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Leading Silks

Gavin Kealey KC7 King’s Bench Walk 'A hugely authoritative senior silk and a superb advocate with an increasingly prominent profile in the aviation field.'
John Kimbell KCQuadrant Chambers 'Excellent advocate, clear, confident and persuasive. A team player and easy to get along with.'
Akhil Shah KCFountain Court Chambers ‘He is a very convincing advocate and has the ability to put key points across in a clear and persuasive way.'
Bankim Thanki KCFountain Court Chambers 'One of only a small number of the very top commercial silks with real expertise and experience in the aviation field. Intellectually, he stands out from the rest of the field; and his oral and written advocacy are equally outstanding.'
Nicholas Craig KC3 Verulam Buildings ‘A superb strategist with an advocacy style that exudes authority and gravitas. He is a highly effective cross examiner and very well prepared with pertinent questions that form part of a well thought through strategy.'
Marie Demetriou KCBrick Court Chambers ‘Unrivalled knowledge of the public law aspects of Aviation regulation, slots trading and insolvency matters.'
Rosalind Phelps KCFountain Court Chambers ‘She is a very convincing advocate and produces excellent advice, both on paper and in cons. Really responsive and gets to grips with the detail of a case from the outset.'
John Steel KC39 Essex ChambersJohn has a vast amount of knowledge in both aviation and planning law, which is very helpful. He provides honest advice on a range of different issues.
John Taylor KCFountain Court ChambersJohn is hugely dedicated to his craft. He carefully analyses the issues and advocates with great effect and tenacity in court. His written advice is clear and he distils complex issues. He works collaboratively with solicitors. A superb tactician.
Steven Thompson KCXXIV Old Buildings ‘Steven has a strong intellect and gives clear and robust advice. He knows the aviation field better than almost anyone else at the Bar.’
Charles Béar KC - Fountain Court ChambersHe is an impressive and forceful advocate, and a formidable opponent.
James Cutress KCFountain Court Chambers ‘He is phenomenally bright with an amazing ability to dissect extremely complicated issues and present them in a clear way which is easy to understand.'
Katherine Deal KC3 Hare Court ‘She is particularly prompt at dealing with minor queries, appreciating that they are easily dealt. Her written work is excellent, straightforward, easy to read and understand.'
Richard Wald KC39 Essex Chambers ‘Richard has a very good grasp of the details relating to aviation regulation and control. He is good on papers but excellent in court. He is measured, confident, on the point and very persuasive.’

2022 Silks

Alexander Milner KCFountain Court ChambersAlexander is outstanding in all respects and a real star. He is exceptionally bright. He gets to grips with really difficult issues very quickly and has the ability to see a way round problematic points.

Leading Juniors

Tim MarlandQuadrant Chambers ‘There is no-one at the Bar with a better all round experience of the aviation industry and aviation law.'
Matthew ReeveQuadrant Chambers ‘A superb strategic barrister with an excellent eye for detail and a complete understanding of the law in his area of expertise. An excellent advocate who is able to adjust his style for the tribunal in front of him and the different witnesses he needs to question.'
Giles RobertsonFountain Court Chambers ‘He is an intellectual powerhouse, superb on thinking up imaginative arguments, outstanding on paper, and a very talented advocate. He will go very far and is already established as a trusted adviser by the aviation litigation community.'
Koye AkoniQuadrant Chambers ‘A commanding court room presence, unflappable demeanour and a good legal mind.'
Heather MurphyXXIV Old Buildings 'Heather is a creative thinker and problem solver and is unflappable, even in the most difficult of situations. As an advocate, Heather is straight to the point, very persuasive and quick on her feet.'
Tom CoatesBlackstone ChambersTom is an immensely impressive junior. He is very responsive, very approachable and not afraid to muck in and get involved with the heavy lifting on cases.
Emma Hilliard - 7 King's Bench WalkEasy to work with and very focused on quality of advice and pleadings. A very good communicator who will fit in with the wider legal team. Emma has a very bright future.
Erin HitchensXXIV Old Buildings 'Erin is one of the most experienced aviation juniors around with a hugely-effective understated, but tough, style of advocacy.'
David Murray - Fountain Court ChambersDavid has a real eye for technical detail but without losing focus on the overall picture.
Harry Wright7 King’s Bench Walk 'Mature beyond his years, he has a good instinct for the points that matters.'
Max Archer12 King’s Bench Walk ‘He is wise and considered in his advice, strong and convincing on his advocacy and always available to discuss the case.'
Malcolm BirdlingBrick Court Chambers ‘With an encyclopedic knowledge of administrative law, Malcolm is one of the top juniors in the field. His precise and effective drafting is so powerful that cases can be won before even getting to court. A great strategic brain.’
Cleon Catsambis3 Verulam Buildings ‘he is an able barrister and his work was always of high quality.'
Elizabeth Lindesay7 King’s Bench Walk ‘Highly intelligent, very good on paper, excellent analytical skills, an excellent junior.'

