Programme of the 11th Annual McGill Conference on International Aviation Liability, Insurance & Finance (2018)

Programme of the 11th Annual McGill Conference on International Aviation Liability, Insurance & Finance (2018)

PDF version of the programme (15 Oct 2018)

  • FRIDAY 19 OCTOBER 2018

8:15 – 9:00


9:00 – 10:00

Recent Developments in Air Carrier Liability

  • Comparative Analysis of Recent Warsaw and Montreal Convention Jurisprudence in Europe, the US, Latin America and Asia/Pacific
  • Applicability of the 261/2004 EU regulation to non-EU carriers
  • Update on the “extraordinary circumstances” defense: recent EU Jurisprudence
  • Recent Aviation Disaster Litigation
  • Conflicts Between U.S. and European Courts
  • The Challenges of Achieving Global Uniformity

Chair:  Paul Stephen Dempsey – McGill University, Montreal, Canada


  1. Luiz Eduardo Arena Alvarez– Arena Alvarez Advogados – Sao Paulo
  2. Jeanne O’Grady – Speiser Krause, New York
  3. Jorge Góngora - Góngora Reina & Associates, Bogotá
  4. Andrew Harrington – Norton White, Sydney

Documents for the panel:


10:00 – 11:00

Liability of Manufacturers of Aircraft and Component Parts

  • Does governmental certification preempt tort claims?
  • What are Recoverable Damages?
  • The Conflict Between North American and European Courts
  • TCAS, Autopilot and Automation
  • Will we see more use of the Hague Convention on Products Liability?
  • Is there Liability Exposure for Foul Cabin Air and Radiation?
  • What is the liability for the use of counterfeit parts?

Chair: Heather Devine – Isaacs & Co., Toronto


  1. Stephen Coxhead - Fowler White Burnett, Miami 
  2. David Weiner – Arnold & Porter, Houston
  3. Vonnick Le Guillou – DLA Piper, Paris 
  4. Brandt Madsen – SmithAmundsen, Chicago
  5. Zhang Chaohan – Northwest University of Political Science & Law, Xi’an

11:00 – 11:20

Refreshment Break
Sponsored by:

11:20 – 12:20

Liability of Governments for Aviation Accidents and Acts of Terrorism

  • Sovereign Immunity
  • The US Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act and the Federal Tort Claims Act
  • The US Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA
  • What will be the liability exposure of the United States should other nations enact reciprocal legislation?
  • Under what circumstances can a State force a foreign airline to waive sovereign immunity as a condition of licensing?
  • Libya’s Settlement with Families of Pan Am 103
  • The Challenges of State Liability: A look at KAL 007, Lockerbie, the September 11, 2001, U.S. terror attacks, MH 17 and Cuban Brothers to the Rescue

Chair: Jim Morris – Ashfords, London 


  1. Alisa Brodkowitz – Friedman Rubin, Seattle
    The Families ICAO forgot
  2. Jim Kreindler – Kreindler & Kreindler, New York
  3. Steven Truxal, University of London, London
    State Immunity or Government Liability

12:20 – 13:40


13:40 – 14:40

Liability of Airports, ANSPs and Maintenance Providers

  • Liability of airports for passenger injury
  • The contractual liability of the airport operator
  • Cyber Security: Airport risk and liability
  • Implementation of the data protection EU 2016/679 Regulation
  • Airport operation risks, related liability and insurance program
  • The lessor and manufacturer liability, latest developments
  • Liability of lessors under the principle of negligent entrustment
  • Liability of maintenance providers

Chair: Jean-Michel Fobe – Sybarius Advocates, Brussels

      Cyber Security: Airport Risk and Liability


  1. Isabelle Lelieur - Chevrier & Associés, Paris
    Liability of Airport Concessionaire
  2. Ann-Frederique Pothier – Eurocontrol, Brussels (TBC)
  3. Valérie Augros - Avocat à la Cour, Paris

14:40 – 15:50

Court Is in Session:  Analyzing the Importance of Trial in Aviation Accident Cases

  • Choice of Jurisdiction: Trial Considerations
  • Comparative Fault and Joint Liability
  • Admissibility of Government Investigations and Criminal Proceedings
  • Time to Trial and Cost
  • Trial, Strategy, and Verdict – Judge vs. Jury
  • Using “The Threat” of Trial in Settlement Negotiation
  • Aeromexico Crash
  • ILSD Juror Questionnaire
  • Juror Questionnaire

Chair: Robert Hedrick - Aviation Law Group, Seattle

    Panel Speakers:

    1. Robert A. Clifford – Clifford Law Offices, Chicago:  
    2. Sigrid Preissl – Bourayne & Preissl, Paris 
      The Court is in Session in France 
    3. Gerard Forlin QC – Cornerstone Barristers, London 
    4. Joe Fiorante – Camp, Fiorante, Matthews, Vancouver   

