Hall Of Fame

Next Generation Partners

Aviation in Belgium


At HFW, the aviation practice spans the four main areas finance and leasing, commercial, regulatory as well as insurance and claims. Constituting a popular choice for airlines and insurers, the group fields strong ties to the French market, in part due to practice head Pierre Frühling splitting his time between the firm’s Brussels and Paris offices. Alix d’Arjuzon, who was promoted to counsel in April 2023, is noted for her focus on environmental matters alongside capabilities relating to commercial and regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Pierre Frühling

Other key lawyers:

Alix d’Arjuzon


‘In our experience, for legal services people and collaboration makes difference and HFW Belgium is excellent in that respect. Of course, competence and up-to-date knowledge are also excellent.’

‘Pierre Frühling is great lawyer, very competent, total aviation person. But most of all, Pierre has a great personality, always ready to find solutions and willing to help. He will always put the client relationship first.’

‘Excellent results.’

‘Pierre Frühling has an excellent level of expertise in the aviation sector. His knowledge of the matters and his close monitoring of the cases with clients makes a difference.’

Key clients


Air Arabia

Air Canada

Air Corsica

Allianz AGCS

All Nippon Airways



Brussels Airlines


Cathay Pacific


Croatia Airlines

Delta Air Lines


El Al

Global Aerospace

Hi Fly

Jung Skies Croatia

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Korean Air

La Réunion Aérienne

Liege Airport

Luxaviation – Abelag





Vietnam Airlines

Wizz Air

Work highlights

  • Represented Liege Airport in several regulatory and contentious matters.
  • Advised Delta Air Lines on several Belgian regulatory issues, including new Belgian tax schemes and noise issues.
  • Represented Brussels Airlines and its insurer Allianz in several passenger claims.


Hailed as an ‘outstanding aviation practice’, Kennedys remains a market-leading outfit in this space with a practice that covers the full gamut of aviation matters, including finance and leasing as well as disputes and damage claims. The firm counts a host of high-profile domestic and international companies in addition to government institutions amongst its client roster and acts for airlines, cargo companies, lessors, and insurers alike. Dimitri de Bournonville, who is particularly experienced in regulatory matters as well as aviation finance, purchase and leasing, heads the Brussels-based team. On associate level, the ‘bright and upcoming’ Dries Deschuttere is a key name to note alongside Guillaume Mockel, with the latter joining in January 2023 from AdaStone Law.

Practice head(s):

Dimitri de Bournonville

Other key lawyers:

Dries Deschuttere; Guillaume Mockel


‘The firm has a lot of experience working with airlines.’

‘Dimitri de Bournonville acquired experience in-house before opening the practice and understands the needs of airlines.’

‘We feel the team is really unique in the Benelux market: its combines an excellent transactional and regulatory expertise with an outstanding litigation practice. The team is multilingual and able to intervene before all courts and at all levels of the administrations to serve the needs of its clients. It is very well connected, which enables its clients to receive quick and pragmatic support.’

Key clients

Ace Belgian Freighters


Air Belgium

Air Transport Services Group

ASL Airlines Belgium

ASL Aviation Group

Aviabel (Axis)


The Belgian Government

CAL Cargo Airlines

Challenge Airlines Group

Charles Taylor Adjusting



Etihad Airways

Etihad Cargo

FedEx / TNT Express


Global Aerospace

LOT Polish Airlines


Macquarie Air Finance

Macquarie Rotorcraft

Norddeutsche Landesbank

Norse Atlantic Airways

Orix Aviation



Swiss International Airlines

Swissport Cargo Services

The Aviation Factory


Work highlights

  • Appointed by the Belgian Government to assist the cabinet of the Minister of Transport and the Federal Administration of Mobility in relation to the renegotiation of the management contract between the Belgian State and Skeyes.
  • Advised ASL Aviation Group on the third refinancing of its operations and fleet of aircraft by Goldman Sachs, including handling the security aspects, drafting and registration of aircraft and other assets pledge agreements and the issuing of the required legal opinions.
  • Assisted the Luxembourg State owned airline Luxair in relation to the purchase and leasing of a fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft in the context of its new fleet development strategy.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper stands out for its widespread expertise in the aviation sector, with a particular strength in relation to EU-regulatory matters. The practice is also well versed in advising clients hailing from the high-tech aerospace industry as well as work relating to airports. Bob Martens specialises in public law and jointly leads the team with restructuring partner Ilse Van de Mierop; both are active on non-contentious and dispute matters in this space. Charles Dumont De Chassart fields a broad aviation practice which includes corporate and restructuring work as well as litigation.

Practice head(s):

Bob Martens; Ilse Van de Mierop

Other key lawyers:

Charles Dumont De Chassart

Key clients

Sabena Aerospace Engineering SA


Orizio SA

Sabena Engineering Brussels SA


Maintenance Aero Maroc SA

Flying Group Lux SA

Sabena SA

NV Aviapartner Holding

NV Aviapartner Belgium

Emirates Airlines

Work highlights

  • Acted for Sabena Engineering Brussels in relation to its acquisition of a 70% stake in Aircamo Aviation Ltd and Aircamo Engines Ltd.
  • Acted for SABCA SA and SABCA Limburg in the development of key agreements (between the three industrial partners involved in the project) for the production of certain components of the new F-35 fighter jet.
  • Represented Skeyes, the Belgian air navigation and air traffic service provider, in relation to critical or strategic public procurement procedures and in litigation proceedings.

