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Lawyers handling complex aviation transactions and disputes

HFW has a pre-eminent global specialist aerospace practice, having been at the forefront of legal developments in this sector for over three decades.

Our clients are drawn from all spheres of the aerospace industry and our team is one of the largest and most dedicated to the sector of any international law firm. This prominent position is widely recognised by the independent legal directories (Chambers and Legal 500), who routinely rank us as a top tier Aviation practice.

Our practice is global. It is led by Mert Hifzi, who is assisted by David Brotherton (as his deputy). Both are currently based in Asia, but will soon relocate to London. Richard Gimblett coordinates the activities of the Middle East team, and Pierre Frühling in Brussels works closely with numerous partners in Paris and London. Through a cooperation with Brazilian law firm CAL we are able to provide our clients with specialist local advice across Latin America.

What we do in Aerospace

We are recognised leaders in resolving the most complex claims and have unrivalled experience of aviation safety and economic regulation, combined with competition and anti-trust expertise. We help our clients negotiate documents which make sense operationally, maximising the revenue-generating potential of the asset. We have 125 years' experience of dispute resolution in all its forms and have a track record in tackling the most complex disputes in litigation or arbitration.

Particular areas of expertise include:

  • Aviation liability
  • Transactional & commercial
  • Business and private aviation
  • EU, competition and regulatory
  • Finance and leasing
  • Dispute resolution, including a bespoke aviation mediation service

Our experience in Aerospace

Our experience extends across the full spectrum of dispute resolution, regulatory and transactional work in the aviation and aerospace sector.

  • Total loss of Swiftair MD-83 near Gao, Mali, in July 2014.
  • Advising on insurance issues surrounding disappearance of Malaysian Airways Flight MH370 in March 2014.
  • Crash landing of Asiana Airlines B777-200ER at San Francisco in July 2013.
  • Advised on sale and operating leaseback transactions involving 30 newly delivered 737NG aircraft, which included extraction from a PDP financing structure.
  • Advising major financial institutions and private individuals on the acquisition and financing by lease or loan of over 50 corporate aircraft in separate transactions over the past 18 months.
  • Advising on the sale and purchase of used business aircraft, recent experience includes Global Express XRS, Airbus A340, Boeing Business Jet 2 and Gulfstream G550.
  • Acting on the financing of the purchase of 6 business jets (Hawker 900XP and Hawker 750) for an Asian customer; and assisted with their subsequent importation, registration and operation in China / Macau.
  • Advised a major Asian airline in EU Merger control and M&A deal in its acquisition of a regional airline.
  • Advised major international carriers in the Far East and the EU in relation to the establishment of new subsidiary carriers, new operations and new routes and provided specialist aviation regulatory input in relation to the merger of two major European carriers.
  • Acted for an aircraft operator and lessor in connection with the recovery of commercial passenger aircraft and associated engines upon the lessee airline being placed in liquidation, including disputes arising with airport operators and air navigation control authorities in connection with landing fees and over-flight fees unpaid by the lessee at the time of the liquidation.
  • Acted for a helicopter operator/lessor in connection with disputes arising out of the delivery of two Eurocopter helicopters under the terms of a sale contract.
  • Advising Deer Jet and its insurers in relation to hail damage to an Airbus A318 business jet at Toulouse whilst aircraft undergoing modifications for VIP flights during Beijing Olympics.
  • Acting for the owner of a Citation X following impoundment / confiscation in Venezuela by reason of charterers use for drug running. Insurance claim by owner affected by exclusion of use of aircraft for unlawful activity.

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HFW Aero Magazine – Edition 7 - October 2022
HFW Aero Magazine – Edition 7 - October 2022

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