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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 > Travel > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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β€˜A leading travel law firm’, Fieldfisher has a β€˜proactive approach and extensive grasp of the regulatory framework’ and is β€˜excellent for large sale and purchase transactions’. The practice handles regulatory, corporate, commercial and disputes work for a raft of blue-chip clients including Thomas Cook, Airbnb, Expedia, Secret Escapes,, Saudi Arabian Airlines, American Express Travel, On The Beach, Ebookers and Late Rooms. Department head Rhys Griffiths is noted for disputes, and clients single out corporate specialist David Wilkinson, who provides β€˜excellent advice and a top-level service’. Othr key figures include Phil Lee, who handles data privacy mandates for travel sector clients; senior associate Mark Smith, who specialises in commercial contracts and advises on customer facing contracts, as well as advertising and marketing matters; and Sonal Patel (also a senior associate), who advises on commercial contracts and is experienced in handling agreements between online travel agents, hotels and other suppliers.

The β€˜very strong’ department at HFW has β€˜excellent regulatory knowledge’, a β€˜wealth of experience’, and is praised for its β€˜attention to detail’. The team, which is particularly active across the aviation and cruise sectors, regularly advises airlines such as Cathay Pacific, Gulf Air, Qantas, US Airways, Air New Zealand, BMI Regional, and Thomas Cook, on flight delay claims, among other matters. Virgin Atlantic, Oman Air, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Singapore Airlines, US Airways, Club Med and Meyer Werft are also clients. Standout individuals include regulatory team head Anthony Woolich, who is a regulatory and commercial expert; global aerospace team head Giles Kavanagh, who handles regulatory disputes in the airline industry; Zohar Zik, who is routinely instructed on commercial and regulatory matters in the aviation sector; aviation, travel and aerospace expert Sue Barham, who is noted for her β€˜wealth of sector knowledge’; and John Forrester and Elinor Dautlich, who specialise in work for the cruise and passenger transport sector. Associates William MacLachlan, who is active on the cruise line side and Christopher Smith, who β€˜knows aviation law inside out, and is commercially minded’, are also recommended. Dautlich and Barham head the team.

Hill Dickinson LLP’s β€˜professional and accessible’ team provides β€˜up-to-date and concise advice’. The travel team handles regulatory and commercial matters in the sector in addition to hanlding defendant personal injury matters. It is advising a UK-based travel group on amendments to its contractual information and booking terms and conditions following a change in its licensing requirements, and is advising a UK tour operator on gastric illness claims. Crystal Cruises, Bourne Leisure, Riviera Travel and Silversea Cruises are clients. β€˜Efficient’ marine trade and energy head Maria Pittordis also heads the regulatory and personal injury team. Travel and aviation head Joanna Kolatsis is β€˜extremely well connected’ and has a β€˜good understanding of the regulatory and licensing framework’. β€˜Brilliant’ legal consultant Javed Ali specialises in travel, commercial and media law, and associate Lucy Schofield is β€˜well versed in travel law’. John Caddies and David Scott are also recommended; they handle defendant personal injury mandates.

The β€˜passionate and experienced’ team at Irwin Mitchell, which is spread across its London and Birmingham offices, handles international claimant personal injury matters, and is the β€˜firm you want on your side if you had a serious accident overseas’. It is acting for the families of 20 British citizens, and many injured victims, on a group action arising from the 2015 terrorist attack in Tunisia, and is representing a number of passengers and crew on claims against Costa Crociere following the sinking of the MS Costa Concordia in 2012. Department head Clive Garner is a β€˜lateral thinker and solves problems through an indirect and creative approach’; he β€˜knows international and supranational law like the back of his hand’. Also recommende are Philip Banks, who is a β€˜very experienced cross-border litigator’, Demetrius Danas (β€˜seldom ruffled and always calm and polished’), Amandeep Dhillon, Suki Chhokar, Elizabeth Tetzner, and Jennifer Lund, who was recently promoted to partner and β€˜fights hard for her clients’. Jim Morris joined Ashfords LLP in 2017.

