Transport 2017: Analysis

This year’s Who’s Who Legal Transport edition presents 801 aviation lawyers across three chapters – contentious, regulatory and finance – alongside 522 shipping lawyers. In total, lawyers from 536 firms across 69 countries are recognised.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Aviation Contentious
Marc Moller Kreindler & Kreindler, New York
Peng Lim Kennedys, Singapore
Frank Silane Condon & Forsyth, Los Angeles
Peter Urwantschky Urwantschky Dangel Borst, Neu-Ulm
Aviation Finance
Gintautas Šulija Sulija Partners Law Firm Vilnius, Vilnius
Donald Gray Blake Cassels & Graydon, Toronto
Carlos Sierra Abogados Sierra y Vázquez, Mexico City
Kenneth Basch Basch & Rameh, São Paulo
Aviation Regulatory
Cyril-Igor Grigorieff Kennedys, Brussels
Sue Barham Holman Fenwick Willan, London
Peter Coles Holman Fenwick Willan, Hong Kong
Peter Macara Beaumont & Son - Aviation at Clyde & Co, Rio de Janeiro
Andrew Tulloch Colin Biggers & Paisley, Melbourne
Julian Clark Hill Dickinson, Singapore
Glenn Winter Winter Scott Solicitors, London
John Hurley HWL Ebsworth, Sydney

Holman Fenwick Willan once again leads our research for transport with 55 practitioners recognised across all four practice areas. The firm particularly excels in shipping, with almost half of its practitioners listed featuring in that chapter. The London office is also notable for having an exceptional 11 shipping practitioners listed. James Gosling is a “top lawyer” who specialises in shipping matters including collisions, fire and explosions, civil and criminal pollution, as well as marine insurance. He is particularly recognised for his expertise relating to piracy matters. The “highly rated” Jonathan Webb focuses his practice on shipping litigation and arbitration relating to charter parties, bills of lading, and ship building contracts, among other matters. Paul Dean specialises in marine and offshore matters, including salvage, groundings and total loss, and stands out in our research for “always going the extra mile for clients”. Hugh Livingstone is “very active and visible” in the market. His practice has an emphasis on contractual dispute resolution, including bills of lading and charter party agreements. Elinor Dautlich is a leading transactional lawyer with an “impressive practice”. She advises on all types of commercial shipping contracts, acting for ship-owners, operators and shipyards.

The firm’s Asian offices also perform well, with nine listings across the three hubs in Hong Kong, China and Singapore. In Singapore Richard Crump is described by sources as “staggeringly good”. He focuses his practice on disputes involving charter parties, bills of lading, and ship building, among many other areas. In Hong Kong Henry Dunlop is an arbitration expert who is able to adeptly handle all manner of complex shipping disputes. He has “a wealth of knowledge and experience” advising parties based across Asia.

In China, Peter Rees Smith is “a tremendously able practitioner” who specialises in cases arising from collisions, groundings, towage offshore and salvage, among other issues. Alongside him Nick Poynder features prominently in our research for his outstanding work in this area.

The firm also has a strong showing in our aviation research, with the following practitioners all achieving dual listings in the regulatory and contentious chapters. In London, Sue Barham has “a strong track record” in aviation matters. She specialises in regulatory and dispute resolution work, with particular expertise in matters relating to the EU. She is joined by Giles Kavanagh who is described as “one of the best regulatory lawyers in London”. He focuses his practice on acting for insurers, airlines and aircraft manufacturers. Nick Hughes is a “strong player in the market” with 35 years of experience advising clients in the aviation industry. His comprehensive expertise sees him listed in all three of our aviation chapters. In Hong Kong, Peter Coles is widely nominated due to his “broad knowledge base” and “excellent attention to detail”. He handles a range of aviation matters in many jurisdictions including Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas. He is joined in Singapore by Keith Richardson who has “a market-leading practice” and acts for a wide range of clients including insurers, regulators, and airlines on both contentious and non-contentious matters. Alongside him, the “fantastic” Mert Hifzi impresses sources with his creativity and problem-solving skills.

Five further practitioners at the firm receive recognition in the aviation finance chapter. Leigh Borrello in the Sydney office has over 20 years’ experience advising airlines, leasing companies, and export credit agencies on financing issues. In the Brussels office Pierre Frühling is “highly capable” in the area. He advises clients across the Belgian and French markets.

