Travlaw > Leeds, England > Firm Profile

LS18 5RF

Transport > Travel

At Leeds-based specialist firm Travlaw, the commercial and corporate governance practice, led by senior partner Matt Gatenby, advises clients including travel businesses and industry bodies on a range of regulatory matters; the team's expertise covers commercial disputes, data protection, employment and commercial contracts. The disputes side of the practice, which is led by newly promoted partner Krystene Bousfield, has a focus on defending holiday companies and their insurers against major claims brought by consumers - senior counsel Stephen Mason is described as 'knowing more about travel law than just about any other practitioner in the area'. Employment head Ami Naru is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Mason; Matt Gatenby; Ami Naru

Other key lawyers:

Krystene Bousfield; Nick Parkinson


‘Travlaw is a unique firm in this area; a boutique firm that represents defendants in all areas of their commercial practice and which does it extremely well. The firm has excellent relations with its clients and with the other practitioners in the field, which stand it in good stead when it comes to fighting and settling claims and to recovering from suppliers. It is the firm I would use if I were a tour operator.’

‘Stephen Mason can justly be described as the father of this area of law – he writes the book on travel law and has done more than anyone else to develop it as a field of law. He knows more about travel law than just about any other practitioner in the area. He is backed by a team who are friendly and approachable but knowledgeable and extremely sensible; Krystene Bousfield, Matt Gatenby and Nick Parkinson all deserve a mention here.’

‘The team has strength in depth – they are all extremely competent, but Stephen Mason and Matt Gatenby particularly stand out in this area.’

‘The team is more than the sum of their parts. Stephen Mason is an old hand in the field leads it but he has very able support at all levels. The partners and fee earners in each aspect are knowledgeable in the regulatory and commercial aspects which forms the background of their work as a result of the firm’s consistent focus on the travel field.’

‘Stephen Mason has real depth of knowledge, having been specialising in the travel field for decades. His specialised knowledge is unsurpassed and his appreciation extends from the present state of the law to the anticipated changes and evolutions. He has his finger on the pulse.’

‘Stephen Mason is the ace in the pack for this firm. He is robust in defence of his clients. He has an authoritative but practical analysis of most difficult legal problems. Where there is no clear legal answer he is a forceful and persuasive negotiator who uses all the available evidence and know how to secure a favourable result.’

‘Niche Leeds-based firm with an established travel: regulatory and commercial practice. This includes representing high-end tour operators and cruise providers as well as online accommodation providers.’

‘Matt Gatenby is an experienced, charming and pragmatic travel lawyer.’

Key clients


On The Beach

We Love Holidays


Southall Travel

G Adventures


Dnata / Gold Medal

Abercrombie & Kent

Edreams Odigeo / Opodo

Travel Counsellors

Tokio Marine HCC

Red Sea Holidays


OTS Globe

Noble Caledonia

Alfendo Travel t/a JTA

Aspen Insurance

AIG Of Canada

Quintessentially Travel


Solmar Villas

Midcounties Co-Operative

Best At Travel

Reader Offers



Next Generation Travel Ltd

International Sports Tours Limited (t/a InspireSport)

Alpine Travel International Limited t/a Snowtraxx International

Southall Travel

Great Rail Journeys

Travcorp Holdings (HolidayGems & Destination2)

Portman Travel Group (Clarity Travel, Destination Sports, Inspire Sports)

Mid Counties Co-Operative

Dnata / GoldMedal


Abercrombie & Kent

Great Rail Journeys



Clarity Travel Group

Brooklyn Travel Group

Blue Bay Travel

Slow Adventure

Cyplon Travel

Leger Shearings Group

We Love Holidays

Work highlights

  • Acting for On the Beach in defending a multimillion pound personal injury claim, arising from a catastrophic, near-drowning incident in Spain.
  • Instructed by Red Sea Holidays in appealing an initial judgment awarded in favour of the claimants. A holiday sickness claim, this matter has the potential to affect numerous other claims as the appeal focuses upon the reliance of the court on expert medical evidence, even though same was controverted by the Defendant at trial.
  • Adised a global tech-based online travel agency on a cross-border regulatory investigation.

With the largest dedicated travel and leisure law team in the UK, holding over 120 years’ combined experience, Travlaw enjoys an unrivalled relationship with the travel and leisure industry serving UK and international travel companies, including tour operators, insurers, airlines, hotels, online travel agents, trade bodies, and many more.

Travlaw’s Litigation team has for many years been trusted to act and advise on leading and precedent setting cases such as Milner v Carnival Plc (t/a Cunard) [2010] EWCA Civ 389, Noble Caledonia v Air Niugini (2017) EWHC 1095/1393 (QB), Emma Moore v Hotelplan Ltd (Inghams Travel) (2010) EWHC 276, HMRC v Secret Hotels2 [2014] UKSC 16 and Lougheed v On The Beach (2014) EWCA Civ 1538, as well as defending and otherwise representing a variety of travel companies and their insurers against claims with a cross border element. Travlaw has been at the forefront of the fight against false holiday illness claims and its aviation litigation practice is well established, defending flight delay claims on behalf of airline clients.

The well-established Commercial and Corporate Governance team has been at the forefront of advising on many regulatory changes affecting the travel industry in recent years, including the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangement Regulations 2018, the 2018 amended ATOL Regulations, Brexit, Covid-19, GDPR and the Payment Services Directive 2. In addition, the team specialises in drafting booking conditions, supplier agreements, agency agreements and other crucial documents vital to ensure the success of travel companies.