K&L Gates LLP handles commercial and regulatory mandates, as well as corporate, IP, property, and competition matters for clients in the travel sector. Highlights included advising ETOA (European Tourism Agency, formerly European Tour Operators Association) on regulatory and compliance issues relating to the tender for the provision of advice to the European Commission on expanding tourism into the EU from China. The team is also advising JTB on the negotiation of contracts with major clients, and is handling a review of its standard form hotel agreements. Amadeus, Australian Pacific Touring, Red Savannah, Urbanist Hotels, Z Hotels, Paragon Hotels and Secret Escapes are also clients. Team head Neil Baylis is β€˜excellent’ and special counsel Jennifer Marsh is another key member of the team.

Stewarts Law LLP is β€˜a standout firm for travel and personal injury’ and β€˜completely dominates the field of aviation accidents for claimants’. The practice handles complex international personal injury claims with β€˜compassion, professionalism and dedication’. Recently work includes acting for the family of Jules Bianchi, who died nine months after suffering a severe brain injury during the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix in 2014, and representing the families and dependants of more than 30 passengers on board the AirAsia Airbus 320-200 which crashed into the Java Sea in 2014, killing 155 passengers and seven crew members. Travel team head Julian Chamberlayne’s β€˜analytical skills are superb’; he is β€˜never afraid to take on challenging cases’. Head of aviation and travel James Healy-Pratt is β€˜one of the leading aviation lawyers of his generation’; β€˜his charisma belies a fantastic tactical brain and a spine made of steel when it comes to negotiation’. Scott Rigby β€˜prepares cases meticulously and has very accomplished client-handling skills’. Also recommended are the β€˜exceptional’ Sarah Stewart, associate Christopher Deacon, who is β€˜absolutely dedicated and organised’, Peter Neenan, who stands out for his β€˜impressive ability to explain complex aviation law in understandable terms’, Leeds office head Daniel Herman, and Ben Townsend, who is also based in Leeds.

asb law LLP is active across the travel sector, handling regulatory, IT, employment, and commercial mandates for tour operators, travel agents, airlines, specialist travel and insurers. It is advising Secret Escapes on a range of matters including its trading arrangements, and related regulatory matters. It also advises The Travel Network Group on its trading arrangements, contracts and regulatory compliance matters. TUI Travel, Discover The World, ABTA Travel, Hovertravel and Travellocal are other clients. Commercial and regulatory specialist Debbie Venn heads the team, which includes Helen Mead. Former team head Rebecca Thornley-Gibson joined Ince & Co.

Blake Morgan LLP handles commercial and regulatory work for leading players in the travel sector, acting for airlines, travel management companies and leisure companies. It advises Air France-KLM on a series of test cases concerning flight delays caused by extraordinary circumstances, advised Altour International on the acquisition of Top Flight Travel, and advised Meon Valley Business Travel on development and internet booking agreements. Global Star Travel Management, Turkish Airlines, Sunset Travel and Ickenham Travel Group are also clients. Department head Ian Skuse is noted for travel and airline commercial issues.

Ince & Co handles a range of regulatory, transactional, and employment matters in the travel sector. The team assisted The Emirates Group with travel regulation matters, including issues arising from recent changes to the regulation of package travel (at an EU level). flydubai instructs the team on a range of regulatory and commercial matters. Prima Tours, Magic Rooms Accommodation, Ryanair and Vueling Airlines are also clients. Team head Anna Anatolitou is β€˜very experienced’, and handles travel law projects and regulatory matters. The β€˜brilliant’ Rebecca Thornley-Gibson, who heads the employment team, recently joined from asb law LLP.

With a TMT focus, Kemp Little LLP’s cross-departmental team handles a range of commercial mandates for clients in the travel sector. It advises SITA on IP matters, and also acts for clients such as Expedia, Japan Airlines, Menzies Aviation UK, TripAdvisor, Egencia, and Sojern. Commercial technology head Calum Murray leads the team, which includes Emma Wright, who joined from Bond Dickinson LLP in 2016.

