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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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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Overview clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Questions over Brexit continue to dominate transport practices, with the aviation sector particularly cautious about the years of transition that lie ahead.  Currently, UK passenger numbers remain high and the sector has seen growth over several years, however the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU has means that caution surrounds the future of the market.  In contrast, the UK Government has now approved the much debated third runway at Heathrow, which has been viewed as a signal of the UK’s commitment to global connectivity.

As the demand for rail travel increases in the UK, firms remain busy, advising on rail projects and benefitting from further investment in the sector and HS2 continues to provide a raft of instructions. As passenger numbers grow, the emphasis on the future plans for the digitalisation of the rail sector has increased. It is promised that this transformation will cut delays and ensure a more efficient service for passengers. International and global infrastructure projects are also a key area for several London practices, with clients benefitting from firm’s cross-border capabilities.

The shipping market has remained subdued for several years since the economic downturn with fewer transactions and less litigation, however there is cautious optimism. Charter rates have increased, and this has sparked some interest in shipbuilding as prices remain low. Internationally, the rate of ship losses has decreased, however Asia is bucking this trend with an increase in losses over the past year prompting many firms to bolster Asian practices and expertise. Sanctions remain a key area of expertise for many firms, and there has been an increase in mandates relating to anti-bribery laws and cyber risks in the sector.

The impact of Brexit is yet to be seen for commercial and regulatory work in the travel sector. Many firms report an increase in regulatory, competition and commercial work because of this uncertainty. Firms handling travel related claims remain busy and the prevalence of false gastric illness claims remain a key concern for insurer clients. Claims involving flight delays and cancellations are widespread and firms continue to handle a variety of complex international personal injury claims.


Index of tables

  1. Aviation
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Aviation clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The ’exceptional’ team at Clyde & Co LLP is commended for its ability to ‘understand the client’s perspective.’ It stands out for its expertise in insured liability claims for airlines, and also handles a range of regulatory, corporate and commercial work in the sector. AIG, Allianz, Chubb, XL Catlin, Global Aerospace and Emirates Airlines are clients. Alex Stovold is advising Tokio Marine Kiln on the loss of an aircraft, which crashed before landing in Medellín, Colombia and was carrying the Brazilian Chapecoense football team, and resulted in the deaths of 64 passengers. Robert Lawson QC and legal director Thomas van de Wijngaart are acting for British Airways on its acquisition of the entire portfolio of landing and take-off slots at London Gatwick Airport held by Monarch Airlines. Mark Bisset provided regulatory advice in relation to the investment in VistaJet by Rhône Capital. Key figures in the ‘brilliant’ team include Philip Bass, who has a ‘wealth of knowledge’; the ‘fantastic’ Maria Cetta; the highly regarded Catherine West; consultant David Willcox, who has the ‘most incredible memory and always digs very deep before offering an opinion or solution’; the ‘very approachable and tactical’ Craig Rooney; Robert Ireland; the 'very able' John Samiotis; and the ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Gareth Lewis. Austin Barham specialises in aviation personal injury, and Simon Potter is experienced in major catastrophe work. Patrick Slomski is regularly instructed by airlines. Legal director Adam Baker handles a range of aviation-related claims and consultant Joseph Goodridge is ‘very user-friendly’. Senior legal manager Louise High is also noted, as are senior associates Andrew Krausz and Elizabeth Lambert-James.

The ‘outstanding’ team at HFW is commended for its ‘in-depth knowledge’ and for its ‘vast experience’. It handles aviation liability, litigation and dispute resolution matters, as well as regulatory, transactional and commercial mandates. Global aerospace head Giles Kavanagh advising Artus on multiple sets of proceedings in France and the US brought by more than 200 relatives of victims of a major aviation accident involving an AirAsia aircraft in 2014. Edward Spencer continues to advise the organisers of the 2015 Shoreham Air Show on the loss of a vintage Hawker Hunter military jet, which fatally injured 11 people on the ground; and continues to act for Swiftair, on the total loss of one of its MD-83 medium-range airliners in July 2014, in which 116 people were killed. Nicholas Hughes advises Inter Hannover, AEGIS and other aviation war risks insurers on significant damage caused at Tripoli International Airport in 2014. The team also acts for numerous airlines on claims for flight delays and cancellations. AIG, MS Amlin, Global Aerospace, Chubb, Allianz, Cathay Pacific Airlines, Rolls Royce and BAE Systems are also clients. Consultant Sue Barham and Zohar Zik are also key figures in the team, as are senior associates Barbara Pansadoro and Mark Waters.  Christopher Smith has joined The Air Law Firm LLP.

DLA Piper’s aviation expertise spans litigation and dispute resolution, regulatory, commercial, competition, employment, IP, accidents, insurance and employment matters. Mark Franklin continues to represent Honeywell in a product liability dispute concerning property damage caused by fire on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft at London Heathrow airport; is advising Airbus Helicopters and its insurers on the worldwide grounding of the H225 Super Puma fleet; and is representing Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality, as lead insurer, in relation to liabilities arising out of the terrorist attack at Brussels Airport in March 2016. Kathryn Ward is representing ground handler PT JAS and its insurers in relation to a runway collision in 2016. Leon Taylor handles insurance and reinsurance litigation and has particular experience in international coverage disputes. Alexandra Kamerling is active on EU and UK competition law matters. Senior associates Shereena Rai and Sophie Brophy are also noted. Franklin and Tony Payne lead the department.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is involved in corporate, tax, competition, regulatory, planning, IP, trade projects and disputes in the aviation sector. Key mandates include advising Virgin Group and Virgin Atlantic on the proposed sale of a 31% stake in Virgin Atlantic to Air France-KLM, and on the the creation of an expanded transatlantic joint venture between Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM. It is also advising the same client on regulatory and competition law issues arising from the joint venture with Delta Air Lines in relation to routes between the UK, US, Canada and Mexico. TAG Farnborough Airport, Heathrow Airport Holdings, Thomson Airways, Gatwick Airport and UK Civil Aviation Authority are clients. Kim Dietzel, who is experienced in advising on competition law and regulatory issues in the sector, heads the team with corporate partner Robert Moore. Gregg Rowan handles aviation disputes and Gavin Williams regularly advises on corporate matters. Of counsel Suzy Campbell is also noted.

Gordon Dadds LLP’s multi-disciplinary offering is active across corporate, commercial, employment, litigation and property mandates in the aviation sector. It is noted for its experience in the private and business aviation sector and also handles matters in relation to pilot training. Richard Elliott  leads the aviation group.

Ince’s ‘solid, approachable and personable’ team provides ‘good response times’ and is praised for the ‘technical quality of its advice.’ It regularly handles major disputes, insurance, regulatory work, commercial and competition matters, and also houses a specialist aviation employment practice. Global head of aviation Gillie Belsham is a ‘massively experienced commercial litigator who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the industry and hugely respected’ and advised on a dispute involving a fire on an aircraft while it was parked at London Heathrow Airport. The team is noted for its strong Middle East practice and travel head Anna Anatolitou advises Emirates on a range of regulatory matters, and advises flydubai on commercial and regulatory matters. The team is also instructed by numerous airlines on uninsured UK passenger claims, particularly in relation to boarding, flight delays, and cancellations. Global Aerospace, Sri Lankan Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Vueling and Bristow Helicopters are clients. Managing associate Solange Leandro leads on competition work and Rebecca Thornley-Gibson handles employment matters for aviation-sector clients. Annabel Williamson is also a key member of the team, as is senior associate Ben Bright-Wood, who both recently joined from Clyde & Co LLP.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s aviation expertise spans a range of competition, regulatory, insurance, planning, commercial work and dispute resolution mandates. Corporate partner Chris Randall and antitrust and competition partner Ian Giles advised Delta Air Lines on its investment and partnership with Air France-KLM Group. Simon Chamberlain handles regulatory and commercial matters and advised Flyadeal on commercial contracts; and Robin Springthorpe is advising a UK airport on the effect on flying rights of a no-deal Brexit. The team also advises a number of airlines on EC261 passenger claims. British Airways, Wizz Air, and Virgin Atlantic are also clients. Consultant Tim Ingham and senior associate Annabelle Wheeler, who is based across the London and Munich offices, are also key figures. Duncan Batchelor heads the aviation team and Patrick Farrell  leads the contentious aviation practice, which also features Charlotte Winter.

Stephenson Harwood has an ‘impressive team’ which is praised for the ‘depth of its knowledge and the speed with which it is imparted’; it is a ‘stand-out firm for commercial aviation disputes and regulatory problems.’ The team represented Ryanair on a €70m contractual dispute with Hertz Europe and also acted for Ryanair in a regulatory dispute with the UK's air traffic services provider, NATS. Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company, Jordan Aviation, AirAsia and American Airlines are also clients. Aviation litigator Paul Phillips heads the team and is ‘meticulous in his preparation and leaves no stone unturned’.Senior associate Chloe Challinor is praised for her ‘in-depth knowledge’ and her ‘no-nonsense attitude’; and is noted for aviation disputes. Associate Johnny Champion  has an 'exceptional ability to understand and marshal complex technical detail.’ Richard Parsons is global head of aviation.

Bird & Bird LLP is active across regulatory matters, commercial work, disputes and transactions in the aviation space. Highlights include advising V&M Aviation and Vistajet in a claim for breach of contract against Air X Charter; advising Hitit Computer Services on its bid for a potential software agreement with Philippines Airlines. Air Asia, easyJet, Virgin Atlantic and Westminster Group are also clients. Department head Paul Briggs handles commercial matters; Sophie Eyre heads the aviation disputes team; and of counsel Simon Phippard is active across commercial, contentious, insurance and regulatory issues. Commercial head Ronald Hendrikx and international outsourcing group head Mark Leach are also key figures, as are associate Lucinda Richmond-Wigg, who handles competition and regulatory matters, and senior associate Lucy England, who handles commercial matters.

