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  1. Travel: regulatory and commercial
  2. Travel: personal injury
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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BLM acts for tour operators, travel agents, insurers and excursion companies on complex, serious and catastrophic injury claims, and also handles group and class action cases. It is representing Thomas Cook in a large group a large group action involving allegations of a cryptosporidium outbreak; and the team was also involved in the first prosecution and criminal conviction of claimants who had pursued fundamentally dishonest travel sickness claims. Sandals, Jet2, Regis Mutual, Olympic Holidays, British Airways and Stena Line are clients. Matthew Ford has ‘good judgement’ and leads the leisure and travel casualty team. Leeds-based Arion Jones heads the tour operator liability team. In Bristol, Gemma Pearce is experienced in marine casualty and is noted for personal injury and fatal accident cases involving cargo ships, passenger ships, ports and terminals. Associate Deborah Sayers, who regularly acts for tour operators.  Birmingham-based Sarah Hill heads the fraud practice group.

DWF’s international claims and travel group is regularly instructed by insurers on cross-border catastrophic injury claims. It defended ERGO Versicherung on a fatal motor accident which occurred in Germany and is defending Pelayo Mutua de Seguros on a serious personal injury claim in the UK courts following a road traffic accident in Spain. Generali, Van Ameyde (UK), Mitsui, Amlin, Hastings Direct, QBE, RSA and Travelers are also clients. Head of international claims Claire Bowler regularly advises global insurers on catastrophic injuries and high-profile claims. European group head Sara-Jane Eaton is ‘totally committed and fantastic with clients’ and focuses on catastrophic injury claims. Graham Dickinson handles product liability claims and advises on plane and helicopter crashes. Recently promoted partner Rhys Sanchez and Steven King are also key figures.

Hextalls LTD regularly defends travel and leisure operators, leisure venues and hotel chains on personal injury claims and is also recognised for its experience in sports liability. Alex Padfield is the key contact.

Hugh James has an ‘excellent reputation in the field of international claims’ and the team is ‘not afraid to get their hands dirty and pursue difficult claims with intricate cross border issues’. It represents claimants in travel personal injury cases and represented a claimant who suffered injuries as a result of a motor accident in France. Team head Katherine Allen is a ‘real authority in travel law cases’, and specialist personal injury team head Mark Harvey has ‘stamina and good judgement’ and is experienced in group litigation. Senior associate Rebecca Gilmore, who recently joined from Slater and Gordon, ‘brings a wealth of experience in dealing with the practical aspects of litigation and is very knowledgeable in matters relating to package travel claims’

Irwin Mitchell is ‘one of the pre-eminent firms’ for claimant travel personal injury work. Headline work includes representing the families of two BP employees in civil claims following the hostage-taking and death of 40 men in a terror attack at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria in 2013; representing 12 claimants who significant psychological injuries in the Costa Concordia Cruise disaster of 2012; and representing almost 100 claimants in a group action against Thomas Cook Tour Operations regarding gastrointestinal illnesses suffered during holidays taken in Zante, Greece in 2016. International personal injury department head Clive Garner is the ‘godfather of international travel litigation’. He is recommended alongside Philip Banks, who is ‘calm, very knowledgeable and fearless’; Demetrius Danas, who has an ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of international personal injury law, is a master tactician and is never outmanoeuvred’; Amandeep Dhillon, who is an ‘excellent leader and achieves outstanding results’; and Suki Chhokar, who heads the group actions illness team. Elizabeth Tetzner and Jennifer Lund are also key figures, as is senior associate Simon Prew, who specialises in claims from illnesses abroad.

Kennedys defends tour operators, travel agencies, insurers and underwriters on personal injury matters and it is ‘leading the field in defending gastric claims but is equally as expert in all other areas of travel litigation’. TUI UK, Kuoni, Touchstone Underwriting, Balkan Holidays, Mark Warner and Virgin Holidays are clients. Claire Mulligan, Justin Collins, who is the ‘heartbeat of a talented team’ and senior associate Gareth Thomas ‘get results’ and deliver an ‘outstanding service’. Senior associates Kiran Birdi and the 'brilliant' Zoe Hurley are also key figures in the team.

