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UK Bar: Aviation & Travel 2016

This year 32 practitioners have been identified by our research as the leaders in the field.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Leading Silks
William Audland QC 12 King's Bench Walk
Akhil Shah QC Fountain Court Chambers
Howard Palmer QC 2 Temple Gardens
Robert Weir QC Devereux Chambers
Leading Juniors
Sarah Prager 1 Chancery Lane
Matthew Chapman 1 Chancery Lane
Bruce Silvester Devereux Chambers
Eliot Woolf Outer Temple Chambers



Fountain Court Chambers is “at the forefront” of the aviation bar in England. Akhil Shah QC is a “highly experienced” aviation practitioner, having been involved in a wide range of disputes involving commercial litigation, arbitration and regulatory hearings. Michael Crane QC has represented aviation clients both in London and abroad and is noted for his “international renown” and “business-oriented approach”. Michael McLaren QC is recommended by clients for his “bespoke solutions” while Bankim Thanki QC is lauded as “one of the leading names at the aviation bar”.

Four aviation silks are also selected from Quadrant Chambers. Robert Lawson QC’s “fabulous” practice covers contractual disputes, tortious claims and product liability, insurance related issues and conflict of laws. John Kimbell QC is an aviation and maritime law specialist, whose “sterling reputation” makes him a “first port of call” for many. John Russell QC has acted as lead counsel in numerous Commercial Court trials, international and marine arbitrations and appellate cases and is a “force to be reckoned with” according to peers. Simon Kverndal QC is a maritime litigation and arbitration specialist who “knows his stuff inside out”.

At XXIV Old Buildings, Steven Thompson QC has a commercial chancery practice with a particular emphasis on aviation disputes. He is a “clear frontrunner” at the bar and is recommended for his “very effective solutions”. The “unbeatable” Philip Shepherd QC focuses his practice on private international law, particularly aviation, conflicts of law, international jurisdiction disputes and cases involving the application of foreign laws.

Andrew Lydiard QC from Brick Court Chambers is a “great strategist” whose “ability to get to the heart of the issue” continues to impress clients.

From Essex Court Chambers, David Joseph QC is a “superb” aviation practitioner whose work as both counsel and arbitrator is lauded for being “of the highest quality” and he is viewed as “part of the aristocracy”.


At Quadrant Chambers, the “terrific” Tim Marland is the only junior recognised for his aviation work in this year’s edition. He is highlighted for his “intricate knowledge” of the aviation field and is “extremely well through of” by peers.



There are two “leading silks” named from 2 Temple Gardens in this year’s edition. Howard Palmer QC is joint leader of the Insurance and Reinsurance practice at the chambers, and is “one of the top names in travel at the bar”. Charles Dougherty QC has an “impressive roster of clients” and also accepts appointments to sit as an arbitrator.

From Devereux Chambers, Robert Weir QC focuses on all aspects of personal injury and clinical negligence and the impact of the Human Rights Act on those areas. He has a particular specialism in travel related matters and noted as a “quick thinker” and “great tactician”.

William Audland QC from 12 King’s Bench Walk took silk in 2015, and is recommended for his “versatility” and “technical abilities”.

Michael Ashcroft QC at 20 Essex Street Chambers is “among the top players” at the travel bar who “always gives 110 per cent”.


Three juniors are featured from specialist travel set 1 Chancery Lane. Sarah Prager specialises in travel law claims, including claims under the Package Travel Regulations, the Athens and Montreal Conventions, and at common law. She is a “phenomenal talent” who is praised for her “invaluable sector experience”. Matthew Chapman is a “famed” travel and holiday matters specialist, who has experience of all claims and recovery proceedings with a cross-border element. Jack Harding is commended for his “meticulous” written work and “impressive depth of knowledge” on all travel matters, particularly personal injury.

There are also three names selected from 3 Hare Court, with Katherine Deal highlighted for her expertise dealing with claims arising out of overseas accidents, in particular concerning issues of jurisdiction and choice of law.  She is an “extraordinarily talented junior” who is a “firm favourite” with clients. Andrew Young has “extensive experience” of acting for both claimants and defendants in relation to accidents abroad and the conflict of laws issues which arise in such cases. Dan Saxby impresses clients with his “ability to find a solution to any problem” and “calm demeanour”.

Two names are featured from Outer Temple Chambers, including Eliot Woolf, whose long-standing travel law practice is described as “top-drawer” and “superb”. With particular emphasis on group actions involving widespread gastric illness outbreaks or multiparty road traffic accidents abroad, he is a “leader in the field”. Sarah Crowther is a specialist in all claims for injury, illness, accident or disease involving an international element, and stands out with her “excellent style of delivery”.

Old Square Chambers’ Katherine Howells boasts a “sharp intellect” and “always go the extra mile to secure the best results for clients”. Philip Mead specialises in the area of foreign accidents, in particular in relation to claims where it is necessary to understand the application of conflict of laws principles and European law. His “focused approach” and “astute legal mind” are commended by clients.

Two junior members are also recommended from 2 Temple Gardens. Marie Louise Kinsler specialises in claims with an international element, particularly the impact of EU law on English law and is noted for her “great flair”. Lucy Wyles is a “distinguished player” at the bar who specialises in personal injury cases and has acted in claims involving catastrophic injuries and fatal accidents with international elements.

Bernard Doherty from 39 Essex Chambers is a “sensational junior” whose ability to “make complex matters seem simple” is lauded by clients.

Devereux Chambers have junior member Bruce Silvester recommended for his “brilliant” travel litigation work and “straightforward and practical advice”.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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