Firms To Watch: Aviation

Alius Law is new firm founded by Bree Taylor, the former head of dispute resolution at Fladgate LLP - the firm has a strong focus on contentious work for aircraft leasing companies.

Aviation in London

Clyde & Co LLP

The global aviation practice group at Clyde & Co LLP is able to draw on the firm's significant global reach of the team, with offices on every continent.  The team advises clients including airlines, major insurers and brokers in aviation on the full range of relevant contentious and non-contentious matters, covering commercial, insurance, and regulatory issues. Practice chair Robert Lawson QC focuses on aviation disputes while Mark Bisset heads the global aviation finance offering. Maria Cetta is 'especially adept at handling major accidents', as is John Samiotis, who also advises on major airline catastrophe work. Gareth Lewis and Rob Ireland deal with airline liability claims, while Craig Rooney and legal directors Sonia Lopez and Adam Baker deal with high-profile aviation accidents. Tom Van De Wijngaart is a key resource fpr regulatory and commercial matters.

Practice head(s):

Robert Lawson QC

Other key lawyers:

Mark Bisset; Maria Cetta; John Samiotis; Gareth Lewis; Rob Ireland; Craig Rooney; Adam Baker; Sonia Lopez; Tom van de Wijngaart; Catherine West; Roger Whipp

Testimonials

Clyde & Co’s aviation practice has a history of looking for solutions rather than getting bogged down in the legalities of a case.

Maria Cetta is a tried and trusted lawyer who is especially adept at handling major accidents. She understands complex issues and always keeps the insured’s interests as paramount.’

The team at Clydes are subject matter experts on the airline industry. They really understand our business and are able to advise on many different issues. They are all knowledgeable and responsive (and are able to turn things around quickly).’

‘Their work is great – meticulous and diligent, each and every time.

‘Catherine West is a strong, highly skilled lawyer.’

‘Thomas van der Wijngaart has great experience in the aviation sector.’

DLA Piper

Handling the full range of litigation, transactional and regulatory work, the team at DLA Piper provides full-service advice and representation to aviation sector clients including airlines, airports and manufacturers. The coronavirus pandemic saw a marked increase in work for the commercial disputes team on multi-party litigation and arbitration matters; the team also has well-established strengths in insurance, asset finance, aviation banking and M&A. Practice leader Tony Payne is an expert on regulatory matters, while Mark Franklin and of counsel Kathryn Ward are key contacts regarding aviation liability and risk, as well as commercial disputes. Recently promoted legal director Sophie Brophy and senior associate Camilla Bonfield both specialise in aviation litigation and regulatory matters, while recently promoted legal director Tristan Thompson focuses on crisis management.

Practice head(s):

Tony Payne

Other key lawyers:

Mark Franklin; Kathryn Ward; Sophie Brophy; Camilla Bonfield; Tristan Thompson; Lucy Stevens

Testimonials

‘There is no aviation lawyer in the world quite as good as Tony Payne. We’re a global airline and we see great lawyers, but he absolutely takes first prize.’

‘Kathryn Ward has aviation litigation in her DNA. She works on sound practical solutions to her clients’ problems and is very astute to commercial aspects.’

‘Tristan Thompson is pragmatic, excellent at communicating and flagging any urgent issues that need expedited reporting. I’d highly recommend Tristan to anyone who is working in the aviation sector.’

‘Tony Payne is a determined partner who get results for his clients. Tony repeatedly goes the extra mile and invariably finds solutions to the most difficult of problems.’

‘Camilla Bonfield is a highly talented associate who holds teams together.’

‘Lucy Stevens is a rising star and one who impresses in every case.’

‘Mark Franklin is incredibly knowledgeable, has very good insight, has an extensive knowledge in aviation (both technical and regulatory), he knows, understands and anticipates the clients’ needs better than anyone. It is a real pleasure to work with Mark and his team.’

‘Camilla Bonfield and Lucy Stevens are both superstars. They think outside the box, are extremely knowledgeable and responsive and understand exactly what the needs of the business are.