The Travlaw Team collectively advise and guide their 500 plus travel and leisure clients in maintaining effective trade in the face of the new legislative landscape, not only in the UK but in Europe and worldwide through Travlaw’s International Travel Law Network (ITLN). Travlaw has also been involved in some of the most notable corporate mergers and acquisitions in the industry and frequently advises clients regarding corporate structure & governance, EMI schemes and shareholder agreements.

Assisting clients big and small, Travlaw provides free legal advice helplines and holds seminars and training for clients. Travlaw often contributes to the trade media and its members regularly speak at industry conferences, panel sessions, debates and seminars both overseas and in the UK.

The firm has an enviable relationship with key associations such as ABTA, ABTOT, AGTO, AITO, BTA, ITT and UkInbound.

International: The firm has its own ‘International Travel Law Network’ enabling clients to benefit from the excellent connection Travlaw has with likeminded firms in other jurisdictions. See

Clients: Key clients include Expedia Inc, Jet2 Holidays, DNATA, Gold Medal, The Wyndham Group, OTS, The Global Travel Group, Travel Counsellors, On The Beach Ltd, Holiday Taxis, Southall Travel Ltd, The Travel Network Group, WorldVentures Holdings, Sunvil Ltd, Lotus Group Ltd, Truly Travel Group, Travcorp Holdings, Great Rail Journeys Ltd, Clarity Travel Management, Hurtigruten Ltd, Hotelplan Ltd, Noble Caledonia, Abercrombie & Kent, ABTA, UKInbound, TMHCC.

Associated offices: Madrid, Lisbon, Paris, Milan, Dusseldorf, Brussels, Vienna, Limassol and Athens

Senior Partner Matt 258 0033
Managing Partner Rivka 258 0033
Partner, Head of Employment Ami 258 0033
Senior Counsel Stephen 258 0033
Krystene Bousfield photo Krystene BousfieldPartner
Matt Gatenby photo Matt GatenbySenior Partner
Stephen Mason photo Stephen MasonSenior Counsel
Ami Naru photo Ami NaruPartner, Head of Employment
Nick Parkinson photo Nick ParkinsonSenior Associate
Litigation : 3
Commercial and Corporate Governance : 6
Employment : 1

Travlaw is committed to an active policy of equal opportunities throughout. It is Travlaw policy that no employee or job applicant will receive less favourable treatment from recruitment and selection, through training and development, appraisal, pay and promotion to retirement. Travlaw adopts the SRA’s model anti-discrimination policy in relation to all forms of discrimination. The Travlaw policy on equal opportunity is contained in the following statement and applies to all areas of operation.

We are committed to the principle of equal opportunity in employment and customer service regardless of a person’s sex or sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, race, religion or belief, colour, disability, age, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, nationality or ethnic origin. We will therefore apply policies, which are fair, equitable and consistent. In employment terms, our policy will ensure that all employees are accorded equal opportunity for career, training, promotion and access to benefits.

Travlaw will not tolerate discrimination, harassment or victimisation of any kind and will deal with such behaviour through the disciplinary procedure as an act of gross misconduct. It is illegal and a breach of firm policy to discriminate against people on the protected grounds set out above.

CLIENT: Nick Pulley, Founder and Managing Director
COMPANY: Selective Asia
TESTIMONIAL: Matt and his team provided a first class service throughout, giving me clarity on the specifics of the case and managing my expectations very well. Whilst it was felt that I had a strong defence, I was helped to fully understand the aspects of the claim that could go against me on the day. This allowed me to make a fully informed decision as to how best to proceed.That we won the case was obviously a bonus, however win or lose I feel that I was given really good advice throughout in an arena which is, thankfully to date, very foreign to me

CLIENT: Alan Pattison M.lnst.TT, Divisional Director
COMPANY : Travel Risk Professionals, Part of the Tasker Group
TESTIMONIAL: We are proud to have worked alongside Travlaw as a respected travel industry law firm for many years. Their expertise in both litigation and commercial work is to the highest level and perfectly complements what we need for our travel industry clients. With a strong team of highly experienced lawyers, they are not just able to assist our clients commercially and in litigation, but are also able to assist on employment issues and international matters. We regularly share platforms with them at travel industry lectures and they come with our highest recommendation.

CLIENT: Michael Ellis,Group General Counsel
COMPANY: Abercrombie & Kent
TESTIMONIAL: Our relationship with Travlaw now spans five years and from adhoc advice on travel law, has developed into a fully-fledged retainer to cover multiple different areas of law which they handle. Everything a busy general counsel requires from expert advice in a timely manner to value for money to letting us know when changes in the law require our attention are all covered. They are my in-house team.

CLIENT: Martyn Sumners, Executive Director
COMPANT: AITO – The Specialist Travel Association
TESTIMONIAL: AITO and Travlaw have a longstanding relationship and are considered a most trusted legal advisor. They are a very proactive firm that take every effort to ensure that every one of their staff is engaged with our business to ensure that our business to ensure that our members are always treated as individuals. We can rely on Travlaw to keep our members up to date on all legal issues affecting their businesses and during the COVID-19 pandemic they have been an invaluable resource for us all to tap into. They have gone over and above what could be expected in a partnership and are very much seen by members as part of the ‘AITO Family’.