Aviation 2019: Analysis

We are delighted to present that latest edition of WWL: Aviation, comprising 839 listings from over 300 firms across 62 jurisdictions. The lawyers featured are recognised as the leading practitioners in the sector for their work on regulatory, finance and contentious matters.

We also identify the most highly regarded individuals across EMEA, North America, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.


The Global Elite Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has identified them as truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.
Who's Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research.


Global Elite Thought Leaders
Aviation Contentious
1. P Nikolai Ehlers Ehlers Ehlers & Partner, Munich
2. Ulrich Steppler Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein, Frankfurt
3. Tim Marland Quadrant Chambers, London
4. Sean Gates Gates Aviation, London
Aviation Finance
1. Robert A Ricketts Holland & Knight (UK), London
2. Hans-Ruedi Grob Blum&Grob Attorneys at Law, Zurich
3. Mark Bisset Clyde & Co, London
4. Morten Hans Jakobsen Gorrissen Federspiel, Copenhagen
5. William Glaister Clifford Chance, London
Aviation Regulatory
1. Laura Pierallini Studio Pierallini, Rome
2. Ulrich Steppler Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein, Frankfurt
3. Catherine Erkelens Erkelens Law, Brussels

Leading Firms


A leading international law firm that stands out this year for its aviation offering, with seven practitioners listed in EMEA.
London-based Giles Kavanagh leads the firm’s global aerospace practice and wins high praise from market sources for his top-tier work advising manufacturers, insurance entities and airlines on a range of sector-related matters, including disputes.
Sue Barham is a firm favourite among aviation-sector clients who “would highly rate her”, particularly for her exceptional regulatory expertise.
Nick Hughes has over 35 years’ experience in the aviation sector and is well versed in handling insurance claims, commercial disputes and regulatory matters for clients.
Pierre Frühling is a widely recognised name in the Belgian market where he stands out as being “at the top” when it comes to aviation financing and litigation.
Richard Gimblett manages the firm’s Dubai office and is highly recommended by respondents for his impressive handling of complex aviation litigation and commercial disputes. 
Jeremy Shebson is a well-respected and prominent figure in the aviation field. He is known for his first-rate work advising clients on aviation insurance as well as contractual issues.

Clyde & Co

This international powerhouse has a first-class aviation group and a prominent position in the EMEA market. In total, 20 excellent lawyers are recommended this year.
Robert Lawson QC chairs the firm’s global aviation team, and is renowned in the sector for his outstanding expertise in regulatory matters and insurance-related disputes.
Philip Bass is a disputes specialist who comes highly recommended for his work in the aviation sector, representing clients in a broad array of sophisticated liability claims.
Mark Bisset receives widespread plaudits for his first-rate finance expertise, and is a go-to name for aircraft financing and leasing matters. He possesses particularly strong knowledge of the jet market.
Fabrice Pradon has “a very good reputation and knowledge of the aviation industry” according to sources who note, “He has been involved in numerous major aircraft accident cases.”
David Clark is “a very experienced lawyer” who impresses market commentators with his work on aircraft accidents and liability claims. 

Urwantschky Dangel Borst 

This leading German aviation specialist stands out in the EMEA market for its exceptional offering. This year, three lawyers are recognised across all three chapters.
Peter Urwantschky draws widespread international praise for his leading expertise in the aviation space, handling complex liability claims. He is also recognised for his strong work when it comes to advising clients on major commercial transactions in the sector.
Claudia Hess enjoys a strong international reputation for her excellent work advising clients on aviation policy and regulation. She also stands out among peers for her impressive representation of clients in aviation-related contentious matters.
Rainer Amann impresses market sources with his adept handling of aircraft financing matters and related transactions. He is highly sought after for the effective counsel he delivers to clients on contracts and aviation agreements.   


This global law firm also performs well this year with 11 lawyers obtaining 17 listings across our contentious, regulatory and finance chapters.
Mark Welbourn is an aviation insurance specialist who is recognised here for his excellent work advising clients on liability issues, cargo claims and regulatory matters.
Simon Balls heads the firm’s aviation group in London and is commended by market sources for his first-class work handling airline catastrophe claims and other sector-related disputes. 
Cyril-Igor Grigorieff is a widely recognised name in the Belgian market where he is known for his adept handling of sector-related financial and regulatory matters as well as disputes.

