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Brexit has left the transport sector subject to a degree of uncertainty as the legal, commercial and regulatory impact is yet to be seen. Firms in the sector report a steady uptick of related enquiries in light of The Great Repeal Bill. High-profile and unusual aviation losses over recent years continue to bring work to aviation practices, and regulation EC 261 airline passenger claims are prevalent. The issue of sanctions has also entered the spotlight again at the beginning of 2017 following the outcome of the US Presidential election. Airport expansions, such as the proposed new runway at Heathrow, are also a key focus.

As Crossrail comes to its conclusion, many firms continue to be instructed on HS2, and the recent award of several UK franchises has given rise to substantial investment in rolling stock. While a number of international rail projects have been temporarily halted as a result of lower commodity prices, there are new international rail project proposals, particularly in Africa, and infrastructure projects in the Middle East, are also a key focus for international practices.

Growth in the shipping sector remains muted. Although the shipping disputes market continues to be rather quiet, many firms are continuing to advise on restructurings in the industry and Hanjin Shipping’s insolvency has created numerous instructions across the sector. As the difficult dry-bulk market, offshore and container markets continue to put pressure on owners, there is an uptick in cargo claims. Trade sanctions against Russia, Syria and the relaxation of sanctions against Iran, remain a key source of work. There remains a number of highly leveraged shipbuilding disputes tied to market conditions, although traditional admiralty instructions involving salvage, breakdowns, fire and pollution remain low.

Firms active in the travel sector have seen a noted increase in instructions relating to Brexit as the uncertainty surrounding commercial and regulatory mandates, and cross-border claims work is impacted. Flight delay compensation claims and the growth of gastric illness claims is a key focus for the sector. Personal injury practices continue to advise on instructions across the globe.

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