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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Transport > Aviation > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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Index of tables

  1. Aviation
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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The ’exceptional’ team at Clyde & Co LLP is commended for its ability to ‘understand the client’s perspective.’ It stands out for its expertise in insured liability claims for airlines, and also handles a range of regulatory, corporate and commercial work in the sector. AIG, Allianz, Chubb, XL Catlin, Global Aerospace and Emirates Airlines are clients. Alex Stovold is advising Tokio Marine Kiln on the loss of an aircraft, which crashed before landing in Medellín, Colombia and was carrying the Brazilian Chapecoense football team, and resulted in the deaths of 64 passengers. Robert Lawson QC and legal director Thomas van de Wijngaart are acting for British Airways on its acquisition of the entire portfolio of landing and take-off slots at London Gatwick Airport held by Monarch Airlines. Mark Bisset provided regulatory advice in relation to the investment in VistaJet by Rhône Capital. Key figures in the ‘brilliant’ team include Philip Bass, who has a ‘wealth of knowledge’; the ‘fantastic’ Maria Cetta; the highly regarded Catherine West; consultant David Willcox, who has the ‘most incredible memory and always digs very deep before offering an opinion or solution’; the ‘very approachable and tactical’ Craig Rooney; Robert Ireland; the 'very able' John Samiotis; and the ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Gareth Lewis. Austin Barham specialises in aviation personal injury, and Simon Potter is experienced in major catastrophe work. Patrick Slomski is regularly instructed by airlines. Legal director Adam Baker handles a range of aviation-related claims and consultant Joseph Goodridge is ‘very user-friendly’. Senior legal manager Louise High is also noted, as are senior associates Andrew Krausz and Elizabeth Lambert-James.

The ‘outstanding’ team at HFW is commended for its ‘in-depth knowledge’ and for its ‘vast experience’. It handles aviation liability, litigation and dispute resolution matters, as well as regulatory, transactional and commercial mandates. Global aerospace head Giles Kavanagh advising Artus on multiple sets of proceedings in France and the US brought by more than 200 relatives of victims of a major aviation accident involving an AirAsia aircraft in 2014. Edward Spencer continues to advise the organisers of the 2015 Shoreham Air Show on the loss of a vintage Hawker Hunter military jet, which fatally injured 11 people on the ground; and continues to act for Swiftair, on the total loss of one of its MD-83 medium-range airliners in July 2014, in which 116 people were killed. Nicholas Hughes advises Inter Hannover, AEGIS and other aviation war risks insurers on significant damage caused at Tripoli International Airport in 2014. The team also acts for numerous airlines on claims for flight delays and cancellations. AIG, MS Amlin, Global Aerospace, Chubb, Allianz, Cathay Pacific Airlines, Rolls Royce and BAE Systems are also clients. Consultant Sue Barham and Zohar Zik are also key figures in the team, as are senior associates Barbara Pansadoro and Mark Waters.  Christopher Smith has joined The Air Law Firm LLP.

DLA Piper’s aviation expertise spans litigation and dispute resolution, regulatory, commercial, competition, employment, IP, accidents, insurance and employment matters. Mark Franklin continues to represent Honeywell in a product liability dispute concerning property damage caused by fire on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft at London Heathrow airport; is advising Airbus Helicopters and its insurers on the worldwide grounding of the H225 Super Puma fleet; and is representing Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality, as lead insurer, in relation to liabilities arising out of the terrorist attack at Brussels Airport in March 2016. Kathryn Ward is representing ground handler PT JAS and its insurers in relation to a runway collision in 2016. Leon Taylor handles insurance and reinsurance litigation and has particular experience in international coverage disputes. Alexandra Kamerling is active on EU and UK competition law matters. Senior associates Shereena Rai and Sophie Brophy are also noted. Franklin and Tony Payne lead the department.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is involved in corporate, tax, competition, regulatory, planning, IP, trade projects and disputes in the aviation sector. Key mandates include advising Virgin Group and Virgin Atlantic on the proposed sale of a 31% stake in Virgin Atlantic to Air France-KLM, and on the the creation of an expanded transatlantic joint venture between Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM. It is also advising the same client on regulatory and competition law issues arising from the joint venture with Delta Air Lines in relation to routes between the UK, US, Canada and Mexico. TAG Farnborough Airport, Heathrow Airport Holdings, Thomson Airways, Gatwick Airport and UK Civil Aviation Authority are clients. Kim Dietzel, who is experienced in advising on competition law and regulatory issues in the sector, heads the team with corporate partner Robert Moore. Gregg Rowan handles aviation disputes and Gavin Williams regularly advises on corporate matters. Of counsel Suzy Campbell is also noted.