Norton Rose Fulbright

This full-service global firm also sees practitioners from across its EMEA offices perform highly this year. Sixteen listings are shared between 14 practitioners.
Patrick Farrell focuses his practice on complex commercial disputes and is well respected in the market for his top-quality representation of aviation clients in litigation, mediation and arbitration proceedings. 
Duncan Batchelor heads the firm’s worldwide aviation offering. He wins praise from sources for his impressive aviation practice and is particularly highlighted for his superb work in asset financing matters, acting for all parties.
Berend Crans leads the aviation practice in the Amsterdam office and is a firm favourite among client seeking counsel on aircraft financing matters. He stands out as the top name for financing in the Netherlands in our research this year.

Other Leading Individuals


At Erkelens Law, Catherine Erkelens is an excellent aviation lawyer who “really knows her stuff” in complex aircraft-related litigation, according to sources. She stands out as one of the top names in Europe for major disputes.

Mia Wouters at LVP Law wins widespread international praise for the first-rate counsel she delivers to clients on passenger rights and insurance claims.


Morten Jakobsen at Gorrissen Federspiel is one of the leading aviation practitioners in the region, widely respected for his work on leasing and lease-back transactions. According to one source, he is “a thorough and commercial lawyer” who is “very good at cutting through the nonsense”.


At Quadrant Chambers, superb barrister Tim Marland is “well known for his aviation expertise” according to peers who commend his exceptional work on sector-related insurance and liability disputes.

Sean Gates at Gates Aviation is “a pre-eminent figure” in the aviation sector where he is “extremely well respected” for his leading work on the contentious side. He has exceptional experience in aviation disaster cases.

Holland & Knight’s Robert Ricketts is “a very knowledgeable practitioner” who is recommended by respondents for his leading expertise in aircraft financings and leasing.

William Glaister at Clifford Chance is “a real star” in the UK market who is warmly endorsed by peers, one of whom says, “He is my favourite aviation lawyer in England and is very popular with financial clients.” We name Glaister as a Global Elite Thought Leader this year for his outstanding financing work.

Ince & Co’s Gillie Belsham leads the firm’s global aviation practice. She gains international recognition from peers who praise her expertise when it comes to aviation-related disputes.
Anna Anatolitou is an aviation specialist whose practice spans related contentious and regulatory matters. She is particularly recommended for her strong expertise in the Middle East.

Mark Moody at Winston & Strawn is widely recognised in the aviation space for his strong financial expertise, most notably relating to aircraft financings, sales and purchases.

At Herbert Smith Freehills, Rex Rosales focuses his first-class practice on aviation financing matters, an area in which he possesses over 20 years’ experience. He acts for a range of lessors, banks and owners, among others.


DLA Piper’s Vonnick le Guillou is noted for her “fantastic reputation and knowledge of the aviation industry”. She is highlighted by sources for her particularly strong understanding of related insurance and liability claims.

Fabrice Pradon at Clyde & Co is a widely recognised figure in the French aviation arena where he stands out for his work on major aircraft accidents. He stands out as one of the top names in the French market in this year’s edition.
Maylis Casati-Ollier is an aviation law specialist who is well versed in advising clients on lease agreements and aircraft acquisition, as well as representing them in sector-related arbitration and litigation proceedings.


At Ehlers Ehlers & Partner, Nikolai Ehlers is an “exceptionally good” and “incredibly well-qualified” lawyer who is superb when it comes to dealing with sophisticated disputes across the aviation sector. His practice also encompasses advising clients on regulation and financing matters.

Ulrich Steppler at Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein “stands out from the crowd in Germany”, according to sources. He is highly sought after by major clients in the sector, including airlines, financial institutions and insurance companies.


Laura Pierallini at Studio 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, handles and financiers, and offers comprehensive aviation expertise.

