Biography of speakers at the 11th Annual McGill Conference on International Aviation Liability, Insurance & Finance 2018
Anna is a Partner in the firm’s Aviation Group. She is a dual-qualified English solicitor and New York attorney, practicing English law. She also has a good understanding of UAE law, having spent seven years in the UAE where she headed the Middle East Aviation and Dispute Resolution practices of another international firm.
Anna has considerable in-house experience, having spent some years as Group General Counsel for the Air Arabia Group, one of the Middle East’s leading airline groups with bases in the Middle East & Africa and 20 aviation related subsidiary companies including: ground services, MRO services, travel, hotels, and IT. She was responsible for both the Legal and the Insurance claims functions of the Group as well as taking an active role in strategic development. Anna also previously spent time in-house with the Emirates Group Legal department.
She advises on a range of Aviation and Travel law matters, including: aviation liability and commercial litigation, aviation and travel regulatory, commercial and transactional matters. Anna’s clients include a variety of airlines, insurers, travel agents, manufacturers, airports, MROs, ground agents, lessors and financiers.
Anna has handled a number of aviation liability accounts for underwriters and has had day to day responsibility for many high profile and complex aviation major losses, including the passenger, crew and third party claims arising from: Air France Concorde; Egyptair flight 990; Tarom Airlines flight 371, Tarom Airlines Flight 3107; Sudan Airways flight 109; Turkish Airlines flight 634; and Pamir Airways flight 112. She heads the team responsible for handling Regulation 261 claims for a number of clients, handling around 3,000 claims each year on average.
Luiz Eduardo Arena Alvarez
Luiz Eduardo Arena Alvarez is the founding partner of Arena Alvarez Advogados, graduated in business administration and law.
Luiz Eduardo worked as a director of Clyde & Co in São Paulo until 1994 when he set up his own law office and having been practicing in the field of aeronautical law, specifically in aircraft finance, regulatory work and aviation third party liability claims, insurance and reinsurance related matters.
Luiz Eduardo has been involved in various aeronautical accidents, including airlines and general aviation, handling also cargo and baggage claims.
Luiz Eduardo is one of the founding members of the Brazilian Association of General Aviation (ABAG) and current member of its Board (www.abag.orb.br). ABAG main purposes is to defend and promote the interests of general aviation in Brazil and is responsible for organizing the important general aviation exhibition in Brazil, LABACE.
Luiz Eduardo holds a private pilot license.
Valérie Augros, LL.M., is avocat à la Cour (French attorney-at-law) and was admitted to the Paris Bar in 2004.
Valérie founded VA-Avocat law firm based in Paris in 2014.
Prior to founding her law firm, she worked for British firms in Paris mainly in commercial and transport litigations (bank, insurance, aviation, maritime, debt recovery and arrests, intellectual property, NICT), including cross-border litigations.
She now specializes in travel and aviation law. Valérie gives advice on contracts and liability and she represents in court clients in the tourism and aviation sectors.
Alongside her work with travel and aviation, she also developed a niche activity in personal injury matters with international aspects, focusing on the right of compensation for damages in case of accidents abroad.
Simon leads our London aviation practice. He qualified in 1997 and specialises in aviation-related liability issues. He has extensive experience in advising airlines and insurers on a wide variety of claims including baggage, cargo, personal injury and major catastrophes.
Simon is notable for his expertise in handling and coordinating claims worldwide, and is regularly instructed to advise on matters in the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions. Simon has spent three years working in Singapore, from 2001 to 2004.
He has been instructed to advise on major matters including a Pakistani air crash in Istanbul and a significant claim made in the Canadian Human Rights court for denied boarding. He has successfully defended Malaysia Airlines in the Court of Appeal on the most significant recent claim concerning the definition of ‘accident’ in a personal injury claim governed by the Montreal Convention. Simon regularly lectures on aviation and insurance topics and writes for trade press and Kennedys publications. He is also a member of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers.
A renowned trial attorney for more than 35 years, Mitch Baumeister has concentrated his practice in the field of aviation accident and complex tort litigation. Prior to his entry into private practice, he served as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan. During his tenure in this office, he handled dozens of major trials including several high visibility cases involving murder, robbery and rape. Following his term as a trial attorney at the state prosecutor's office, Mitch was appointed an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. While serving as a federal prosecutor, he conducted an international investigation that resulted in the first successful tax fraud indictment and verdict in the commodity futures field.
Combining his extensive trial background with more than 40 years of aviation experience as a pilot, Mitch's career has been dedicated to helping air crash victims and their families receive proper and adequate compensation, as well as to making improvements in aviation safety. He has served as a leading Member of the Plaintiffs' Steering and Executive Committees in every major airline disaster in which the firm has represented victims and their families.
In the aftermath of an aviation mass disaster, Mitch is routinely contacted by media organizations for his analysis of the incident. He has made numerous appearances on both television and radio broadcasts in the U.S. and internationally, and is frequently quoted in the print media as well.
Mitch holds a commercial pilot's license with an instrument rating for various aircraft. He received his J.D. from Seton Hall University Law School where he was an Editor of the Law Review, and earned an LL.M. in International Law from New York University School of Law. He recently earned a Masters Degree in Political Science from Rutgers University. He has been an Adjunct Professor of aviation law at Seton Hall University for many years, and is the former Chair of the school’s Board of Visitors. Mitch was recognized for his years of service to Seton Hall with the School of Law Distinguished Graduate Award in 2007.
Martin is a California attorney, barrister, pro tem settlement judge for San Francisco Superior Court and the co-founder and director of Juris Resolutions, the first all Ireland commercial provider of ADR services.
