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Thought Leaders

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Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Laura Pierallini enjoys a stellar reputation as one of the most prominent aviation lawyers in the Italian market. She is recognised for her top-tier representation of clients in the field, including airlines, handlers and financiers, and offers comprehensive aviation expertise.

Questions & Answers

Laura Pierallini, founder and name partner of Studio Pierallini, spent several years in the legal department of Arthur Andersen, becoming managing partner of Coudert Brothers in Rome in 2001. She is professor of commercial law and the director of the executive master’s degree in air transport law at the LUISS School of Law in Rome. Laura has practised aviation law since 1988, providing expert advice across the whole of the international aviation sector, including aircraft financing, M&A, antitrust and regulatory matters.

What was the greatest challenge you faced establishing a career in the aviation sector?

The greatest challenge has been weathering my first years in the profession during the 1980s, when the industry was still highly monopolised by a few operators (flag carriers) relying mostly on internal counsel, and it seemed there was no space for private aviation lawyers. The challenging choice I made proved to be a winning one as, with a greater degree of liberalisation at the beginning of the 1990s, the aviation industry became highly dynamic and in great need of lawyers.

What did you enjoy most about setting up your own firm?

In comparison to working at international law firms, having my own firm made me independent in how I handle the legal profession, making each day unique and creating an enjoyable, fulfilling work environment. While at firms such as Arthur Andersen and Coudert Brothers there would always be a somewhat defined process for dealing with clients, setting up my own firm allowed me to create tailor-made decisions on my approach, fee structure and execution of the job, based on the needs of the client we are dealing with.

How has the aviation market in Italy evolved since you first began practising?

The greatest change in the aviation sector since I first began practising has been the market liberalisation. When I first began, the industry was almost fully monopolised by state-owned flag carriers; the trend started to change in Europe after the “Third Package” in 1992, creating the low-cost phenomenon that completely revolutionised the aviation sector. Recently, automation and new technologies have provided further, significant innovation in the aviation market.

How does your role as a professor enhance your work in private practice?

It allows me to constantly absorb myself in a wide range of current international issues. Furthermore, staying in contact with younger generations gives me renewed energy to pursue my job with an increased enthusiasm.

What impact has the growing concern over data protection issues had on the nature of demands from clients in the sector?

It has not, I must say, generated a great impact on the nature of demands from our clients. Obviously, when the new rules (the GDPR) were introduced, there was a thorough examination of the relevant impact on airline companies (as they have access to sensitive information about customers), and a review of the applicable terms and conditions. However our firm has not witnessed a substantial change in the demands of our clients.

Looking forward, what do you believe will be the main legal challenges that new technologies such as electronic aircraft and drones will pose?

First of all, from a regulatory perspective, new rules have been issued and are still under review, and further implementation is expected from the competent authorities, at national, international and EU levels.

Second, liability issues will arise from the disruptions caused by the operation of unmanned vehicles (this has already been seen in the drone attack on Gatwick Airport in December 2018), and the impact on stakeholders and the passengers (eg, delay compensation under the 261 regulation).

Issues related to insurance coverage and privacy, created by the use of new technologies, are yet another challenging area that may create a significant impact on the sector.

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

The achievement I am proudest of is having contributed to the creation of the first privately owned airline company in Italy. I believe this achievement best represents my pioneering spirit, and made all the sacrifices during the early years of my career worthwhile.

What is the best piece of career advice you have received?

When I was a very young lawyer, taking my first steps in this challenging sector at a time when it was mostly populated by males, the best advice I received, from a successful and experienced client, was to always think positive and (especially) bigger, which I have always tried – and I still continue – to do.

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Laura Pierallini comes highly recommended for her excellence in aviation contentious matters. One peer remarks: "She is by some way the best-known aviation lawyer in Italy."

Biography

Laura Pierallini is the founder and name partner of the Italian aviation law firm Studio Pierallini.

She spent several years in the legal and tax department of Arthur Andersen, and was the managing partner of Coudert Brothers from 2001 to 2005.

She is a professor of commercial law, and director of the executive master’s degree in air transport law, at the LUISS School of Law of Rome.

Ms Pierallini has practised aviation law since 1988, providing expert advice to clients across the whole of the international aviation sector, including aircraft finance and leasing; antitrust and regulatory advice; litigation and dispute resolution; employment; and corporate issues. Her clientele includes Italian and foreign airlines, manufacturers, lessors, financiers, airports, handlers and travel agents.

She has assisted with IPOs of Italian airlines, and M&As involving the purchase of domestic airlines by foreign companies. She has also advised carriers and airport handlers in restructuring, bankruptcy and insolvency procedures.

Ms Pierallini was recognised as lawyer of the year (2019) for aviation – regulatory by WWL, which has also named her as a Thought Leader for aviation (2018 and 2019). She was shortlisted for Best Aviation Lawyer at the Europe Women in Business Law Awards (2015 to 2019).

Ms Pierallini regularly attends and organises conferences on aviation, delivering speeches and moderating panels at various Italian and international symposia, in particular those coordinated by the International Air Transport Association, the European Air Law Association (EALA), the European Aviation Club (EAC), the International Bar Association, the European Business Aviation Association and the LUISS university of Rome.