The ‘very professional’ team at Dentons is noted for its aircraft finance and leasing expertise, however it is also active across TMT, competition, corporate, data protection, employment and dispute resolution work in the aviation sector. Headline work includes advising easyJet on the competition and corporate aspects of its expression of interest in acquiring Alitalia assets; and advising Bugesera Airport Company, a joint venture between the Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construҫao Africa and Aviation Travel and Logistics Holdings, on the development of a $418m international airport in Rwanda, known as the Bugesera International Airport. It also advises Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays across a range of privacy, advertising and marketing matters. Global aviation head Nick Chandler is the key contact.

Hill Dickinson LLP’s aviation and aerospace department is active across commercial, competition, insurance and risk management matters, and also handles complex disputes. Thomas Cook Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways, European Regions Airline Association and Eurojet are clients. Consultant Saleema Brohi handles aviation insurance and disputes and associate Lucy Schofield handles regulatory matters. Consultant Neil McGilchrist, who is experienced in aviation insurance, is also a key figure. Alastair Long has joined HFW and Joanna Kolatsis left to establish her own legal consultancy business.

Hogan Lovells International LLP is best known for its ‘excellent’ airports practice, which handles regulatory , disputes, planning and competition, issues, as well as infrastructure, projects, developments and acquisitions in the sector. It advised TAV airports and Aéroports de Paris on the project financing of an airport new terminal and runway at Tbilisi International Airport in Georgia. Regional Airports is also a client. Counsel Charles Ford, who is noted for his experience in infrastructure matters, heads the team with finance partner Andrew Gallagher.

While Holland & Knight (UK) LLP is well-known for its aviation finance expertise, it also handles disputes, commercial and regulatory matters.  Senior counsel Tim Murray is an ‘absolutely excellent aviation lawyer with vast experience and expertise’; he is ‘highly intelligent and has a huge body of knowledge about the aviation industry’. Gwyn O’Flynn is noted for transactional matters and London office head Robert Ricketts are also key figures. Ian Clark has retired.

The ‘brilliant’ team at Kennedys is noted for its aviation insurance work, and its experience across contentious, regulatory and transactional mandates. Aviation head Simon Balls is representing Bhoja Air in relation to all issues arising from the crash of Bhoja Air Flight 213 in 2012, when all 121 passengers and 6 crew members aboard were killed. Mark Welbourn continues to act for British Airways and AIG on claims arising from the fire and evacuation of flight BA 2276 at Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport in 2015. Alexandra Rodina is representing Tatarstan Airlines, and XL-Catlin as lead reinsurer, on all liability claims regarding Tatarstan Airlines Flight 363, which was a scheduled domestic passenger flight which crashed at Kazan International Airport in 2013, killing all 44 passengers and 6 crew members. Etihad Airways, Ryanair, AIG, Aer Lingus and Aviation Logistics Network are clients. Recently promoted partner Noelia Mann; Roger Whipp, who heads the commercial aviation team; senior associate Sam Mason; and Daniel Turner, who leads the aviation insurance team, are also recommended.

Slaughter and May is active across disputes, regulatory and real estate instructions in the aviation sector. It is representing British Airways in multi-party litigation relating to the European Commission’s investigation into alleged cartel activity in respect of air freight services involving a number of airlines. It advised Rolls-Royce in relation to a criminal investigation conducted by the SFO into allegations of bribery and corruption at Rolls-Royce and Rolls-Royce Energy Systems. Efstathios Michael handles international litigation and arbitration, while Bertrand Louveaux, who is based across the London and Brussels offices, advises on merger control and competition matters.

Addleshaw Goddard’s multi-disciplinary team is best known for its aviation finance and leasing expertise, and is also active on regulatory matters and disputes in the sector. It regularly acts for airlines such as British Airways, Latam Airlines, Vueling and flydubai. Consultant Rory MacCarthy and Rebecca Garner are the key figures within the team.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP regularly acts for airports, airlines and aviation support businesses, on disputes, regulatory matters, compliance, HR, M&A and infrastructure projects. The team advised Boeing UK on the acquisition of a new development site at Sheffield Business Park and advises Turkish Airlines on passenger claims in the UK and to co-ordinates passenger claims worldwide. Manchester Airport Group and Heathrow Airport are also clients. Birmingham-based Richard Prowse, Matthew Taylor in Manchester and employment specialist Tom Bray in Cardiff lead the team.

Gowling WLG is instructed by airlines, aircraft component manufacturers and airports across competition, dispute resolution, IP, outsourcing, employment and pensions matters. It advised Flybe on the procurement of its passenger service systems; represented Cathay Pacific Airways on an employment dispute; and continues to represent Thai Airways proceedings brought by British Airways in the UK Air Cargo litigation. Of counsel Clark Sargent in Birmingham leads the aerospace, aviation and defence practice and Bernardine Adkins heads the EU, trade and competition practice. Principal associate James Barr and Sally Mewies, who are also based in Birmingham, are also recommended, as is IP litigator Gordon Harris.

Keystone Law is active across a range of aviation sector matters, such as liabilities, claims and contentious work, as well as commercial and regulatory matters. Surf Air Europe, Genesis Aerotech, Flybe, Virgin Atlantic, Nimbus Aviation and Transatlantic Aviation are clients for the team where recommended individuals include Trevor Sears, who is experienced in insolvency and dispute resolution; barrister Hugh O’Donovan, who has ‘in-depth experience’; Simon Murfitt and litigator Alex Ferrari.

The Air Law Firm LLP is ‘reliable, user-friendly and consistently provides an excellent service’ and is active across dispute resolution and aviation regulatory work.  It defends a number of international scheduled carriers on claims arising from flight delays and cancellations. Litigation and regulatory head John Korzeniowski is a ‘very approachable partner with enormous knowledge and experience of aviation litigation’. Senior associate Christopher Smith, who recently joined from HFW, is ‘brilliant’ and is noted for regulatory matters. Aoife O’Sullivan heads the aviation finance practice and Diego Garrigues is also a key figure.

Winston & Strawn London LLP is best known for its experience in advising on aviation transactional and finance matters. It is also active on regulatory, environmental, tax, fleet management and infrastructure mandates. Christopher Boresjo and Mark Moody lead the department, and associate Rishi Raheja is also a key member of the team.

asb law LLP regularly acts for the London aviation insurance market on accident or incidents dealing with resulting passenger, third party and product liability claims. The team is instructed by the insurer of an AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter which crashed into the sea off the coast of Brazil in 2011 killing two crew and two passengers. Travelers Insurance Company, Air Charter Service and VAS Aero Services are clients. Alina Nosek heads the team, while consultants Tim Brymer and Saleema Brohi are also key figures. Daniel James is the main contact.

Stevens & Bolton LLP is regularly instructed on dispute resolution and transactional matters in the aviation sector. It represents an aircraft management company on a dispute over the management and maintenance of a corporate jet and represents an aircraft management company in relation to a dispute over an aircraft. Royal Aero, Bellinger Asset Management, Eastern Airways and Emirates are clients. Litigator Richard Mumford heads the team.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s multi-disciplinary practice handles disputes, fraud, commercial property, banking and finance matters in the aerospace sector. TAG Farnborough Airport, Oman Airports Management Company, Etihad Airways and Gerald's Airport, Montserrat are clients. Exeter-based Kathryn Insall heads the aviation litigation team and has a ‘high-level of practical aviation experience’.


Index of tables

  1. Rail
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Rail clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘strong’ department is regularly instructed on complex rail sector transactions and in is noted for its infrastructure, concessions and rolling stock expertise. Department head Jonathan Bevan and Tim Conduit advised the lenders on Angel Trains Group’s £835m of new funding to refinance the procurement of 665 Bombardier Aventra vehicles that will be leased to Abellio Greater Anglia franchise from 2019. Bevan also advised lenders Crédit Agricole Corporate Investment Bank and ING Bank on Beacon Rail Leasing’s acquisition of a fleet of Bombardier Class 220 and Class 221 Voyager diesel-electric multiple units from subsidiaries of Lloyds Bank and RBS. Head of global infrastructure David Lee and Sara Pickersgill advised InfraRed, Equitix and the National Pension Service of Korea on its £3bn acquisition of 100% of the High Speed 1 group from pension funds OMERS infrastructure and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP). Pickersgill also advised JPM Infra its acquisition of Beacon Rail Lux Holdings (Beacon), the holding company of the Beacon Rail group, from Pamplona Capital Management. Global head of structured and asset finance Mario Jacovides, Conrad Andersen and Richard Evans are also key figures.

Ashurst has ‘outstanding knowledge of the industry’, ‘strong business acumen’ and is praised for its ‘personable and professional’ approach. It handles high-profile rail deals both in the UK and internationally. Global co-head of transport Mark Elsey advises Crossrail Ltd on a number of key areas including depot construction and access property rights, overstation developments and management of the contract with Bombardier to build 66 new state-of-the-art trains. Terence Van Poortvliet advised National Express Group on the £72.6m acquisition of National Express' subsidiary, c2c, by new entrant Trenitalia UK; and advised the funders to Deutsche Asset Management and Infracapital on the funding of the new rolling stock for the West Midlands procurements.  Naomi Horton is ‘one of the best rolling stock specialists in the market’ and advised Virgin, Stagecoach and WCTL in relation to its successful bid for and subsequent Direct Award of the extension of the West Coast franchise with DfT; and advised the joint venture of Keolis and Amey on its bid to the Welsh Government to appoint an Operator and Development Partner (ODP) to undertake the operation of the Wales and Borders franchise, and the design and management and operation of the South Wales Metro. Recently promoted partner Jonathan Turner is a ‘rising star, incredibly intelligent and fast to the key points’. Senior associate Stuart Cottis is also noted.