Key clients

Airbus Helicopters

Allianz

AMLIN

Amazon

AXA XL

Bristow Helicopters Limited

British Airways plc

Cincinnati Global Underwriting Limited

CityJet

CV Starr

Delta Air Lines

easyJet

Emirates

Enstar

Etihad Airways

Hardy

HDI Global Specialty SE

Jet2.com

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Manchester Airport Group

Markel

Menzies Aviation plc

NetJets Inc

Northrop Grumman

Pratt & Whitney

Rolls Royce

Virgin Atlantic

AXA XL

United Airlines

Work highlights

  • Represented ground handler, PT JAS, and its insurers in relation to a 2016 accident involving a Batik Air Boeing 737-800 which collided on the runway with a Transnusa Aviation ATR-42-600 aircraft which was under tow by PT JAS at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, Jakarta, causing extensive damage to both aircraft.

HFW

HFW has broadened its aviation offering in recent years, branching out from its traditional focus on claims work for aviation insurers to handle increasing volumes of finance and leasing transactional work. Global aerospace head Giles Kavanagh is an expert aviation litigator and accredited arbitrator; he also handles non-contentious regulatory and commercial matters. Edward Spencer covers liability claims for airlines, and Zohar Zik focuses on aircraft financing and leasing. Senior associate Mark Waters is a key resource for aviation-related accident and injury claims, Barbara Pansadoro specialises in structured finance, and Victoria Cooper is an aviation liability claims expert. Paul Woodley, who formerly worked in the firm's Singapore office, was promoted to partner during 2020.

Practice head(s):

Giles Kavanagh

Other key lawyers:

Edward Spencer; Zohar Zik; Mark Waters; Barbara Pansadoro; Victoria Cooper; Paul Woodley

Testimonials

‘HFW are the most reliant, knowledgeable law firm I work with. If I have a new loss that needs defending, then HFW are my go-to. They are flexible with rates, they do what is best for the insurer and insured, they are contactable any time of day, and produce timely updates for the market. ‘

‘Paul Woodley maintains very good client relationships and has always been willing to provide timely advice.’

‘Great all-round experience, knowledge and capability. Sector knowledge in aerospace and insurance. Excellent response to placement requests.’

Key clients

Goshawk

Iceland Air

Fly Jamaica Airways

Caribbean Airlines

Yuntian 10 Leasing Co. Designated Activity Co.

Edward Dewhurst

GippsAero

Booker Flying Club

Confidentia Limited

Aurigny Air Services Ltd

Chapman Freeborn Airchartering Ltd

Stobart Air

Work highlights

  • Represented Goshawk on a claim for $25m brought in the English Commercial Court by lessors.
  • Represented Iceland Air in a claim brought by a cabin crew attendant in Iceland against Iceland Air.
  • Represented Fly Jamaica as liability counsel following a runway excursion of a Boeing 757.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright is known for its 'strength and depth' in the aviation sector, with a track record of work on major commercial contracts and disputes, Brexit-related regulatory matters, insurance and M&A. Global aviation head Duncan Batchelor specialises in asset finance and a range of commercial matters, working with aviation disputes head Patrick Farrell and 'tenacious litigator' Robin Springthorpe. Aviation disputes partner Charlotte Winter is noted for her work regarding redelivery and purchase contract disputes, while counsel Annabelle Wheeler is 'one to watch' for her work on complex commercial litigation and arbitration. Competition partner Ian Giles advises on cartel investigations and merger control. Commercial specialist Will Alete was promoted to the partnership in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Batchelor; Patrick Farrell; Robin Springthorpe

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Winter; Annabelle Wheeler; Ian Giles; Will Alete; Chris Randall; Zayba Drabu; Dan Cowdy

Testimonials

‘Duncan Batchelor, Robin Springthorpe and Annabelle Wheeler are very professional, with strong aviation knowledge, especially within technical matters – they are fast and responsive.’

‘A very well respected firm within this sector and with an excellent knowledge of airline wants and needs – probably the only law firm that has such a well-rounded practice. They resource each matter in the appropriate manner.’

‘The team is responsive and personable. They understand common issues in aviation and can explain it in a way that is easy to understand. They are able to propose commercially viable solutions in light of market practice.’

‘Chris Randall is outstanding in all respects – he is always available and incredibly responsive and efficient; and adds value at a high level. He takes the lead for us in a very effective manner, always representing our interests.’

‘Zayba Drabu – a fantastic lawyer, responsive, knowledgeable and clear in her advice.’

‘Dan Cowdy is very attentive, conscientious and not afraid to voice an opinion.’