She is a committee member of the EALA, and a member of the International Aviation Women’s Association and the EAC.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Laura Pierallini gains international recognition for her first-class aviation finance practice. She has extensive experience of working on aircraft finance and leasing matters.

Biography

Laura Pierallini is the founder and name partner of the Italian aviation law firm Studio Pierallini.

She spent several years in the legal and tax department of Arthur Andersen, and was the managing partner of Coudert Brothers from 2001 to 2005.

She is a professor of commercial law, and director of the executive master’s degree in air transport law, at the LUISS School of Law of Rome.

Ms Pierallini has practised aviation law since 1988, providing expert advice to clients across the whole of the international aviation sector, including aircraft finance and leasing; antitrust and regulatory advice; litigation and dispute resolution; employment; and corporate issues. Her clientele includes Italian and foreign airlines, manufacturers, lessors, financiers, airports, handlers and travel agents.

She has assisted with IPOs of Italian airlines, and M&As involving the purchase of domestic airlines by foreign companies. She has also advised carriers and airport handlers in restructuring, bankruptcy and insolvency procedures.

Ms Pierallini was recognised as lawyer of the year (2019) for aviation – regulatory by WWL, which has also named her as a Thought Leader for aviation (2018 and 2019). She was shortlisted for Best Aviation Lawyer at the Europe Women in Business Law Awards (2015 to 2019).

Ms Pierallini regularly attends and organises conferences on aviation, delivering speeches and moderating panels at various Italian and international symposia, in particular those coordinated by the International Air Transport Association, the European Air Law Association (EALA), the European Aviation Club (EAC), the International Bar Association, the European Business Aviation Association and the LUISS university of Rome.

She is a committee member of the EALA, and a member of the International Aviation Women’s Association and the EAC.

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Laura Pierallini comes top of our research for her excellence in the field. Peers comment that she is "highly knowledgeable about regulatory aspects of Italian aviation law".

Biography

Laura Pierallini is the founder and name partner of the Italian aviation law firm Studio Pierallini.

She spent several years in the legal and tax department of Arthur Andersen, and was the managing partner of Coudert Brothers from 2001 to 2005.

She is a professor of commercial law, and director of the executive master’s degree in air transport law, at the LUISS School of Law of Rome.

Ms Pierallini has practised aviation law since 1988, providing expert advice to clients across the whole of the international aviation sector, including aircraft finance and leasing; antitrust and regulatory advice; litigation and dispute resolution; employment; and corporate issues. Her clientele includes Italian and foreign airlines, manufacturers, lessors, financiers, airports, handlers and travel agents.

She has assisted with IPOs of Italian airlines, and M&As involving the purchase of domestic airlines by foreign companies. She has also advised carriers and airport handlers in restructuring, bankruptcy and insolvency procedures.

Ms Pierallini was recognised as lawyer of the year (2019) for aviation – regulatory by WWL, which has also named her as a Thought Leader for aviation (2018 and 2019). She was shortlisted for Best Aviation Lawyer at the Europe Women in Business Law Awards (2015 to 2019).

Ms Pierallini regularly attends and organises conferences on aviation, delivering speeches and moderating panels at various Italian and international symposia, in particular those coordinated by the International Air Transport Association, the European Air Law Association (EALA), the European Aviation Club (EAC), the International Bar Association, the European Business Aviation Association and the LUISS university of Rome.

She is a committee member of the EALA, and a member of the International Aviation Women’s Association and the EAC.

National Leader

Italy - Transport - Aviation 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Laura Pierallini is lauded as “an excellent aviation lawyer” and maintains her status as one of Italy’s most prominent authorities in the sector.

Biography

Laura Pierallini is the founder and name partner of the Italian aviation law firm Studio Pierallini.

She spent several years in the legal and tax department of Arthur Andersen, and was the the managing partner of the international law firm Coudert Brothers in Rome (2001 to 2005).

She is a professor of commercial law, and director of the executive master’s degree in air transport law, at the LUISS School of Law of Rome.

Ms Pierallini has practised aviation law since 1988, providing expert advice to clients across the whole of the international aviation sector, including aircraft finance and leasing; antitrust and regulatory advice; litigation and dispute resolution; employment; and corporate issues. Her clientele includes Italian and foreign airlines, manufacturers, lessors, financiers, airports, handlers and travel agents.

Ms Pierallini was recognised in the aviation (regulatory) section of Thought Leaders – Global Elite (2018-2020), and is recommended as a leading lawyer in the regulatory, contentious and finance sub-chapters of the aviation section of WWL: Transport. She was named Best Aviation Lawyer for Italy at the 2020 Client Choice Awards, and has been consistently shortlisted for Best Aviation Lawyer at the Europe Women in Business Law Awards (2015 to 2019).

Ms Pierallini regularly attends and organises conferences on aviation, delivering speeches and moderating panels at various Italian and international symposia, in particular those organised by IATA, EALA, EAC, IBA, EBAA and LUISS.

She is a committee member of the European Air Law Association and a member of the International Aviation Women’s Association and the European Aviation Club.

She is the author of many national and international publications on aviation, tourism and commercial law.

Awards won by Laura Pierallini

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