Martin is a former President of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers’ Association and former chair of the International Practice Section and International Relations Committee of the American Association of Justice. He is an elected member of The American Board of Trial Advocates, The International Academy of Trial Lawyers and The American College of Trial Lawyers. From 2006 to the present he has been named in all editions of ‘Best Lawyers in America’.
Martin has written more than 30 articles and book reviews in the United States including chapters in several nationally recognized legal publications. He served for 16 years as an Adjunct Professor of Law, teaching advanced trial advocacy, at The University of California, Hastings, San Francisco and has made over 60 invited presentations at CPD programs in different countries.
He currently lives in Holywood, County Down, which he describes as “the real Holywood”.
Alisa specializes in complex personal injury litigation and products liability with a focus on plane crashes. Her successes, advocating on behalf of victims, are driven by a passion to make flying safer for everyone. She has represented dozens of victims of helicopter and plane crashes, successfully navigating through in-depth and complicated investigations to discover the cause of these crashes and obtaining millions of dollars for her clients. She has extensive experience working on cases involving large multi-passenger vehicles, experimental aircraft, helicopter, single engine, and commercial and charter airplane crashes.
Alisa is a former Chair of the Aviation Section for the American Association of Justice, Aviation Section of the King County Bar Association, Chair of the Products Liability Section for the Washington State Association for Justice, and former Newsletter Editor for the Aviation Section of the National Trial Lawyers Association. In 2006 she served as a founding board member of MAMAS, the Mother Attorney Mentoring Association of Washington and in 2007 Alisa served as President of King County Washington Women Lawyers. In 2010 Alisa was honored to be selected to speak at the Washington State Bar Association Best of CLE- Encore of Excellence. And in 2014 Alisa acted as Editor in Chief for the Washington State Association of Justice Product Liability Deskbook.
Robert A. Clifford is an accomplished litigator and founder of Clifford Law Offices, a nationally recognized trial law firm in Chicago concentrating in aviation, transportation, personal injury, medical negligence, product liability law, mass torts and class actions. The National Law Journal has named Clifford Law Offices one of the Top 10 Litigation Boutiques in the country and has awarded Clifford the Elite Trial Lawyers’ Award. He has the distinction of being selected by Super Lawyers, a peer-review organization, as the number one lawyer in Illinois for the years 2009 - 2016. He was named by Chicago Magazine as one of the 100 Most Powerful and Influential Chicagoans since the inception of that honor and was named the 2012 Chicago Lawyer Person of the Year, based upon his trial accomplishments, his contributions to the legal community and to the Chicago area. He has the honor of being awarded the Professionalism Award for 2014 by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2017, the Chicago Bar Association award Bob Clifford the Justice John Paul Stevens Award, given to those who best exemplify a commitment to integrity and public service in the practice of law.
Bob Clifford has represented those injured or killed in every major commercial airline crash in the U.S. in the last four decades, including the American Airlines crash at O’Hare in 1979, the United Airlines DC-10 crash in Sioux City, Iowa in 1989, the Comair runway crash in Lexington, Kentucky of 2006, the Continental Colgan crash of 2009; and, internationally, the Turkish Airlines crash in Amsterdam of 2009. Clifford served as the lead counsel in the subrogation and business claims in property damage which resulted from our nation’s tragedy on Sept. 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center, New York, NY, that settled for $1.2 billion.
Kieran Cowhey is a partner and head of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution team. He is a specialist in Commercial Insurance, Commercial and Financial Litigation, Aviation and Product Liability.
Kieran advises on general commercial and insurance-related matters and has conducted litigation on behalf of national and international corporations, banks and financial institutions. He advises many insurers on a range of issues and has a particularly strong reputation for his aviation and product liability work.
Kieran has been involved for insurers mainly in most of the significant aviation events in Ireland over the past number of years including the major incidents in Galway in 2007 and Cork in 2011. More recently he has been involved for insurers in the Irish Coast Guard R116 incident in Co. Mayo.
Kieran is currently the Co-Chair of the International Litigation Committee of the ABA Section of International Law, Country Chair for the Dispute Research Institute (DRI) and is a member of the Federation of Defence and Corporate Counsel. He is recommended in the Legal 500, Chambers Europe, Chambers Global, Who's Who Legal for Aviation-Contentious in Ireland and The Best Lawyers in Ireland for Arbitration and Mediation and Litigation.
As a shareholder in the firm’s Aviation Practice Group, Stephen F. Coxhead brings to the firm his broad experience as a litigator practicing in the defense of aviation manufacturers in product liability and complex commercial matters.
Focused on issues important to the aviation industry, Stephen has represented manufacturers of aircraft, airframes and component parts in cases arising from crashes throughout the world involving general aviation and commercial aircraft. He has achieved particular success in obtaining dismissals on forum non conveniens grounds and in winning summary judgment under the General Aviation Revitalization Act.
Over the years, Stephen has succesfully handled numerous mass casualty, wrongful death, electrocution, and amputation injury cases- receiving several industry awards recognizing the results he achieved for clients. During Stephen’s career as a prosecutor in Miami, he conducted a number of successful trials on behalf of the citizens of the State of Florida. His public service extends to significant involvement in several nonprofi t organizations within the South Florida community. He has been a member and served on the boards of such groups as the Center for Orthopedic Research and Education of the University of Miami; Coral Gables Community Foundation; League of Prosecutors; Miami Citizen’s Board; and Miami Children’s Hospital Founder’s Society. Additionally, he has been involved in fundraising for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.