Leigh Day’s travel personal injury team acts for claimants on a range of cases; it is representing the family of a minor who drowned on a package holiday at an all-inclusive resort in Egypt and is representing a claimant who sustained serious injuries as a result of an accident as part of an organised ice climbing activity on the Mer de Glace. It also acts for members of British Cycling and British Triathlon involved in accidents abroad. Department head Clare Campbell is ‘excellent’ and solicitors Colin Murphy and Joseph Dawson are also key members of the team. Christine Tallon has left the firm.

The team at Penningtons Manches LLP are ‘specialists in the field with a deep knowledge of travel law and dealing with EU jurisdictional issues’ and it handles international personal injury cases for claimants and defendants, acting for a number of insurer clients. Allianz Legal Protection, UK General Insurance Group, Vitality Health, AmTrust Europe, Canopius Underwriting and Chubb are clients. It is representing a claimant who suffered a life threatening traumatic brain injury in a multiple vehicle collision in France and is representing a claimant who suffered a severe head injury when he fell through a skylight at a resort in Spain. Travel law team head Mark Lee is ‘very practical in his approach and capable of dealing with very complex matters in a straightforward manner’ and is particularly experienced in head injury cases. Warren Collins and senior associate (non-solicitor) Keith Dean are also key figures.

Plexus Law 's defendant travel law team handles claims on behalf of tour operators, travel agents, accommodation suppliers, airlines, airports and their insurers. It is representing Great Rail Journeys following the derailment of a train in in India, which was travelling from Kalka to Shimla when two passengers were killed and a number were seriously injured. It is also representing ski school company after a pupil suffered significant injuries during a lesson. Michael Gwilliam is ‘first-class’ and is experienced in defending group actions and regularly handles claims involving catastrophic injuries and fatalities. The ‘excellent’ Dr Julian Morris is also a key member of the team.

Primarily based across its London and Manchester offices, Slater and Gordon has ‘in-depth and complete knowledge’ of travel-related personal injury work and acts for claimants who have sustained catastrophic injury abroad, as well as defendants on personal injury and other travel-related claims. It represented the family of an individual who was killed in the terrorist attacks in Sousse, Tunisia, and represents the legal guardian of two children whose parents and grandmother were shot and killed in France in 2012.  Recently promoted principal lawyer Kieran Mitchell is a ‘highly effective negotiator’ and heads the travel litigation team. Senior associates Stephen Goodman and Nicola Rostron, who was recently promoted, are also recommended.  Joanne Brine has joined JMW Solicitors LLP.

Stewarts Law LLP is the ‘best in the business’ for complex, high-value cases for those who have been seriously injured abroad; it has the ‘technical skills, the know-how and the commitment to make a real difference to any serious case’ and is ‘sympathetic, realistic and pragmatic’. It is acting for a claimant, who was 19 when he suffered a massive brain injury as a result of a road traffic accident in Jersey; and is representing a claimant who suffered multiple orthopaedic, vascular and chest injuries in an accident at work in Austria. Head of international injury Julian Chamberlayne is a ‘tenacious litigator, who is confident in his creative use of the law who runs rings around most opponents’. The ‘effervescent’ Scott Rigby’s ‘lively enthusiasm wins over clients and opponents alike, facilitating settlement where others might struggle’. Senior associate Christopher Deacon is a ‘superb travel lawyer; he is knowledgeable, tenacious, compassionate and intellectually astute’. Head of aviation James Healy-Pratt is ‘quite simply brilliant; his understanding of multi-jurisdictional law, his ability to deliver challenging issues in a kind and patient manner, his understanding of the coronial system and his brilliant strategic overview give his clients the confidence to know that he really is fighting their corner’. The aviation team acts for pilots and passengers, and their families, who are involved in aviation accidents and aviation disasters worldwide, often involving multi-jurisdictional litigation. Sarah Stewart is ‘extremely good with clients who have suffered losses in aviation disasters; they have complete confidence in her’; and Peter Neenan has an ‘incredible forensic mind and an eye for detail’ and is ‘fantastic on aviation-related cases’. Daniel Herman leads the Leeds-based personal injury team which also features Ben Townsend.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP acts for claimants and defendants on personal injury claims abroad and is noted for its ‘in-depth knowledge and experience’. Arc Legal Assistance, Allianz Global Assistance, Ageas (UK), BUPA Insurance Services, Millstream Underwriting and Global Response are clients. It is experienced in foreign road traffic accident claims and is representing a family on a claim arising out of a fatal road traffic accident in Tenerife. The team also stands out for its experience in ski accident cases and is advising a claimant who suffered serious injuries as a result of a skiing accident in France. Travel, tourism and insurance team head Bronwen Courtenay-Stamp is ‘very experienced’, and Ian Brown is a ‘very able practitioner’; both have a ‘detailed understanding of tactics which stands their clients in good stead in litigation’. Senior associate Charlotte Reavey, James Browne, recently promoted partner Kathryn Insall and associate Lee Jordan are also noted. Named individuals are based in the firm’s Exeter office.

