee-Osborne - Dentons
- Graeme McLellan - Stephenson Harwood
- Patrick Mitchell - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
- Charlotte Morgan - Linklaters LLP
- Nigel Pritchard - Allen & Overy LLP
- David Rewcastle - Bond Dickinson LLP
- Terence van Poortvliet - Ashurst
Highlights for Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘outstanding’ department included advising the funders and joint bookrunners on the €1.25bn secured corporate refinancing of Alpha Trains; assisting the funders to 3i and Crédit Agricole with their bid to acquire a 40% stake in Eurostar from the UK Government; and acting for B Logistics on the financing, operating and leasing of nearly 1,300 Shimmns railcars. Other clients include HS1, Etihad Rail, Qatar Rail and Bombardier. Jonathan Bevan leads the ‘experienced’ team, which includes construction head Nigel Pritchard, Conrad Andersen, David Lee, who heads the global infrastructure group, Mario Jacovides, who is global head of the structured and asset finance group, and Tim Conduit.
The ‘comprehensive and friendly’ team at Ashurst attracts praise for its ‘client-centric approach’. Highlights included advising TfL and DLR on the Docklands Light Railway new rolling stock project, and advising London Underground and TfL on the procurement of rolling stock. Crossrail, National Express, Abellio, Virgin Trains and Hitachi Rail are also clients. Mark Elsey heads the team, which includes Terence van Poortvliet, who is noted for his ‘very strong subject knowledge’, and Naomi Horton, who ‘brings considerable industry experience to any deal’.
Burges Salmon LLP fields a team that is ‘in touch with industry developments’ and is noted for its ‘lateral and strategic thinking’. The practice acted for FirstGroup on its successful bid for the TransPennine Express Franchise, and is acting for all of the freight operating companies (including Colas Rail, DB Schenker and Mendip Rail) on Network Rail’s procurement and implementation of the European Train Control System freight project. Chris Jackson leads the transport practice, which includes Brioney Thomas, who is ‘good at exploring different approaches’ and heads the rail team. Also recommended are head of rail health and safety Ann Metherall, who is ‘a very good tactician’; the ‘excellent’ Philip Beer, who heads the rail infrastructure team; and Simon Coppen, who leads on rail franchising.
Paul Carrington leads Clifford Chance LLP’s ‘renowned’ department, which advised a consortium comprising CDPQ and Hermes on its acquisition of a 40% equity stake in Eurostar from the UK government, and advised SMBC and KfW on the debt financing of the procurement of a new fleet of passenger rolling stock for the ScotRail franchise. The team also acted for Lombard on the debt financing of the procurement of new sleeper rolling stock for the Caledonian Sleeper service. Ranbir Hunjan is also recommended. Gavin Teague has retired.
Highlights for the practice at Dentons (which attracts praise for its ‘in-depth industry expertise’) included advising MTR on its mobilisation of the £1.4bn concession to operate Crossrail and on its bid for the London Overground concession; advising Network Rail on the mobilisation of the East Coast franchise, awarded to Virgin Stagecoach; and assisting KKR with the rail aspects of its acquisition of Trainline. The ‘exceptional’ Matthew Hanslip Ward leads the team, which includes Christopher McGee-Osborne, who is noted for his ‘wealth of knowledge’; Virginia Glastonbury, who handles rail infrastructure projects; and ‘excellent’ managing associate Martin Watt.
Eversheds LLP is ‘a first-class operator’ for rail franchising matters; in 2015 the firm advised the DfT on several strategic rail franchise deals including the Great Western, East Midlands, TransPennine Express and Northern Rail franchises. The team is also advising the DfT and HS2 Ltd on phase 1 of HS2. Anne Harris and Mark Brunton lead the team, which includes Agnes Koko, David Jones, Stephen Collings and the ‘outstanding’ Monica Peto.
The ‘strong’ team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is led by Patrick Mitchell and includes Adrian Clough, who is ‘a brilliant operator’; the ‘first-rate’ Tim Briggs; and of counsel John Williams, who ‘has a great reputation’. Highlights included advising HS2 Ltd on the procurement of rail infrastructure, rail systems and rolling stock, and advising Inter City Railways Limited (ICRL), a joint venture between Stagecoach and Virgin, on its successful £3.3bn bid for the InterCity East Coast (ICEC) rail franchise.