Burges Salmon LLP’s ‘outstanding’ rail department is active across regulatory, franchising and procurement work, in addition to major infrastructure and rolling stock projects. The ‘pragmatic and knowledgeable’  Brioney Thomas heads the rail practice and advised Abellio on its successful bid for the West Midlands rail franchise as part of West Midlands Trains, a JV that includes JRE and Mitsui. Thomas also advised West Midlands Trains on its successful bid for the West Midlands franchise. Thomas acted alongside rail infrastructure head Philip Beer for Transport for Wales and the Welsh government on the award of new rail franchise for Wales and the Borders. Head of rail franchising Simon Coppen advised FirstGroup on First MTR South Western Trains’ successful bid for the South Western franchise; he also advised on the procurement of a fleet of new trains to support First MTR South Western Trains’ successful bid for the South West passenger rail franchise, and is advising First Rail Holdings on its West Coast franchise bid submission. Other key figures include rail health and safety head Ann Metherall, Keith Beattie, Ian Tucker, Rachael Ruane  and transport head Chris Jackson. Legal director Chris Simms joined in 2017 from Abellio UK. Legal director Edward Barratt was recently promoted.

Clifford Chance LLP’s multi-disciplinary practice is noted for its ‘deep’ experience in rail sector mandates. It regularly handles high-profile rail projects and acts for rail infrastructure bodies, rail sector financiers, manufacturers and rail operators; TfL, Network Rail, Rock Rail, RBS, SMBC, CDPQ and Hermes Infrastructure are clients. Infrastructure partner Michael Pearson; EU and UK competition law specialist Nelson Jung; consultant Gavin Teague; Ranbir Hunjan, who specialises in asset finance, leasing and banking; corporate partner Amy Mahon; antitrust practice head Alex Nourry; and senior associate Dominic Watts are key figures. Paul Carrington heads the rail group.

Dentons has ‘great industry knowledge’ and provides ‘very practical advice’ across infrastructure development and operation light rail and trams, franchises and concessions, operations, regulation, competition, rolling stock procurement and maintenance, finance, technology, environment, safety and disputes across the rail sector; it is ‘always fully up to speed with industry changes’. Rail head Matthew Hanslip Ward is advising MTR on its joint venture bid for the West Coast Partnership (WCP) with Guangshen Railway Corporation; advised MTR on its bid for the new Wales and Borders franchise; is advising Alstom on a proposed joint venture arrangement with Stagecoach Group in relation to Stagecoach's bid for the South Eastern franchise; and continued to advise MTR on the £1.4bn concession to operate Crossrail. Christopher McGee-Osborne is advising Virgin and Stagecoach on issues relating to the East Coast Main Line passenger rail franchise. David Moore advised the Rail Delivery Group on its review of the current franchise agreement template and proposed amendments from various industry stakeholders and advised it on developments to the rail industry alliancing framework agreement. Real estate head Virginia Glastonbury, counsel Martin Watt and senior associate Jonathan Smith, who ‘impresses with his response times’ and is ‘always right in the detail of the issue’, are also recommended.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s multi-disciplinary rail team is active on the procurement, leasing and financing of rolling stock, rail regulation, rail and infrastructure projects, concession and franchise agreements, procurement and competition law. It is also particularly noted for its parliamentary infrastructure consenting and implementation expertise. DfT is a key client. Rail head Mark Brunton, Birmingham-based Anne Harris, Stephen Collings, Agnes Koko, parliamentary agent Monica Peto, planning partner James O’Connor and senior parliamentary clerk Darren White are stand-out members of the department.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘highly responsive’ team is experienced across a range of high-profile rail projects. Franchising, rolling stock, real estate and rail-related disputes are key areas of expertise. The team continues to advise HS2 Ltd on the core elements of Phase 1 of the project, which includes the procurement of the construction of the high-speed railway infrastructure and the procurement of rolling stock. It is also instructed by Stagecoach and Virgin Trains to advise their respective franchise operators in connection with the smart ticketing on national rail (STNR) project. Adrian Clough is ‘valued for his fantastic experience in the sector’ and for his ‘ability to get to the heart of things quickly’. Other key figures include competition and regulatory specialist Tim Briggs; disputes partner David Nitek; of counsel John Williams, who ‘knows everything there is to know about rail franchising’; and senior associate Tom Marshall. Global infrastructure head Patrick Mitchell leads the team.

Linklaters LLP handles a range of rail sector corporate, finance, real estate and regulatory matters for sponsors, lenders, rolling stock companies and government clients. Headline work includes advising the lenders on the $2.73bn project financing of the $4bn construction of the Nacala Corridor Rail and Port project in Mozambique and Malawi; and advising the lenders to the bidders on the £3bn acquisition of HS1 for a joint venture managed by InfraRed Capital Partners.  Fiona Hobbs and Charlotte Morgan lead the team, while Stuart Rowson, Ian Andrews, consultant partner Bruce White, and Jessamy Gallagher are also noted.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s 'knowledgeable' multi-disciplinary team is active across a range of rail sector mandates including franchising and concessions, rolling stock, projects and infrastructure, planning, finance, environmental law, health and safety; IP, technology, competition, tax, dispute resolution, regulation, real estate and construction. It advised The Go-Ahead Group on the successful issuance of a seven year £250m guaranteed bond; and advised Eversholt on its bid to finance new rolling stock for Arriva in connection with its bid to operate the Wales and Borders franchise. Internationally, the London team is assisting colleagues in Canada in advising the City of Ottawa on the Stage 2 Light Rail Transit Project. The ‘experienced’ Tom Johnson leads the team, which includes Donald Warnock, who is experienced in infrastructure projects; the ‘brilliant’ Andrew Buisson; of counsel Louise Auty, who handles rail sector finance matters; and senior associate Andrew Williams.

Stephenson Harwood’s ‘experienced’ department is active across franchising, rolling stock and infrastructure mandates and is noted for its experience in high-profile rail projects. The team continues to advise Abellio East Anglia Franchise on the implementation of its franchise agreement commitments and related strategic issues; is advising CAF on the manufacture and supply of rolling stock to the Caledonian Sleeper Franchise, the Northern Rail franchise, the TransPennine Express franchise and the West Midlands franchise; and advises TfL and Rail for London (Infrastructure) on a range of matters relating to Crossrail. The team also advised Lloyds Bank and RBS on the sale of a fleet of passenger train rolling stock to Beacon Rail Leasing. Trenitalia c2c, Corelink Rail Infrastructure and Arriva UK Trains are also clients. The firm is noted for its asset finance expertise, and the ‘exceptional’ Tammy Samuel is experienced in franchising and concessions work. Other key figures include Suzanne Tarplee, who is active across franchising, rolling stock and rail regulation; asset finance specialist Lisa Marks; projects partner Graeme Barton; senior associate Darren Fodey; and disputes partners Paul Thwaite and Ron Nobbs.

Addleshaw Goddard’s ‘strong’ rail team is experienced across a range of franchising, rolling stock and infrastructure matters. It is advising the DfT on a range of matters including;the new rail franchise which will combine the current InterCity West Coast services with the development and introduction of High Speed 2 services;  and on the West Midlands franchise competition. It also advised London Luton Airport Ltd on the development of a mass passenger transit system between Luton Airport Parkway railway station and the airport terminal, advised CAF on manufacturing, supply and maintenance support for the provision for a fleet of new-build diesel multiple units ordered by Abellio, in connection with its successful tender to run the West Midlands franchise, and advised Arriva Trains Wales in relation to the leasing of a fleet of Class 769 units from Porterbrook. Rolling stock specialist Clive Smith recently joined from Osborne Clarke LLP and Manchester-based projects partner Ursula Gould recently joined the team from Shoosmiths LLP. Jacqui Langley-White is also recommended, as are legal director Sara Gilmore, who is based in Leeds, and managing associate William Smith. Leeds-based Paul Hirst leads the transport team.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is praised for its ‘thoughtful and practical’ advice, which is ‘informed by industry expertise’. It is particularly noted for its experience in rolling stock financing and leasing, and is also active across competition, real estate, infrastructure projects and disputes in the rail sector. The team advised Beacon Rail on its acquisition, from Pamplona Capital Management (PCM), by a fund managed by JP Morgan Asset Management; advised Beacon Rail on the whole business refinancing of the Beacon Rail group; and advised Angel Trains on the re-leasing of fleets of trains operated under various franchises. The team also advises TfL on the series of property partnerships to develop land around stations. Jamie Wiseman-Clarke regularly handles rail-related transactions; James Marshall is ‘pro-active and engaged with an unassumingly effective style’ and is experienced in competition law; associate director Euan McIntosh handles finance matters; and Jason Chamberlain, who recently joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, is noted for his experience in railway infrastructure projects and has ‘an excellent eye for detail’. Russell Clifford heads the asset finance and rail industry group.

CMS is noted for its expertise in UK and international infrastructure projects and is particularly experienced across rolling stock funding and procurement, planning and disputes. It is also noted for its light rail expertise. The team advised the funder groups on the £1bn financing of the manufacture and leasing of the new rolling stock for the South Western Railways inner suburban franchise; and continues to advise Tramlink Nottingham on issues arising from the construction and operation of the Nottingham Tram NET Phase 2 project. Key figures include Bill Carr, who handles rolling stock procurement and maintenance arrangements; Glasgow-based Eleanor Lane, who specialises in transport and infrastructure projects; and consultant Jonathan Beckitt, who is experienced in major rail projects. Robert Gray, Andrew Ivison and Jonathan Dames handle project finance transactions. Planning partner Stephen McNaught is also noted.

DLA Piper acts for private and public sector clients on a range of matters including rolling stock procurements, franchising, operational matters and infrastructure projects. The team continues to advise HS2 Ltd on the planning and real estate aspects of HS2; is advising Merseytravel on the legal and commercial aspects of a multimillion pound investment in fleet and depot improvements; and is advising Abellio East Anglia on property issues relating to its station and franchise portfolio. It is also advising the DfT on a range of matters including the East Anglia rail franchise, the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project and Crossrail. Agility Trains, Hitachi Rail Europe and ABC Electrification are also clients. Colin Wilson and Robert Smith head the team, which includes Sharon Fitzgerald, legal director Parwana Zahib-Majed, and senior associates Carla Hancock and Rachel Crosier.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s multidisciplinary department has ‘great rail sector experience’ and advises on a range of UK and international rail projects. Headline work includes advising the Hellenic Republic on the restructuring of its railway sector; advising the lenders on on-going matters in connection with the Nottingham Express Transit Phase 2 PFI Project; and advising the DfT on its Intercity Express Programme (IEP). Andrew Briggs handles PPP and infrastructure projects; counsel Charles Ford is ‘first-rate’; Nick Roberts is experienced in the development of new stations and depots; Andrew Gallagher acts for lenders, sponsors and borrowers on rail projects; and Simon Gwynne, who is noted for UK rolling stock and rail depot matters, heads the team.