Stephen’s experience in aviation and product liability matters includes the representation of manufacturers in litigation involving general aviation and commercial aircraft. His
extraordinary understanding of the manufacturing process - combined with his knowledge of available legal defenses - has translated into favorable outcomes for his clients on summary judgment and at trial. He also is experienced in litigating contractual disputes and administrative matters on behalf of his manufacturing clients.
Paul Stephen Dempsey is Tomlinson Professor Emeritus of Air & Space Law and Director Emeritus of the Institute of Air & Space Law at McGill University, in Montreal, Canada. For more than two decades, he held the chair as Professor of Transportation Law, and was Director of the Transportation Law Program at the University of Denver. He was also Director of the National Center for Intermodal Transportation, a consortium of the University of Denver and Mississippi State University. Earlier, he served as an attorney with the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board and the Interstate Commerce Commission in Washington, D.C., and was Legal Advisor to the Chairman of the I.C.C.
Heather Devine is one of Canada’s leading Transportation lawyers and Advocates. During her fifteen years of practice, with appearances in all levels of Provincial and Federal Courts, in Ontario, Nova Scotia and Calgary, Heather frequently embraces complex, challenging matters where victory is not obvious.
Having gained a reputation as being a ‘fixer’ in the field of commercial litigation for businesses and insurers, she develops creative legal strategies and implements these strategies through sound budget and case management practices. Heather has successfully litigated complex litigation for private and public, national and international clients. Some of her significant victories include winning a permanent injunction in the Federal Court of Canada, an arbitration judgment of Euros 6 million against the Government of Libya at the ICC (Paris), and successful judicial review of an error by the Patent Commissioner, to compel the granting of a mechanical patent on a truck bumper. Heather’s style of focused litigation led to clarification of the role of experts in the Federal Court: her cross examination of an expert at trial led to Justice Manson concluding the expert had been “shredded on cross- examination”.
In her role as a commercial litigator, Heather has defended product liability claims regarding pipes, medical devices, lighting fixtures, transformers and aerospace materials, among others. She has also litigated claims involving property management issues, condominium law and commercial tenancy, which included removing directors from condominium board of directors, damages for breach of commercial lease, reserve fund claims, personal injury, environmental contamination and construction issues.
In addition to her role as Advocate, Heather has developed a reputation for providing excellent legal advice (both litigation and contractual) to clients in the Transportation Industry. In 2009, Heather learned to fly single engine planes. Her aviation led her to an interest in Transportation law. Since 2013, Heather has been included in the peer reviewed publication Best Lawyers in Canada. She combines her interest in technology, transportation, and intellectual property to advise brokers, freight forwarders, carriers, 3PLs, and 4PLs on all aspects of supply chain logistics and the movement of goods locally and internationally. She has advises clients generally regarding cargo claims, liens, warehousing, bills of lading, multi-modal, NVOCC issues, spoilage, and more specifically advised International manufacturer/shipper clients regarding Third Party Logistics Services, Cross Border Long Haul issues (incl. NAFTA) and customs.
Catherine Duffy is a Partner and Head of the Aviation Group at A&L Goodbody. She is also the current Chairman of A&L Goodbody. An experienced banking and finance lawyer for over 25 years, her practice focuses on asset financing (in particular aircraft and shipping), securitisation, tax-based financing and leasing and general banking. Catherine is a member and former Chair of the Legal Advisory Panel to the Aviation Working Group to the Cape Town Convention and currently sits on the Executive Committee of that Panel. She is recommended in a number of legal publications and directories and in particular is recommended in the International Who's Who of Aviation Lawyers as one of the 10 most highly regarded individuals globally in aviation practice.
Jeffrey Ellis focuses his practice on aviation, insurance, products liability, commercial, litigation and appellate matters. Jeffrey represents airline carriers in connection with the various liability and regulatory issues confronting the aviation industry on both the domestic and international fronts. In this regard, he consults with various airlines, manufacturers, insurers and industry groups to analyze the legal and regulatory implications of issues related to the federal and/or international preemption of aviation safety and security standards, code share and alliance relationships, connecting carrier relationships, the Montreal/Warsaw system and the Chicago Convention.
Jeffrey represented the interests of United Airlines in the litigation arising from the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He also represented the interests of Delta Air Lines in the Swissair/Delta Flight 111 crash, Continental Airlines in the Air France Concorde crash, and Delta/Northwest in the litigation arising out of the Underwear Bomber incident.
Jean-Michel Fobe has been a lawyer at the Brussels Bar since 1984 and at the Paris Bar since 1993. He specializes in air and space law, international maritime law, product liability, insurance law and European law. He has managed complex and international cases of both contentious and non-litigious nature for shipowners, shippers, P & I clubs, cruise lines, aircraft, automobile, equipment manufacturers, airlines, travel, tour operators, aviation industry associations, insurers and reinsurers in the aerospace industry.
Called to the Bar by Lincoln's Inn and appointed Queen's Counsel in 2010 in both the Civil and Criminal law sections, Gerard Forlin QC's broad practice covers civil, criminal and commercial litigation; environment; fire; corporate governance; major event planning & crowd safety; crisis management; health and safety; aviation; inquests and inquiries; local authority governance and services; and regulatory law. He is currently instructed in the Grenfell fire, MH370, a Formula One case and the Shoreham Air Show plane crash.
In the last five years he has been ranked in no fewer than six areas in the leading independent directories including: Health and Safety, Product Liability, Crime, Public Inquiries and Inquests, Consumer Law and Environmental Law. He has been appointed to an International Mediation and Arbitration panel of 14 worldwide members for the Royal Aeronautical Society. There are only two QCs on this global panel. He is also Vice Chair of the Health and Safety Lawyers Association. Gerard has undertaken a series of lectures for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the UN and ASEAN on the UK Bribery Act in Australia and all over Asia. He will be conducting more later in the year.