    15:50 – 16:10

    Refreshment Break

    Sponsored by:

    16:10 – 17:30

    Aviation Litigation in Ireland: How It Works

    • Irish Legal Issues relating to aviation liability and insurance
    • PIAB (statutory scheme for personal injury),
    • Coroners Inquests after the Norfolk Coroner Judicial Review case
    • SAR operations

    Chair: James Healy-Pratt – Stewarts Law LLP, London 

    Aviation Litigation in Ireland: How it Works


    1. Kieran Cowhey - Dillon Eustace, Dublin
    2. Simon McAleese – McAleese & Co., Dublin
    3. Patrick McGurgan – Coroner, Belfast

    18:00 – 19:30 

    Gala Reception
    Sponsored by:


    Sponsored by:

    Keynote Speaker:

    Stephen Kavanagh, CEO Aer Lingus

    “An unparalleled degree of comfort, refinement and privacy at the heart of Dublin since 1840”


    9 S t Stephen's Green, Dublin 2

    • SATURDAY 20 OCTOBER 2018


    Air Carrier Liability: What is an “Accident”, and What Damages are Recoverable under the Warsaw/Montreal Conventions

    • Review of recent court decisions on what constitutes accident and bodily injury.
    • To what extent are courts permitting recovery for emotional and mental injuries?
    • How courts treat medical emergencies in flight?
    • Review of recent court decisions on the scope of (dis)embarkation.
    • Should the carrier be liable for passenger-to-passenger assaults?
    • Should the carrier be liable for occurrences that are not related to the operation of the aircraft?
    • What will be the liability exposure of crew and/or air marshals who subdue an unruly passenger?

    Chair: George Leloudas – Swansea University


    1. Simon Balls - Kennedys, London  
    2. Michel F. Baumeister - Baumeister & Samuels, P.C., New York
    3. Andrew Harakas – Clyde & Co., New York
    4. Mark K. Schwartz - Driggers, Schultz & Herbst, PC, Troy, Michigan 


    The Challenges of Aircraft Leasing and Finance

    • Smart choices in aircraft investment – asset types and jurisdictional risk
    • Monitoring the Cape Town Convention – scoring compliance by member States
    • The future of export credit and financing
    • Expunging clogs in the title and other interventions: how the Irish High Court keeps watch on the Cape Town international registry
    • Subsidies and State aid: updates on the GATT, Airbus-Bombardier and other recent flashpoints

    Chair: Brian F. Havel – McGill University, Montreal


    1. Catherine Duffy – A&L Goodbody, Dublin
    2. Donald Gray- Blakes & Company, Toronto
      - The Challenges of Aircraft Leasing and Finance
    3. Donal Patrick Hanley – ACG Aircraft Leasing Ireland Limited, Dublin
    4. Richard Sharman – Clifford Chance, London
    5. Serap Zuvin - Cakmak Law Offices, Istanbul


     Refreshment Break

    Sponsored by:

    11:50 -13:00

    Aviation Litigation in the United States: How it Works

    • Conflict of Laws
    • Venue
    • Forum Non Conveniens
    • Jury Trials
    • Appeals

    Chair: Dayron Silverio, PodhurstOrseck, Miami


    13:00-14:00  Lunch

    14:00 - 15:30

    The Challenges of Settlement Negotiation & Emerging Insurance Issues

    • The Challenges of Multi-Jurisdictional Settlements in Complex International Aviation Litigation Against Multiple Tortfeasors
    • Settlement Complications in Cases Involving Long-Missing Commercial Aircraft
    • Settlement/Payment Difficulties Due to Sanctions and International Trade Controls
    • Use of “Structured Settlements”
    • Emerging Insurance Issues (e.g., Acts of Terrorism, Conflict Zones, Cyber Security)

    Chair: Alan Reitzfeld – Retired Senior Partner, Holland & Knight, New York


    1. Anna Anatolitou – Ince & Co., London
    2. Martin Blake – Juris Resolutions, Dublin
    3. Steven C. Marks – Podhurst Orseck PA, Miami
    4. Anna Masutti – LexJus Sinacta, Milan
      The Challenges of Settlement Negotiation & Emerging Insurance Issues
    5. Suzanne McCarthy– Global Aerospace, New Jersey

    * * *

    The McGill University Institute of Air & Space Law Alumni meeting follows the Conference. The reunion will be comprised of an afternoon seminar (following the conference) on international business law issues, a cocktail reception at the end of the seminar, and then a gala champagne dinner and party at a private home in the beautiful city centre residential area of Raglan Road. Details will be provided at the conference.


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