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Aviation Disputes

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CMS’s aviation team has broad experience of advising clients across the aviation industry on large-scale commercial litigation and arbitration, aircraft repossession, cross-border aviation liability, hull claims and (re)insurance policy coverage. We act for a broad spectrum of aircraft owners, operators and manufacturers, engine and components manufacturers, as well as airport authorities and ground handlers.

Our experienced team has a deep understanding of the aviation industry and are familiar with advising on the specifics of aviation liability, from Convention rights to domestic regulation and common law claims.  

We work closely with specialist colleagues in areas such as aviation financing, planning and real estate work including airports, cyber risks and technology, media, telecoms and corporate finance. 

Our experience includes advising:

  • An aircraft leasing company against an international airline in respect of alleged breaches of an Aircraft Leasing Agreement.
  • Kuwait Airways on multiple actions including appeals up to the House of Lords following the theft of its fleet, including actions for perjury, conversion of spare parts, and worldwide enforcement. The case resulted in a $ 1.4bn judgment and a significant commercial/state settlement.
  • An airline in litigation relating to the supply and defective design of the ICE system on a fleet of aircraft leading to critical overheating of the cabling and individual equipment. 
  • A Fortune 500 entity on a multi-million dollar dispute in respect of an aircraft sale and purchase agreement including a stakeholder application.
  • A joint task force with the Metropolitan Police, FBI and FAA Inspectorate General’s Department on investigating stolen and bogus spares and forged/false back to birth spares records.  The enquiry led to raids on 37 premises and a complete overhaul of regulation and practice.
  • Boeing Corp and insurers in the recovery of aircraft from a war zone. This included extensive work on the maintenance of aircraft on ground (AOG) for extended periods.

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23/11/2022
Pro­tec­tion from protests
Protest on the streets, protest on­line, even lit­ig­a­tion used as a vehicle for protest.Protest­ors tar­get­ing a busi­ness may be stand­ing in a crowd, hold­ing a plac­ard or shout­ing slo­gans. But they may also be be­hind a com­puter screen or pur­su­ing a claim against the busi­ness through the courts. They may even be work­ing in­side the busi­ness, pre­par­ing to com­prom­ise its sys­tems or leak con­fid­en­tial in­form­a­tion.Wheth­er they are act­iv­ists, em­ploy­ees or cus­tom­ers, all these protest­ors may present a sub­stan­tial chal­lenge and a real threat to busi­nesses, in areas in­clud­ing its se­cur­ity, repu­ta­tion and bot­tom line. 
13/10/2022
Ter­min­a­tion for con­veni­ence un­seats air­line sup­pli­er
The High Court has re­af­firmed the ap­plic­able prin­ciples of con­struc­tion when in­ter­pret­ing con­trac­tu­al terms in the con­text of an agree­ment for the sup­ply of air­craft seats to an air­line. In up­hold­ing...
14/06/2022
Air­craft frozen: when world­wide freez­ing or­ders bite
The Eng­lish court has gran­ted a ‘without no­tice’ ap­plic­a­tion for a world­wide freez­ing or­der pre­vent­ing the own­er of an air­craft from deal­ing with its air­craft, save in the nor­mal course of its charter...
08/12/2021
Avi­ation - clear­er skies ahead?
The last couple of years have been a tur­bu­lent time for the avi­ation in­dustry as a res­ult of both the pan­dem­ic and in­creas­ing en­vir­on­ment­al con­cerns.This re­port from Leg­al Flight­path – CMS Avi­ation...
24/11/2020
Air­craft fin­ance and leas­ing in the pan­dem­ic and bey­ond - Mov­ing out of...
The COV­ID-19 pan­dem­ic has brought ex­ist­en­tial threats to the en­tire avi­ation eco­sys­tem and has re­quired con­sid­er­able cre­ativ­ity, flex­ib­il­ity and com­mer­cial part­ner­ship between in­dustry par­ti­cipants...