Erkelens Law

Praised for its ‘outstanding work in the field of aviation’, Erkelens Law provides clients from the aviation sector with advice along a vast spectrum of matters, including regulatory, commercial, and contentious. Business aviation, airports, and environmental issues are further capabilities of the practice headed by Catherine Erkelens, who fields a broad practice covering airport charges and ground handling, amongst others. Philippe Carous complements his expertise in general aviation with niche knowledge concerning the regulation of drones.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Erkelens

Other key lawyers:

Philippe Carous; Yuri Quina


‘Very efficient in handling claims filed against airlines, and also on all other legal questions.’

‘Prompt response and clear advice by Philippe Carous.’

‘The team at Erkelens Law performs outstanding work in the field of aviation. Members have very good knowledge of the legal framework in which issues have to be dealt with. Developments in the sector are closely monitored.’

Key clients

Air Atlanta Icelandic

Air Atlanta Europe

All Nippon Airways

Air Malta


Deutsche Lufthansa AG

Austrian Airlines

Swiss International Airlines

Helvetic Airways

Lufthansa Cargo AG

Thai Airways

Menzies Aviation


QP Property

Chapman Freeborn



Dark Sky

Work highlights

  • Advised Air Atlanta Icelandic and Air Atlanta Europe on their possibilities to obtain traffic rights for routes from the EU to third countries and vice versa, assisting the clients with their requests to and contacts with the authorities in several countries.
  • Represented Air Malta in contentious matters concerning passenger rights in Benelux and in France, and in matters concerning its relationship with tour operators and travel agencies.
  • Advised 2FLY on an aircraft acquisition and assisted with the transaction of the aircraft operating and management contract.

AdaStone Law

With ‘a huge breadth of international knowledge across the sector’, AdaStone Law is well versed in a wide array of aviation work, spanning financing and litigation as much as state aid and data protection. Stéphanie Golinvaux, whose practice includes regulatory, transactional, and liability-related matters, leads the team jointly with Hannah Tacheny, an experienced practitioner with particular expertise in airport regulations alongside competition and commercial law.

Practice head(s):

Stéphanie Golinvaux; Hannah Tacheny


‘The AdaStone team has great experience in aviation related matters. They understand the business needs and are solution orientated.’

‘Stéphanie Golinvaux is a lawyer and partner we can rely on. She has a good sense of what matters and provides well targeted and honest advice. She constantly raises the bar and does not limit herself to answer questions, but goes beyond by truly supporting the business needs.’

‘In-depth knowledge of the aviation sector, sound practical advice on operations, ability to cooperate with other law firms on the same topic. Seamless communication.’

Key clients

TUI Airlines Belgium

TUI fly Germany

TUI Belgium

TUI Airways


Amazon Air

World Star Aviation

PK Air Finance

Work highlights

  • Advised Amazon Air with respect to the EU ETS/CORSIA trading schemes from an aviation perspective.
  • Advised Cargolux on ground handling activities and licence.
  • Assisted TUI Airlines Belgium on the acquisition of new aircraft.


CMS continues to have a strong presence in the aviation sector, making it a popular choice for a broad range of clients such as airports, manufacturers, public authorities, and carriers. Sustainability and state aid form as much part of the advisory portfolio as finance and commercial contracts, while the group also benefits from specialist employment law and social security expertise owing to Gaël Chuffart. Noted for her ‘great expertise in state aid’, Annabelle Lepièce heads the practice and also excels in matters relating to ground handling services.

Practice head(s):

Annabelle Lepièce

Other key lawyers:

Marguerite Soete; Gaël Chuffart


‘Really satisfied with the approach and results of the team.’

‘Personal and confident relationship with Annabelle Lepièce and high level of work.’

‘Excellent team with great availability.’

Key clients

Aéroport de la Rochelle

Lyon Airport

Qatar Airways


Croatian State (Zagreb Airport)

Marseille Airport

Aéroport de Beziers

Aeroports de Catalunya

Aéroport de Rodez

Airbus Defence and Space

Work highlights

  • Assisted the Croatian State concerning €14.5m of aid for Zagreb Airport, tied to losses suffered due to the pandemic.
  • Assisted Qatar Airways in their day-to-day employment law issues in Belgium, including providing advice on remuneration and working duration issues, among others.
  • Advised Airbus Defence & Space, within the framework of a major restructuring of the group, on Belgian corporate and tax aspects of the merger of two French group entities, both having a Belgian branch.

K&L Gates GP

K&L Gates GP has an offering that includes particular expertise in matters relating to air ticket distribution, airports, ground handling, and regulatory. The group is headed by Mélanie Bruneau, whose expertise includes regulatory compliance. Philip Torbøl departed the firm in January 2024.

Practice head(s):

Mélanie Bruneau

Key clients

World Fuel Services


Multi Service Tolls


KADRANT LAW advises aviation clients on the finance and leasing of aircraft as well as business aviation, regulatory issues, and litigation. Giulia Mauri heads the practice and focuses on transactional matters. Former co-head of the practice Frédérique Jos left for an in-house position in October 2023.

Practice head(s):

Giulia Mauri