Gerard was Special Adviser to the Bar Council on the Corporate Manslaughter Bill (2005), Consultant to a recent Global Aviation Concordat on Aviation Safety, Standing Counsel to numerous PLCs, Unions and Government Departments in the UK and abroad. Gerard also acts for Crown Departments on Crown Censure (occasional AG nomination) and is a Consultant to the Army, Governments and various police forces in the UK and around the world.
Mr. Fraenkel has a broad range of experience in civil litigation, including complex, high profile aviation, admiralty/maritime, auto, bus, truck, motorcycle, premises, personal injury, wrongful death, products liability, insurance bad faith, business litigation, mass tort, patent and entertainment matters.
Having handled numerous high profile personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout his career with notable results, Mr. Fraenkel’s litigation experience has spanned the World, including Asia, Canada, Central America, Europe, Mexico, the Middle East, South America and all 50 states of the U.S. He is well versed in State and Federal Tort claims procedures and requirements in addition to being an authority in national and international conflicts and choice of law issues. He has reached the height of professional excellence and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity as a preeminent-rated attorney through the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell ® Peer Review Ratings™.
Mr. Fraenkel is a United States Marine Corps veteran. He served as a CH-46 Sea Knight crew chief and A-4 Skyhawk plane captain, receiving numerous commendations during his tour. He also has extensive experience in aviation and vehicle maintenance—including combustion, diesel and turbine engines, electrical systems, hydraulics, structures, avionics systems, ejection systems and airframes. It is this extensive avionic background that has helped Mr. Fraenkel successfully litigate numerous international and domestic airline, commuter, military and general aviation crash cases during a career that has spanned more than two decades.
Jorge Gongora is a principal of the firm Gongora Reina & Associates in Bogota, also with offices in Cali, Colombia, South America. Lawyer from University of Los Andes in Bogota, 1985. LLM in Insurance Law from Xaveriana University in Bogota, 1985. LLM in Commercial Law from University of Los Andes, 1991. LLM in Air & Space Law, McGill University, Montreal, 1995. He was Director of the Insurance Division of the Colombian Financial Superintendency, Legal Manager of Grancolombiana Insurance Company, In-house Lawyer of AVIANCA, and Aeronautical Advisor for the Government of Belize. In 1997, he entered private practice in Gongora Reina & Associates. His areas of specialty involve litigation and consulting in commercial, insurance and aviation law. He is Ombudsman for the Financial Consumer for several insurance companies, and Post-graduate Professor in Transportation Jurisprudence and Aviation Insurance at Externado de Colombia University. He has been married for twenty-five years. He is father of a son –biologist- and a daughter –artist-, and he has a dog named Laika.
Donald Gray is Chair of Blake’s Aviation and Aerospace Group, and heads its aircraft finance practice. He advises a number of aircraft lessors, financiers, manufacturers, and domestic and international airlines and aircraft operators, on aircraft finance and aviation and aerospace commercial and regulatory law matters. Donald has advised on the financing or re-financing of more than 900 aircraft over the past 15 years, and he played a leading role on behalf of aircraft lessors, manufacturers and financiers in every significant Canadian airline bankruptcy proceeding in the last 25 years. Donald has also advised a number of non-Canadian clients in respect of M&A transactions with Canadian aviation undertakings, and a number of Canadian clients in international aviation M&A transactions. In 2013 he represented the underwriters in Air Canada’s historic Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificate (EETC) financing of its B777 deliveries, which was the first “true” EETC completed by a non-U.S. airline, and which received both Airline Economics and Air Finance Journal “Deal of the Year” awards in 2014.
Donald was a Canadian delegate to the Unidroit/ICAO sessions, which enacted the Cape Town Convention on international interests in aircraft assets in 2001. In 1999, he was a member of the drafting group in Rome, and in 2001, he was chair of the Insolvency Subgroup in Montréal that prepared the final Cape Town insolvency provisions, including Alternative A. He has also served on the Legal Advisory Panel of the Aviation Working Group (AWG), a group of the world's leading aircraft manufacturers and financiers, since the formation of the panel in 2000. Donald served as chair of the AWG Legal Panel from 2006 to 2008. Donald co-ordinated the Canadian airline advisory submissions to the Government of Canada in respect of the 2010/11 Aircraft Sector Understanding (ASU) OECD negotiations. He was appointed by AWG as Chair of the AWG Canada Contact Group, comprised of leading airline and aviation financing counsel in Canada, to review and report on Cape Town Convention and other major aircraft financing issues. In 2017, Blakes was selected by AWG to serve as its global external counsel.
Dr Donal Hanley is Managing Director of ACG Aircraft Leasing Ireland Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aviation Capital Group (ACG), a large commercial aircraft leasing company based in California. He also lectures in aircraft financing for IATA and McGill University and is the author of a textbook on aircraft operating leasing. He has, among others, an MBA degree in Global Aviation from Concordia University in Montréal and LLM and PhD degrees in Air and Space Law from Leiden University where he studied under Professor Pablo Mendes de Leon. He is qualified as a Solicitor in Ireland and in England and Wales and as an Attorney in California. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Andrew is head of the U.S. Aviation Law Practice Group at Clyde & Co US LLP. He has extensive trial and litigation experience in aviation (passenger and cargo), complex tort, regulatory (DOT, FAA, OFAC), insurance and product liability matters. Andrew has represented clients and tried cases arising out of major aviation losses and has extensive appellate experience, having argued numerous appeals before federal and state appellate courts throughout the nation, including three cases before the United States Supreme Court, including Olympic Airways v. Husain, 540 U.S. 644 (2004), Dooley v. Korean Air Lines, 524 U.S. 116 (1998), and Zicherman v. Korean Air Lines, 516 U.S. 217 (1996). He often advises clients on complex litigation, jurisdictional and appellate issues and has filed amicus briefs on behalf of IATA in appellate court cases addressing the Montreal Convention, the Tokyo Convention and the ATSA.