At LS Lexjus Sinacta, Anna Masutti is a well-established figure in the aviation space where she is known for her adept handling of sector-related insurance claims and disputes. 

Maurizio Corain at R&P Legal leads the firm’s aviation practice and stands out for his deep understanding of aviation regulation. He is a firm favourite among clients who commend his excellent work advising on litigation arising out of accidents and insurance claims.


At Van Traa Advocaten, Robert Pessers is “very well known for his experience in the area” and is highly praised by peers who say, “He is a regular in the disputes field.”


AÉLEX’s Lawrence Fubara Anga is well known by peers around the world who commend his excellent work on major aviation transactions.


At Lebrero Abogados, Rodolfo Gonzalez-Lebrero is a long-standing fixture in the Spanish market where he enjoys a great reputation for his work on aviation financings, disputes and regulatory matters.


Hans-Ruedi Grob at Blum&Grob Attorneys at Law is “a very experienced lawyer” who is recognised as one of the leading aviation lawyers in the region. His expertise spans a range of matters from financings to disputes.

Schellenberg Wittmer’s Alexander von Ziegler is “exceptional and a go-to for aviation work”, say peers, who commend his “long-standing experience” handling claims arising from major accidents.

Daniel Maritz at Schiller Rechtsanwälte is well known in the Swiss market for his impressive knowledge of liability and compensation cases in the aviation space.

United Arab Emirates

At Al Tamimi & Company, Yazan Al Saoudi enjoys a strong international reputation for his world-class aviation practice that spans contentious and regulatory matters including insurance claims, contracts, recovery and transactions.


North America

Global Elite Thought Leaders
Aviation Contentious
1. Andrew J Harakas Clyde & Co US, New York
2. Frank A Silane Condon & Forsyth, Los Angeles
3. Bartholomew J Banino Condon & Forsyth, New York
4. J Denny Shupe Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, Philadelphia
Aviation Finance
1. John F Pritchard Holland & Knight, New York
2. Donald G Gray Blake Cassels & Graydon, Toronto
3. William B Piels Holland & Knight, San Francisco
4. Mark Lessard Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, New York
Aviation Regulatory
1. Anita Mosner Holland & Knight, Washington DC
2. Carlos P Martins Bersenas Jacobsen Chouest Thomson Blackburn, Toronto
3. Charles F Donley Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, Washington DC
4. Bartholomew J Banino Condon & Forsyth, New York

Leading Firms

Condon & Forsyth  

This US law firm enjoys a prominent position in the domestic aviation market, with 17 practitioners recognised for their excellence across the sector.
Bartholomew Banino draws praise from widespread international peers who consider him a standout figure in the US aviation market. Aviation disaster claims, cargo damages and breach of contract cases are all areas in which he excels. 
Frank Silane is a disputes specialist who commands great respect from market commentators for his vast experience representing clients in insurance and tort litigation.
Christopher Christensen focuses his practice on litigation arising out of aviation disasters and is well versed in representing both US and foreign airlines. He has over 30 years of experience and has acted on some of the most high-profile cases of recent decades.
Desmond Barry Jr is one of the best-known aviation lawyers in the US market. He draws extensive praise from respondents who commend his expert handling of complex litigation relating to major aviation accidents. 
Scott Cunningham is a well-recognised name in the US market where he is sought after for his strong expertise representing airlines, manufacturers and insurers in aviation-related disputes. 

Holland & Knight

This global law firm also performs well with 14 lawyers from its offices across the US obtaining 16 listings in total.
John Pritchard is the foremost aviation finance lawyer in the region, according to interviewees this year. He is highly respected for his exceptional work representing lessors, borrowers and lenders. 
Anita Mosner is a pre-eminent aviation regulatory specialist who wins high praise from sources for her understanding of start-up processes, operational issues and route development.
William Piels is “very active in the field” according to sources who note he is “excellent” when it comes to handling complex leasing transactions and aircraft financings.
John Toriello is “a great lawyer” who frequently advises clients on a range of sector-related matters, most notably sophisticated insurance claims.