The ‘highly-regarded’ team at Osborne Clarke LLP is based across its London and Bristol offices and is experienced across rail franchising, concessions and rolling stock, and is also noted for its experience in procurement challenges, as well as railway pensions advice. It acted for Cross Country Trains on the direct award of the Cross Country rail franchise and the subsequent implementation; is advising the Rail Delivery Group to design and implement fares and ticketing simplifications; and is advising Eurostar on employment matters. Eversholt Rail Group, Ricardo Rail and Arriva are also clients. Marc Shrimpling handles competition, procurement and state aid issues; commercial disputes partner Charlie Wedin; corporate partner Simon Smith; Alistair Curzon; associate director Jeremy Godley; and senior associate Craig McCarthy are key members of the team, which is led by Lara Burch. Senior associate Keir Pimblett recently joined from Dentons. Clive Smith has joined Addleshaw Goddard .

The ‘first-rate’ team at Pinsent Masons LLP is noted for its experience in infrastructure projects and it regularly handles rail projects in the UK and overseas. PPP and PFI specialist Jon Hart; Robbie Owen , who heads the infrastructure planning and government affairs team; Anne-Marie Friel and Francis Tyrrell are key figures.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP ‘excels’ across the promotion, planning and statutory authorisation of complex rail projects. Its expertise includes compulsory purchase, real estate, planning and environmental issues. Among the team; Hazel Anderson specialises in infrastructure planning; Alison Gorlov has ‘extensive experience’; Simon Livesey is experienced in property matters; senior associate Jane Wakeham regularly advises on authorisation of railway schemes; and senior associate Alex Dillistone is also recommended. Paul Irving leads the department.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP  is a ‘very knowledgeable and experienced team which responds quickly’ and is praised for its ‘pro-active and reactive’ relationship with its clients. It is experienced in the procurement of rolling stock and rolling stock contracts, rail franchising and IT matters, and is also noted for its light rail expertise. Notable work includes advising Govia on its bids for the South Eastern franchise, and for the West Midlands franchise, which included advising on rolling stock procurement. Advising Abellio on the new rolling stock aspects of its bid for the Wales and Borders franchise, and advising Arriva on the new rolling stock aspects of its bid for the Wales and Borders franchise were also key highlights, as was advising Transdev in relation to its bid to operate and maintain the Luas light rail system in Dublin. Transport, logistics and infrastructure head David Rewcastle’s ‘ability to know all aspects of rail arrangements is staggering’; rolling stock and infrastructure expert Paul Coleman has ‘very good business and commercial sense’ and franchising specialist Kevin Bell’s ‘attention to detail, personal commitment and positive approach to relationship management makes dealings easy productive and relevant’. Managing associates Will Bonas and David Millard is also recommended.

Bircham Dyson Bell’s team is instructed on the planning and authorisation of rail projects, and has several parliamentary agents to advise on the promotion and opposition of railway bills. It is advising TfL on the authorisation Crossrail 2, which includes matters regarding environmental assessment and public consultation; advised TfL in obtaining the necessary consents to build and operate the extension of the London Overground network to Barking Riverside; and is advising TfL on the extension to the Bakerloo Line and the Holborn station upgrade. The team is also advising Transport for Wales on its ownership and the operation of the Core Valley Lines to be converted into a light rail operation. It also advises a wide range of parties affected by HS2 Phase Two. Nick Evans advises on the authorisation of major economic infrastructure projects and Sarah Clark specialises in infrastructure planning. Tom Henderson and Mark Challis are also recommended. Angus Walker heads the team.

Simmons & Simmons is noted for its experience in advising on UK and international rail projects. Railway PPPs, M&A, freight railway projects, operation and maintenance arrangements, property arrangements, track access and railway regulation are key areas of expertise. The team is advising Momentum Infrastructure is on its bid for work on HS2. Real estate partner Matthew Hooton and projects partner Andrew Petry are key members of the team, which is led by Juliet Reingold. Rob Horne has joined Osborne Clarke LLP.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s rail team is ‘responsive and has a good level of knowledge’ and it handles a range of finance, restructuring, leasing, corporate, commercial, rail franchising, concessions, and regulatory matters. Nigel Taylor handles UK and international rail projects and is advising Consolidated Minerals and Metals Solutions on a memorandum of understanding for a potential pit-to-port railway upgrade or new railway in West Africa, with Jan Mellmann. Rex Rosales is global transport head and asset finance expert Louise Mor, who has significant experience in the rail sector, recently joined from White & Case LLP.

White & Case LLP regularly involved in the procurement and development of rail infrastructure projects, and is also experienced in matters such as the supply of rolling stock, concessions and franchising, M&A, regulatory matters and dispute resolution in the sector. It is regularly instructed in international projects and the team is advising the FAST Consortium on the design, development and construction of various lines of the Riyadh Metro project. It also advised Vale and Mitsui & Co on the development and financing of the Nacala Corridor Railway and Port Project. Among the multidisciplinary offering; Phillip Capper handles rail sector disputes; Ellis Baker heads the construction and engineering team; Caroline Miller Smith is experienced in concession and project finance matters; and Daniel Garton is also noted. Mark Castillo-Bernaus heads the team. Louise Mor has joined Watson Farley & Williams LLP .

Fieldfisher’s expertise spans franchising, rolling stock procurement and leasing, smart ticketing, technology, data protection, employment and pensions mandates. It is advising the DfT on the Greater Western Change Project which examines the impact of electrification programme delays and advised Go Ahead on the extension of its smart ticketing product. Technology and outsourcing partner John Worthy; John Cassels, who handles procurement regulatory, state aid and competition matters; corporate and commercial partner Nicholas Thompsell; IT expert Sam Jardine; construction partner Cecily Davis; Ranjit Dhindsa, who handles employment matters; consultant Sarah Keir; and pensions head David Gallagher; are key contacts in the cross-practice team.

Gowling WLG is regularly instructed on station developments and upgrades, overstation and over track developments, freight operator support, commercial contracts, and employment and pensions work. It continues to advise the London Borough of Barnet on the closure of existing rail freight facilities, and on the delivery of a new rail freight facility and new station, as part of the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration scheme. It is also advising Crossrail and TfL on a proposed over-site development at Liverpool Street in London and is advising Transport for London and London Underground Limited on the redevelopment of South Kensington station. Richard Green handles non-contentious construction work and is experienced in new station developments; director Dominic Richardson specialises in transport projects; consultant Michael Whitehouse is experienced across UK and international rail projects; and of counsel Michael Hallowell is experienced in station development work. Giles Clifford heads the group.

Specialist rail firm Hollingworth Bissell is active across a range of rail sector mandates. Sara Hollingworth and Helen Bissell are the key contacts.

K&L Gates LLP is regularly instructed on major UK and international rail projects. It is particularly experienced in matters involving light rail metro and mass transit systems and it is advising MRT Corp on the construction of a third line for the Klang Valley MRT project in Malaysia. The team also advises Hitachi Rail Europe on multiple depot works contracts across the UK. Matthew Smith is joint head of the firm's global construction and engineering group.

Kennedys is the ‘pre-eminent firm for rail-related health and safety matters and rail industry commercial disputes’. It is experienced in regulatory defence work and regularly handles employment matters in the rail industry. Richard Crockford ‘combines excellent legal knowledge, with an in-depth practical knowledge of how the railway industry operates’ and heads the transport rail health and safety group which also includes senior associate Susan Cha, who is ‘industrious and experienced’. On the employment side, Matthew Leake represents Virgin Trains East Coast across a number of sensitive industrial relations issues and Fiona Morgan led advice for the outgoing franchisee of South Wrest Trains Rail franchise, Stagecoach South Western Trains on employment issues arising from the franchise change which took effect in July 2017.

Shoosmiths LLP is regularly instructed by a range of rolling stock manufacturers, leasing companies and operators on matters including rolling stock procurement, ticketing, manufacture, supply, real estate, franchising, and health and safety issues. Porterbrook Leasing Company, East Midlands Trains and South West Trains are clients. Martin Fleetwood is experienced in light rail matters, Southampton-based Joanne McGuinness handles real estate matters in the rail sector and Roy Tozer in Birmingham handles health and safety issues. Ursula Gould has joined Addleshaw Goddard and former department head Chris McClure has joined Porterbrook Leasing Company.


Index of tables

  1. Shipping
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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HFW is considered a ‘market leader for marine casualty work’, the team is praised for its ‘holistic approach’, and it is active across a range of commercial, logistics, marine insurance, collisions, losses, piracy, regulatory, cyber and technology mandates, and is also noted for its yacht experience. Highlights include acting for PAO Sovcomflot in a case brought against PDVSA in relation to hire claims and other sums due under charterparties for the carriage of various oil products. It also represents Lomar Shipping and its insurers in relation to the 2017 grounding and actual total loss of a container ship on her maiden voyage on a coral reef off Noumea, New Caledonia and is representing Evalend Shipping & Trading and its insurers on the seizure of product tanker and her entire crew by the Libyan authorities. Craig Neame is the global head of the shipping practice and an expert on container shipping and terminal matters. Sanctions expert Daniel Martin heads the regulatory shipping team. Andrew Chamberlain handles collisions, groundings, catastrophes and salvage and heads the admiralty and crisis management team. Other key figures include Paul Dean, who is noted for offshore work; George Eddings, who provides ‘quick, accurate and succinct advice, while always keeping in mind the underlying commercial issues’; Richard Neylon, who is ‘very smart, hardworking and very commercial’ and handles wet and dry disputes; Elinor Dautlich, who advises on shipping contracts; Matt Illingworth, who handles disputes; Jonathan Webb, who is noted for his experience in dry work; and Richard Mabane, who specialises in shipping litigation. David Morriss, Rory Butler and Jean Koh are also recommended, as are recently promoted partner Alex Kemp, consultants James Gosling and Hugh Livingstone, Jim Cashman, and senior associates Emilie Bokor-Ingram and Sally Buckley .  