‘Annabelle Wheeler is an excellent lawyer – she is highly knowledgeable, delivering a service well above her job title. Highly responsive, very commercial and great fun to work with. Was great to have her in the trenches with us on a very tricky transaction. Felt a real partnership with her, that you don’t always get with specialists. One to watch.’

‘Robin Springthorpe is a leader in his field – a tenacious litigator.’

Key clients

Amedeo + Voyager Aviation

AirTanker

British Airways

The Carlyle Group (formerly Apollo Aviation)

CargoLogicAir

Delta Air Lines, Inc.

easyJet (legal panel)

FTAI AirOpCo UK Limited

Gama Aviation PLC

Jet2.com

NAS Holding

Standard Chartered Aviation Finance

SAS

Tui

Virgin Atlantic

Volga Dnepr Group

WOW Air

Zephyrus Aviation Capital

Work highlights

  • Represented FlyNAS in an ongoing dispute regarding the payment of maintenance reserves with Genesis.
  • Regularly supported long-time client Delta Air Lines, Inc. on antitrust, competition and corporate matters, and recently on the recapitalisation of Virgin Atlantic (VAA) following VAA’s complex financial restructuring plan.
  • Represented Jet2.com on conducting a judicial review against the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

With three main hubs situated in London, Singapore and Australia, the global practice at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP advises on regulatory work, major aviation M&A and aviation disputes. The team is also historically strong regarding airport planning applications and financing and purchasing of new aircraft. In light of Covid-19, the team provided additional advice regarding refinancing, restructuring, and bailout advice to airlines. Practice co-head Kim Dietzel leads on competition, regulation, and trade matters, while corporate partner and practice co-head Robert Moore specialises in acquisitions, disposals and joint ventures. The 'very experienced' Rex Rosales is well-known as a structured finance 'deal-maker', working with fellow aviation finance expert Jahnavi Ramachandran, while counsel Suzy Campbell and associate Clémence Barraud focus on competition matters.

Practice head(s):

Kim Dietzel; Robert Moore

Other key lawyers:

Rex Rosales; Suzy Campbell; ; Clémence Barraud

Testimonials

‘Extremely user-friendly and diverse team. Partner-led and innovative. A pleasure to work with.’

‘Rex Rosales is a very experienced aviation lawyer. he has an excellent track record in successfully closing transactions. He is a deal-maker and a good negotiator.’

‘Jahnavi Ramachandran has first class knowledge of her area of expertise and equally good client management skills.’

‘Vast experience of all types of aircraft financing structures and ability to explain those structures and provide sound legal advice in concise terms for non-lawyers and in-house counsel alike.’

‘Jahnavi Ramachandran is approachable, commercial, client-focused and reliable. She sticks to agreed fee caps and is fair on fee discussions.’

Key clients

Virgin Atlantic

easyJet

Dart/Jet2

Gatwick Airport

LLAOL

TAP Air Portugal

Bain Capital

World Star Aviation

ABL Aviation

Societe Generale CIB

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank (SMTB)

Bpifrance Assurance Export

JP Morgan Private Bank

SBI Leasing

Aergo Capital

Bayerische Landesbank (Bayern LB)

Erste Group Bank AG

National Australia Bank (NAB)

Work highlights

  • Advised easyJet on its $1.87bn financing, as it achieved a ‘double first’, becoming the first airline to secure a loan through UK Export Finance’s Export Development Guarantee (“EDG”) scheme whilst the transaction also marked the first secured EDG facility to reach financial close.
  • Advised Virgin Atlantic Airways on the creation and implementation of an expanded transatlantic joint venture between Virgin Atlantic (as well as aviation regulatory approval processes), Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM.
  • Advised Jet2 on its recent placing on AIM, a sub-market of the London Stock Exchange at £422m.

Ince

The London-based aviation practice at Ince is a key resource for clients requiring advice on insurance, commercial and regulatory matters, as well as major acquisitions, financing and leases. The fallout from the pandemic has meant the team has seen an increase in instructions related to lessor/lessee and engine contract disputes, as well as compensation claims. Practice leader Gillie Belsham advises on major aviation liability and coverage issues involving an international element. Richard Elliott is an expert on the sale and purchasing of aircraft, while travel practice leader Anna Anatolitou is equally strong regarding dispute resolution, regulatory and commercial matters. Managing associate Daniel Boden is a commercial aviation dispute resolution specialist.