Bersenas Jacobsen Chouest Thomson Blackburn 

This top-tier Canadian outfit has a leading aviation offering in the North America market. Four practitioners are recommended.
Carlos Martins primarily focuses on aviation liability work, winning numerous recommendations from interviewees for his expert handling of complex regulatory issues. Peers say, “He really knows his stuff.”
Tae Mee Park is a first-class litigator who comes highly recommended by market sources for her work on aviation disputes before all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Other Leading Individuals


Donald Gray at Blake Cassels & Graydon is a distinguished name in the Canadian transport market. He enjoys a stellar reputation for his outstanding work advising a range of aviation clients including lessors, manufacturers and airlines.

At Paterson MacDougall, Bruce MacDougall QC impresses respondents with his top-notch work handling complex insurance claims relating to the aviation sector, including product liability cases.

McMillan’s Éric Vallières stands out among peers in the region for his impressive understanding of regulatory regimes across the aviation sector as well as his excellent representation of clients in high-stakes litigation.


Clyde & Co’s Andrew Harakas is a prominent figure and a top-notch expert when it comes to disputes in the aviation sector. His excellent practice spans the range of contentious issues including tort and liability claims. We recognise Harakas as the top name in the US market for aviation litigation in this edition.

Barry Alexander at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis is a well-known name in the US aviation sector where he stands out for his work on aviation and insurance litigation before both state and federal courts.
Global Elite Thought Leader Denny Shupe is recommended by international peers for his strong expertise when it comes to representing airlines, insurers and aircraft manufacturers in commercial litigation proceedings.  

At Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, Charles Donley is a first-rate aviation specialist whose practice encompasses complex regulatory and contentious matters. He draws on 30 years of experience to provide nuanced and spot-on advice to clients.
Mark Lessard is highly sought after by market sources who consider him a top name for aviation finance matters, from asset management to insolvency proceedings.

Brian Alexander at Kreindler & Kreindler is “an excellent aviation lawyer” according to sources. He is highlighted for his work on high-value litigation proceedings arising from major aviation accidents.


Latin America

Global Elite Thought Leaders
Aviation Contentious
1. Elizabeth Mireya Freidenberg Freidenberg, Freidenberg & Lifsic, Buenos Aires
2. Fernando Albino HFW, São Paulo
3. Ricardo Bernardi Bernardi & Schnapp Advogados, São Paulo
Aviation Finance
1. Carlos Sierra Abogados Sierra, Mexico City
2. Kenneth Basch Basch & Rameh, São Paulo
3. Maria Regina Mangabeira Albernaz Lynch Motta Fernandes Rocha Advogados, São Paulo
Aviation Regulatory
1. José Elías Del Hierro Hoyos Del Hierro Abogados, Bogota
2. Alina Nassar Nassar Abogados, San José

Leading Individuals


Freidenberg Freidenberg & Lifsic’s Elizabeth Mireya Freidenberg is a pre-eminent figure in the international aviation arena, where she possesses a great reputation for her work handling the full range of sector issues from airline start-ups to schedule claims.


At Bernardi & Schnapp Advogados, Ricardo Bernardi wins high praise as one of the foremost aviation disputes lawyers Latin America. His top-tier practice encompasses a range of aviation matters from aircraft financing to leasing.
Carla Christina Schnapp is a well-respected figure among peers and clients alike who highlight her vast experience advising aviation clients on complex labour law issues.

Kenneth Basch at Basch & Rameh is “a real supremo in Brazil” according to sources who highlight him as “one of the top names” for representation in aviation disputes.

Maria Regina Mangabeira Albernaz Lynch at Motta Fernandes Rocha Advogados is “a very experienced lawyer” who impresses with her deep knowledge of financings and transactions within the aviation space.

Fernando Albino at HFW is praised by peers throughout the region for the excellent counsel he delivers to clients on cross-border aviation accidents and related liability matters.


José Elías Del Hierro Hoyos at Del Hierro Abogados is a standout name in the Colombian market where he is recognised for his excellent work on a range of aviation matters including financing and disputes.