Ince & Co’s ‘solid, approachable and personable’ team provides ‘good response times’ and is praised for the ‘technical quality of its advice.’ It regularly handles major disputes, insurance, regulatory work, commercial and competition matters, and also houses a specialist aviation employment practice. Global head of aviation Gillie Belsham is a ‘massively experienced commercial litigator who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the industry and hugely respected’ and advised on a dispute involving a fire on an aircraft while it was parked at London Heathrow Airport. The team is noted for its strong Middle East practice and travel head Anna Anatolitou advises Emirates on a range of regulatory matters, and advises flydubai on commercial and regulatory matters. The team is also instructed by numerous airlines on uninsured UK passenger claims, particularly in relation to boarding, flight delays, and cancellations. Global Aerospace, Sri Lankan Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Vueling and Bristow Helicopters are clients. Managing associate Solange Leandro leads on competition work and Rebecca Thornley-Gibson handles employment matters for aviation-sector clients. Annabel Williamson is also a key member of the team, as is senior associate Ben Bright-Wood, who both recently joined from Clyde & Co LLP.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s aviation expertise spans a range of competition, regulatory, insurance, planning, commercial work and dispute resolution mandates. Corporate partner Chris Randall and antitrust and competition partner Ian Giles advised Delta Air Lines on its investment and partnership with Air France-KLM Group. Simon Chamberlain handles regulatory and commercial matters and advised Flyadeal on commercial contracts; and Robin Springthorpe is advising a UK airport on the effect on flying rights of a no-deal Brexit. The team also advises a number of airlines on EC261 passenger claims. British Airways, Wizz Air, Jet2.com and Virgin Atlantic are also clients. Consultant Tim Ingham and senior associate Annabelle Wheeler, who is based across the London and Munich offices, are also key figures. Duncan Batchelor heads the aviation team and Patrick Farrell  leads the contentious aviation practice, which also features Charlotte Winter.

Stephenson Harwood has an ‘impressive team’ which is praised for the ‘depth of its knowledge and the speed with which it is imparted’; it is a ‘stand-out firm for commercial aviation disputes and regulatory problems.’ The team represented Ryanair on a €70m contractual dispute with Hertz Europe and also acted for Ryanair in a regulatory dispute with the UK's air traffic services provider, NATS. Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company, Jordan Aviation, AirAsia and American Airlines are also clients. Aviation litigator Paul Phillips heads the team and is ‘meticulous in his preparation and leaves no stone unturned’.Senior associate Chloe Challinor is praised for her ‘in-depth knowledge’ and her ‘no-nonsense attitude’; and is noted for aviation disputes. Associate Johnny Champion  has an 'exceptional ability to understand and marshal complex technical detail.’ Richard Parsons is global head of aviation.

Bird & Bird LLP is active across regulatory matters, commercial work, disputes and transactions in the aviation space. Highlights include advising V&M Aviation and Vistajet in a claim for breach of contract against Air X Charter; advising Hitit Computer Services on its bid for a potential software agreement with Philippines Airlines. Air Asia, easyJet, Virgin Atlantic and Westminster Group are also clients. Department head Paul Briggs handles commercial matters; Sophie Eyre heads the aviation disputes team; and of counsel Simon Phippard is active across commercial, contentious, insurance and regulatory issues. Commercial head Ronald Hendrikx and international outsourcing group head Mark Leach are also key figures, as are associate Lucinda Richmond-Wigg, who handles competition and regulatory matters, and senior associate Lucy England, who handles commercial matters.

