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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.

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