Clyde & Co performs well again in our research, with an outstanding 45 listings across the four chapters. Its strongest showing is in contentious aviation chapter where 20 practitioners are recognised. The firm’s London office features especially prominently with 10 listings in total. Maria Cetta is “highly sought after” by clients for her “quick grasp of complex issues”. She handles a wide range of claims across both Europe and the Middle East. David Clark has “extensive experience” handling all aspects of aviation liability work for clients across a range of jurisdictions. He is known in the market for his “encyclopaedic knowledge” of the law relating to the aviation industry gained over many years of practice. David Willcox handles aviation liability claims and insurance disputes involved in major aviation catastrophe claims, often with a multi-jurisdictional element. Patrick Slomski enjoys an excellent reputation for his “high level of technical skill”. His practice encompasses both litigation and arbitration relating to aviation catastrophe work as well as insurance and reinsurance disputes.

The firm’s Paris office is home to a strong team with three individuals recognised. Benjamin Potier particularly stands out for his “formidable practice” covering litigation and other dispute resolution. He acts for a range of international clients. Likewise three practitioners are recommended in the firm’s New York office. Andrew Harakas heads up the firm’s US aviation law practice group and has more than 25 years of impressive trial and litigation experience. They are joined in the Singapore office by David Johnston and Paul Freeman who both stand out in our research for the high quality of their work. Both are also recognised in our regulatory chapter.

Clyde & Co’s world-renowned reputation in shipping law is reflected in our corresponding chapter, with 15 listings in total, of whom seven are in its London office. Andrew Preston has 20 years’ experience practising in this industry. He works on all aspects of charter party and bill of lading disputes for a variety of interested parties including ship owners and P&I insurers. Nick Austin specialises in both litigation and arbitration relating to the shipping industry, with sources praising his “strong international expertise”. Hatty Sumption is also a highly regarded practitioner according to our research. She handles a variety of multi-national shipping disputes. 

The firm’s Dubai office sees three excellent names recognised. Alec Emmerson is “a well-known name” in the shipping law market, focusing his practice on investment disputes, disaster and commercial contract litigation as well as arbitration. The “fantastic” Christopher Mills specialises in local, regional and international litigation, as well as domestic and international arbitration relating to the shipping industry. Alongside them Irvine Marr has “notable experience” handling international arbitrations in the shipping arena.

Holland & Knight garners 32 listings, reflecting its position as a leading US firms in the transport sector. The firm features heavily in the aviation finance chapter, achieving 11 listings. The firm’s New York presence in particularly strong; highly experienced partner John Pritchard is described as “one of the deans of the aircraft finance bar”, with more than 25 years spent practising in the area. Nancy Lucas is also highly regarded for her expertise in structured finance matters across the transportation sector. Phillip Durham is described by peers as “a great young lawyer”. He focuses his practice on asset-based finance in numerous regions including the Middle East and Latin America.

They are joined in London by two practitioners who both receive an additional listing in the regulatory chapter. Ian Clark focuses his practice on international finance and regulatory matters, commercial transactions and litigation. His “impressively broad practice” is reflected in his third listing in the contentious chapter. Robert Ricketts advises airlines and banks on a wide range of aircraft acquisition, leasing and financing matters.

The firm also performs well in our aviation contentious chapter, with 10 listings. In New York Judith Nemsick specialises in air disaster litigation and class-action lawsuits, counting major airlines amongst her impressive clientele. She is joined by the “wonderful” Alan Reitzfeld whose practice includes particular expertise in aviation litigation. Christopher Kelly is a “superb practitioner” who acts for major airlines involved in international disputes, including diverse matters such as litigation resulting from airline catastrophes and privacy class actions. In London Tim Murray also receives recognition for his specialist expertise in aviation and travel-related disputes. He is further highlighted in the regulatory chapter for his high-quality work in this area.  

Holland & Knight receives six listings in total in the aviation regulatory chapter. The firm’s USA team features prominently in our research. In Washington Anita Mosner is described by sources as a “formidable, strong and very good practitioner”, with particular experience handling all stages of the start-up process for US and foreign airlines. In New York Randal Craft stands out for his broad practice and “impressive record” which makes him a “top choice” for many clients. In Miami, Juan Carlos Ferrer is “a renowned and vastly experienced figure” in the field who works “tirelessly for his clients”.

In addition the firm has an eminent shipping practice, particularly in the US. In New York Mike Frevola is “a top-tier practitioner”. He focuses on shipping and admiralty disputes, and is described by sources as a “very energetic and hardworking litigator”. In San Francisco Matthew Vafidis has over 35 years of experience as a litigation lawyer, specialising in admiralty law including casualty response and investigation. Chester Hooper specialises in admiralty law, focusing his practice on collisions, cargo claims and drafting bills of lading.