Rising Stars

Niamh ClearyFountain Court Chambers ‘Niamh is an absolute ball of energy and is an extraordinarily talented barrister-a real star in the making.’ 
Paul Henton - Quadrant Chambers 'Paul is very efficient and effective in his approach. Quick turnaround times and very thorough on the detail. He gives very clear and concise advice on the complex issues which turn a case. '
Tom Stewart CoatsXXIV Old Buildings ‘A highly effective advocate, with an exceptional depth of experience and expertise in the aviation sector.'
Nicolas DamnjanovicFountain Court Chambers ‘Nick is immensely hard working, an intellectual powerhouse, a good advocate, very well organised and through in his research and application of the law and savvy procedurally and tactically.’

Aviation in London Bar

Fountain Court Chambers

Fountain Court Chambers is regarded as ‘an impressive set and a go-to for aviation’ with expertise in a range of commercial disputes including redelivery, leasing and aircraft purchase agreements. The set is also experienced in aviation claims involving disaster, catastrophic loss and damage. Akhil Shah KC acted for Goshawk in relation to leasing disputes concerning a Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Michael McLaren KC has acted for Olympic Council of Asia in a claim for damages arising from a purchase agreement for an executive jet. Bankim Thanki KC and Rosalind Phelps KC are frequently instructed by major airlines and regulators while John Taylor KC is acting for Ryanair in a Commercial Court action. Giles Robertson  focuses on civil fraud and banking matters in this space.

Testimonials

Set

‘Fountain court has a reputation for aviation work that is second to none in my opinion.’

‘Fountain Court Chambers is generally reckoned to be the leading aviation set.’

‘The set is extremely strong and justifiably has a reputation for providing a Rolls Royce service. They are my first choice for aviation work, particularly higher value cases.’

‘Brilliant set- the premier set for aviation litigation-strength in depth at all levels.’

‘Excellent. Fountain Court is the best aviation finance practice by far.’

Clerking

‘Both Alfie Harper and Fraser Linning were responsive at short notice and very helpful.’

‘Sian Huckett, Katie Szewczyk, Alfie Harper and Chloe Gibbs are very supportive, and able to respond quickly to my request for counsel’s availability often after typical working hours in London given the location of my clients around the world.’

‘Katie Szewczyk and Sian Huckett are particularly helpful and good to deal with and Chloe Gibbs and Alfie Harper also provide excellent service. All four have a good grasp of what solicitors are looking for.’

‘Clerks are fantastic. Sian Huckett is an outstanding performer.’

‘The clerking service is excellent. Sian Huckett is excellent to deal with. ‘

Work highlights

    Quadrant Chambers

    Quadrant Chambers acts for a number of flagship airlines including British Airways and Etihad Airlines in addition to being instructed in major aviation casualties. It is considered to be ‘one of the best sets and certainly the best for all round aviation capability’. John Kimbell KC handles a range of disputes from aircraft sale and leasing to fatal accidents while Matthew Reeve acts for the family of footballer Emiliano Sala, who was killed when the Piper Malibu he was travelling in to his first training session at Cardiff City FC crashed near Alderney. Koye Akoni ‘s practice focuses on contractual disputes arising in the aviation leasing context.

    Testimonials

    Set

    ‘One of the strongest sets for aviation, and certainly the one with the most rounded aviation practice and experience – they can cover it all.’

    ‘A reasonably friendly set with some very good quality barristers and a clerks room keen to accommodate our needs.’

    ‘Good set, at all levels.’

    ‘Quadrant Chambers is an excellent chambers for aviation disputes.’

    ‘Strong in aviation law.’

    Clerking

    ‘Daniel Westerman is very reliable and helpful .’

    Work highlights

      XXIV Old Buildings

      XXIV Old Buildings is a ‘great aviation and commercial litigation set’ which frequently acts for aviation lessors, airlines and manufacturers. Steven Thompson KC is well-known for handling aviation maintenance, lease, sale and purchase agreements. Arshad Ghaffar  is a popular choice for aircraft lessors, while Bajul Shah  deals primarily with disputes relating to dry leasing, mortgages and forfeiture issues. Erin Hitchens has appeared in various interim matters in the Commercial Court and Tom Stewart Coats is instructed in regulatory matters.

      Testimonials

      Set

      ‘XXIV has long been held in great regard for its aviation practice and I have always been impressed by the quality of advocates in this area.’

      ‘Good availability of high quality counsel, helpful clerks.’

      ‘Chambers are exceptionally good. There is a certainly a strength in depth when it comes to quality Counsel with expertise in aviation.’

      ‘Great aviation and commercial litigation set.’

      Clerking

      ‘Always impressed by the clerks at XXIV who are flexible and happy to help. Paul Horsfield is excellent, as is Perry Brown.’

      ‘Paul Horsfield is doing an excellent job as their senior clerk.’

      Work highlights