Weightmans LLP’s ‘specialist’ team defends personal injury claims for insurers and is experienced in complex catastrophic injury cases involving road traffic accidents abroad. The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), Assicurazioni Generali, AIG Europe and DEKRA are key clients. It is representing MIB in several cases including a case brought by a claimant who suffered serious injuries as a result of a motorway accident in France; and a case where by two UK nationals were involved in a fatal road accident involving an uninsured driver in France. In Liverpool, insurance head Rob Williams and David Holt are recommended, while London-based Nick Richards heads the team.

Fieldfisher is a ‘brilliant firm’ for travel disputes and regulatory matters, and regularly handles technology-related matters in the sector. Clients include Priceline Group, Thomas Cook, Airbnb, Expedia, Secret Escapes, loveholidays, Rentalcars and Saudi Arabian Airlines. Travel group head Rhys Griffiths gives ‘very practical advice and knows his stuff’ and has ‘excellent understanding of the regulatory framework and the specific areas for travel agents, tour operators and airlines’. David Wilkinson, who specialises in corporate matters, is an ‘excellent and insightful lawyer’. Senior associate Sonal Patel, who handles commercial matters, and associate Phyllis Acheampong, who is active on regulatory and contentious matters, are also key figures. Mark Smith has left to establish his own firm.

HFW ’s ‘quality’ multidisciplinary department regularly acts for airlines, cruise lines, ferry companies, hotel companies, package holiday companies, ports and terminals operators, insurers, financiers and travel industry bodies; it particularly stands out for its regulatory and commercial expertise in the aviation and cruise sectors. Virgin Atlantic, Oman Air, Air New Zealand, Gulf Air, Qantas, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Thomas Cook Airlines, Singapore Airlines, US Airways Club Méditerranée (UK) and Meyer Werft are clients;  and the team acts for numerous airlines on flight delay and cancellation claims. Anthony Woolich regularly handles regulatory, IP and data handling issues; Giles Kavanagh is noted for regulatory disputes and leads the firm’s global aerospace team; and consultant Sue Barham is an aviation regulatory expert. Senior associates Claire Womersley; William MacLachlan, who handles transactional matters and is experienced in the cruise sector; and Gudmund Bernitz, who handles finance matters, are also recommended. Elinor Dautlich and Zohar Zik head the cruise, travel and leisure team. Christopher Smith  has joined The Air Law Firm LLP  and Rory Gogarty has retired.