Ince is a ‘fantastic shipping firm’ which boasts ‘in-depth expertise’ across wet and dry shipping. It handles major casualties, high-profile maritime disputes, regulatory matters and transactions. The team also stands out for its yachts experience. Headline work includes advising oil tanker Alnic MC, and its owner, Energetic Tank, in connection with a major collision that occurred between it and a U.S. Navy destroyer; representing Great Eastern Shipping and North of England P&I Club in $30m proceedings in the UAE and London as a result of  a collision of an LNG carrier and another tanker in the Gulf of Oman; and representing Teekay LNG Partners on a $110m case involving the termination of six long-term bare boat charters and the repossession of the vessels.  The team also represented Gard in a high-profile $170m unsafe port claim, the Ocean Victory. Key figures include global shipping head Faz Peermohamed, who has ‘fantastic experience’; Michael Volikas, who handles commercial disputes for shipping sector clients; Ian Chetwood, who handles contentious wet and dry work; Christian Dwyer, who is global head of the firm’s admiralty and casualty response team; ‘first-rate’ litigator Jeremy Biggs; and Will Marshall, who is global head of trade. Also noted are Duncan Bateson, who advises on superyachts and commercial shipping mandates, Simon Spark, Fionna Gavin and Chris Kidd. Paul Herring has relocated to the firm's Piraeus office, while Kevin Cooper has joined MFB, David Richards has joined The North of England P&I Association and Jonathan Elvey has left the firm.

The ‘extremely able’ department at Reed Smith LLP offers an ‘excellent service’ across its shipping practice. It handles a range of wet and dry work, with experience across casualty and admiralty work; as well as shipbuilding, charterparty, bill of lading, MOA, shipbuilding and FFA disputes. Headline matters include advising the shipowners in a dispute for damage caused after a vessel hit a jetty in the Bahamas while under the navigation of a local pilot; and advising on a major salvage and wreck removal operation in the South Pacific Ocean. Global head of shipping Nick Shaw is ‘superb’; Richard Gunn heads the casualty department; Andrew Taylor is a ‘brilliant lawyer’; Charles Weller has ‘vast experience’; Stephen Kirkpatrick has ‘great knowledge’; litigator Alex Andrews leads the Korea group; Marcus Dodds handles high-profile wet and dry disputes; Jeb Clulow is ‘excellent’ on major dry disputes; and Sally-Ann Underhill is active across charterparty, bill of lading and ship management cases. William Howard and recently promoted partner Antonia Panayides is also a key figure, as are counsel Alexander Sandiforth and consultant Lindsay East. Charles Brown has joined Steamship Mutual.

Clyde & Co LLP stands out for its ‘strength-in-depth’ , its ‘market muscle’ and for its ‘up to date, agile, commercially focused and committed service’. The firm's expertise spans wet and dry work, and contentious and non-contentious mandates; and it is particularly known for its experience in charterparty disputes, cross-border disputes, marine insurance claims and coverage, collision and salvage, cargo claims, transactional matters, shipbuilding, maritime personal injury, offshore, sanctions and superyachts. It is acting for Alpine Eternity and Britannia P&I Club on the claims management process after the vessel collided with Iranian-owned oil rig in 2015; is acting for Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company as insurers of the cargo carried on the Maersk Tangier which examines the limitation of liability for claims for loss or damage to cargo carried in containers on board a vessel; and it represented Nautical Challenge on the collision between the oil tanker Alexandra 1 and container vessel, Ever Smart. Among the team; Andrew Preston is ‘good at identifying the tactical angles’; David Bennet specialises in dispute resolution and international arbitration; Edward Mills-Webb is active on commodity, charterparty and bill of lading disputes; Martin Hall specialises in maritime law and arbitration; Nick Austin is ‘approachable’; Simon Culhane is ‘brilliant’; Irvine Marr is active on wet and dry matters; cargo casualty head Jai Sharma is ‘very experienced and approachable’; Elizabeth Turnbull is ‘always on top of the key issues’; and Hatty Sumption is ‘very clever and nothing slips under her radar’. Simon Jackson; Andrew Nicholas; Rob Collins and Fanos Theophani are also key members of the team, as are legal director Bethan Bradley , who is ‘good on the interplay between shipping and insolvency’, and senior associates James Kennedy and Thomas Kelly. Stephen Mackin and Jessica Maitra recently joined the team from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

The team of ‘brilliant legal minds’ at Hill Dickinson LLP offers ‘precise and commercially-orientated’ advice. It is active across wet and dry work and its clients include ship owners, charterers, port and terminal operators, shipyards, P&I clubs, underwriters and traders and insurers and reinsurers. It is defending The Lion Group on a $20m dispute alleging non-performance of a long term contract of affreightment and is representing Lakatamia Shipping Company on a judgement enforcement matter. Global shipping head Julian Clark ‘always offers alternative strategies and guides the client in case-handling’. Other key figures include Adrian Marsh, who heads the cargo and logistics team; Tony Allen, who heads the yachts team; Jeff Isaacs, who is head of commodities and international trade; the 'experienced' David Pitlarge; Fred Konynenburg, who is ‘precise and to the point’; consultant and admiralty law expert Robert Wallis, who has particular expertise in salvage and collision matters; Russell Gardner, who handles dry shipping disputes and is experienced in cases involving superyachts; Philip Haddon, who handles casualty disputes; Ian Maclean, who is experienced in casualty claims; the ‘very experienced’ Tony Swinnerton; and Lewis Moore. Siiri Duddington recently joined from Campbell Johnston Clark, as did senior associate Winnie Mah and legal director Tom Burdass. Justin Draeger  has joined Mays Brown, Rhys Clift has joined Thomas Cooper LLP.

Specialist shipping firm MFB is ‘commercial in terms of its turnaround of work and advice’; the team is ‘strong on the law and creative in its approach’. Its expertise is ‘vast’ and spans casualty response work, dry shipping, superyachts, shipbuilding, logistics and insurance. Headline work includes representing Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha on an unsafe ports dispute in the Supreme Court and representing cargo owners Bechtel in an arbitration case following the sinking of the Atlantik Confidence. Edward Gray heads the ‘exceptional’ team, which includes Andrew Hughes, who is regularly instructed on disputes in the Far East; the ‘excellent’ Asad Naqvi; Gerard Hopkins, who specialises in shipping litigation; Ian Hawkes, who handles maritime disputes; Mark Seward, who regularly advises on cases arising out of charterparty and bill of lading contracts; Simon Wolsey, who has the ‘ability to rapidly review the details of dispute in question and provide very clear prompt advice and recommendations’; Eduardo Prim , who is praised for his ‘impressive ability to swiftly review complex legal questions, summarise them in an understandable manner and find solutions’; and  recently promoted partner Helene Peter-Davies. Key hires include associate Matthew Montgomery, who ‘immediately grasps the matter’, and Kevin Cooper, who joined from Ince; and Nicholas Wilson, who joined from Bentleys, Stokes and Lowless. Andrew Wright has retired.

Stephenson Harwood is a ‘friendly and approachable firm’ which has ‘excellent attention to detail and logistical acumen’ and is noted for its experience in high-value and complex shipping disputes. The team acted for the successful shipowners in a Supreme Court decision arising out of the seizure of the vessel MV Longchamp by Somali pirates and represented Commerzbank in a case which examined shipping loan agreements. It is also acting for PDVSA group companies in a number of shipping disputes. Head of marine and international trade Mike Phillips is ‘outstanding’; Nick Barber is noted for his ‘admiralty expertise, his brilliant investigative knowledge and experience’; Stuart Beadnall regularly advises on the maritime aspects of the oil and gas industry; Paolo Ghirardani is ‘simply brilliant’; Cristan Evans is ‘very professional, responsive and delivers a high-quality service’; Alex Davis leads the marine insurance and marine and casualty response groups; Tony Concagh is ‘extremely knowledgeable’; Sean Gibbons is noted for his experience in acting for Korean shipowners and shipyards in disputes; and Ingolf Kaiser is ‘very experienced. Simon Moore, Max Lemanski, Duncan McDonald, Haris Zografakis and senior associate Tom Adams are also key members of the team. Menelaus Kouzoupis recently joined from HFW.

Bentleys, Stokes and Lowless is a firm that solely focuses on maritime and insurance law and it is noted for its ‘deep knowledge of shipping’. It handles a range of contentious and non-contentious work, and highlights included acting for the shipowners in a €3.5m case which examined the proper construction of a clause of a standard form agreement. Vernon Sewell handles complex casualty work, William Chetwood is active on dry shipping work and is experienced in disputes; Joanna Steele is ‘very experienced’; and Paul Crane is ‘first-rate’. Andrew Powell and Sarah Allan are also recommended. Paul Griffiths leads the team. Nicholas Wilson recently joined MFB.

‘Shipping-focused firm’ Campbell Johnston Clark is active across casualty, commercial, insurance, shipbuilding and admiralty matters. Key individuals include Jonathan Campbell, who handles transactional shipping mandates; Alistair Johnston, who is active on marine insurance; James Mackay, who handles commercial and maritime work; and Maria Borg Barthet, who is active on contentious shipping instructions.

