Aviation & Travel

"When it comes to aviation sets, they're right up there at the top."


Chambers & Partners

Aviation & Travel is one of Fountain Court’s key areas of expertise. Many of our members have extensive relevant experience, having acted on some of the largest and most high-profile cases across the sector.

Our expertise is evidenced by the recent cases our members have been instructed on relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and the distress it has caused to the industry. Our members have acted in cases concerning airline insolvencies and restructuring, fleet retirements, flight cancellations, compensation schemes and the consequences of travel restrictions. We have also acted in a significant number of claims relating to frustration and the interpretation of ‘force majeure’ clauses.

Our members are also acting in cases concerning the impact of sanctions against Russia on the aviation industry, including on the aircraft leasing and aviation insurance markets.

Our commercial aviation disputes experience is shown by the fact that many of our members act on cases concerning aircraft finance and leasing claims, aircraft manufacturers (commercial and product liability), aircraft maintenance organisations (including long term maintenance agreements), aircraft finance and leasing disputes, aviation insurance (all risk and war risk), and airline insolvency.

We have also worked on sensitive cases involving mass fatalities and disasters – ranging from airline losses to high profile helicopter losses and light aircraft crashes – and have dealt with issues such as the admissibility of reports prepared by air accident investigators.

Our regulatory experience includes working with regulators themselves and with airlines, tour operators, maintenance organisations and other stakeholders; for example, on the right to fly on capacity limited routes, or the allocation of slots at capacity constrained airports. We also have significant experience of advising on cases regarding delayed and cancelled flights.

Our reputation for aviation work in particular has resulted in our members advising on public law issues in the sector including acting in judicial review claims which have had a defining effect on the industry. We have also advised the industry on Brexit-related legal issues, both during the transition period and after its conclusion at the start of 2021.

Our work includes cases relating to:

  • Commercial aviation disputes
  • Claims involving disasters, catastrophic / extensive loss and damage
  • Disputes linked to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Insurance and reinsurance claims
  • Regulatory matters
  • Public law cases
  • Claims relating to Brexit

  • Times Travel v Pakistan International Airlines: Acting in the Supreme Court dispute concerning the right to unpaid commission under ticketing contracts with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) which PIA had required its agents to waive as the price of entering into new airline ticketing arrangements.
  • Thomas Cook in Liquidation: Instructed by the special managers of Thomas Cook shortly before it entered into liquidation to advise in relation to aviation-related regulatory and contractual issues and slot allocation.
  • Sale of Short Brothers, Belfast: Advising the leading Canadian aircraft manufacturer, Bombardier, on the sale of its subsidiary Short Brothers to the US aerospace manufacturer Spirit Aerosystems as part of a $1.1 billion transaction.
  • R (on the application of Jet2.com Ltd) v CAA [2020] EWCA Civ 35: Acting in a highly publicised judicial review concerning important issues of legal advice privilege in the context of 'multi-addressee' communications and establishing a dominant purpose test for legal advice privilege. The underlying dispute arose out of a press release issued by the CAA, criticising Jet2.com for not participating in an alternative dispute resolution scheme for consumer complaints.
  • 2020 Olympic Games: Acting for the Olympic Council of Asia in an international dispute against an aviation management business resulting from the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
  • Blanche v Easyjet Airline Company Ltd [2019] EWCA Civ 69: Appearing in the Court of Appeal test case on air passenger compensation claims under Regulation (EC) 261/2004, also known as the Flight Compensation Regulation.
  • Goshawk & Others v Lion Air & Others: Acting for the largest airline in Indonesia, Lion Air, and associated companies in a multi-million-dollar dispute over aircraft leasing as a result of COVID-19.
  • Alpstream AG & Others v PK Airfinance & GE Capital [2013] EWHC 2370 (Comm): Acting, for both the claimants and defendants in an all-Fountain Court counsel team, in the leading aircraft finance case concerning the duty owed by a mortgagee realising its security.
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Aviation & Travel Barristers