Led by Fiona Hobbs, Linklaters LLP’s team advised on the Shaw Report into the future financing of Network Rail. Other highlights included advising Amey Project Ventures and Amey Rail on an electrification project for the Hull to Selby rail line, and advising SNCB/NMBS, the Belgian national railway company, on the UK government’s sale of its 40% stake in Eurostar. Also recommended are Charlotte Morgan, who is ‘first-rate’, the ‘excellent’ Stuart Rowson, and Bruce White.
Norton Rose Fulbright is ‘easy to work with, knowledgeable, and provides very sensible solutions and alternatives’. Highlights included advising the DfT on the re-letting of the ICEC franchise, which was awarded to ICRL, and acting as lenders’ counsel to the IFC on the development and operation of three concessions in Pakistan as well as associated procurement of rolling stock by Pakistan Intermodal Limited. Team head Tom Johnson is ‘practical, calm and knowledgeable’. Donald Warnock, Andrew Buisson, and of counsel Louise Auty are also recommended.
Stephenson Harwood stands out for its ‘understanding of the framework, governance policy and process across the rail industry’. The team advised Arriva UK Trains on its bid for the concession to operate London Overground services, assisted Abellio Transport Holdings with its bid for the new East Anglia franchise, and acted for TfL on the regulatory and access aspects of the Crossrail project. Graeme McLellan heads the team, which includes Tammy Samuel (who is ‘very well respected’), Suzanne Tarplee, Jonathan Cripps and Lisa Marks.
Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s cross-practice rail group advised Angel Trains on the re-leasing of fleets of trains owned by Angel Trains, and continues to advise Land Securities on the Ebbsfleet and Eastern Quarry development as part of the UK government’s Thames Gateway initiative, including new Channel Tunnel and domestic railway stations. Key figures include Russell Clifford, who leads the team, the ‘excellent’ Jamie Wiseman-Clarke, and James Marshall, who is experienced in competition matters.
Bond Dickinson LLP is praised for its ‘client-orientated approach’. Highlights included advising Abellio on its procurement of 70 new trains from Hitachi Rail, and on the rolling stock lease required for the commencement of the ScotRail franchise. The team also advised Govia on its ultimately unsuccessful bid for the Northern franchise. Department head David Rewcastle is noted for his ‘towering intellect, and measured and calm approach’, and Paul Coleman is singled out for his ‘ability to simplify complex issues’. Also recommended are the ‘exceptionally knowledgeable’ Kevin Bell, who was recently promoted to partner, and ‘tenacious’ and ‘hardworking’ managing associate Will Bonas.
CMS advised AMP Capital and a syndicate of its managed funds on the joint acquisition of a shareholding in Angel Trains from Arcus European Infrastructure Fund, as well as stakes held by Prime and STC. Eurostar instructed the team on the UK government’s sale of its 40% stake to Patina Rail LLP. Bill Carr has ‘a wealth of experience’ and Glasgow-based Eleanor Lane is ‘outstanding’. Jonathan Beckitt is now a consultant.
Key highlights for David Moore’s team at Clyde & Co LLP included advising Arriva on the purchase of rolling stock for the Northern rail franchise. Victor Rae-Reeves has ‘vast experience in the sector’ and senior associate Angharad Reynolds is also recommended. Nigel Taylor joined Watson Farley & Williams LLP in November 2015.
The ‘highly regarded’ team at DLA Piper advised Agility Trains West on the refinancing of debt facilities in connection with the DfT’s GWML Intercity Express programme, and is advising the DfT on the Thameslink rolling stock programme. Colin Wilson heads the team in London, which includes Iain Bowler. Sharon Fitzgerald in Edinburgh and Robert Smith in Leeds are also recommended.
Praised for its ‘strength in depth’, Hogan Lovells International LLP advised Cross London Trains on the £2.5bn Thameslink rolling stock programme and continues to advise the DfT on its £7.2bn Intercity Express programme. It also advised Lombard on the £170m procurement, financing and leasing of new CAF sleeper trains. Key figures include Andrew Briggs, who is ‘very experienced’, Simon Gwynne, Adrian Walker (who is ‘excellent’), of counsel Charles Ford and Andrew Gallagher.
Noted for its rail-related infrastructure and construction expertise, Pinsent Masons LLP’s highlights included assisting The Mayor of London, on behalf of the Greater London Authority and TfL, on petitions against the HS2 Bill. In addition, the team has been appointed by RATP to advise on its bid to be retained by Transport for Greater Manchester on the operating and maintenance of the new Manchester tram system. Team head Jon Hart has ‘excellent projects expertise’. Nigel Blundell and Robbie Owen (national head of infrastructure, planning and government affairs) are also recommended.