Andrew has published numerous articles on a variety of issues relating to domestic and international aviation liability and insurance law and was the General Editor of the twenty-six chapter book Litigating the Aviation Case (4d ed. 2017). Andrew also is a frequent lecturer at conferences sponsored by IATA, the American Bar Association, Institute of Air and Space Law (McGill University), Leiden University and other organizations throughout the world.
Andrew received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan (B.A.) and his law degrees from the Michigan State University College of Law (cum laude, J.D.) and McGill University, Institute of Air & Space Law (LL.M.).
Andrew Harrington is a solicitor at Norton White in Sydney, specialising in aviation liability and regulatory matters. Previously, Andrew has worked as in-house counsel for flydubai, a national airline of the UAE, with responsibility for litigation and regulatory matters. During his time in Dubai Andrew assisted in flydubai’s response to the crash of flight FZ 981 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia.
Andrew is a graduate of the Institute of Air and Space Law (LLM, 2013) and has published and co-authored a number of articles in peer-reviewed aviation law journals worldwide.
Brian F. Havel
Professor Brian F. Havel is Professor and Director of the Institute of Air and Space Law at the Faculty of Law of McGill University
Previously, Professor Havel was a Distinguished Research Professor of Law at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, where he directed the International & Comparative Law Program and the International Aviation Law Institute. He practised transnational corporate and antitrust litigation at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in New York, before entering academia.
In addition to heading the Institute of Air and Space Law, Professor Havel will teaching graduate courses in air law, along with some undergraduate courses outside the IASL, beginning with an International Trade Law course in winter 2018.
His current research focuses on issues of public/private governance in the air transport and space industries – and the sites of that governance – that emerge from “messy” public and private international norm-generation at all levels. He welcomes queries concerning potential graduate supervision in these subjects.
Professor Havel has been a visiting professor of law at the University of Oxford, Leiden University, University College Dublin, McGill University, and Northwestern University.
Recognised as the leading aviation claimant lawyer and Star Individual in the UK, James is the ‘go to’ lawyer for families in international and domestic aviation cases. As a partner and the head of the Department of Aviation and International Injury at Stewarts, James has an unrivalled track record of winning the highest aviation settlements in many countries. James specialises in international and UK aviation accidents, helping claimants and their families worldwide. He is the lawyer of choice for high-value aviation claims.
James has a track record of winning major settlements for claimants in high-profile aviation accidents worldwide, as well as business jet, helicopter and light aircraft accidents. Has been involved in most of the major aviation accidents worldwide over the past 25 years.
Robert is an attorney with Aviation Law Group PS in Seattle, Washington, where he handles U.S. and international aviation accidents, representing victims and their families. Robert’s cases range from large air carrier disasters to general aviation accidents. He has spent 30 years litigating and trying cases before U.S. juries. In 2013 he was co-lead counsel in an aviation accident trial that resulted in a top 100 U.S. jury verdicts for that year. In addition to a law degree, Robert has a B.S. in Aeronautics and an LL.M. from the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University. Robert is a multi-engine rated commercial pilot, flight instructor, and is a certified airframe and power plant mechanic. He is admitted to practice law in federal and state courts throughout the west coast of the U.S., including Washington, California, Alaska and Hawaii. Robert has taught Aviation Accident Law at Seattle University Law School for 20 years. He is also a regular speaker at seminars and conferences in the U.S. and Canada, and occasionally in Europe and Australia. In addition to aviation law, Robert speaks about trial practice and the Nuremberg Trials. Lately he has been spending time reading Harry Potter books with his two young daughters.
Vonnick Le Guillou
Vonnick Le Guillou is Partner at the Paris office of DLA Piper and heads the Litigation and Regulatory Group in France. She is specialized in complex international liability claims, most notably in product liability cases, and has developed a renowned expertise in the aviation industry.
Vonnick has been practicing as a lawyer since 1984. She is assisting clients on all aspects of domestic and international complex civil or criminal pre-litigations, litigations and arbitration cases, particularly in product liability law, aviation law and insurance law. Her clients are major French and international companies including insurers, aircraft manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, MROs and several industrial companies.
She regularly advises a major European aircraft manufacturer regarding air crash cases (such as Concorde, Rio-Paris).
Isabelle Lelieur is a partner of Chevrier Avocats, a French law firm specialized in aviation. She represents and advices mainly airlines, airports, insurers, regulators and service providers, in France and worldwide, in business aviation law and policy. In particular, she deals with legal risk management, contracts (PPP & private contracts), regulatory, competition, data protection (GDPR) and liability issues.
She is also a Senior Associate Business Law & Policy for Aviation Strategies International, a Canadian consulting firm, for international clients. Isabelle maintains a position as an academic speaker in Paris-La Sorbonne, Toulouse and Aix-en-Provence Universities (2003-present), as well as for the Joint Aviation Authorities Training Organization (JAA TO) in Amsterdam.