The ‘very professional’ team at Dentons is noted for its aircraft finance and leasing expertise, however it is also active across TMT, competition, corporate, data protection, employment and dispute resolution work in the aviation sector. Headline work includes advising easyJet on the competition and corporate aspects of its expression of interest in acquiring Alitalia assets; and advising Bugesera Airport Company, a joint venture between the Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construҫao Africa and Aviation Travel and Logistics Holdings, on the development of a $418m international airport in Rwanda, known as the Bugesera International Airport. It also advises Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays across a range of privacy, advertising and marketing matters. Global aviation head Nick Chandler is the key contact.

Hill Dickinson LLP’s aviation and aerospace department is active across commercial, competition, insurance and risk management matters, and also handles complex disputes. Thomas Cook Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways, European Regions Airline Association and Eurojet are clients. Consultant Saleema Brohi handles aviation insurance and disputes and associate Lucy Schofield handles regulatory matters. Consultant Neil McGilchrist, who is experienced in aviation insurance, is also a key figure. Alastair Long has joined HFW and Joanna Kolatsis left to establish her own legal consultancy business.

Hogan Lovells International LLP is best known for its ‘excellent’ airports practice, which handles regulatory , disputes, planning and competition, issues, as well as infrastructure, projects, developments and acquisitions in the sector. It advised TAV airports and Aéroports de Paris on the project financing of an airport new terminal and runway at Tbilisi International Airport in Georgia. Regional Airports is also a client. Counsel Charles Ford, who is noted for his experience in infrastructure matters, heads the team with finance partner Andrew Gallagher.

While Holland & Knight (UK) LLP is well-known for its aviation finance expertise, it also handles disputes, commercial and regulatory matters.  Senior counsel Tim Murray is an ‘absolutely excellent aviation lawyer with vast experience and expertise’; he is ‘highly intelligent and has a huge body of knowledge about the aviation industry’. Gwyn O’Flynn is noted for transactional matters and London office head Robert Ricketts are also key figures. Ian Clark has retired.

The ‘brilliant’ team at Kennedys is noted for its aviation insurance work, and its experience across contentious, regulatory and transactional mandates. Aviation head Simon Balls is representing Bhoja Air in relation to all issues arising from the crash of Bhoja Air Flight 213 in 2012, when all 121 passengers and 6 crew members aboard were killed. Mark Welbourn continues to act for British Airways and AIG on claims arising from the fire and evacuation of flight BA 2276 at Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport in 2015. Alexandra Rodina is representing Tatarstan Airlines, and XL-Catlin as lead reinsurer, on all liability claims regarding Tatarstan Airlines Flight 363, which was a scheduled domestic passenger flight which crashed at Kazan International Airport in 2013, killing all 44 passengers and 6 crew members. Etihad Airways, Ryanair, AIG, Aer Lingus and Aviation Logistics Network are clients. Recently promoted partner Noelia Mann; Roger Whipp, who heads the commercial aviation team; senior associate Sam Mason; and Daniel Turner, who leads the aviation insurance team, are also recommended.

Slaughter and May is active across disputes, regulatory and real estate instructions in the aviation sector. It is representing British Airways in multi-party litigation relating to the European Commission’s investigation into alleged cartel activity in respect of air freight services involving a number of airlines. It advised Rolls-Royce in relation to a criminal investigation conducted by the SFO into allegations of bribery and corruption at Rolls-Royce and Rolls-Royce Energy Systems. Efstathios Michael handles international litigation and arbitration, while Bertrand Louveaux, who is based across the London and Brussels offices, advises on merger control and competition matters.