Kennedys delivers advice that is ‘accurate and to the point’ and the team ‘understands the individual needs of the client’. It handles shipping disputes, casualty and marine insurance claims and highlights included advising international cargo insurers and bill of lading holders on an appeal against an anti-suit order imposed on subrogated cargo insurers; and defending hull and machinery insurers and the owners of a historic sailing vessel on claims from other vessel owners in connection with a collision in Northern European waters.  Pequod Associates, RSA, Beazley Group, Liberty Syndicates, Zurich and Mitsui Sumitomo are clients. Marine practice head Christopher Dunn has ‘immense knowledge’, he ‘provides appropriate, common sense advice and knows how to look after his clients’; David Mckie has ‘excellent experience’; consultant David Perry handles dry shipping disputes; Andrew Purssell is active across cargo, liability insurance and shipping disputes; Mark Lloyd, handles general average work, and carriage of goods disputes; and senior associate Shaan Burton has a ‘growing reputation’. New hires include Deug Rong, who joined from Clyde & Co LLP.

Mills & Co regularly acts for marine insurers, shipowners, shipbuilders, charterers and marine suppliers on contentious and non-contentious mandates. Peter Sim , Andreas Welz, Martin Dalby and Guy Mills regularly handle admiralty matters including collision, salvage, total loss, grounding, and pollution. Elsewhere, Michael Smith handles dry shipping disputes; Nicola Jeanes regularly advises on contracts for ship construction, conversion and repair; Simon Williams is ‘excellent on disputes’; and Mark Doyle and Jonathan Green are also key figures.

Norton Rose Fulbright is a ‘formidable player in the shipping market’; it has ‘great understanding of the legal and regulatory context’, and this is ‘complemented by considerable strength in depth allowing the firm to deliver a seamless service to its clients’. It is active across regulatory matters and high-profile shipping disputes, where clients praise its ‘strong international expertise’ particularly in complex cross-border mandates; and it regularly acts for shipowner, corporate, insurance and banking clients as well as trading companies, energy companies and trade finance banks involved in shipping. Patrick Foss, who handles major shipping disputes; Charlotte Winter, who has a ‘profound understanding of legal and commercial issues in any dispute’; and Chris Zavos, who is ‘fantastic’, are recommended, as are Marie Kelly, who recently re-joined the London office from Piraeus; of counsels Jo Ward and Kevin Austin; and senior associate Emma Burrage. Peter Glover has moved to the firm’s Hong Kong office. Philip Roche heads the department.

Thomas Cooper LLP is commended for its ‘personable approach’ and it is regularly instructed on casualties, major losses and to high-profile commercial disputes arising under shipping contracts. Among the team; Tim Kelleher specialises in disputes; Ceri Done handles a range of dry shipping work; Nick Donnelly advises on collisions, salvage, and towage; Lisa Hillary is active on trade and shipping disputes; Tom Moisley has a ‘has a good analytical mind which enables him to get to the heart of the matter’; Mark Sachs heads the China and Japan team; and John Strange heads the marine and commercial litigation team. Rachel Mills and James Severn are also recommended, while Alex McIntosh was promoted to partner and Rhys Clift recently joined from Hill Dickinson LLP. Darryl Kennard and Charles Williams head the shipping team.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s ‘transactional shipping practice contains a number of extremely talented and experienced practitioners’, however the team also handles a raft of contentious shipping mandates involving shipbuilding, sale and purchase contracts, bareboat and voyage charterparties and management agreements. It is advising AM Nomikos, the owners of dry bulk cargo ship, on a cargo attachment claim. Andrew Hutcheon is ‘very calm, thoughtful and measured’ and Robert Platt has a ‘well-deserved reputation as a brilliant lawyer and tough negotiator’. Charles Buss has a ‘tremendous legal brain’ and specialises in maritime disputes, acting for mortgagee lenders on enforcements and disputes, and ship owners on contentious ship sales, leases and construction contracts. Andrew Ward is regularly instructed by banks and shipowners on contentious matters and Rob Fidoe specialises in international commercial arbitration. Toby Royal and recently promoted partner Daniel Saunders, who is praised for his ‘commercial approach’, are also recommended. Andrew Savage heads the team.

Wikborg Rein is a ‘stand-out firm’ which has a ‘seriously experienced team of excellent lawyers’. It is active on a range of disputes and handles a range of admiralty, anti-bribery corruption and sanctions issues, cargo claims, charterparty disputes, marine insurance and piracy matters. It acts for Delta Tankers, the owners of the Delta Pioneer, which collided with a pier at the port of Primorsk in Russia; acts for a Singapore shipowner on disputes relating to an engine failure on a livestock carrier; and is advising the owners of the vessel APL Temasek, which collided with and partially demolished a container crane in Egypt at the Suez Canal Terminal, on claims for damage. Rob Jardine-Brown is a ‘first-class mind with a natural instinct for the right case strategy’; Nick Shepherd is regularly instructed on Greek shipping matters; Mike Stewart is a ‘very good strategist, is extremely hard working and conscientious, and he is extremely good with clients’; Baptiste Weijburg handles dry shipping work; and Eleanor Midwinter is ‘excellent’. Birgitte Karlsen and Jonathan Page are also are noted for transactional work, and Shawn Kirby was recently promoted to partner. London office head Chris Grieveson leads the shipping and offshore team. Clare Calnan has retired.

Winter Scott LLP’s expertise spans admiralty law and salvage, shipping litigation, commercial litigation and insurance, and it also handles non-contentious shipping work. Maritime specialist Glenn Winter, admiralty expert Ken Scott, Tim Houghton, who handles disputes, and Christopher Wood are key figures.

Birketts LLP is able to ‘explain difficult matters in an easy way’ and its ‘replies are prompt and take into consideration both the commercial and the legal points’. The practice handles a range of wet and dry work, with expertise across bills of lading; charterparties, contracts of affreightment, cargo claims, shipbuilding disputes and marine insurance, as well as general average, salvage towage, collisions ship arrest and collision claims. Filhet-Allard Maritime, Raets Marine Insurance, SIACI Saint Honoré, Shipowners P & I Club and Allianz Global & Speciality France are clients. Nicholas Woo leads the team which features Alex Davey, who has an ‘excellent grasp of the legal issues as well as the commercial considerations, and provides clear and concise advice’; Henry Adams, who handles shipping, transport and marine insurance work;  Lisa Wortley, who is regularly instructed on claims relating to vessel performance; and senior associate Graham Kershaw. Legal director Paul Haworth recently joined from Winter Scott LLP.

Gateley Plc receives plaudits for its ‘client service delivery’ and the team regularly handles charterparty matters, ship sale and purchase disputes, marine cargo claims, superyacht matters and shipbuilding disputes. The team represented Fulton Shipping in its high-profile dispute, the New Flamenco, which clarified the law relating to mitigation of damages for breach of contract. Additional highlights included acting for Pequod Associates as claimants on a dispute arising from the theft of containers from the port of Antwerp. Nicholas Walser is an ‘exceptional lawyer with extensive experience in shipping law’; Jane Hobbs handles marine insurance work; and Andrew Messent advises on claims relating to the carriage of goods. Associate James Jaffa is noted for his superyachts experience. Paul Dickie leads the department.

The ‘diligent’ team at Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP comprises lawyers who are ‘true experts in shipbuilding contracts and disputes’. It is also noted for ship conversion matters. The team represented Fincantieri Shipyard in a dispute regarding a refurbishment agreement for a cruise ship and acted. Simon Curtis, who is ‘very experienced’; William Cecil, who is ‘calm and experienced’; Andreas Dracoulis, who is ‘building an excellent reputation for careful case management’; Andreas Silcher, who is ‘very pragmatic and provides hands-on advice’; and James Brown who regularly handles arbitration and litigation; are key figures.

Dedicated to marine and international trade work, Jackson Parton Solicitors has longstanding expertise for shipping, with experience across cargo claims, superyachts, charter disputes, P&I and marine insurance, salvage and towage. Key contacts include Nick Parton, Nils Dahl Nielsen, Andrew Patrinos, Jonathan Clyne, Alex Askew and consultant David Hughes.

The marine and shipping team at Keystone Law is active across contentious and non-contentious work and is noted for its yacht experience, as well as its expertise across insurance disputes, collisions, salvage claims, cargo and freight disputes, regulatory matters, breaches. Marine specialist Jonathan Hadley-Piggin; Anastasia Papadopoulou, who handles commercial shipping matters and recently joined from TLT; Benjamin Maltby, who joined from Ince ; and Dharmendra Nair, who joined from Squire Patton Boggs, are the key contacts.

The ‘fantastic’ team at Lax & Co LLP is highly regarded for its dispute resolution experience and regularly handles litigation and arbitration cases for shipowners, charterers, operators, P&I Clubs and shipyards. Charterparty disputes, shipbuilding disputes, ship arrests, shipbuilding disputes, collisions, marine insurance claims and claims under bills of lading. Stuart Dench is regularly instructed on disputes involving charterparties, bills of lading and contracts of affreightment, as well as shipbuilding contracts. Robert Pollock-Hill is experienced in contentious matters and associate Catriona Lewis specialises in charterparty disputes. Mike Lax leads the department. Imogen Rumbold has retired.

Waterson Hicks focuses on shipping and commodities work, which is noted for its ‘strong’ dispute resolution expertise, and it is active across dry shipping, admiralty, marine insurance and transactional matters. It is also noted for its Greek shipowner market expertise, but also represents a range of shipowners, P&I clubs, state-owned organisations, oil companies and commodities traders. Department head John Hicks has ‘fantastic experience’, consultant Julian Morgan regularly handles shipping litigation and admiralty manager Stuart Parkin is noted for his experience in handling speed and fuel consumption claims. Senior associate solicitor Tim Johnson recently joined the firm from Kennedys.

Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP is regularly instructed on cargo claims in addition to transactional and finance matters. Braemar Group, SMS Towage, India Steamship and Blue Water Shipping are clients. Team head Dominic Ward focuses on dry shipping and cargo work, alongside advising on a range of carriage of good and international trade agreements. Andrew Oliver leads the sea fisheries, regulatory and marine environment unit, and also leads the ship transactional and finance department.