Norton Rose Fulbright follows closely behind with 30 listings in this edition. The firm performs particularly well in the aviation finance chapter, with 12 listings. In London Emma Giddings is described by sources as “extremely knowledgeable” in the area. She specialises in structured and asset finance.  She is joined by Simon Chamberlain who “knows the law very well and is easy to deal with”. He has particular expertise of airline operations. His broad practice is reflected by his second listing in the aviation regulatory chapter. In Paris Marc Hamilton is an asset finance partner, focusing on the transport sector. Clients say he “clearly deserves to be on the list" due to his “outstanding legal skills”. He is joined by George Paterson who leads the Paris aviation team, specialising in aviation finance and leasing transactions. Further afield, in Johannesburg, Stephen Boikanyo is an “expert financing lawyer” who focuses his practice on the commercial aviation sector, among others. Riza Moosa advises on a wide array of complex international finance transactions pertaining to the aviation sector.

In the aviation contentious chapter the “excellent” Patrick Farrell specialises in aviation litigation, acting for banks, lessors, financiers and insurers. He is described as a “fine strategist”. Alongside him, Charlotte Winter is “extremely effective” when it comes to litigation involving asset finance. Robin Springthorpe handles domestic and international commercial litigation and arbitration. Peers praise him as a “strong practitioner and a great litigator”. Heather Manson heads the aviation team in Johannesburg, and is recognised for her expertise in litigation, mediations and arbitrations in the sector.

In addition, the firm has an eminent shipping practice, with a strong team in London. Patrick Foss is “an excellent and very practical lawyer”, who focuses on shipping disputes and insurance and reinsurance claims. Roger Heward is an experienced litigator with particular expertise pertaining to maritime disputes. Harry Theochari is “a top shipping finance lawyer” and the firm’s global transport practice leader. He is particularly known for his ability to structure complex ship financing deals.

Ince & Co boasts an impressive 20 shipping listings in this chapter, as well as two further listings in the aviation contention chapter. The firm’s London office features particularly well, with seven shipping lawyers highlighted. Faz Peermohamed is the firm’s global head of shipping, with a practice that includes both wet and dry matters including maritime casualty cases. He is highly regarded by market sources for his litigation prowess. Jonathan Elvey is a a practitioner who “for years has been ahead of the field”, according to one prominent peer. He focuses his practice on shipping disputes, including mediations and arbitrations, with a focus on Greece. Paul Herring has deep expertise pertaining to ship sale and purchase disputes, and is described by clients as “phenomenally good”.  Ted Graham counts a range of prominent ship owners and insurers among his clientele. He is able to draw upon 20 years’ experience handling shipping disputes.   

The firm’s Paris office also features highly in the research with four practitioners identified. Jérôme de Sentenac is an “extremely talented practitioner” who is noted for “the breadth and depth of his expertise”. He covers both contentious and non-contentious matters. Joining him is Mathieu Croix, whose practice focuses on ship arrests as well as pollution and collision cases.

The firm also sees individuals listed from its Dubai, Hong, Kong and Shanghai Offices. Rosita Lau specialises in all facets of transport law, and is particularly highly regarded with respect to her shipping practice which includes charter parties and cargo carrier disputes. Brian Boahene is a specialist disputes lawyer covering both the shipping and aviation sectors, with an emphasis on insurance matters.

Further recognition goes to the following practitioners who stand out among the names in our research as being among the very elite.

Peter Urwantschky at Urwantschky Dangel Borst is a leading international aviation lawyer, and particularly recommended for his expertise on air accident cases. He is “highly sought after” by clients and regarded as “one of the most knowledgeable and experienced” practitioners in the industry. Also at the firm, Rainer Amann is a specialist aviation lawyer and an “important player according to clients, who also praise him for being “one of the best in Germany”. Claudia Hess is a well-regarded name in the aviation field. She regularly assists airlines and insurers with a range of issues, including commercial, compliance and regulatory matters.

From ǼLEX Adedapo Tunde-Olowu is a “truly outstanding and technically strong” lawyer who represents high-profile clients on a broad range of complex aviation issues. He is also well versed in regulatory matters involving the industry. He is joined by Lawrence Fubara Anga who has “extensive aviation sector experience”, and receives praise for his “solutions-oriented advice”. He is also recognised for maritime and shipping expertise, acting for international clients on complex litigation and arbitrations.

In the aviation contentious chapter Marc Moller at Kreindler & Kreindler is a “key industry player” with over thirty years’ experience as a trial an appellate lawyer.

At Kennedys Peng Lim advises on high-profile, complex and often multi-jurisdictional disputes, impressing sources with her “outstanding aviation expertise”. Condon & Forsyth is home to Frank Silane who represents aerospace insurers, airlines and aircraft manufacturers, who say he is a “superb lawyer and experienced in all facets of aviation litigation”.

Gintautas Šulija at Sulija Partners Law Firm Vilnius is among the most experienced aviation lawyers in the Lithuanian market and is recognised for the high quality of his financing practice. From Blake Cassels & Graydon Donald Gray is described by sources as "one of the best-regarded aviation finance lawyers in North America”. They add: “The confidence his clients have in him is extremely impressive.” Carlos Sierra at Abogados Sierra y Vázquez is “a very reliable counsel” who has more than 20 years’ experience advising lessors and financiers in complex aviation transactions. From Basch & Rameh Kenneth Basch receives praise for being “very practical”, with interviewees saying they “feel extremely confident relying on his advice”.