Practice head(s):

Gillie Belsham

Other key lawyers:

Richard Elliott; Anna Anatolitou; Daniel Boden

Testimonials

‘They have very deep roots within the aviation industry and the insurers who serve it. Also they have an utterly rigorous approach to the ethics of high stakes litigation, ensuring that their clients can be confident that when taking robust stances in their own defence, procedural and substantive rules are being strictly adhered to.’

‘Gillie Belsham is unflappable and a very capable claims handler.’

‘Anna Anatolitou uses the industry knowledge gained in-house to great effect.’

‘Gillie Belsham is very thorough and technically adroit.’

‘Excellent attention to detail; they will always go the extra mile. Great team. Very impressive ability to take on technical knowledge and information on the most innovative developments. Great use of technology to assess matters and analyse information and discovery.’

‘Gillie Belsham is one of the best in her field, both in terms of knowledge and litigation skills.’

‘Dan Boden and Anna Anatolitou give first-rate support and respond to any problems.’

Key clients

Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS)

Global Aerospace and the London insurance market

Nexus Flight Operations Services

HDI Specialty

Gulf Air

Norwegian Air

Emirates Group

XChanging

Elseco

Jazeera Airways

Work highlights

  • Advised on a leading matter for aviation insurers concerning values of $500m.
  • Instructed by Enstar (previously AmTrust) and HDI Specialty (insurers) to represent the estate of deceased pilot, Lewis Tonkinson, a multimillionaire who died in the high profile crash of his private, kit-built aircraft, in a fatal air crash at Popham in January 2015.
  • Instructed by leading aviation insurers for their insured in relation to a high profile loss.

Kennedys

Kennedys is well-known for its specialist expertise in the aviation insurance market; however, the team has been instructed by airlines for major uninsured defence cases, as well as for regulatory and transactional work, especially involving engine and airframe finance and leasing. London aviation practice head Simon Balls is an expert in liability and insurance issues regarding major catastrophes involving an international element. Mark Welbourn and associate Lisa Williams are described as 'the dream team' for airlines; Alexandra Rodina is noted as a key contact for CIS-based clients, while Noelia Mann is an airline defence specialist.

Practice head(s):

Simon Balls

Other key lawyers:

Mark Welbourn; Alexandra Rodina; Noelia Mann; Lisa Williams

Testimonials

Kennedys has been a real partner to us when navigating ever-changing legislation, especially in unfamiliar jurisdictions.’

Mark Welbourn and Lisa Williams are the dream team: both approachable, knowledgeable and commercially astute.’

Key clients

Etihad Airways

British Airways Plc

Ryanair

AIG

Allianz

Aer Lingus

Eastern Airways

easyJet Airline Company Ltd

Iberia & Iberia Express / Vueling / Air Nostrum

Work highlights

  • Sole lawyers handling British Airways Insurance claims globally, including passenger, baggage, cargo and third-party claims; also handling aircraft damage claims against various third parties for BA.
  • Appointed to act as the sole lawyers for any claims that fall under the Virgin Atlantic aviation insurance policy; this will include passenger, baggage and cargo claims.
  • Represented Tatarstan Airlines, and XL-Catlin as lead Reinsurer, in relation to all liability claims arising in the Tatarstan Airlines Flight 363 crash at Kazan International Airport while attempting to land, killing all 44 passengers and six crew members on board.

Stephenson Harwood

With access to a global team of lawyers in Dubai, Hong Kong, Paris, Shanghai and Singapore, the London team at Stephenson Harwood is well-regarded by clients for its 'outstanding' aviation litigation team. It routinely handles the most complex matters concerning aviation finance, restructuring and insolvency, as well as repossession and enforcement claims. Practice co-head Paul Phillips is 'second to none' for aviation litigation, while co-head Richard Parsons has a 'unique knowledge of' aviation leasing and finance. Chloe Challinor is a 'meticulous' and 'brilliant' aviation litigator and regulatory lawyer. The team brought on three new partners in 2020: Rebecca Garner from Addleshaw Goddard in September, James Collins from Norton Rose Fulbright in May, and Ian Benjamin  from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in October.

Practice head(s):

Paul Phillips; Richard Parsons

Other key lawyers:

Chloe Challinor; Patrick Bettle; Rebecca Garner; James Collins; Ian Benjamin

Testimonials

Richard Parsons is very impressive and provides clear and precise advice and analysis of complex transactions.’

