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asb law LLP’s aviation team in Crawley is ‘a hidden treasure in the aviation market with a wide range of experience’ and a ‘high-performing alternative to the best City aviation practices’. It engages in transactional, leasing and contract matters (the focus of commercial lawyer and team lead Alina Nosek) and dispute resolution. The latter field is handled by consultants Humphrey Dawson and Tim Brymer (who is primarily based in London), and comprises accident claims from passengers, collaborating with investigation authorities, product liability, and general commercial aviation disputes. Brymer has particular expertise in international aviation and liability claims, acting for insurers, airlines and manufacturers, while Nosek is experienced in risk management. At solicitor level, the ‘quietly authoritative’ Simon Amos ‘has a strong instinct for identifying and pursuing his clients’ interests’, and specialises in dispute resolution. Recent highlights include Nosek advising the buyer of two Boeing 777s from an investor, which involved the termination of existing leases as well as insurance and registration issues. She also negotiated an agreement for the operation of Duxford Airport for the trustees of the Imperial War Museum. Active clients include GA Telesis, Avtrade, Air Charter Services and easyJet.

In aviation, Shoosmiths LLPalways gives appropriate, commercial and helpful advice’. The team advises aviation businesses, departments of government and financial institutions on aircraft finances, leasing transactions, sharing arrangements and other commercial or planning matters. The ‘excellent’ team lead Chris McClure in Southampton has ‘in-depth knowledge of the sector and applies this in a commercial way’. The other partners are Joanne McGuinness and Martin Fleetwood, who specialises in the Cape Town Convention aspects of aviation cases. Associate Sarah Fairweather completes the team. In August 2016, McClure and Fairweather advised Swiss International Airlines on the sale of ten RJ100 aircraft to Tronos Jet Maintenance. They also assisted the same client with the novation of a lease agreement from AerCap to KDAC and the termination of five finance leases with Crossbow. McGuinness supported NATS (En Route) on the installation of a new RRF Radar Air Traffic Control & Engineering training facility and the acquisition of a 25-year lease of part of Daedalus Airfield. Blue Islands, Manchester Airport, Monarch Airlines and Thomas Cook also belong to the active client base.

The ‘excellent’ aviation practice at Stevens & Bolton LLP in Guildford demonstrates ‘interest in clients’ businesses’ and provides ‘reliable advice, industry knowledge as well as prompt turnarounds and availability’. Both practice head Richard Mumford and senior associate Daniel James are recommended. While Mumford focuses on international litigation (including lease and charter disputes, fraud and insurance claims), commercial litigation and asset recovery, James primarily handles transactions, leases and the financing of aircraft and their components. The latter is also experienced in contentious matters involving repossession, insurance claims and regulation. James recently advised Royal Aero on its first purchase of an aircraft, which was also leased to an airline, from an Asian bank. Another highlight was advising SaxonAir Charter on the acquisition of a new Agusta A109 helicopter and the management of an Embraer Legacy 500 jet. Together with James, Mumford represented a private equity investor during the joint venture financing of an aircraft purchase. Acro Seating and LHI Leasing are recurring clients, while DHL and Bellinger Asset Management received their first consultations in 2016.

At Machins Solicitors LLP in Luton, the aviation practice forms part of the corporate and commercial department. Head of team Mark Pelopida is the main contact, alongside solicitor Sing Li and consultant David Baggott.

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