Isabelle Lelieur has worked in the field of aviation law for almost 20 years. Previously, she worked as a lawyer at Air France’s international affairs department (2000) and at the European Commission in Brussels (2002), followed by a position as the head of the legal department at the French airport association (2003-07). Then, she headed the legal department of VINCI Airports (2007- 2017). Working for a worldwide major player of airport concession has brought Mrs Lelieur a large knowledge of strategic issues and challenges of airport investors, operators and their partners. In 2017, she started her own practice in Paris, specialized in aviation business law and policy, before joining in 2018 Chevrier Avocats law firm.
After graduating from Toulouse Law Faculty in 1999, Isabelle Lelieur acquired a Master’s Degree in Air & Space Law (IFURTA) in Aix-En-Provence Law Faculty (France) in 2000 and a LLM at the Institute of Air & Space Law at McGill - Montreal (2002). She is admitted to the Paris Bar. Currently, she is involved in the AMPAP program, the Global ACI-ICAO Airport Management Professional Accreditation Programme.
She published a book on ownership and control of airlines, as well as articles on air transport bilateral agreements and airport law and policy. Finally, Mrs Lelieur is a member of the French Society of Air and Space Law (SFDAS), the European Air Law Association (EALA) and the McGill Institute of Air & Space Law Alumni Association (IASL).
Dr George Leloudas is an Associate Professor at the Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law (IISTL) of Swansea University that he joined in 2011. He is a graduate of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He holds LLM degrees in Commercial Law from the University of Bristol (England, 2002) and in Air and Space Law from the Institute of Air and Space Law of McGill University (Montreal, Canada, 2003). He also completed his PhD degree in air law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University in 2009.
George has most recently published his second monograph together with Professor Malcolm Clarke of Cambridge University on Air Cargo Insurance. Also, in 2018 he published (with Prof Baris Soyer) an article on the carriage of passengers by sea in Michigan State University International Law Review and an article on IUU fishing (with Prof. Baris Soyer and Dr Dana Miller) in Transnational Environmental Law. He is also one of the editors of the preeminent air law publication, Shawcross and Beaumont, being responsible for the liability chapters of the publication
Brandt has been representing clients in the aerospace industry for more than 25 years. Brandt is a partner with SmithAmundsen in Chicago, where he co-chairs the firm’s Aerospace Group. He oversees a team providing services in aviation products, corporate consultation, administrative and regulatory issue, insurance coverage and litigation. Brandt provides general counsel services for a number of aviation startups, coordinated the administrative compliance, interfaced with regulators and serves as an advisor to aviation manufacturers and service industry entities on a variety of matters. Brandt has tried numerous cases throughout the country defending aviation manufacturers, airports, operators, pilots and mechanics. His aviation experience includes regulatory practice and working with the FAA and NTSB.
Steven C. Marks is managing partner at Podhurst Orseck. Steve focuses on personal injury and wrongful death litigation, product liability, aviation litigation, and class actions. He was appointed to the NFL Concussion Litigation Executive Committee and is serving as co-lead settlement class counsel. He has represented victims in nearly every major commercial plane crash in the last 25 years including most recently those from MH370 (the Missing 777), Germanwings and Metrojet. He has also represented victims in over 100 general aviation accidents. Steve holds a BA from the University of Florida (cum laude) and a JD from the University of Miami (cum laude), where he was editor-in-chief of the Law Review. In addition, he has been appointed to the Legal Advisory Committee for the International Civil Aeronautical Organization (ICAO).
Anna Masutti is Partner at Lexjus Sinacta and the head of the Department of Aviation & Aerospace. Her principal areas of practice include: aviation insurance, airlines, airports, general aviation multi-jurisdictional,
loan and lease financing, operating leases and tax- based leases. Anna has experience in advising on aviation regulatory matters and insolvency and enforcement issues.
She is Professor of Air Law at the University of Bologna, visiting professor at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence - Fiesole. She is in the board of the European Air Law Association (EALA), editor of ‘The Aviation and Space Journal’ (http://www.aviationspacejournal.com).
Furthermore, she is member of the Aviation Committee of IBA (International Bar Association).
Educated at University College Dublin and the Law Society of Ireland, he qualified as a solicitor in 1990, becoming a partner in one of Ireland’s largest law firms. He established Simon McAleese Solicitors in 2002. A well-known litigator, he has represented clients before the Irish Superior Courts in a wide variety of corporate and commercial disputes. Areas of expertise: Civil and commercial litigation, aviation litigation and media/defamation law.
Suzanne McCarthy, Vice President of Global Aerospace, joined Global in 2002 as an attorney in the Claims Department. She has handled catastrophic and attritional claims against several major commercial airlines, including American Airlines, US Airways, jetBlue Airways, Frontier Airlines, and Federal Express. She was also responsible for directing the litigation arising from the American Airlines Flight 587 accident in Belle Harbor, New York, the American Airlines Flight 331 runway excursion in Kingston, Jamaica, and the litigation against Colgan Air for the September 11th terrorist attacks. For the past several years, Suzanne has also handled numerous catastrophic incidents involving general aviation insureds and manufacturers. She has successfully managed to resolution numerous significant claims against Gulfstream, United Technologies Corporation, The Timken Company, and the Experimental Aircraft Association. Suzanne is also the Global coordinator of the FAA War Risk program.
Prior to joining Global Aerospace, Suzanne worked as a defense litigator, practicing in New York state and federal courts. Suzanne graduated from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science. She attended Fordham University School of Law in New York, where she was awarded a Juris Doctorate in May 1997. She is admitted to the Bar of the State of New York.