Clients of the team at Kennedys rate its β€˜specialist travel sector knowledge’, β€˜quick responses’ and β€˜pragmatic advice’. It is particularly noted for handling travel-related injury claims behalf of tour operators, travel agencies, insurers and underwriters. TUI UK, Touchstone Underwriting, Love Holidays, XL Catlin, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, ACE, BGL Group, Virgin Holidays and Virgin Hotels are among the team’s clients. β€˜Leading travel law litigator’ Claire Mulligan is β€˜extremely impressive’ and provides β€˜clear, concise and constructive advice’. Justin Collins is β€˜very experienced’ and is β€˜an exceptional travel lawyer’. Senior associates Kiran Birdi and Zoe Hurley, who is β€˜excellent in giving advice on litigation’, are also recommended.

Slater and Gordon is best known for acting for claimants who have sustained catastrophic injury abroad, however the team also acts for defendants in international personal injury and other travel-related claims. It represented the family of a fatally injured man who was killed in Crete after a road accident. The β€˜highly regarded’ Joanne Berry handles cross-border catastrophic injury claims, particularly relating to spinal and brain injury, and is based in the Manchester office. Senior associate Kieran Mitchell is β€˜a real problem solver; he thinks on his feet, and outside the box’. Former travel litigation head Paul McClorry joined Hudgell Solicitors.

Boutique aviation law practice The Air Law Firm LLP handles commercial and regulatory matters in the corporate and private jet market. Aoife O’Sullivan specialises in business and commercial aviation, military aircraft and civil aerospace, and advises on aircraft finance and regulatory issues.

β€˜Excellent’ niche firm Travlaw LLP exclusively handles travel law mandates for clients in the sector, handling a range of defendant personal injury, commercial, and regulatory mandates. The β€˜highly recommended’ Stephen Mason is an β€˜expert’ in travel law. Rivka Hawley and Matt Gatenby handle personal injury matters for defendants, and commercial head Farina Azam handles regulatory, commercial and IP-related matters.

BL Claims Solicitors fields a β€˜strong’ travel team that is β€˜well respected’ and β€˜known for its strong client-care focus’. It deals solely with travel insurance claims, acting both for claimants and defendants; recent work includes representing a UK citizen who suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of a road accident in Greece involving an uninsured driver, in a high-profile case against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. β€˜Very effective’ team head Daniel Scognamiglio is β€˜a veteran of the travel law world, with good connections across the industry’ and is. Senior associate Eleanor Armstrong and associate Lauren Haas are also recommended.

DWF’s β€˜responsive, efficient and knowledgeable team’ handles cross-border travel work, with a particular emphasis on European matters. It has a strong insurer following, where it acts for clients including Generali, Van Ameyde (UK), MS Amlin, Hastings Direct, QBE and RSA. Head of international claims Claire Bowler acts for global insurers on catastrophic injuries and high-profile claims. The β€˜approachable and reliable’ Sara-Jane Eaton heads the European group; she is β€˜an expert in the field of private international law’ and handles catastrophic injury claims and jurisdictional disputes arising from motor and travel cases abroad.Steven King regularly handles international product liability cases, and Graham Dickinson advises on a range of product liability cases, as well as acting for insurers on plane and helicopter crashes.

Leigh Day’s β€˜highly-rated’ team handles a range of international personal injury claims for claimants. It is representing a claimant who suffered serious injuries while working in India, and is acting for the family of a child who drowned while on a package holiday in Egypt. The team also receives referrals from British Cycling and British Triathlon Federation, when members suffer injuries abroad. Manchester-based Clare Campbell has β€˜great judgement’ and leads the team alongside Sally Moore in London. Also recommended are Christine Tallon, who is β€˜very able’, and solicitor Joseph Dawson, who recently joined from Irwin Mitchell.

Penningtons Manches LLP is praised for its β€˜high level of specialist knowledge’. The team handles international personal injury cases for claimants and defendants clients and is β€˜not afraid to run with risky cases’. Its insurer client base includes Allianz Legal Protection, UK General Insurance Group, Vitality Health and AmTrust Europe. Ciamaint work includes representing a family who suffered serious injuries as a result of a multiple-vehicle collision in France. Team head Mark Lee is β€˜very committed to his clients’ and β€˜is able to explain the differences and intricacies of foreign jurisdictions; he is acutely aware of the need to assess risk and cost in order to consider the best way of settling claims to the satisfaction of the client’. Warren Collins and senior associate Keith Dean are also key members of the team.