Hill Dickinson LLP handles a range of regulatory, commercial and personal injury matters for travel sector clients, with particular expertise across cruise, ferry, aviation, hotels, travel operator and ports matters. Headline work included advising a French-based company on a JV arrangement with a well-known hotel group for the sale of package holidays to the UK market; advising a US-based cruise business in relation to the on-board sale of future cruises and the regulatory implications; and advising Ocean Holidays on software and licensing matters. Archers Tours, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Riviera Travel, Thomas Cook and Jet2 are clients.  John Caddies heads the travel personal injury and regulatory department and is active on defendant personal injury matters. Legal consultant Javed Ali and associate Lucy Schofield are also key members of the team. Joanna Kolatsis left the firm to establish her own legal consultancy business

K&L Gates LLP offers commercial, regulatory, corporate, IP, property and competition law advice to a range of travel sector clients such as Amadeus, Australian Pacific Touring, Hotelbeds Group, Red Savannah, Urbanist Hotels, Z Hotels, JTB, Paragon Hotels and Secret Escapes. It acted for ETOA on corporate, regulatory and compliance issues relating to its acquisition of ETAG. Neil Baylis heads the team which features recently prompted partner Jennifer Marsh.

Bird & Bird LLP’s multidisciplinary international travel group acts for a range of travel companies, airlines, hotels and online travel agents on a range of commercial and regulatory matters, and is noted for its experience in technology, IP, employment and competition law mandates. It advises Airbnb on a range of commercial, data protection and IP matters. easyJet and Secret Escapes are also clients. Of counsel Simon Phippard regularly handles regulatory disputes for aviation sector clients, Gabriel Voisin handles data protection issues, and Elizabeth Lang handles employment matters. Associate Lucinda Richmond-Wigg is active on EU and competition regulatory work. Paul Briggs is joint head of the firm’s international aviation group which features associate Lucy England.

Blake Morgan LLP is active across a range of commercial, corporate finance, regulatory and advisory work for airline, travel management companies, leisure and tour operators, destination management companies and travel agents. It advises Air France–KLM on a range of work including flight delay liability, commercial matters and regulatory compliance. Globalstar Travel Management, Altour International, Healthy Holidays, Ickenham Travel Group and Omega World Travel are also clients. Ian Skuse leads on commercial and regulatory work.  Elsewhere, the firm also has a ‘great deal of experience in dealing with travel law claims’ and handles catastrophic injury matters for claimants, defendants and insurers. Southampton-based team head Daniel Scognamiglio  is an ‘expert’; he is recommended alongside senior associate Eleanor Armstrong and associate Lauren Haas, who has an ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of all matters travel law’.

Ince & Co’s ‘solid’ team is ‘approachable and personal’ and the ‘technical quality of its advice is very good’. It focuses on regulatory, commercial contracts and travel litigation; particularly claims arising under EU Regulations. It acts for a number of aviation clients; it advised Emirates on its proposed promotional activity and potential regulatory impacts; and advises numerous airlines uninsured UK passenger claims, primarily involving denied boarding, flight delays and cancellations. Magic Rooms Accommodation, ABTA , Amadeus Marketing (UK) and Arena Travel are also clients. Anna Anatolitou, who is experienced across travel and aviation regulatory work, as well as litigation and commercial matters, heads the team with Rebecca Thornley-Gibson, who handles employment matters for a range of travel sector clients.

Kemp Little LLP is focused on the TMT sector, and it is regularly instructed by travel sector clients on commercial, technology, IP, employment and corporate mandates. It advises SITA on patent and trade mark matters. TripAdvisor, Trainline.com and Japan Airlines are clients. Team head Calum Murray advises on the contractual and regulatory aspects of digital services, content and underpinning technology development, acquisition and implementation. Emma Wright leads on telecoms, infrastructure and cybersecurity work and Kathryn Dooks has an aviation sector focus.

Specialist aviation firm The Air Law Firm LLP handles a range of commercial and regulatory matters for aviation industry clients. Aoife O’Sullivan is the key contact and Christopher Smith joined from HFW in 2017.

Travlaw LLP is a niche firm, which is purely focused on travel law. It handles a range of commercial and regulatory matters, as well as defendant personal injury cases for clients in the travel industry. Senior partner Stephen Mason is ‘brilliant’, while Rivka Hawley and Matt Gatenby are experienced in defending personal injury claims, and Farina Azam heads the commercial team.

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