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UK Bar: Aviation & Travel 2017

We recommend 32 barristers for their expertise in aviation and travel law. In aviation this includes corporate and consumer issues including financing and insurance, air disasters, and group litigation. In travel, barristers’ specialisms include personal injury and accidents abroad, including cases concerning choice of law and issues of jurisdiction.

Most Highly Regarded
William Audland QC 12 King’s Bench Walk
Robert Weir QC Devereux Chambers
Akhil Shah QC Fountain Court Chambers
Robert Lawson QC Quadrant Chambers
Sarah Prager 1 Chancery Lane
Jack Harding 1 Chancery Lane
Eliot Woolf Outer Temple Chambers
Tim Marland Quadrant Chambers



FOUNTAIN COURT is an aviation-focused set and stands out for the strength and depth of its practice. Its silks are regularly engaged in the largest commercial, damages, finance, insurance and regulatory cases in the domestic and international market. Four silks are listed in this year’s research.
Akhil Shah QC specialises in a wide range of commercial and regulatory aviation disputes. He is noted as "one of the leaders in his field; sharp and quick to get to the point, he can effectively explain technical issues to laypeople”.
Bankim Thanki QC is a much-admired advocate, who has fantastic knowledge and experience of the aviation industry. As one source summarises, “He is definitely a top-drawer silk, a simply superb all-round performer.”
Stephen Moriarty QC focuses on aviation finance and insurance issues. As one of the most respected names at the commercial Bar he has a popular domestic and international practice.
Michael  McLaren QC’s practice covers leases, maintenance, seizure and accidents. He is referred to as “an active and established aviation silk”.

QUADRANT CHAMBERS has been called “the go-to set for difficult aviation law matters” and sees three silks listed, handling a wide range of regulatory, commercial, insurance and transactional mandates.
Robert Lawson QC is one of the most highly regarded practitioners in this chapter, and is recommended for his longstanding expertise in aviation matters, including carrier liability, air disasters and group litigation. One respondent remarks, “He gives very considered advice, and is to go-to man for most airlines – he always goes above and beyond.”
John Kimbell QC focuses on aviation law and is regularly engaged in litigation and arbitration regarding financing, insurance and accidents. He is reportedly “vigorous in pursuing his clients’ interests”.
John Russell QC has experience in all aspects of aviation law including liability, financing and accidents. One source notes, "John is very calm under pressure, inspires confidence, and makes everything seem easy.”
New silk Michael McParland QC focuses on aviation disputes including death and injury alongside corporate disputes. He has acted in numerous international cases and also has a significant personal injury practice.

Leading aviation chambers XXIV OLD BUILDINGS achieves two listings.
Philip Shepherd QC has national and international arbitration experience in the field of aviation including finance, leasing, insurance and product liability. One peer says: “Philip has a great knowledge of the industry and is fearless in his clients' interests”.
Steven Thompson QC focuses on aviation disputes and insolvency issues and appears in national and overseas courts. He is regarded as “one of the preeminent aviation specialists”.

At ESSEX COURT CHAMBERS, David Joseph QC is highlighted for his marketing-leading expertise in international arbitration disputes in the aviation and insurance sphere.

At 1 CHANCERY LANE, newly appointed silk Matthew Chapman QC is recommended. He focuses on claims and recovery proceedings with a cross-border aspect including personal injury claims. Sources said of his work as a junior, “His understanding of these issues is second to none. He is really good with clients and really good on his feet."


QUADRANT CHAMBERS sees two juniors listed.
Tim Marland is one of the most highly regarded practitioners in our research and is recommended for his expertise in aviation financing and insurance matters and travel regulation. One client says: “Tim is unique at the aviation Bar. He has an all-round forensic understanding of the law and also of the business of aviation insurance.”
Matthew Reeve acts on large complex cases in aviation liability and financing and is “one of the few who is a real claimants’ man”.



2 TEMPLE GARDENS is recognised as a leading set for travel cases, particularly claims arising out of accidents abroad. Three silks are listed in this year’s research.
Howard Palmer QC has expertise in jurisdictional claims and the law applicable to the resolution of claims including foreign issues. He is regarded as a leading silk in relation to international travel personal injury cases.
Benjamin Browne QC specialises in personal injury cases and has been involved in some of the most high-value cases of recent years. One peer remarks: “He is a top silk who exudes presence in court.”
Charles Dougherty QC acts on jurisdiction and choice of law disputes and also sits as arbitrator. One respondent says, “Charles is excellent and has an in-depth experience and understanding of commercial issues.”

At ESSEX COURT CHAMBERS, Hugh Mercer QC is recognised for his expertise in conflict of laws cases and has appeared in both trial and appellate courts. One of his peers notes: “Hugh is absolutely brilliant: a thinking barrister”.

DEVEREUX CHAMBERS sees Robert Weir QC recommended for his personal injury and clinical negligence practice, typically on the claimant side. He is highlighted for his “instinctive understanding of the intricacies of travel law” and as an “excellent, very unflappable advocate”.

William Audland QC at 12 King's Bench Walk acts in high-value personal injury and clinical negligence claims both nationally and internationally. One respondent says, “He is clear-thinking and clever, with a calm and persuasive style of advocacy.”


1 CHANCERY LANE specialises in personal injury and international travel and leisure law and the set includes some of the foremost practitioners in the field.
Sarah Prager specialises in travel law claims including personal injury claims, where she acts for both claimants and defendants. One respondent remarks, “She is not afraid of ‘difficult cases’ and is well liked by clients. As advocate she has made the difference regarding trials.”
The “top-drawer” Jack Harding represents both claimants and defendants and is recommended for his expertise in travel law.

OLD SQUARE CHAMBERS achieves two listings.
Philip Mead is listed for his expertise in personal injury claims and claims of maximum severity. One respondent says, "He is very much at the forefront of the interface between EU and English law when it comes to personal injury.”
Katherine Howells specialises in personal injury, clinical negligence and travel. She also has a significant aviation practice with a focus on accidents overseas. She is regarded as a leading junior in relation to passenger liability.

OUTER TEMPLE CHAMBERS sees two juniors listed.        
Eliot Woolf focuses exclusively on national and international personal injury cases including foreign accident and group illness. One peer remarks, “He is very sensible, extremely personal and is very visible in multiparty illness cases.”
Sarah Crowther specialises in international work relating to injury, illness or accident claims. One source describes her as “ambitious and hardworking, while also being approachable and likeable”.

At 3 HARE COURT, Katherine Deal is listed for her expertise in personal injury litigation. She has acted on claims relating to overseas accidents and choice of law and one peer comments, “She is very committed to her clients and their cause.”

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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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