Cyril-Igor Grigorieff at Kennedys is highlighted for his “extensive and valuable knowledge of aviation law". In addition Peter Macara at Beaumont & Son – Aviation at Clyde & Co, is an “impressively diligent professional” and a “well-known name in the Brazilian aviation regulation market”.

Receiving recognition for both shipping and contentious aviation work, Andrew Tulloch from Colin Biggers & Paisley in Australia focuses his practice on insurance-related matters, and obtains nominations from as far afield as Canada, Singapore, the UK and the USA. In Singapore Julian Clark at Hill Dickinson handles both wet and dry shipping matters and is recommended for his ability to “anticipate problems before they arise”.

In London Glenn Winter from Winter Scott Solicitors has specialised in maritime law for over 25 years, handling complex arbitrations, and is known as a “division-one player who has probably the most successful niche practice in London.” John Hurley from HWL Ebsworth focuses his practice on both wet and dry international and domestic shipping disputes, receiving praise from clients for his “deep legal knowledge and experience” of the sector. 

Stephen Eriksson at Advokatfirman Eriksson & Partners is a highly proficient aviation practitioner with over 25 years’ experience advising major clients across the sector. From Baumgartner Mächler, Andreas Fankhauser has 15 years of experience handling complex aviation disputes and is known to be an “extremely competent lawyer who provides very precise advice”.

Christian Bouckaert from Bouckaert Ormen Passemard specialises in insurance disputes relating to the aviation sector and receives praise for being “highly effective” and “user-friendly”. Enny Purnomo Widhya from Mochtar Karuwin Komar specialises in aircraft financing and is recommended for “always offering a straightforward and considered approach to complex issues”.

Rory Kelleher from Sidley Austin has a “well-deserved reputation” in the marketplace, and regularly represents major aircraft manufacturers in relation to financing and leasing matters. From Shearman & Sterling Geert Goeteyn is a “wonderfully skilled” practitioner, recognised for his “distinguished aviation competition law practice”.

Ravi Nath at RNClegal/Rajinder Narain & Co is “among the best known aircraft lawyers in India” whose wide-ranging expertise is reflected in him receiving recognition in the aviation contentious, aviation regulatory and aviation finance chapters. Similarly, Elizabeth Freidenberg at Freidenberg, Freidenberg & Lifsic – Abogados, receives recognition across all three aviation chapters. She is recognised for her high-quality and comprehensive practice and is praised by sources for her "outstanding knowledge of the law".

At Hiratsuka & Co, Makoto Hiratsuka is a leading expert in Japanese maritime law and is recommended by clients and peers for his "comprehensive understanding" of the area. From Co-effort Law Firm David Zhou Yi is “a highly proficient practitioner” who is “recommended without a second thought” by clients and peers for his shipping, insurance and international trade practice.

Roy Durling at Arias Fábrega & Fábrega is “particularly skilled” in his handling of commercial ship finance transactions, representing owners and lenders who praise his “strategic approach” to matters. He also handles a range of aviation financing work. Jorge Loaiza heads the firm's shipping and ports team and wins acclaim for his “outstanding contribution to this sector” in Panama.


Rustam Gagrat at his own firm is “very good and extremely active in the field” of aviation finance, with clients saying they value his “reliable and straightforward advice”. He is also praised for being “very methodical and analytical when dealing with complex regulatory issues”.


Cem Karako at Karako Law Office is described by sources as a “smart and proactive lawyer who has lots of practical solutions for complicated legal matters."


At Studio Pierallini in Italy, Laura Pierallini is “a first class advocate” who is known in the sector for her “excellent litigation and dispute resolution skills”, having experience of handling high profile and complex aviation disputes.


Stylianou and Stylianou's Stelios Stylianou is described as “a leading practitioner” by sources, acting for numerous high profile airlines and insurers in relation to their most complex disputes.


Shardul Thacker of Mulla & Mulla & Craigie Blunt & Caroe is an “excellent shipping lawyer” with a particuarly strong reputation for international ship finance transactions.


Nimish Vakil of Tyabji Dayabhai wins praise for his “prominent aviation practice”, which includes advising and representing a number of major clients in relation to their most complex disputes.


Alexander von Ziegler of Schellenberg Wittmer is “certainly an important player in the industry”, with particular experience handling high profile insurance defence and cover disputes in the aviation sector. 


Shuji Yamaguchi at Okabe & Yamaguchi “is an outstanding shipping lawyer”, particularly known for his work relating to cargo and marine insurance claims.

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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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