Stephenson Harwood have an outstanding aviation team, led by a brilliant partner supported by committed and highly competent associates. They are highly responsive to client needs, have an excellent knowledge of the aviation sector, and are great to work with.’

Paul Phillips is an outstanding partner, with excellent commercial and strategic instincts, and a unique knowledge of the sector.’

‘Chloe Challinor is outstanding: she is extremely hard-working and meticulous and a brilliant lawyer.’

Paul Phillips and Patrick Bettle are very commercial and tirelessly supportive. Paul clearly has every bit and more of the expected expertise and skill you would expect of someone with his standing. Patrick is indefatigable and utterly dependable. He builds a good rapport with clients and is careful and conscientious.’

An outstanding team who demonstrate exceptional specialist knowledge of the aviation sector. The team invariably achieves the best outcomes for its clients. The team are adept in all aspects of the aviation sector and provide a holistic approach to any case. The legal skills are provided with great efficiency and in a highly cost-effective way.’

Paul Phillips’ knowledge of the industry is second to none. He demonstrates great tactical and strategic insight into any dispute, which in combination with being a steely litigator, allows him to achieve the optimal outcome for his clients.’

‘Johnny Champion is a rising star who demonstrates great technical understanding of complex issues. No point of detail escapes his attention, and this is often deployed incisively in his client’s favour.’

Key clients

Ryanair

Lion Air

AirAsia

Vueling

IndiGo

Royal Jordanian Airlines

China Southern Airlines

Gulf Air

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA

Royal Kuwait Airways Corporation

Volotea

Buraq Air

Aercap

Aircastle

Aircraft Engine Lease Finance

Aircraft Leasing and Management

Altavair

Archway Aviation

BBAm Aircraft Leasing & Management

Castlelake Aviation

Engine Lease Finance Corporation

ICBC Leasing

Jackson Square Aviation

Macquarie AirFinace

Magnetar Capital

Orix Group

Rostrum Leasing

SMBC Leasing

SKY Leasing

Standard Chartered

TFDAC

Transportation Partners

Wings Capital Management

DVB Bank

BNP Paribas

Société Générale (SocGen)

MUFG Bank

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)

Work highlights

  • Advised Ryanair in relation to enforcement action brought by the CAA concerning the 2017/18 Ryanair pilot strikes and the payment of passenger compensation.
  • Advised various leading airlines on topical regulatory issues such as Brexit, Covid-19 travel regulations, and reviews by regulatory bodies concerning passenger refunds for flights cancelled due to the pandemic.
  • Advising multiple international operating lessors across a broad range of business areas, including advising Altavair on various sale and leaseback transactions with Delta and a major Asian flag carrier, advising Altavair on various limited recourse financing transactions, advising Avation and Altavair on operating lease transactions and advising Avation and a US hedge fund on matters related to various airline restructurings and insolvencies.

Bird & Bird LLP

With a strong record of work on commercial and regulatory matters, Bird & Bird LLP also advises airlines, financiers and lessors on cybersecurity, data, sustainability and AI technology relating to aviation. Joint team leader Paul Briggs is based in London; he has recently been busy advising airlines on the fallout from the coronavirus crisis. Aviation disputes team leader Sophie Eyre has varied experience of complex cases concerning repossessions and claims against lessors and lessees, amongst others, while Stuart Cairns is a key contact regarding competitive procurements. Lucy England departed for Fox Williams LLP in March 2021.

Practice head(s):

Paul Briggs

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Eyre; Stuart Cairns; Simon Phippard

Testimonials

‘The team is very accessible and the communication is friendly and quick.’