Stephen Moriarty QC

Stephen Moriarty KC

Call 1986 | Silk 1999

Michael McLaren QC

Michael McLaren KC

Call 1981 | Silk 2002

Charles Bear QC

Charles Béar KC

Call 1986 | Silk 2003

Bankim Thanki QC

Bankim Thanki KC

Call 1988 | Silk 2003

Akhil Shah QC

Akhil Shah KC

Call 1990 | Silk 2010

Richard Coleman QC

Richard Coleman KC

Call 1994 | Silk 2012

John Taylor QC

John Taylor KC

Call 1993 | Silk 2013

Clare Sibson KC

Call 1997 | Silk 2016

Rosalind Phelps QC

Rosalind Phelps KC

Call 1998 | Silk 2016

Adam Zellick QC

Adam Zellick KC

Call 2000 | Silk 2017

Paul Sinclair QC

Paul Sinclair KC

Call 1997 | Silk 2018

James Cutress QC

James Cutress KC

Call 2000 | Silk 2018

Chloe Carpenter QC

Chloe Carpenter KC

Call 2001 | Silk 2020

Tamara Oppenheimer QC

Tamara Oppenheimer KC

Call 2002 | Silk 2020

Alexander Milner QC

Alexander Milner KC

Call 2006 | Silk 2022

Simon Atrill

Simon Atrill KC

Call 2005 | Silk 2023

James Duffy

James Duffy KC

Call 2005 | Silk 2024

Louise Merrett

Call 1995

Deepak Nambisan

Call 1998

David Murray

David Murray

Call 2004

Rupert Allen

Rupert Allen

Call 2005

Alex Barden

Alex Barden

Call 2005

Richard Power

Call 2007

Deborah Horowitz

Deborah Horowitz

Call 2010

Rebecca Loveridge

Rebecca Loveridge

Call 2011

Philip Ahlquist

Philip Ahlquist

Call 2012

Niamh Cleary

Niamh Cleary

Call 2012

Giles Robertson

Giles Robertson

Call 2012

Samuel Ritchie

Samuel Ritchie

Call 2012

James Hart

James Hart

Call 2012

Joseph Farmer

Joseph Farmer

Call 2013

Simon Paul

Simon Paul

Call 2013

Nick Daly

Nick Daly

Call 2014

Max Kasriel

Max Kasriel

Call 2015

Ian Bergson

Ian Bergson

Call 2015

Alexandra Whelan

Alexandra Whelan

Call 2016

Jacob Turner

Jacob Turner

Call 2016

Aaron Taylor

Aaron Taylor

Call 2017

Laurentia de Bruyn

Laurentia de Bruyn

Call 2018

Gillian Hughes

Gillian Hughes

Call 2018

Nathalie Koh

Nathalie Koh

Call 2019

Orestis Sherman

Orestis Sherman

Call 2019

Joseph Leech

Joseph Leech

Call 2020

Daniel Schwennicke

Daniel Schwennicke

Call 2020

Hannah Bernstein

Hannah Bernstein

Call 2020

Kit Holliday

Call 2021

Ian Simester

Call 2022

Tiffany Tang

Call 2022

Sebastian Said

Sebastian Said

Call 2004

Michael Crane QC

Michael Crane KC

Call 1975 | Silk 1994

Philip Brook Smith QC

Philip Brook Smith KC

Call 1982 | Silk 2002

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Contact our clerks

For more information on our experience or to discuss a particular case, please contact us.

Call:    +44 (0)207 583 3335
Email: clerks@fountaincourt.co.uk

"Described as "top of the premier league of aviation barristers'."


The Legal 500

"Home to an enviable bench of leading commercial aviation litigators who offer expertise across a wide range of disputes."


Chambers & Partners

"Considered an 'excellent set' with 'a number of great juniors and silks' Fountain Court Chambers is highly regarded for its continued expertise in commercial aviation disputes, catastrophic claims, and regulation matters."


The Legal 500

"Highly regarded for its continued expertise in commercial aviation disputes, catastrophic claims, and regulation matters."


The Legal 500

"Described by clients as a 'brilliant set' which is 'full of stars'."


The Legal 500

"The set represents an impressive roster of major airlines, airports, manufacturers and creditors on a range of financial, contractual and regulatory compliance matters."


Chambers & Partners

"A go-to set for travel-related regulatory and commercial work."


Chambers & Partners

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