Simmons & Simmons is ‘quick to grasp difficult technical issues, and has a high appreciation of commercial and practical business principles’. The team is advising Etihad Rail on contractors and consultants claims, and acted as transaction counsel to the MoD on the Logistic Commodities & Services Transformation project. Juliet Reingold has ‘in-depth expertise’ and Navneet Juty ‘understands the detail’. Helen Hancock and Rob Horne are also noted.
Winckworth Sherwood LLP advises on the planning, promotion and statutory authorisation of major rail projects and has ‘in-depth knowledge of the law’. Team head Paul Irving and Hazel Anderson deliver ‘superb client service’, and are recommended alongside Alison Gorlov, Brian Greenwood and senior associate Jane Wakeham.
The ‘proactive’ and ‘knowledgeable’ team at Addleshaw Goddard LLP advised Hitachi Rail Europe on First Great Western’s procurement of rolling stock for the West of England, and advised the DfT on the Intercity West Coast franchise. Department head Paul Hirst has ‘strong industry knowledge’ and a ‘commercial outlook’. Jacqui Langley-White and managing associate Andrew Sykes are also recommended.
Osborne Clarke’s rail department is headed by the ‘outstanding’ Lara Burch and ‘has excellent industry knowledge’. It is advising Arriva UK Trains on the direct award of the next CrossCountry franchise by the DfT, and is advising Eversholt Rail Group on an order of super express trains for the Great Western Mainline service. Also recommended are Clive Smith, who is experienced in rolling stock finance, Simon Smith, Charlie Wedin and associate director Jeremy Godley.
Headline clients for the team at Shoosmiths LLP include Stagecoach Group, South West Trains, Hitachi Rail Europe, East Midlands Trains, and Hitachi Information Control Systems Europe. Chris McClure is noted for his ‘all-round grasp of the commercial issues at stake’; he was joined by Martin Fleetwood in 2015, which ‘has added to the strength and depth of the team’ according to clients. Ursula Gould and Joanne McGuinness are also recommended.
White & Case LLP’s ‘knowledgeable’ team continues to advise Qatar Rail on the construction of the Qatar Integrated Railway project, and is advising Vale on the development and financing of the $4.4bn Nacala Corridor project. Phillip Capper, David Eisenberg, Ellis Baker and Caroline Miller Smith are recommended.
Bircham Dyson Bell is praised for its ‘good knowledge and understanding of the railway industry’. The firm was appointed to advise TfL on all aspects of the authorisation of Crossrail 2. Angus Walker heads the team, which includes Ian McCulloch, who is now a consultant.
Fieldfisher provides ‘timely, accurate advice’ and is advising Abellio on its procurement of a wide area network service from Vodafone for Abellio’s rail operations and group headquarters. Key figures include John Worthy, who provides ‘excellent advice and service against tight deadlines’, and John Cassels, who is ‘fantastic’.
‘Industry experts’ Sara Hollingworth and Helen Bissell are the key figres at Hollingworth Bissell.
Matthew Smith heads the team at K&L Gates LLP, which acts for TfL, Qatar Rail, London Underground, Metropex Group and Tube Lines.
Kennedys is a leading firm for defending criminal prosecutions in the rail industry. Team head Richard Crockford has ‘excellent tactical awareness and good commercial judgement’.
Index of tables
- Holman Fenwick Willan
Ince & Co
- Tony Allen - Hill Dickinson LLP
- David Bennet - Clyde & Co LLP
- Ben Browne - Thomas Cooper LLP
- Julian Clark - Campbell Johnston Clark
- Simon Curtis - Curtis Davis Garrard LLP
- Alex Davis - Stephenson Harwood
- Paul Dean - Holman Fenwick Willan
Lindsay East -
Reed Smith LLP
- Patrick Foss - Norton Rose Fulbright
- Paolo Ghirardani - Stephenson Harwood
- Sean Gibbons - Stephenson Harwood
- James Gosling - Holman Fenwick Willan
Edward Gray -
- Paul Griffiths - Bentleys, Stokes and Lowless
Richard Gunn -
Reed Smith LLP
Paul Herring -
Ince & Co
- John Hicks - Waterson Hicks
Andrew Hughes -
- Tim Kelleher - Thomas Cooper LLP
- Mike Lax - Lax & Co LLP
- Hugh Livingstone - Holman Fenwick Willan
- Guy Mills - Mills & Co
Faz Peermohamed -
Ince & Co
David Perry -
Waltons & Morse
- Andrew Preston - Clyde & Co LLP
- Philip Roche - Norton Rose Fulbright
Ken Scott -
Winter Scott LLP
Nick Shaw -
Reed Smith LLP
Andrew Taylor -
Reed Smith LLP
- Robert Wallis - Hill Dickinson LLP
Charles Weller -
Reed Smith LLP
James Wilson -
Ince & Co
Glenn Winter -
Winter Scott LLP
Andrew Wright -
This section covers all forms of dry and wet shipping work, including casualty matters, shipbuilding, bill of lading and charterparty disputes, and marine insurance matters. Ship finance work is covered as part of the Asset finance and leasing section, under Finance, and ship-related personal injury work is covered in the Travel section of this chapter.
