Roundtable Discussion: Comparative Interpretations

Roundtable Discussion: Comparative Interpretations of the Warsaw/Montreal Conventions & Aircraft Lessors’ Liability Exposure

- What are the similarities and differences in judicial interpretation of the provisions of the Warsaw/Montreal Conventions?
- Do the Conventions still satisfy the objective to unify aviation liability rules globally or do they instead encourage forum shopping?
- What is the relation between the Conventions and recent passenger rights legislation and regulations?
- What is the liability exposure of aircraft losses?

Chair: P. Nikolai Ehlers (Ehlers, Ehlers & Partner, Munich)

Paul Stephen Dempsey (IASL, McGill University, Montreal)
Mark Mackrell (Norton White, Sydney)
Eduardo Dueri (Marsh Ltd., Bogotá)
Donal Hanley (Aviation Capital Group Corp., Newport Beach)


The Conflict of Laws on the Issue of Delay in International Air Carriage
Accidents & Injuries in Air Law: The Clash of the Titans

Pictures (click here)

P. Nikolai Ehlers

Nikolai Ehlers Dr. P.Nikolai Ehlers, the partner in charge of the aviation practice of Ehlers, Ehlers & Partner (Munich/Germany), is qualified as a lawyer both in Germany and in New York. Mr. Ehlers has extensive experience of advising and representing airlines and their insurers in liability matters and conducting complex litigation involving international parties. He regularly advises on aircraft and engine finance and lease transactions, regulatory issues, airport access, competition matters, alliances and codesharing, insolvency proceedings, tour operator liability regulation, CRS matters, maintenance contracts, mergers and acquisitions, etc. Mr. Ehlers holds degrees from the Cologne and the McGill Institutes of Air and Space Law. He is an officer of the European Air Law Association, a member of the advisory boards of the Journal of Air Law and Commerce (SMU-Dallas) and of the journal Air and Space Law (Kluwer) and holds offices in other professional organizations. For many years he has organized the biennial Munich Liability Seminar of the European Air Law Association.

Paul Stephen Dempsey

Paul Stephen Dempsey is Tomlinson Professor of Global Governance in Air and Space Law and Director of the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University, in Montreal, Canada. From 1979-2002, he held the endowed chair as Professor of Transportation Law and Director of the Transportation Law Program at the University of Denver. He was also Director of the National Center for Intermodal Transportation. From 1975-79, he served as an attorney with the Civil Aeronautics Board and the Interstate Commerce Commission in Washington, D.C., and in 1981-81 he was Legal Advisor to the Chairman of the I.C.C.

Professor Dempsey has written more than fifty law review and professional journal articles, scores of newspaper and news magazine editorials, and several books. For a list of selected publications, see "Publications" in the left-hand column.

Dr Dempsey holds the following degrees: A.B.J., J.D., University of Georgia; LL.M., George Washington University; D.C.L., McGill University. He is admitted to practice law in Colorado, Georgia and the District of Columbia. Professor Dempsey was a Fulbright Scholar, was awarded the Transportation Lawyers Association Distinguished Service Award, and was designated the University of Denver's Outstanding Scholar. He was the first individual designated the University of Denver's Hughes Research Professor and DePaul University's Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law. The Colorado transportation community named him "Educator of the Year", and inducted him into the Colorado Aerospace Hall of Fame. From 1979-2002, he was faculty editor of the Transportation Law Journal. He also served on the Editorial Boards of the Denver Business Journal, and The Aviation Quarterly (Lloyds, London). From 1986 to 1998, he was host of KWGN-TV's weekly talk show, "Your Right To Say It." Professor Dempsey has appeared on the ABC Evening News with Peter Jennings, the MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour, ABC World Business Report, NBC Today, ABC Good Morning America, CNN Crossfire, National Public Radio, CBS Radio, NBC Mutual Radio, and other news broadcasting networks in the United States and abroad. His editorials have been published numerous newspapers and news magazines, including Newsweek, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

Dr Dempsey is also Vice Chairman & Director of Frontier Airlines, Inc., and Director of the Jordan Center for Aviation Safety Security, in Amman, Jordan. He has served as a founder and first Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Certified Claims Professional Accreditation Council, Inc., and President and Director of the Genesee Foundation, Inc. He has also served as a consultant to U.S. and foreign airlines, railroads, motor carriers, transportation labor organizations, government agencies, and telecommunications companies.