‘Paul Briggs is a very unique lawyer, a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Air Arabia

Airbus Group

Aquila Air Traffic Management

Kuwait Airways

Bristow Helicopters

Cathay Pacific

Centralny Port Komunikacyjny

dnata

easyJet

Emirates

Fiji Airways

Flynas

Goshawk

Irish Aviation Authority

Isavia

John Menzies Group

North Air

Qatar Airways

Seraph

Travelport

Vistajet

Work highlights

  • Acted for Cathay Pacific in a claim against Lufthansa Technik involving detailed contractual interpretation and the exercise of an option which Cathay Pacific said was unfettered under a long term Engine Maintenance Agreement.
  • Continued to advise on the $1-$2bn expansion programme of Isavia (Keflavik Airport, Reykjavik), Iceland, in particular the design and management of the competitive procurement processes .
  • Drafted Emirates’ sales agent distribution agreement template for the airline to use with its EU based agents – one of its major routes to market.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells International LLP's team advises on the full range of regulatory, development, infrastructure, and finance matters, with specific expertise in airport acquisitions and financing. Niche expertise includes competition matters involving take-off and landing slot allocations. Practice head and finance partner Andrew Gallagher specialises in infrastructure acquisitions and refinancing, as well as project finance, while counsel Charles Ford focuses on European airport acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Gallagher; Charles Ford

Key clients

Aeroports de Paris

St Helena Government

Work highlights

  • Advised Aeroports de Paris on all aspects of its acquisition and investment in GMR Airports Limited.  As a result of the transaction Aeroports de Paris now has a 49% stake in GMR Airports Limited.
  • Advised Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA on the recapitalisation of the Norwegian low-cost airline group.

Holland & Knight (UK) LLP

Holland & Knight (UK) LLP provides 'outstanding industry experience' in relation to aviation finance, aircraft leasing, multi-jurisdictional travel disputes and regulatory advice. Recent experience under the leadership of Robert Ricketts has included advising on grounding of aircraft and major Covid-19-related transactions and bankruptcies. Gwyn O’Flynn represents leasing companies in major aviation transactional work, primarily regarding corporate jets. 'Key man' Tim Murray is a 'hugely experienced litigator', while Victoria Koob is 'commercially aware and extremely diligent', advising on asset class financings.

Practice head(s):

Robert Ricketts

Other key lawyers:

Gwyn O’Flynn; Tim Murray; Victoria Koob

Testimonials

‘Robert Ricketts is the doyen of aviation leasing of small to medium fleets. Tim Murray is a hard working and dedicated litigator.’

Excellent coordination for US deals through the London team.’

Victoria Koob is commercially aware and extremely diligent.

The key man is Tim Murray, a hugely experienced litigator in the aviation sector.

Outstanding industry experience made available to the clients. Good grip on commercial needs by clients and outstanding response time. Good network of offices and partner firms around the globe.’

Robert Ricketts puts the client’s needs first and has the client’s commercial interest in mind when providing legal advice.’

Timothy Murray has widespread litigation experience and gives very helpful advice in distress management.’

Key clients

Shannon Engine Support Limited

AerSale

AerCap Holdings, N.V.

Avolon Aerospace Leasing Limited

GE Capital Aviation Services Limited (GECAS)

BBAM Aircraft Management LP

HEH Hamburger EmissionsHaus GmbH & Cle. KG

Aircastle Limited

Braathens Aviation AB

SMBC Aviation Capital Limited

Fuyo General Lease Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Represented Braathens Aviation and a majority of its subsidiaries, including Braathens Regional Airlines, the second largest domestic airline in Sweden, as the company navigated through its restructuring and administration.
  • Represented numerous aircraft leasing companies in connection with both the Avianca and Aeromexico US Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.
  • Acted for a leasing company and an airline (in separate representations) in connection with the implications of the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. This included advice on a variety of English law matters relating to leased and owned aircraft (both delivered and undelivered).

Keystone Law

The growing bench of aviation experts at Keystone Law work with airlines, airports, aircraft manufacturers, banks, financiers, and leasing companies on a wide range of matters. Hugh O’Donovan ‘is the go-to person‘ for regulatory work, Alex Ferrari advises on insurance disputes, while Susannah Sheppard and Philippe Ruttley are experts in EU and UK competition law. In early 2020, ‘multi-skilled lawyerStephen McGlennan joined from Hybrid Air Vehicles, where he was CEO and general counsel, while aviation insurance specialist James Healy-Pratt joined from Stewarts Law LLP in May 2021.

Other key lawyers:

Hugh O’Donovan; Alex Ferrari; Susannah Sheppard; Stephen McGlennan; Simon Murfitt; James Healy-Pratt; Philippe Ruttley; Trevor Sears; Owen Hanna

Testimonials

‘Hugh O’Donovan has unrivalled knowledge and experience. He is the go-to person for novel or knotty situations and is very responsive.’