‘At the top of the tree for shipping work’, Holman Fenwick Willan is advising Hoegh Autoliners, Gard Marine & Energy and Gard P&I on the grounding of the Hoegh Osaka in January 2015. Paul Dean attracts praise for his ‘good understanding of the needs of the client’; he leads a team that includes the ‘smart, hardworking and very commercial’ Richard Neylon, Rory Butler, who is noted for his ‘tough and pragmatic approach’, and James Gosling, who has ‘in-depth experience’. Also recommended are Andrew Chamberlain, who heads the admiralty team; Jonathan Webb, who is ‘excellent on dry work’; Richard Mabane, who handles commercial shipping disputes; Craig Neame, who is ‘brilliant on marine insurance’; Daniel Martin, who specialises in regulatory matters; and George Eddings, who has ‘an excellent reputation’. Hugh Livingstone, Tom Walters, Nick Roberson and Jim Cashman round out the sizeable team. Richard Strub is now based in the firm’s Dubai office.
Ince & Co’s ‘renowned’ shipping litigation practice is acting for PST Energy 7 Shipping, the owners and managers of the Res Cogitans, on the high-profile Supreme Court case relating to the collapse of the OW Group. Paul Herring heads the global shipping practice and attracts praise for his ‘wealth of experience’. He is ably supported by casualty expert Michael Volikas and Christian Dwyer, who heads the admiralty and casualty response team. Other key figures include Jeremy Biggs, who is ‘excellent’ on litigation; Chris Kidd, who leads the shipbuilding, offshore construction and renewables practice; Fionna Gavin; and Graham Inseal. In 2015 Victor Fenwick, David Richards and Paul Billowes were promoted to partner, while Duncan Bateson joined from TLT and Faz Peermohamed re-joined from his role as chief executive of the Norwegian Hull Club. Nick Burgess left to join BDM Law LLP.
Clyde & Co LLP’s track record cuts across the full range of shipping work. In an illustration of its status on heavy-hitting matters, the practice advised Ardila Investments and Zamin Ferrous on a dispute against ENRC and is advising CEPSA and Vilma Oil on the fall-out from the OW Bunker insolvency. The ‘well-resourced’ team includes Andrew Preston, who is ‘very strong’, Hatty Sumption, who has ‘a formidable reputation’, the ‘very talented’ Nick Austin, ‘excellent’ Edward Mills-Webb, and Martin Hall, who is singled out for marine casualty work. Also recommended are John Leonida, who has ‘a deep understanding of the commercial needs of clients’; the ‘first-class’ Simon Culhane; Elizabeth Turnbull, who stands out for her ‘sensible, realistic approach to cases’; David Bennet, who specialises in energy disputes; Rob Collins; and Jai Sharma. Irvine Marr recently re-joined the London office.
Russell Gardner’s team at Hill Dickinson LLP provides ‘an excellent service’ and is noted for its ‘in-depth resources’ and ‘excellence on wet and dry matters’. Thomas Miller & Co, Gard, BP Shipping and Steamship Mutual are clients. Key figures include the ‘very experienced’ David Pitlarge; Maria Pittordis, who has ‘an outstanding reputation’; Philip Haddon, who is ‘fantastic on disputes’; Robert Wallis, who is noted for his ‘in-depth expertise’; and the ‘highly regarded’ Rhys Clift. Ian MacLean and Justin Draeger are also recommended.