Addleshaw Goddard’s multi-disciplinary team is best known for its aviation finance and leasing expertise, and is also active on regulatory matters and disputes in the sector. It regularly acts for airlines such as British Airways, Latam Airlines, Vueling and flydubai. Consultant Rory MacCarthy and Rebecca Garner are the key figures within the team.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP regularly acts for airports, airlines and aviation support businesses, on disputes, regulatory matters, compliance, HR, M&A and infrastructure projects. The team advised Boeing UK on the acquisition of a new development site at Sheffield Business Park and advises Turkish Airlines on passenger claims in the UK and to co-ordinates passenger claims worldwide. Manchester Airport Group and Heathrow Airport are also clients. Birmingham-based Richard Prowse, Matthew Taylor in Manchester and employment specialist Tom Bray in Cardiff lead the team.

Gowling WLG is instructed by airlines, aircraft component manufacturers and airports across competition, dispute resolution, IP, outsourcing, employment and pensions matters. It advised Flybe on the procurement of its passenger service systems; represented Cathay Pacific Airways on an employment dispute; and continues to represent Thai Airways proceedings brought by British Airways in the UK Air Cargo litigation. Of counsel Clark Sargent in Birmingham leads the aerospace, aviation and defence practice and Bernardine Adkins heads the EU, trade and competition practice. Principal associate James Barr and Sally Mewies, who are also based in Birmingham, are also recommended, as is IP litigator Gordon Harris.

Keystone Law is active across a range of aviation sector matters, such as liabilities, claims and contentious work, as well as commercial and regulatory matters. Surf Air Europe, Genesis Aerotech, Flybe, Virgin Atlantic, Nimbus Aviation and Transatlantic Aviation are clients for the team where recommended individuals include Trevor Sears, who is experienced in insolvency and dispute resolution; barrister Hugh O’Donovan, who has ‘in-depth experience’; Simon Murfitt and litigator Alex Ferrari.

The Air Law Firm LLP is ‘reliable, user-friendly and consistently provides an excellent service’ and is active across dispute resolution and aviation regulatory work.  It defends a number of international scheduled carriers on claims arising from flight delays and cancellations. Litigation and regulatory head John Korzeniowski is a ‘very approachable partner with enormous knowledge and experience of aviation litigation’. Senior associate Christopher Smith, who recently joined from HFW, is ‘brilliant’ and is noted for regulatory matters. Aoife O’Sullivan heads the aviation finance practice and Diego Garrigues is also a key figure.

Winston & Strawn London LLP is best known for its experience in advising on aviation transactional and finance matters. It is also active on regulatory, environmental, tax, fleet management and infrastructure mandates. Christopher Boresjo and Mark Moody lead the department, and associate Rishi Raheja is also a key member of the team.

asb law LLP regularly acts for the London aviation insurance market on accident or incidents dealing with resulting passenger, third party and product liability claims. The team is instructed by the insurer of an AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter which crashed into the sea off the coast of Brazil in 2011 killing two crew and two passengers. Travelers Insurance Company, Air Charter Service and VAS Aero Services are clients. Alina Nosek heads the team, while consultants Tim Brymer and Saleema Brohi are also key figures. Daniel James is the main contact.

Gordon Dadds LLP’s multi-disciplinary offering is active across corporate, commercial, employment, litigation and property mandates in the aviation sector. It is noted for its experience in the private and business aviation sector and also handles matters in relation to pilot training. Richard Elliott  leads the aviation group.

Stevens & Bolton LLP is regularly instructed on dispute resolution and transactional matters in the aviation sector. It represents an aircraft management company on a dispute over the management and maintenance of a corporate jet and represents an aircraft management company in relation to a dispute over an aircraft. Royal Aero, Bellinger Asset Management, Eastern Airways and Emirates are clients. Litigator Richard Mumford heads the team.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s multi-disciplinary practice handles disputes, fraud, commercial property, banking and finance matters in the aerospace sector. TAG Farnborough Airport, Oman Airports Management Company, Etihad Airways and Gerald's Airport, Montserrat are clients. Exeter-based Kathryn Insall heads the aviation litigation team and has a ‘high-level of practical aviation experience’.

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