‘Stephen McGlennan is an exceptional multi-skilled lawyer in the domain of aviation. The breadth and depth of his expertise goes beyond legal talent; he is well connected with organisations and individuals within the global aviation sector.’

‘The depth of experience of Philippe Ruttley is quite unique. He offers flexibility on rates and has the ability to make legal matters accessible.’

‘Philippe Ruttley is very user friendly – always available for calls and very responsive. His depth of legal knowledge and experience is second to none.’

‘Stephen McGlennan has a deep knowledge of corporate and commercial law, but also the experience of having worked within entrepreneurial business including as COO and CEO. This blended mixture of experience means that you are provided robust legal advice, balanced by commercial pragmatism. I find this approach to be very valuable. He is always available to talk over issues and act as a sounding board. In short, he is a great support to our company and I would recommend him to any other SME.’

Key clients

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust

Blue Bear Systems Research Ltd

CMBC International Holdings Limited

Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited

CFS Aeroproducts Limited

Eastgate Investments Limited

Laboratoire ASL SNC

Channel Islands Jet Services Limited

CHC Group Ltd

Blue Islands Ltd

Wizz Air

Airbridge International Agencies Limited

Jazeera Airways

Airport Coordination Limited

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard advises major airlines, UK and international airports, airport infrastructure contractors on the full spectrum of aviation law, from transactional and regulatory guidance to matters regarding sustainable airport projects. Paul Hirst and David Shaw jointly lead the team from Leeds, working in project finance and construction and environment matters, respectively. In September 2020, Rebecca Garner  departed for Stephenson Harwood.

Practice head(s):

Paul Hirst; David Shaw

Key clients

Highland and Island Airports Limited

London Luton Airport Limited

International Airlines Group

Manchester Airport Group

Dundee Airport Limited

Work highlights

  • Provided general planning, roads and environmental law advice to Highland and Islands Airport Limited across its operational assets.
  • Advised and supported London Luton Airport Limited, the owners of London Luton Airport, on challenges which have arisen as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting complexities under its concession agreement with London Luton Airport Operations Limited for the management, operation and development of the airport.
  • Advised London Luton Airport Limited, the owners of London Luton Airport, on their airport expansion programme.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP's expertise in the aviation sector encompasses airline insolvencies, projects, planning, competition, aircraft leasing, banking, asset finance and regulatory matters. The firm's household name clients include Heathrow Airport and easyJet; the team also took a high-profile role for EY on the administration of Flybe. Key figures in the team include Rebecca Quayle and Anton Chambers (aviation asset finance); Andrew Hockley (competition); and Nicholas Myatt  (M&A and corporate finance).

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Quayle

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Hockley; Anton Chambers, Nicholas Myatt

Testimonials

‘BCLP’s work on the Heathrow third runway project has been exceptional. The firm was well-equipped to deal with multi-disciplinary and cross cutting issues, whether related to planning, real estate, litigation, regulatory or commercial matters. The team is notable for its commercial and collaborative approach and the individual lawyers are great to deal with. Their approach to collaborative working, including with other firms, is also notable. BCLP’s ability to resource work through its Manchester office and use of process mapping also provides an innovative approach to use of technology and pricing.’     

‘The individual lawyers are technically astute but what stands out is their commercial approach and ability to work in large multidisciplinary project teams.’

‘Rebecca Quayle leads by example. We very much value her straightforward approach and deal focus. You feel that she manages her team very well and that you are in a safe pair of hands. Very proactive. Knows how to deal with the commercial people of our company.

‘Nicholas Myatt is technically very strong – a deep thinker who gives balanced and reasoned advice. He leads a committed and happy team. He considers a variety of angles and sticks with his points until the other side understand the issues at hand. Balanced and reasonable.’

‘Rebecca Quayle and her team are very good lawyers and focus on the right issues.’

‘A very accessible, friendly and technically competent transaction team. Very proactive, great partner involvement, straightforward solutions and communications. Thorough and focused on successfully completing the transaction. Very transparent on fees and honouring fee estimates.’

‘Rebecca Quayle is very thorough, experienced and practical.’

‘Rebecca Quayle’s team are a group of talented professionals – skillful, practical and responsive.’