Mark Mackrell

Mark Mackrell Mark Mackrell is a partner of the Australian firm, Norton White, and practices in aviation law representing airlines, aviation operators and aviation underwriters. He also has extensive experience in Trade Practices, Product Liability and Intellectual Property issues.

Mr Mackrell was awarded the International Law Office (ILO) Client Choice Award in the aviation category for Australia in 2010 and 2011.

Eduardo Dueri

Eduardo Dueri is a lawyer from the Pontifical Javeriana University in Bogotá, Colombia, with post graduate studies in Air and Space Law from the Institute of Air and Space Law of McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

He has extensive aviation insurance experience as he was Insurance Manager and Fuel and Insurance Director of Avianca Airlines for over 5 years, time during which he helped steer many international insurance and legal initiatives such as the IATA Intercarrier Agreements on Air Transport Liability and the amendment of the terms under which the market was to cover passenger exposures. He was also Administrative Vicepresident and Advisor to the President of Avianca Airlines.

He is currently Managing Director of the Marsh Aviation & Aerospace Practice, responsible for all Marsh Aviation commercial efforts on insurance and risk management in Latin America.

He has written extensively on aviation industry issues in the AITAL Bulletin and other publications and presently serves as professor of Aviation Insurance in the masters’ degree on Insurance at the Pontifical Javeriana University in Bogota, Colombia.

Donal Hanley

Donal Hanley Donal Patrick Hanley was born in Dublin, Ireland, and educated there at Belvedere College, SJ and at the Law School of Trinity College, Dublin University, from which he graduated with an MA degree. He was the recipient of a European Commission scholarship to study Japanese language and business at Tokyo School of Japanese Language and Sophia University, SJ, as part of its Executive Training Programme in Japan.

He also has an MA degree in Linguistics from Monash University, which he studied by distance learning, as well as an MBA degree in International Aviation from Concordia University, Montréal, and a Diploma in Air Law from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Montréal, where he is now an instructor in the IATA Training and Development Institute.

He graduated cum laude with an LLM (Adv) in Air and Space Law from Leiden University in The Netherlands and became a PhD candidate there in 2009.

He is Vice President, Legal of Aviation Capital Group Corp. (ACG), a large commercial jet aircraft leasing and asset management company wholly-owned subsidiary of PacificLife Corp. He was instrumental, with Dr. Donald H. Bunker and others, in founding joint venture leasing aircraft leasing company in Cairo, Egypt in 2009 among ACG, CIAF Holding Company (headed by His Excellency Dr Medhat Hassanein, former Egyptian Finance Minister), EgyptAir and others, with the support of His Excellency Air Marshal Ahmed Shafik, former Egyptian Prime Minister and former Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation.

He represents ACG on Cape Town Convention and legal documentation standardization matters on the Aviation Working Group, an industry association of major aircraft and aircraft engine manufacturers, lessors and financiers, and is a member of the AWG team negotiating legal documentation standardization with IATA.

Before joining ACG in 2005, he was an aircraft leasing and finance lawyer for 15 years with extensive experience, both in private practice and in house, in Ireland and England for McCann FitzGerald, in Japan for Linklaters and in the United States and The Netherlands for Tombo Aviation Inc. and other group companies of Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

He is a solicitor admitted in Ireland and England and Wales and is a member of the State Bar of California. He served as Chair of the International Law Section of the State Bar of California from 2006 to 2007.

Click on the thumbnail to view a larger version of the pictures.


Eduardo Dueri, Mark Mackrell and Nikolai Ehlers
Nikolai Ehlers, Donal Hanley, Paul S. Dempsey

Paul Stephen Dempsey
Tom Whalen
Back to top