Aviation in France
Clyde & Co LLP
The team at Clyde & Co LLP has an established reputation as a market leader. Litigation and arbitration instructions from airlines and their insurers regarding major losses remain at the heart of the practice, but the group also assists with smaller-scale disputes. With experience in cargo, passenger and product liability claims, as well as strength in commercial transactions and regulatory work, the practice - led by Maylis Casati-Ollier - boasts an impressive track record acting for major aviation players and insurers such as Allianz, AIG, KLM and Air France. The team, which also includes Fabrice Pradon, legal director Benjamin Potier and newly promoted legal director Grégory Laville de la Plaigne, also draws on the firm's international presence, most notably working in conjunction with its counterparts in London.
Litigator Vonnick Le Guillou heads up DLA Piper's aviation practice, which is well-known for its expertise in international product liability claims. The team's recent caseload includes a long list of litigation and arbitration mandates under Le Guillou's lead, but also shows transactional strength, with a team led by corporate partner Jeremy Scemama advising China Eastern Airlines on its global joint venture with Air France-KLM and Delta Airlines and on its acquisition of 10% of the share capital of Air France-KLM. Other key lawyers are commercial contract practice head Gregory Tulquois and joint global intellectual property and technology head Stéphane Lemarchand, who advised Airbus on contractual matters relating to the appointment of Google as a preferred service provider for the company's digital workplace. The team's client list also features La Réunion Aérienne, Allianz and XL Catlin.
HMN & Partners
HMN & Partners specialises in domestic and international litigation, including product liability cases, claims arising from aircraft accidents as well as disputes regarding directors and officers liability insurance. Senior partner Simon Ndiaye is the main contact in the team and has an extensive track record in high-profile proceedings regarding aircraft disasters.
Clifford Chance has a broad aviation practice, with a team whose 'members complement each other'. The practice has a strong corporate and commercial focus, with Dessislava Savova and Fabrice Cohen forming the heart of the group, as well as a strong litigation and arbitration component alongside regulatory expertise. In a recent corporate highlight, Cohen advised Airbus on its $750m disposal of Vector Aerospace to StandardAero Aviation Holdings, while Savova acted for Airbus on the implementation of a new industrial and commercial strategy for the insourcing of key aircraft components. Thibaud d’Alès represented the Cessna Citation European Service Center in litigation against owners and managers of airplanes arising from the non-payment of repairing works. Other key contacts include Jason Fry, Simon Greenberg and Thomas Baudesson. Charles-Henri Boeringer was promoted to partner in May 2018.
The 'very reactive' team at Courrégé-Foreman 'knows how to handle technical criminal cases' and acts for a broad variety of clients, including civil aviation authorities, manufacturers, airport operators and air traffic control authorities. Founding partners Mauricia Courrégé and Simon Foreman remain the key practitioners and handle a caseload that has recently included representing engine manufacturer Safran Helicopter Engines in criminal proceedings following an engine stoppage which led to a fatal helicopter crash. Another key role included advising the director of civil aviation services in French Polynesia on a criminal investigation into a 2007 crash which resulted in 20 deaths. Paris Aéroport, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, La Réunion Aérienne and the French Civil Aviation Authority are also clients of the firm.
HFW is especially active in the litigation and regulatory sectors, with particular expertise in competition and state aid cases. The team also increasingly advises on transactional matters, especially fleet transactions. Practice head Pierre Frühling, who divides his time between Paris and Brussels, recently advised Vietnam Airlines on its joint venture with Air France, with antitrust immunity one of the main concerns, and also acted for Aeromexico on compliance with French laws regarding inadmissible passengers. A recent insurance highlight saw Frühling represent Axa Corporate Solutions following the crash of an AW-139 Agusta helicopter in Benin. Other clients include KLM, Air Tahiti Nui and Waypoint Leasing.
Kennedys joined the Paris market in 2017, having recruited a well-established team of three aviation partners from French firm BOPS Avocats - Christian Bouckaert, Nicolas Bouckaert and Aurélia Cadain. The arrival of the team has been very well received, with Cadain noted for her expertise in carrier liability, while Christian and Nicolas Bouckaert lead the aerospace product liability practice. Clients include major airlines and insurers, as well as manufacturers.
One of the most established practices on the Paris market, Soulez Larivière Avocats focuses on aviation litigation, with disputes arising from the certification, construction and operation of aircraft at the heart of the practice. The team's portfolio of expertise ranges from product liability cases and other commercial disputes to instructions regarding aircraft accidents. Founding partner Daniel Soulez Larivière remains the main practitioner. Clients include the French Civil Aviation Authority, French and international manufacturers, airlines and aircraft lessors as well as airport operators and air traffic controllers.
Squire Patton Boggs concentrates on litigation in the wake of aviation accidents, a key expertise of practice head Carole Sportes who also has significant experience in product liability litigation. Other areas of strength for the firm include cargo and passenger claims, as well as commercial disputes, such as conflicts with travel agents or suppliers. Air carriers and international insurers feature on the firm's client roster.