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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 β€˜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 β€˜top-quality experts’ includes Philip Bass, Maria Cetta, the β€˜exceptionally good’ Catherine West, David Willcox (who is β€˜very experienced’), Joseph Goodridge, and Gareth Lewis. The β€˜brilliant’ Craig Rooney was promoted to partner in 2015.

Led by the β€˜brilliant’ Giles Kavanagh, the team at Holman Fenwick Willan consistently delivers advice that is β€˜above and beyond what is requested’, and is praised for its β€˜strong’ aviation liability practice, in addition to its regulatory and competition experience. Sue Barham is β€˜highly respected in the industry’ and the β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜an outstanding firm’ for aviation work.The team is co-led led by the β€˜very responsive’ Tony Payne, who was promoted to partner in 2015, and the β€˜exceptional’ Mark Franklin, who has β€˜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 β€˜brilliant’. Vanessa Leigh left the firm in 2016.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s β€˜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 Β£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 β€˜clear, commercial and practical manner’. The β€˜highly capable team’ is led by Joanna Kolatsis who is noted for her β€˜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, β€˜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 β€˜outstanding’ Patrick Farrell leads the β€˜formidable team’ at Norton Rose Fulbright, which is noted for its β€˜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 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 β€˜high level of client care’ and for its β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜strong’ airports practice advises on a range of domestic and international regulatory, acquisition, development and financing matters for clients including AΓ©roports 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 β€˜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 β€˜deeply knowledgeable’ Robert Ricketts.

The β€˜academically rigorous’ team at Ince & Co is led by the β€˜thorough’ Gillie Belsham and includes the β€˜extremely commercial’ Anna Anatolitou, who joined from Bird & Bird’s Abu Dhabi office in 2015; β€˜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 β€˜astute’ Robert Ireland, β€˜very strong’ Alexandra Rodina and β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜calm under pressure’ and is praised for his β€˜keen commercial awareness’.

Keystone Law attracts praise for its β€˜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. β€˜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 β€˜knowledgeable’ team, which includes travel team head Rebecca Thornley-Gibson, and consultants Humphrey Dawson and Tim Brymer, who possess β€˜in-depth expertise’. EasyJet is a client.

The β€˜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 β€˜prompt and thorough’ team at Simmons & Simmons is noted for its contentious capability. Stephen Moses was recently promoted to partner in 2015 and is β€˜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 β€˜strong industry knowledge’ and β€˜constructive and refreshing approach to the market’.

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