The ‘small but very astute’ team at shipping boutique BDM Law LLP is regularly instructed on insurance, maritime casualties and shipbuilding disputes. The team represented BGN International DMCC on a charterparty dispute with Frost Global due to vessel rejection after fire on board; represented Minoan Lines on a shareholders dispute concerning control of Hellenic Seaways; is representing the owners of the Rich Future on its 2015 collision with a tanker in Argentina; and is advising Textainer on a $100m Hanjin-related insurance claim. Nick Burgess is a ‘top shipping lawyer’ ; Bob Deering is ‘brilliant’ and has experience across wet and dry cases and a range of insurance and arbitration cases; and David McInnes stands out for his Italian market expertise and he is also noted for his experience in arbitration, admiralty and high court disputes. Senior associate Gabrielle de Blaquiere and associate Emmy Ameloot are also key contacts.

DLA Piper handles a range of marine disputes and it is regularly instructed on cross-border cases. The team is ‘quick to respond to requests and is always comprehensive in the consideration of the relevant factors’. It is representing the liquidating trustee of OW Bunkers on various London arbitrations against shipowners in order to collect unpaid bunker receipts following the conclusion of the Res Cogitans case in the Supreme Court. Department head Linos Choo is instructed on shipping and shipbuilding disputes, represents banks in international trade and shipping disputes and is also experienced in shipbuilding and ship finance disputes. Commodities lawyer Richard Usher is also noted.

DWF is noted for its experience in marine insurance disputes and the team continues to act for the insurers of a vessel that was struck by a whale and sank off the coast of Mexico in March 2016; is advising a major German insurance group in a claim relating to the Tianjin Port explosion; and is advising an independent insurer in relation to claims relating to a fire on a vessel carrying palm oil. Shipping and commodities head Jonathan Moss regularly handles complex disputes and senior associate Elliott Bromley is also noted.

M Taher & Co Solicitors delivers an ‘exceptionally good service’ and it is active across marine insurance, international trade and commodities matters, with particular experience in complex litigation, arbitration and mediation for shipowners, charterers, P&I clubs, shipbrokers, commodities trading houses and insurance clients. It is also noted for its sanctions expertise and it is representing Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines in a £600m action against the EU Council for damage suffered by its shipping clients in relation to the EU’s restrictive measures concerning Iran. Maryam Taher has ‘vast and deep knowledge in working with cross-border litigation’, principal associate Paris Pantelis is ‘very client-orientated’ and is ‘thorough on the detail’, and senior consultant Tim Stephenson has joined from Stephenson Harwood. Andrew Ridings has left the firm.

Mays Brown is a dedicated shipping firm and it regularly represents owners, operators, charterers, P&I clubs, insurers, underwriters and banks and in transactional matters and disputes. Joe Mays, David Wartski and Stephen Grainger are key members of the team which was recently bolstered by the arrival of Justin Draeger from Hill Dickinson LLP who is noted for his maritime litigation experience.

Weightmans LLP has ‘excellent shipping knowledge’ and delivers ‘excellent response times’. It handles marine disputes expertise and also handles commercial matters; it regularly advises on ports and terminals liability and also represents insurers on marine casualties and contractual claims arising under charterparties and bills of lading. It is representing Champion Tankers on the implications and strategy relating to the collapse of OW Bunkers. In Liverpool, head of marine Phil James is ‘technically very good, has great communication skills and is very user-friendly’ and Mike Burns  has ‘in-depth marine knowledge and is very commercial’.

Niche shipping outfit Hannaford Turner LLP  is particularly noted for its ship finance, sale and purchase expertise, but it also handles shipbuilding, refit, conversion and repair work, as well as disputes. It is also noted for its experience in the superyacht sector. It acts for a range of shipowners, charterers, shipyards, financing banks, insurers and P&I clubs. Among the team, Justin Turner is ‘very professional and experienced’; Matt Hannaford stands out for his ‘clear and practical advice’; and Keith Krut is ‘very knowledgeable’. Owen McHugh and litigator Michael Greville are also key figures.

At Squire Patton Boggs  Graham Harris handles disputes relating to charterparties and bills of lading, and also handles cases involving groundings and fires, as well as cargo claims. Insurance disputes are a key area of focus, as are shipbuilding disputes. Dharmendra Nair has joined Keystone Law.


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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BLM acts for tour operators, travel agents, insurers and excursion companies on complex, serious and catastrophic injury claims, and also handles group and class action cases. It is representing Thomas Cook in a large group a large group action involving allegations of a cryptosporidium outbreak; and the team was also involved in the first prosecution and criminal conviction of claimants who had pursued fundamentally dishonest travel sickness claims. Sandals, Jet2, Regis Mutual, Olympic Holidays, British Airways and Stena Line are clients. Matthew Ford has ‘good judgement’ and leads the leisure and travel casualty team. Leeds-based Arion Jones heads the tour operator liability team. In Bristol, Gemma Pearce is experienced in marine casualty and is noted for personal injury and fatal accident cases involving cargo ships, passenger ships, ports and terminals. Associate Deborah Sayers, who regularly acts for tour operators.  Birmingham-based Sarah Hill heads the fraud practice group.

DWF’s international claims and travel group is regularly instructed by insurers on cross-border catastrophic injury claims. It defended ERGO Versicherung on a fatal motor accident which occurred in Germany and is defending Pelayo Mutua de Seguros on a serious personal injury claim in the UK courts following a road traffic accident in Spain. Generali, Van Ameyde (UK), Mitsui, Amlin, Hastings Direct, QBE, RSA and Travelers are also clients. Head of international claims Claire Bowler regularly advises global insurers on catastrophic injuries and high-profile claims. European group head Sara-Jane Eaton is ‘totally committed and fantastic with clients’ and focuses on catastrophic injury claims. Graham Dickinson handles product liability claims and advises on plane and helicopter crashes. Recently promoted partner Rhys Sanchez and Steven King are also key figures.

Hextalls LTD regularly defends travel and leisure operators, leisure venues and hotel chains on personal injury claims and is also recognised for its experience in sports liability. Alex Padfield is the key contact.

Hugh James has an ‘excellent reputation in the field of international claims’ and the team is ‘not afraid to get their hands dirty and pursue difficult claims with intricate cross border issues’. It represents claimants in travel personal injury cases and represented a claimant who suffered injuries as a result of a motor accident in France. Team head Katherine Allen is a ‘real authority in travel law cases’, and specialist personal injury team head Mark Harvey has ‘stamina and good judgement’ and is experienced in group litigation. Senior associate Rebecca Gilmore, who recently joined from Slater and Gordon, ‘brings a wealth of experience in dealing with the practical aspects of litigation and is very knowledgeable in matters relating to package travel claims’

Irwin Mitchell is ‘one of the pre-eminent firms’ for claimant travel personal injury work. Headline work includes representing the families of two BP employees in civil claims following the hostage-taking and death of 40 men in a terror attack at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria in 2013; representing 12 claimants who significant psychological injuries in the Costa Concordia Cruise disaster of 2012; and representing almost 100 claimants in a group action against Thomas Cook Tour Operations regarding gastrointestinal illnesses suffered during holidays taken in Zante, Greece in 2016. International personal injury department head Clive Garner is the ‘godfather of international travel litigation’. He is recommended alongside Philip Banks, who is ‘calm, very knowledgeable and fearless’; Demetrius Danas, who has an ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of international personal injury law, is a master tactician and is never outmanoeuvred’; Amandeep Dhillon, who is an ‘excellent leader and achieves outstanding results’; and Suki Chhokar, who heads the group actions illness team. Elizabeth Tetzner and Jennifer Lund are also key figures, as is senior associate Simon Prew, who specialises in claims from illnesses abroad.

Kennedys defends tour operators, travel agencies, insurers and underwriters on personal injury matters and it is ‘leading the field in defending gastric claims but is equally as expert in all other areas of travel litigation’. TUI UK, Kuoni, Touchstone Underwriting, Balkan Holidays, Mark Warner and Virgin Holidays are clients. Claire Mulligan, Justin Collins, who is the ‘heartbeat of a talented team’ and senior associate Gareth Thomas ‘get results’ and deliver an ‘outstanding service’. Senior associates Kiran Birdi and the 'brilliant' Zoe Hurley are also key figures in the team.

Leigh Day’s travel personal injury team acts for claimants on a range of cases; it is representing the family of a minor who drowned on a package holiday at an all-inclusive resort in Egypt and is representing a claimant who sustained serious injuries as a result of an accident as part of an organised ice climbing activity on the Mer de Glace. It also acts for members of British Cycling and British Triathlon involved in accidents abroad. Department head Clare Campbell is ‘excellent’ and solicitors Colin Murphy and Joseph Dawson are also key members of the team. Christine Tallon has left the firm.

The team at Penningtons Manches Cooper are ‘specialists in the field with a deep knowledge of travel law and dealing with EU jurisdictional issues’ and it handles international personal injury cases for claimants and defendants, acting for a number of insurer clients. Allianz Legal Protection, UK General Insurance Group, Vitality Health, AmTrust Europe, Canopius Underwriting and Chubb are clients. It is representing a claimant who suffered a life threatening traumatic brain injury in a multiple vehicle collision in France and is representing a claimant who suffered a severe head injury when he fell through a skylight at a resort in Spain. Travel law team head Mark Lee is ‘very practical in his approach and capable of dealing with very complex matters in a straightforward manner’ and is particularly experienced in head injury cases. Warren Collins and senior associate (non-solicitor) Keith Dean are also key figures.

Plexus Law 's defendant travel law team handles claims on behalf of tour operators, travel agents, accommodation suppliers, airlines, airports and their insurers. It is representing Great Rail Journeys following the derailment of a train in in India, which was travelling from Kalka to Shimla when two passengers were killed and a number were seriously injured. It is also representing ski school company after a pupil suffered significant injuries during a lesson. Michael Gwilliam is ‘first-class’ and is experienced in defending group actions and regularly handles claims involving catastrophic injuries and fatalities. The ‘excellent’ Dr Julian Morris is also a key member of the team.