Reed Smith LLP is singled out for its ‘knowledge of the commercial framework in which the client operates’. The ‘sensible and pragmatic’ Richard Gunn heads the casualty group, while Korea group head Alex Andrews is acting for Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries on a contractual dispute. Other standout individuals include the ‘excellent’ Nick Shaw, who heads the global practice; the ‘clever and pragmatic’ Jeb Clulow; Mark O’ Neil, who is ‘a true expert’; Andrew Taylor, who combines ‘an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law with the ability to think one step ahead’; the ‘brilliant’ Sally-Ann Underhill; Stephen Kirkpatrick, who ‘effortlessly combines detailed knowledge of the law with genuine commercial understanding’; and Marcus Dodds, who is noted for his ‘energy and practical knowledge’. Will Howard, Charles Brown, Charles Weller and Helle Kjaerstad are also noted.
Led by Mike Phillips, the team at Stephenson Harwood provides an ‘excellent and attentive service’. The team has ‘real breadth’, and is particularly rated for disputes, as well as shipbuilding, offshore construction and LNG work. Sean Gibbons is noted for his ‘calm and thoughtful approach’, and Paolo Ghirardani is ‘great on difficult, problematic cases’. Clients also single out Cristan Evans, for his ‘excellent knowledge of tanker issues’; Ingolf Kaiser, who ‘really gets to grips with the underlying legal issues from an early stage’; the ‘very astute’ Max Lemanski; and the ‘outstanding’ Stuart Beadnall. Duncan McDonald, Haris Zografakis, Tony Concagh, Alex Davis and Nick Barber are also recommended.
MFB’s ‘client-focused’ team advises on shipping, insurance and international trade. Key individuals include Michael Mitchell, who is experienced in casualty work; the ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Edward Gray; Simon Wolsey, who is ‘excellent on disputes’; and the ‘brilliant’ Gerard Hopkins and Peter Jago. Mark Seward and Andrew Wright are also recommended.
Norton Rose Fulbright has ‘a real pedigree for shipping matters’. The team is continuing to act for the Lloyd’s syndicates on claims brought as a result of the sinking of the Alexandros T, and is advising insurers on claims following an alleged piracy attack on the crude oil tanker the Brillante Virtuoso. The ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘personable’ Philip Roche is global co-head of the shipping practice, which includes Patrick Foss and the ‘first-rate’ Chris Zavos. Senior associate Kevin Austin and of counsel Peter Glover are also recommended. Charlotte Winter was promoted to partner in 2015.
Thomas Cooper LLP is noted for its ‘prompt response times’ and ‘clear advice’. The team acts for the owners of an offshore gas production platform, which suffered a collision with the Alpine Eternity in March 2015. Darryl Kennard (who is ‘quick to spot practical solutions’) leads the team, which includes the ‘very experienced’ Tim Kelleher, Ben Browne, who has ‘in-depth knowledge’ and is ‘excellent on casualty matters’, and the ‘bright, hardworking and conscientious’ Ceri Done. Tom Moisley and Charles Williams are also recommended.
Winter Scott LLP’s ‘responsive, prompt, sagacious and extremely knowledgeable’ practice advised Frontline on a shipbuilding contract dispute. Dry shipping head Glenn Winter brings ‘an extreme magnitude of knowledge’ to bear on disputes, and wet shipping head Ken Scott is praised for his ‘fantastic industry knowledge’. Tim Houghton and Christopher Wood are ‘tactically excellent’ and ‘solution orientated’.
Bentleys, Stokes and Lowless advises on a range of shipping, insurance, international trade and finance matters. Among the ‘experienced department’, Nicholas Wilson, William Chetwood, Paul Griffiths and Joanna Steele are noted. Sarah Allan and Andrew Powell were promoted to partner in 2016.
Kennedys ‘leaves no stone unturned in looking for ways to assist clients on difficult cases’. The practice’s experience spans marine insurance, charterparty disputes and personal injury claims. Key figures among the ‘experienced and hardworking team’ include the ‘calm and thorough’ David Mckie, Graeme Baird, who is ‘first-rate’, Eric Sumner and Jonathan Evans.
‘Fantastic for maritime law’, Mills & Co acts for a range of clients including marine insurers, shipowners, ship managers, shipbuilders, charterers, commodity traders and marine suppliers. Guy Mills (who is ‘very impressive’), Martin Dalby, Simon Williams, Michael Smith, Andreas Welz and Jonathan Green are recommended.
Waltons & Morse advises on marine insurance, reinsurance, collision, salvage and piracy, as well as charterparty disputes. Christopher Dunn, consultant David Perry and Mark Lloyd are the key contacts.