Patrick McGurgan was sworn into the office of Coroner on the 4th April 2016. Prior to this he was a solicitor for 22 years with offices in Portadown and Armagh where he specialised in the field of litigation. He also held the positions of Guardian ad Litem Panel Solicitor, Chairman of the Disciplinary Panel of the Northern Ireland Social Care Council, Chairman of the Police Appeals Tribunal, Chairman of the Disciplinary Panel of Northern Ireland Boys Football Association, Chairman of the Civil Legal Aid Appeals Panel, Vice Chairman of St. Patrick’s Primary School Board of Governors and he is currently a member of the Management Board of Armagh Observatory and Planetarium.
Patrick was on the management board of Dispute Resolution Service and he held the position of Traffic penalty Adjudicator for NI.
Jim is a Partner, Barrister and Head of the Aviation Team at Ashfords. He specialises in representing the victims of international air accidents.
Jim was a professionally qualified Royal Air Force pilot prior to becoming an aviation lawyer, so has over 27years' experience in aviation and litigation. During his 12 years as a pilot, he was qualified on a number of military aircraft (single piston, single turbo prop, fast jet, twin turbo prop, heavy jet) and his last flying tour was on the Boeing E-3D AWACS. He received specialist training in aviation accident analysis and crew resource management, to become a Squadron Flight Safety Officer.He also was a flying display coordinator for the RAF Waddington International Air Show.
In 2002 he transferred to the RAF Legal Branch and qualified as a barrister. As trial counsel, he prosecuted Court Martial jury trials, with a focus on trials involving military aviation litigation.
Following his retirement from the RAF, Jim specialised in representing the victims of aviation disasters. He has represented hundreds of passengers/families in many aviation disasters worldwide involving many types of aircraft, from single engine light aircraft accidents to major airline disasters.He has significant experience in litigating cases in the US as well aslitigating cases in multiple jurisdictions including England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Nigeria and Pakistan. As a barrister, he is also a specialist advocatefor families at aviation disaster inquests.
Since joining the Speiser Krause family as a law student in 1999, Jeanne O’Grady has been involved in the litigation of many major commercial air disasters, including the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in Belle Harbor, New York; Comair Flight 5191 in Lexington, Kentucky; the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 in Buffalo, New York; and the September 11th terrorist attacks; as well as various general aviation matters. She served as a member of the Plaintiffs' Executive Committee leading the Flight 3407 litigation as well as the Plaintiffs' Committee of the September 11th Litigation. Jeanne has been active in representing 9/11 victims in litigation as well to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 and most recently to the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund.
Jeanne also focuses her practice on medical malpractice and on trucking, railroad and automobile accidents and has been honored for her pro bono work on behalf of the disabled.
Jeanne is a cum laude graduate of St. John's University School of Law and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the Siena College/Albany Medical College Program for Science and the Humanities.
Urban Olson is attorney at law in Stockholm Sweden and member of the Swedish Bar Association and associate member of the American Bar Association (ABA) as well as
Lifetime Member of Institute of Air and Space Law Association (IASLA), Member of the European Air Law Association (EALA) and Member of Pan-European Personal Injury Lawyers (PEOPIL).
In addition to a Master of laws (LL.M.), Urban Olson did his Post Graduate studies at the Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL), McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Urban Olson works in the area of air carrier liability and products liability relating to aircraft manufacturers and subcomponent manufacturers under European and US law and has worked on claims adjustment of several large international airline accidents as well as general aviation accidents.
Specialized in the field of transportation and logistics law, industrial risks and product liability – fields of law she has been practicing since 2005 – Sigrid Presissl assists the clients of Bourayne & Preissl with efficiency and pragmatism. She has also developed a particular expertise in labor law, whether individual or collective.
In this context, the firm advises and assists employers, employees, executives and directors, on the occasion of labor law disputes. She also advises foreign groups when implementing restructuring operations in France with social impact as well as on all general aspects of labor law.
Ann Frédérique Pothier
Ann Frédérique has been working for the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL), an international organisation composed of 41 Member States, since 1998. Before joining EUROCONTROL, she worked in a law firm specialised in air transportation matters in Montreal, Canada.
As a member of the EUROCONTROL Legal Service for 13 years, her responsibilities focused on legal and institutional matters with regard to EUROCONTROL activities. She dealt with issues relating to, inter alia, provision of air traffic services, safety and just culture, route charges and regulatory aspects, in particular with respect to the implementation of the Single European Sky.
In January 2011, Ann Frédérique joined the Central Route Charges Office (CRCO) of EUROCONTROL as Head of Section, where she oversaw collection and enforce-ment related activities with respect to air navigation charges. She now holds the position of Head of Director’s Office and deals in particular with strategic, legal and policy issues related to the EUROCONTROL route charges system.
Ann Frédérique is a member of the Québec Bar since 1995. She is a member of the European Air Law Association (EALA) and the International Aviation Womens Asso-ciation (IAWA).
Alan D. Reitzfeld, after practicing aviation law for 40 years, retired in April 2018 as a senior partner in Holland & Knight LLP's New York Litigation Practice Group. Prior to his retirement, he played a leading role in defending airlines in multi-district litigation and appellate matters arising out of numerous major domestic and foreign commercial jet airline crashes and other incidents, including, for example, representing Air France in multi-district litigation arising out of the Flight 447 accident over the mid-Atlantic on June 1, 2009; representing American Airlines in multi-district litigation arising out of the Flight 965 Cali, Colombia accident on December 20, 1995, the Flight 1420 Little Rock, Arkansas accident on June 1, 1999, and the Flight 587 Belle Harbor, New York, accident on November 12, 2001; and representing TWA in multi-district litigation arising out of the Flight 800 disaster on July 17, 1996.