Costa Rica

At Nassar Abogados, Alina Nassar is highly respected in the region for her leading expertise in the aviation space. Her work spans contentious as well as corporate matters, areas in which sources say she is “leading the pack”.
Tomás Nassar Perez draws high praise from peers for his expertise in complex commercial aviation disputes.

Dominican Republic

At Mesa & Mesa | Abogados, Rodolfo Mesa Chávez is well known among market sources for his top-notch work advising clients on high-value aviation litigation and arbitration proceedings.


Carlos Sierra at Abogados Sierra is a distinguished figure in the international aviation market, where he enjoys an excellent reputation for his work handling aircraft leasing and financing for sector clients.


At Guanes Heisecke & Piera, Alejandro Piera Valdés is “definitely leading the market” in Paraguay, according to sources who commend his outstanding expertise in contentious and transactional aviation matters.



Global Elite Thought Leaders
Aviation Contentious
1. Peng Lim Kennedys, Singapore
2. Mark Mackrell Norton White, Sydney
3. Anita Quy Kennedys, Singapore
4. Sarah Catchpole Kennedys, Hong Kong
5. Benjamin G Martin Norton White, Sydney
6. Paul Freeman Clyde & Co, Singapore
Aviation Finance
1. Paul Greenwell Clifford Chance, Hong Kong
2. Ravi Nath RNC Legal/Rajinder Narain & Co, New Delhi
Aviation Regulatory
1. Simon Liddy HWL Ebsworth, Sydney
2. Ravi Nath RNC Legal/Rajinder Narain & Co, New Delhi

Leading Firms

Norton White 

This Australian commercial firm performs well with two lawyers listed.
Mark Mackrell is a “well-regarded aviation lawyer” and a go-to name for airlines, underwriters and operators seeking top-notch counsel on complex litigation proceedings as well as regulatory matters.
Benjamin Martin is a “leading name in the Sydney market” who is well respected for his expertise in aviation-related regulatory matters and liability claims.


This global firm demonstrates its strong aviation offering in the region.
In Singapore, Mert Hifzi leads the firm’s regional aerospace practice, and is widely recognised as a standout figure for commercial litigation and insurance claims.
Keith Richardson gains recognition here for his strong expertise handling complex aviation disputes for airlines, insurers and manufacturers among others.

Clyde & Co

A leading international law firm that has an impressive presence in the region.
Paul Freeman possesses over 30 years’ experience advising clients on matters stemming from aviation disasters including loss claims and passenger rights.
Davin Johnston is a seasoned practitioner in the Asia-Pacific market who comes highly recommended by sources for his knowledge of regulatory matters across the aviation sector.
Peter Boys is recognised in this edition for his high-quality work handling aviation-related commercial disputes.

Other Leading Individuals


Simon Liddy at HWL Ebsworth is “a well-regarded figure” in the Australian aviation market where he is recognised for his “strong practice” advising clients on claims arising from major accidents.

At Colin Biggers & Paisley, Andrew Tulloch is an insurance specialist highlighted for his particular expertise handling complex claims relating to aviation disputes.

John Canning at King & Wood Mallesons focuses his practice on banking and finance matters, and is recommended for his impressive work on asset financings in the aviation space.

Hong Kong

At Kennedys, Sarah Catchpole “has created a reputation with her hard work and professionalism” say sources, who commend her impressive work in the aviation sector, particularly in “high-pressure environments”.

Clifford Chance’s Paul Greenwell is widely recognised by international sources who highly rate him for his work on asset financing matters, including aircraft leasing.

Simon Wong at Stephenson Harwood is known for his superb work on aircraft leasing, financing and related transactions on behalf of financiers and lessors in the sector.


Ravi Nath at RNC Legal/Rajinder Narain & Co has over 20 years’ experience in the aviation field, adeptly assisting clients on high-value transactions. He also stands out among peers for his impressive knowledge of sector-related regulation.


At Kennedys, Peng Lim leads the firm’s global aviation group, and is highly respected among peers for her expertise and experience in high-stakes commercial disputes.
Anita Quy is widely recognised by market sources as a standout figure in the aviation space. She is particularly highlighted for her work on litigation arising out of accidents and losses across the region.

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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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