Waterson Hicks has a strong following among Greek shipowners. John Hicks heads the team, which includes ‘excellent’ consultant Geoffrey Brunton and admiralty manager Stuart Parkin, who ‘grasps the practicalities of each case’. Barrister John Bignall joined from 7 King’s Bench Walk in 2015.
Wikborg Rein handles matters in ‘a flexible and responsive way’. Team head Clare Calnan’s advice is ‘crisp and to the point’; she is ably supported by Rob Jardine-Brown, Birgitte Karlsen and Chris Grieveson. The ‘calm and resourceful’ Jonathan Page re-joined the team in 2015, while Nick Shepherd (former head of Ince & Co’s Piraeus office) joined in May 2016.
Clients of Birketts LLP praise its ‘thoughtful, carefully crafted and well-reasoned’ advice. Nicholas Woo leads the team, which includes the ‘highly motivated’ Alex Davey, who ‘handles matters in a professional and competent manner’. Henry Adams and Lisa Wortley are also recommended.
Curtis Davis Garrard LLP’s ‘commercial’ and ‘hands-on’ team attracts praise for its ‘very prompt’ and ‘top-quality service’. MAN Diesel & Turbo, Damen Shipyards Group and Finnlines are among the firm’s clients. Justin Turner is ‘thorough and concise’, William Cecil is ‘very hardworking’ and Simon Curtis has a ‘wealth of knowledge’. James Brown is also recommended.
Gateley Plc stands out for its ‘excellent combination of knowledge and experience’. The practice advises on contentious and transactional matters, and houses a dedicated yacht team. Bruce Virgo and Nicholas Walser (who ‘excels at in-depth analysis when handling complex disputes’) jointly lead the team, which includes Jane Hobbs, Andrew Messent and consultant Richard Coles.
Jackson Parton Solicitors is ‘technically able’ and advises on wet and dry matters, commodity and trade disputes, insurance and related litigation, as well as non-contentious work. Nick Parton ‘works tirelessly on behalf of his clients’, and consultant David Hughes is ‘very bright’. Nils Dahl Nielsen, managing partner Andrew Patrinos, Jonathan Clyne and Maria Gerakaris-Michanitzis are also recommended.
The ‘friendly and co-operative’ team at Lax & Co LLP is praised for its ‘excellent contentious expertise’. The ‘very hands-on’ Mike Lax leads the team, which includes Stuart Dench, who has ‘a brilliant reputation’, the ‘first-class’ Imogen Rumbold, and ‘very responsive’ Robert Pollock-Hill.
Sutherland (Europe) LLP’s maritime and shipping practice handles a range of domestic and international marine and energy matters. Carlo Sammarco, John McCaskill, Paul Sinnott and Mark Aspinall are recommended. Jenni Lajzerowicz joined the firm in 2015 from Norton Rose Fulbright.
Watson Farley & Williams LLP demonstrates ‘a mastery of all areas of shipping disputes work’. Andrew Savage heads the team, which includes Andrew Hutcheon, who is ‘quick to grasp the client’s commercial priorities’; Robert Platt, who is ‘a seriously intelligent and punchy disputes lawyer’; and Charles Buss, who recently re-joined the London office. Andrew Ward was promoted to partner in 2015.
At Andrew Jackson, department head Dominic Ward is ‘a calm, deep-thinking lawyer who provides an excellent service to his clients, and goes the extra mile’. Andrew Oliver is also recommended.
Linos Choo leads the maritime team at DLA Piper; his advice is ‘swift, practical, to the point and always commercially sensible’. The team is active in a range of high-profile disputes, and recently acted for the liquidators of OW Bunkers on the collection of unpaid bunker dues.
DWF’s shipping and commodities practice is led by the ‘brilliant’ Jonathan Moss and includes Michael Kingston, who has and excellent reputation.
Eversheds LLP ‘adopts a practical and commercial view’ and is noted for its expertise in oil and gas shipping matters. Stephen Mackin heads the team and is ‘invaluable in tanker disputes’. Jessica Maitra is ‘very thorough, accurate and conscientious’.
Keystone Law has ‘wide knowledge of the marine industry’. Consultant solicitors Daniel Crockford and Alex Penberthy ‘have a straightforward approach to problems’. Andrew Hignett joined from Lester Aldridge LLP in May 2015.
At Loudouns, William Cawley is ‘a particularly practical and meticulous lawyer’.