Plexus Law’s practice handles defendant personal injury cases for tour operators, travel agents, accommodation suppliers, airlines, airports and insurers. It recently defended Thomas Cook in a claim concerning a spinal injury suffered by a tourist at a hotel in Spain. Other clients include Newmarket Holidays, Explore Worldwide, Mark Warner, easyJet Holidays and Sandals. It also acts for various airports including Gatwick Airport, Manchester Airport and London City Airport. Team head Michael Gwilliam is praised for his experience defending multi-party and group actions against tour operators involving fatalities and catastrophic injuries. Julian Morris is also recommended. Nish Kanwar and Rebecca White recently left the firm.

Based in Exeter, the team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP handles claimant and defendant cases arising out of accidents abroad, and is particularly noted for its experience in uninsured loss recovery work arising out of fleet motor insurance, foreign road traffic accident claims for UK motor insurers, and ski accident defence cases. It is acting for an English tourist who was injured by a drunk, uninsured motorist when crossing a road in Greece, in a claim against the Motor Insurers' Bureau. ARC Legal Assistance, Allianz Global Assistance, Ageas (UK), BUPA Insurance Services, Millstream Underwriting and Opera Underwriting are also clients. Team head Bronwen Courtenay-Stamp has β€˜vast experience’ acting for claimants and defendants, and is particularly adept in skiing cases. Recently promoted partner Ian Brown is experienced in European road traffic accident cases. Senior associate Charlotte Reavey predominantly acts for claimants, and solicitor Nicola Johnston primarily handles foreign matters.

Weightmans LLP’s β€˜diligent and focused team’ is experienced in defending international personal injury claims, particularly handling cases involving road traffic accidents causing serious and catastrophic injuries, and provides a β€˜consistently quality service’ with advice that is β€˜prompt, carefully considered and accompanied by clear strategy and tactical advice for the progression of a case’. The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) is a key client; the team recently acted for it in a high-profile claim brought by a British tourist injured in a road accident in Greece, which determined that where a claim is brought for an accident occurring in a European Member State, the measure of damages should be assessed in accordance to the law of the Member State where the accident occurred. Isle of Man Steam Packet Company and Van Ameyde UK are also clients. Liverpool-based Rob Williams heads the team, where David Holt, who has β€˜enormous tenacity and will do everything in his power to protect the interests of his client’, is also based. In London, Nick Richards β€˜excels in the preparation of complex international personal injury disputes’.

Based across offices in London, Leeds and Bristol, the leisure, travel and casualty team at BLM is β€˜excellent on defendant personal injury’, and is known for its experience acting for blue-chip tour operators, travel agents and their insurers. The team handles complex, serious and catastrophic injury claims, as well as group and class actions arising out of illness and disease outbreaks abroad. Thomas Cook, The Freedom Travel Group,, Jet2, Regis Mutual, Olympic Holidays, Stena Line, InterContinental Hotels Group and British Airways are clients. Leisure and travel casualty team head Matthew Ford is experienced in defending international casualty claims. Solicitor Deborah Sayers is a β€˜forensic and tactical litigator with a keen attention to detail’. The team works closely with the marine casualty team, which is led by Gemma Pearce in Bristol, and the counter fraud team, which is led by Birmingham-based Sarah Hill.

Hextalls LTD acts for travel and leisure insurers, tour operators, travel agents and hotel chains on personal injury matters. Sports liability claims are also a key focus of the team. Alex Padfield is active in this area.

Hugh James is developing a practice in the field of travel litigation, with individuals that are well known in the travel industry for representing claimants in travel litigation. Specialist personal injury team head Mark Harvey is experienced in group litigation, and in claims with an international element arising out of defective products; he is β€˜not daunted by taking on really difficult claims and facing up to very difficult and aggressive opponents’. Katherine Allen (aβ€˜class act’) joined in 2016 from Slater and Gordon and heads the travel litigation team; she is a β€˜great travel and cross-border lawyer’, is β€˜very good with clients, and has excellent judgement’.

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