Mr. Reitzfeld has spoken on aviation and technology law issues in numerous international and domestic programs and has published articles on those subjects in the U.S. and elsewhere. He is the Chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Aeronautics Committee and the Vice Chair (and 2019 incoming Chair) of the Aviation Law Committee of the International Bar Association. Mr. Reitzfeld is also a past Chair of the Computer Law Committee of the New York State Bar Association, a past Delegate to the New York State Bar Association's House of Delegates, a past Vice-Chair of the Aviation and Space Law Committee of the International Association of Defense Counsel, and a past Vice Chair of the Technology and e-Commerce Law Committee of the International Bar Association. He is a 1973 graduate of Syracuse University and earned his law degree from Hofstra Law School in 1976, where he served as Research Editor of the Hofstra Law Review.
Mark's practice concentrates in the areas of aviation, serious personal injury and wrongful death matters. As a Board Certified Specialist in Aviation Law (FL), Mark's cases include airline and general aviation airplane and helicopter injury and wrongful death matters, representing the victims and family members of those seriously hurt or killed, in addition to hotel, resort and travel-related cases on a nationwide and international basis.
A FAA certificated Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, Mark is able to harness the understanding that is attendant to those qualifications to assist in the representation of his clients. In addition to traditional airline, general aviation and helicopter injury and death matters, Mark has extensive experience in Montreal Convention litigation (involving international air transportation), the regulation, licensure and liabilities associated with Unmanned Aircraft Systems a/k/a Drones and FAA / NTSB regulatory and enforcement matters.
With the decreased acquisition costs of Unmanned Aircraft Systems a.k.a. Drones, there is a corresponding increase in the likelihood of personal injury, property damage and regulatory exposure for their operation. Mark advises clients on their drone licensure, registration and operations in addition to ensuing that various risk mitigating factors are considered. A published author on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Mark is accepts consultations and cases involving their use and operation.
Richard Sharman is a senior associate in the Clifford Chance Asset Finance group in London. Richard specialises in financing, leasing, sales and complex structured transactions involving transportation assets, with a primary focus on aircraft.
Steven Truxal lectures and researches in aviation law at City, University of London. His specialist research centres on topical and contentious issues relating to regulation of international aviation. In his most recent book, Economic and Environmental Regulation of International Aviation: From Inter-National to Global Governance (Routledge, 2017), Steven observes that just as the nature of the airline business has become less ‘inter-national’ and more global, so too must the developing governance in the sector reflect an ‘upgraded’ system of decision-making to account for the proliferation of actors and participants in a global public policy network. The book identifies and evaluates a selection of contemporary, trans-national economic and environmental challenges facing the globalised aviation sector, e.g. fair competition safeguards, consumer protection, noise pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and the respective ‘legal’ and policy actions taken at multiple levels.
Prior to beginning his career in academia, Steven held positions at Deutsche Lufthansa AG and the U.S. Department of Commerce. He studied international affairs and economics at The George Washington University, Washington DC before reading law in London.
David Weiner's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation in the federal courts. He has worked on a wide variety of matters involving constitutional, administrative, products liability, and contract law. David has considerable complex litigation experience in class actions and mass actions in a variety of industries, enforcing arbitration and forum selection clauses, federal preemption, and the forum non conveniens doctrine. He also has an active pro bono practice and, along with other Hogan Lovells lawyers, is currently representing political prisoners in Belarus. He previously represented a class of U.S. citizens who were improperly denied passports by the U.S. State Department.
Before joining Hogan & Hartson, David served as an attorney-advisor in the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice where he helped to advise the Attorney General on various matters involving constitutional law. He was also a Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General of the U.S. Department of Justice where he prepared briefs in opposition to certiorari, helped the office's lawyers prepare for oral argument in the Supreme Court, and briefed and argued a case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Serap Zuvin is the head of the Aviation Department of Cakmak Attorneys at Law. During her more than 30 years of experience in the legal profession, Serap worked in various sophisticated areas of law and lead large number of legal teams.
Serap has represented several international corporate clients specialized in corporate finance and equipment finance in particular. She has been extensively involved in various cross-border joint venture establishments and mergers and acquisitions and has established subsidiaries, branches and/or representative offices of many multinational companies in Turkey. Serap also played an active role in the drafting of several new legislations; such as “direct sale”, BOT, Competition Law, Financial Leasing Law and Cape Town Convention’s secondary legislations, etc.
Due to her representation for over two decades of major international aircraft manufacturers, lessors, banks and international financing institutions, Serap is widely recognized in the legal profession for her expertise in aviation law and aircraft financing in particular. Her representations in aviation include transactions such as financial lease, lease, sale & lease back; loan financing, both on aircraft, helicopter and aircraft engines, etc.; establishing securities on the same, including local mortgages and IR registrations under Cape Town Convention); conducting ownership and lien search on aircraft; advise on regulatory matters; dispute resolutions on aircraft accidents and compensation claims relating to the same). Among her clients are Boeing, US Exim, General Electric, ORIX, Dassault Aviation, Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, ELFC, COFACE, Mitsui, Turkish Airlines, AIC, McAfee Tafts, etc.
Chaohan Zhang holds a doctoral degree in law and is Associate Professor of China Northwestern University of Political Science and Law (NWUPL). He is the Deputy Director of Bin Cheng Institute of Air and Space Law of NWUPL, Researcher of Research Center of International Law of NWUPL, a Visiting Scholar of Montreal University, and the Chief Editor of China Aviation Law Review.