M Taher & Co Solicitors delivers ‘an excellent service’ to its shipping clients. Maryam Taher is ‘an outstanding lawyer; commercially minded, with deep knowledge of the industry’.
Mays Brown advises on a range of contentious matters, with particular expertise in charterparties, bills of lading and other contracts of carriage. Joe Mays, David Wartski and Stephen Grainger are recommended.
TLT’s shipping and super-yacht team is based across the London and Piraeus offices. Former department head Duncan Bateson joined Ince & Co.
Index of tables
Travel: regulatory and commercial
Travel: personal injury
- Katherine Allen - Hugh James
- Philip Banks - Irwin Mitchell
Neil Baylis -
K&L Gates LLP
- Julian Chamberlayne - Stewarts Law LLP
- Bronwen Courtenay-Stamp - Trowers & Hamlins LLP
- Clive Garner - Irwin Mitchell
- Rory Gogarty - Holman Fenwick Willan
Michael Gwilliam -
- James Healy-Pratt - Stewarts Law LLP
Stephen Mason -
- Paul McClorry - Slater and Gordon
- Claire Mulligan - Kennedys
- Jim Morris - Irwin Mitchell
Alex Padfield -
- Maria Pittordis - Hill Dickinson LLP
Daniel Scognamiglio -
BL Claims Solicitors
- Ian Skuse - Blake Morgan LLP
- Rebecca Thornley-Gibson - asb law LLP
Fieldfisher has ‘in-depth knowledge of the travel sector’. The practice acts for clients including Airbnb, On the Beach, Your Golf Travel and Thomas Cook on commercial, corporate, regulatory and contentious matters. Department head Rhys Griffiths has ‘excellent experience’ in the sector. David Wilkinson and associate Mark Smith are also recommended.
Holman Fenwick Willan’s cruise, travel and leisure group advises clients such as Cathay Pacific, BMI Regional and Thomas Cook on flight delay claims. Emirates Airline, Chianti Management Corporation and Air New Zealand are also clients. Rory Gogarty, Sue Barham and Elinor Dautlich jointly head the team.
Based across the London and Birmingham offices, the team at Irwin Mitchell has a ‘pre-eminent reputation’ for travel personal injury work, and is representing the families of 16 British citizens who were killed, as well as many of the injured victims of the 2015 Tunisia terrorist attacks. Clive Garner (‘a true expert’) heads the team, which includes Jim Morris, who is ‘technically excellent’ on aviation claims; Philip Banks, who is ‘seldom shaken, never stirred’; Demetrius Danas, who is ‘great to have fighting your corner’; and Amandeep Dhillon, who is ‘a great team player and strategic thinker’. Suki Chhokar and Elizabeth Tetzner are also recommended.
‘Well versed in the travel sector’, K&L Gates LLP advises on a range of commercial and regulatory matters for clients such as ABTA, Amadeus, Contiki, Red Savannah, CHR Travel and Home House. Team head Neil Baylis is ‘a key player in the market’.
‘Catastrophic injury specialists’ Stewarts Law LLP ‘does its utmost to get the best results for its clients’. The ‘hardworking and accurate’ Julian Chamberlayne heads the team, which includes the ‘excellent’ Scott Rigby, associate Christopher Deacon, who is ‘very able’, and Sarah Stewart, who ‘has a finely-tuned sense of what a case requires’. Key figures in the Leeds office include the ‘highly regarded’ Daniel Herman and Ben Townsend, who is ‘first-class’. Aviation expert James Healy-Pratt ‘pursues his claims with grit and realism’.
asb law LLP’s ‘excellent’ team advises organisations in the travel industry such as TUI Travel, ABTA, Secret Escapes, Amadeus, The Travel Network Group, Momondo Group and easyJet. Rebecca Thornley-Gibson heads the team and has ‘a great reputation’. Debbie Venn is noted for IP, licensing and commercial matters.
Hill Dickinson LLP’s ‘business-friendly’ team is active across defendant personal injury, commercial and regulatory matters in the travel sector. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Thomas Cook, Disney Cruise Line and Walt Disney Resorts are clients. Maria Pittordis is ‘commercial and always available’ and jointly heads the team with the ‘brilliant’ Joanna Kolatsis. Legal consultant Javed Ali is ‘very client friendly’ and associate Lucy Schofield is ‘thorough’ and ‘personable’. John Caddies and David Scott are recommended for personal injury matters.