Key clients

Falko Regional Aircraft Limited

ICBCIL Aviation Company Limited

Heathrow

easyJet

EY

Work highlights

  • Advised EY as administrators on all aviation financing and leasing aspects of Flybe’s administration
  • Representing Heathrow Airport regarding its Expansion Project since 2013 and has been defending the challenges brought against the Government’s Airports National Policy Statement  since 2018.
  • Advised Heathrow in relation to the proposed Southern Access to Heathrow. The project involved a multi-modal scheme, linking Heathrow airport to the south, including heavy rail services.

Dentons

Dentons advises airlines, airports, and private operators on cross-border aircraft finance and leasing, as well as regulatory issues, banking and finance, intellectual property and M&A. Practice head Nick Chandler is particularly experienced advising on leasing structures, ECA-supported financings, and leasing and purchase structures.

Practice head(s):

Nick Chandler

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

The aviation team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP advises airlines, airports, and insurers on the full range of matters, such as commercial, corporate, and real estate advice, as well as banking and fraud-related matters. It is particularly experienced in commercial financing and leasing disputes. Practice head Kathryn Insall is based in Exeter; she has strong experience of international disputes and high-profile aviation disaster work. Other key figures include Alex Burton, who heads up the firm's international dispute management practice from London and works with airlines and leasing companies.

Practice head(s):

Kathryn Insall

Other key lawyers:

Alex Burton

Key clients

TWC Aviation Capital Limited

AAL Group Limited

KAL Leasing & Chartering FZE

Iris Helicopters Leasing Ltd

Work highlights

  • Successfully obtained a judgment for TWC Aviation Capital against Jet Lite for breach of contract in relation to two aircraft leases totalling in excess of $24m, plus orders for return of parts.
  • Advised AAL Group Limited on the enforcement of a circa $20m LCIA arbitration award against a Colombian helicopter lessee.
  • Acted for KAL, a UAE registered company, in a claim arising out of the total loss of a Boeing 737 aircraft following a heavy landing at Lahore airport.

Weightmans LLP

The aviation team at Weightmans LLP provides expert advice to major airlines regarding regulatory and commercial matters, while also working with a number of major aviation underwriters. 'Experienced, knowledgeable and enthusiastic' practice leader Andrew Krausz specialises in aviation litigation, with a particular focus on defending claims made against pilots and airline operators, product liability disputes, and insurance coverage.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Krausz

Other key lawyers:

Hayley Kiely

Testimonials

‘Their knowledge of the aviation industry is excellent. The aviation industry is complex and potential clients need to know that the people they are dealing with have a first-rate understanding of the complexities involved. Their communication is excellent and their attention to detail is first class.’

‘Andrew Krausz has always been totally professional to work with and his knowledge of the aviation industry is second to none.’

‘Andrew Krausz has a wealth of experience in the aviation sector and has created a cohesive and effective team providing a wide range of support to the aviation sector from private individuals to major international airlines.’

‘Andrew Krausz is very experienced, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. He is very approachable and easily puts clients at their ease and speaks their language.’

‘Andrew Krausz works extremely hard to ensure the right outcome for his clients. His charges are reasonable and he will do the right work for the best outcome. He is honest and will tell you if you don’t have a case, working for a favourable resolution if you do.’

Key clients

Wizz Air

Flybe

PDG Helicopters

National Police Aviation Service

Execujet Aviation Group / Execujet Aviation Nigeria

Harrods Aviation Limited

VistaJet Limited

Falko

Helicopter Maintenance Limited

Helicopter Services Limited

Winston & Strawn LLP

US firm Winston & Strawn LLP's London office advises aviation sector clients on the full range of regulatory and commercial matters, including acquisitions, financing and leasing. In recent years the team has been building up its aviation finance-related litigation practice. Practice leader Mark Moody focuses on cross-border aviation disputes and commercial matters.

Practice head(s):

Mark Moody

Other key lawyers:

Michael Stepek; Dan Meagher

Testimonials

‘A strong and knowledgeable team handling aviation disputes.’

‘Michael Stepek and Dan Meagher have a great depth of expertise handling major clients in this field.’

Key clients

Aviation Capital Group

Deutsche Bank

BNP Paribas

UK Export Finance

Euler Hermes Aktiengesellschaft

Bpifrance Assurance Export

Work highlights

  • Secured a multimillion-dollar judgment from the English High Court on behalf of Aviation Capital Group for two Boeing 737 aircraft to Norwegian Air Shuttle.