Primarily based across its London and Manchester offices, Slater and Gordon has ‘in-depth and complete knowledge’ of travel-related personal injury work and acts for claimants who have sustained catastrophic injury abroad, as well as defendants on personal injury and other travel-related claims. It represented the family of an individual who was killed in the terrorist attacks in Sousse, Tunisia, and represents the legal guardian of two children whose parents and grandmother were shot and killed in France in 2012.  Recently promoted principal lawyer Kieran Mitchell is a ‘highly effective negotiator’ and heads the travel litigation team. Senior associates Stephen Goodman and Nicola Rostron, who was recently promoted, are also recommended.  Joanne Brine has joined JMW Solicitors LLP.

Stewarts Law LLP is the ‘best in the business’ for complex, high-value cases for those who have been seriously injured abroad; it has the ‘technical skills, the know-how and the commitment to make a real difference to any serious case’ and is ‘sympathetic, realistic and pragmatic’. It is acting for a claimant, who was 19 when he suffered a massive brain injury as a result of a road traffic accident in Jersey; and is representing a claimant who suffered multiple orthopaedic, vascular and chest injuries in an accident at work in Austria. Head of international injury Julian Chamberlayne is a ‘tenacious litigator, who is confident in his creative use of the law who runs rings around most opponents’. The ‘effervescent’ Scott Rigby’s ‘lively enthusiasm wins over clients and opponents alike, facilitating settlement where others might struggle’. Senior associate Christopher Deacon is a ‘superb travel lawyer; he is knowledgeable, tenacious, compassionate and intellectually astute’. Head of aviation James Healy-Pratt is ‘quite simply brilliant; his understanding of multi-jurisdictional law, his ability to deliver challenging issues in a kind and patient manner, his understanding of the coronial system and his brilliant strategic overview give his clients the confidence to know that he really is fighting their corner’. The aviation team acts for pilots and passengers, and their families, who are involved in aviation accidents and aviation disasters worldwide, often involving multi-jurisdictional litigation. Sarah Stewart is ‘extremely good with clients who have suffered losses in aviation disasters; they have complete confidence in her’; and Peter Neenan has an ‘incredible forensic mind and an eye for detail’ and is ‘fantastic on aviation-related cases’. Daniel Herman leads the Leeds-based personal injury team which also features Ben Townsend.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP acts for claimants and defendants on personal injury claims abroad and is noted for its ‘in-depth knowledge and experience’. Arc Legal Assistance, Allianz Global Assistance, Ageas (UK), BUPA Insurance Services, Millstream Underwriting and Global Response are clients. It is experienced in foreign road traffic accident claims and is representing a family on a claim arising out of a fatal road traffic accident in Tenerife. The team also stands out for its experience in ski accident cases and is advising a claimant who suffered serious injuries as a result of a skiing accident in France. Travel, tourism and insurance team head Bronwen Courtenay-Stamp is ‘very experienced’, and Ian Brown is a ‘very able practitioner’; both have a ‘detailed understanding of tactics which stands their clients in good stead in litigation’. Senior associate Charlotte Reavey, James Browne, recently promoted partner Kathryn Insall and associate Lee Jordan are also noted. Named individuals are based in the firm’s Exeter office.

Weightmans LLP’s ‘specialist’ team defends personal injury claims for insurers and is experienced in complex catastrophic injury cases involving road traffic accidents abroad. The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), Assicurazioni Generali, AIG Europe and DEKRA are key clients. It is representing MIB in several cases including a case brought by a claimant who suffered serious injuries as a result of a motorway accident in France; and a case where by two UK nationals were involved in a fatal road accident involving an uninsured driver in France. In Liverpool, insurance head Rob Williams and David Holt are recommended, while London-based Nick Richards heads the team.

Fieldfisher is a ‘brilliant firm’ for travel disputes and regulatory matters, and regularly handles technology-related matters in the sector. Clients include Priceline Group, Thomas Cook, Airbnb, Expedia, Secret Escapes, loveholidays, Rentalcars and Saudi Arabian Airlines. Travel group head Rhys Griffiths gives ‘very practical advice and knows his stuff’ and has ‘excellent understanding of the regulatory framework and the specific areas for travel agents, tour operators and airlines’. David Wilkinson, who specialises in corporate matters, is an ‘excellent and insightful lawyer’. Senior associate Sonal Patel, who handles commercial matters, and associate Phyllis Acheampong, who is active on regulatory and contentious matters, are also key figures. Mark Smith has left to establish his own firm.

HFW ’s ‘quality’ multidisciplinary department regularly acts for airlines, cruise lines, ferry companies, hotel companies, package holiday companies, ports and terminals operators, insurers, financiers and travel industry bodies; it particularly stands out for its regulatory and commercial expertise in the aviation and cruise sectors. Virgin Atlantic, Oman Air, Air New Zealand, Gulf Air, Qantas, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Thomas Cook Airlines, Singapore Airlines, US Airways Club Méditerranée (UK) and Meyer Werft are clients;  and the team acts for numerous airlines on flight delay and cancellation claims. Anthony Woolich regularly handles regulatory, IP and data handling issues; Giles Kavanagh is noted for regulatory disputes and leads the firm’s global aerospace team; and consultant Sue Barham is an aviation regulatory expert. Senior associates Claire Womersley; William MacLachlan, who handles transactional matters and is experienced in the cruise sector; and Gudmund Bernitz, who handles finance matters, are also recommended. Elinor Dautlich and Zohar Zik head the cruise, travel and leisure team. Christopher Smith  has joined The Air Law Firm LLP  and Rory Gogarty has retired.

Hill Dickinson LLP handles a range of regulatory, commercial and personal injury matters for travel sector clients, with particular expertise across cruise, ferry, aviation, hotels, travel operator and ports matters. Headline work included advising a French-based company on a JV arrangement with a well-known hotel group for the sale of package holidays to the UK market; advising a US-based cruise business in relation to the on-board sale of future cruises and the regulatory implications; and advising Ocean Holidays on software and licensing matters. Archers Tours, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Riviera Travel, Thomas Cook and Jet2 are clients.  John Caddies heads the travel personal injury and regulatory department and is active on defendant personal injury matters. Legal consultant Javed Ali and associate Lucy Schofield are also key members of the team. Joanna Kolatsis left the firm to establish her own legal consultancy business

K&L Gates LLP offers commercial, regulatory, corporate, IP, property and competition law advice to a range of travel sector clients such as Amadeus, Australian Pacific Touring, Hotelbeds Group, Red Savannah, Urbanist Hotels, Z Hotels, JTB, Paragon Hotels and Secret Escapes. It acted for ETOA on corporate, regulatory and compliance issues relating to its acquisition of ETAG. Neil Baylis heads the team which features recently prompted partner Jennifer Marsh.

Bird & Bird LLP’s multidisciplinary international travel group acts for a range of travel companies, airlines, hotels and online travel agents on a range of commercial and regulatory matters, and is noted for its experience in technology, IP, employment and competition law mandates. It advises Airbnb on a range of commercial, data protection and IP matters. easyJet and Secret Escapes are also clients. Of counsel Simon Phippard regularly handles regulatory disputes for aviation sector clients, Gabriel Voisin handles data protection issues, and Elizabeth Lang handles employment matters. Associate Lucinda Richmond-Wigg is active on EU and competition regulatory work. Paul Briggs is joint head of the firm’s international aviation group which features associate Lucy England.

Blake Morgan LLP is active across a range of commercial, corporate finance, regulatory and advisory work for airline, travel management companies, leisure and tour operators, destination management companies and travel agents. It advises Air France–KLM on a range of work including flight delay liability, commercial matters and regulatory compliance. Globalstar Travel Management, Altour International, Healthy Holidays, Ickenham Travel Group and Omega World Travel are also clients. Ian Skuse leads on commercial and regulatory work.  Elsewhere, the firm also has a ‘great deal of experience in dealing with travel law claims’ and handles catastrophic injury matters for claimants, defendants and insurers. Southampton-based team head Daniel Scognamiglio  is an ‘expert’; he is recommended alongside senior associate Eleanor Armstrong and associate Lauren Haas, who has an ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of all matters travel law’.

Ince’s ‘solid’ team is ‘approachable and personal’ and the ‘technical quality of its advice is very good’. It focuses on regulatory, commercial contracts and travel litigation; particularly claims arising under EU Regulations. It acts for a number of aviation clients; it advised Emirates on its proposed promotional activity and potential regulatory impacts; and advises numerous airlines uninsured UK passenger claims, primarily involving denied boarding, flight delays and cancellations. Magic Rooms Accommodation, ABTA , Amadeus Marketing (UK) and Arena Travel are also clients. Anna Anatolitou, who is experienced across travel and aviation regulatory work, as well as litigation and commercial matters, heads the team with Rebecca Thornley-Gibson, who handles employment matters for a range of travel sector clients.

Kemp Little LLP is focused on the TMT sector, and it is regularly instructed by travel sector clients on commercial, technology, IP, employment and corporate mandates. It advises SITA on patent and trade mark matters. TripAdvisor, and Japan Airlines are clients. Team head Calum Murray advises on the contractual and regulatory aspects of digital services, content and underpinning technology development, acquisition and implementation. Emma Wright leads on telecoms, infrastructure and cybersecurity work and Kathryn Dooks has an aviation sector focus.

Specialist aviation firm The Air Law Firm LLP handles a range of commercial and regulatory matters for aviation industry clients. Aoife O’Sullivan is the key contact and Christopher Smith joined from HFW in 2017.

Travlaw LLP is a niche firm, which is purely focused on travel law. It handles a range of commercial and regulatory matters, as well as defendant personal injury cases for clients in the travel industry. Senior partner Stephen Mason is ‘brilliant’, while Rivka Hawley and Matt Gatenby are experienced in defending personal injury claims, and Farina Azam heads the commercial team.

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