Claire Mulligan (‘a bright star on the travel scene’) heads the team at Kennedys, which is praised for its ‘pragmatic approach’. It is advising TUI UK on three class actions instigated by those injured, or relatives of those killed in the 2015 Tunisian terrorist attacks. Touchstone Underwriting, ACE, Virgin Holidays and Virgin Hotels are clients. The ‘excellent’ Justin Collins and senior associate Andrew Morton are also recommended.
Slater and Gordon’s travel litigation team is ‘a real force to be reckoned with’. The practice is led by the ‘professional, patient and thorough’ Paul McClorry and advises on a range of claims covering package holidays, road traffic collisions, accidents on cruise ships, aviation incidents and group actions. Katherine Allen joined Hugh James in August 2016.
The personal injury team at Blake Morgan LLP operates as BL Claims Solicitors and handles travel insurance claims for claimants and defendants. The team is also active on aviation matters, as well as disputes. Southampton-based Daniel Scognamiglio heads the team, which includes associate Lauren Haas, who is ‘a safe pair of hands’.
Blake Morgan LLP merged with Piper Smith Watton LLP in 2015. Ian Skuse heads the travel regulatory and commercial practice that is particularly noted for its work in the aviation sector. The team advised Air France and KLM on the drafting and revision of agency incentive agreements for agents selling tickets in the UK and Ireland.
DWF’s claims and travel group advises insurers such as Generali, Van Ameyde (UK), Amlin, and RSA. ‘Superb tactician’ Claire Bowler ‘has incredibly detailed knowledge and understanding’ and heads the team with Sara-Jane Eaton. Steven King and Graham Dickinson are also recommended. Amanda Emberton recently left the firm.
Clients single out Kemp Little LLP as ‘excellent on tech matters’. The practice acts in TMT, employment, disputes and corporate matters for clients including Japan Airlines International Company, Travelscape and TripAdvisor. Calum Murray is ‘excellent’. Tania Williams joined in December 2015 from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and Chris Hill was promoted to partner in May 2015.
Keystone Law’s ‘client-focused’ team advises on a range of commercial and regulatory matters, and is particularly active in the aviation sector. Blue Cube Travel and Airline Handling International are clients. Consultant solicitors Trevor Sears and the ‘outstanding’ Alex Ferrari are key contacts.
Based across its Manchester and London offices, Leigh Day’s personal injury team acts for claimants and impresses with its ‘tenacity and attention to detail’. Clare Campbell and Sally Moore head the team, which includes Christine Tallon.
Penningtons Manches LLP’s team in Guildford advises on claimant and defendant travel injury cases. Clients include Direct Line Group, UK General Insurance Group and Vitality Health. The team is led by Mark Lee, who is ‘one to watch’, and includes the ‘excellent’ Warren Collins and ‘very experienced’ senior associate Keith Dean.
Dedicated travel and leisure firm Travlaw LLP possesses ‘in-depth experience’ in the travel industry and advises across commercial and regulatory matters, including employment and IP, as well as litigation. Stephen Mason, Rivka Hawley and Matt Gatenby are singled out for praise. Kylie Mather recently left the firm.
The Exeter-based team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP advises on claimant and defendant matters for a client base that includes Allianz Global Assistance, BUPA Insurance Services and Millstream Underwriting. Department head Bronwen Courtenay-Stamp ‘is an excellent all-rounder on travel matters’, and is particularly highly regarded for skiing cases. The ‘very knowledgeable’ Ian Brown is also recommended.
BLM’s ‘up-and-coming’ department advises clients including tour operators, travel agents, insurers and excursion companies such as LastMinute.com, Jet2, Regis Mutual, Olympic Holidays and Stena Line. Team head Matthew Ford is ‘excellent’.
Hextalls LTD acts on a range of personal injury matters on behalf of operators and travel agents. The team is also active in sports liability claims, and handles regulatory matters. Managing partner Alex Padfield is the key contact.
Plexus Law’s defendant personal injury practice advises tour operators, travel agents, airlines and insurers, and the team has recently acted for Great Rail Journeys and Edwards Coaches. Michael Gwilliam has an ‘outstanding’ reputation. Nish Kanwar, Julian Morris and Rebecca White are also recommended.
Weightmans LLP renders a ‘swift and meticulous service’ and advises on personal injury claims for clients such as Thomas Cook Tour Operations, Whitbread and Marriott Hotels. Rob Williams in Liverpool heads the team. London-based Nick Richards is also recommended.