Aviation

Overview

Our Aviation team, led by Chair of Partners,
Paul Hopkins, and Partners Glenn Biggs and
Bronwyn Clarkson, assists land and air carriage operators with transactional and adversarial legal services.

With more than 25 years advising this sector, we have developed significant and specialist experience in relation to the commercial, contract and transactional aspects of aviation, heavy haulage and transport industries.

We act for operators and insurers across Australia’s multi-billion-dollar logistics and air operations businesses. Our clients range from international and domestic airports through to aircraft machinery and equipment manufacturers.

Our corporate legal services team advise on the purchase, sale and leasing of aircraft, as well as the financial and ferry arrangements associated with these transactions. Our team are well equipped to provide a broad range of services specific to the aviation industry – including contractual advice, reviews and drafting, preparation aviation specific policies and procedures, partnership structures and joint ventures.

In relation to personal injury and property damage, we advise in defence of both dependency and personal injury claims following fatalities or injuries to passengers and third parties. This includes incidents arising from charter operations, regular passenger transport, parachuting and adventure flights and instructional flights.

We have also acted for insurers of major and regional airports in defence of property damage and business loss claims across a wide range of matters, including from Licenced Aircraft Maintenance Engineer workmanship, pilot or operator negligence and licensed or unlicensed aerodrome liabilities.

Where required, our dispute resolution and litigation team are experienced managing major transport litigation and complex multi-jurisdictional claims for aviation operators – including for logistics and heavy transport companies, airports, aviation support services and their insurers.

Beyond technical expertise, our team use their understanding of how aviation support services operate to assist in reducing exposure and avoiding aviation risks. We work collaboratively with you to ensure you receive the best commercial outcomes, with minimal insurance risk.

We are actively involved in the aviation industry and either hold memberships or contribute with speaking engagements to the aviation community. Our publication – Australian Carriers’ Liability Guide is the first of its kind and provides carriers, passengers, owners, operators, pilots, insurers and brokers with a practical guide to Australian carriers’ liability laws.

Services

  • Wear and tear exclusions
  • Nervous shock damages
  • Injuries to pilots and worker’s compensation issues
  • Due diligence and statutory compliance
  • Damage confined to a unit within an aircraft
  • Contractual liability
  • Non-owned aircraft coverage
  • Defective workmanship
  • Professional advice / service exclusions
  • Jurisdiction and choice of law clauses
  • Subrogation and other recovery actions
  • Advice in relation to dual insurance, contract indemnity and exclusion clauses
  • Aviation (legal) risk management.

We are also highly experienced in the application of the:

  • Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (Cth)
  • Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (Cth)
  • Civil Aviation (Carriers’ Liability) Act 1959 (Cth)
  • Airports Act 1996 (Cth)
  • Various international aviation conventions and treaties.

The team

Featured insight

Australian Carriers’ Liability Guide

The focus of this Guide is on domestic carriage and the civil liability laws that regulate it.

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Goddard v Richtek Melbourne Pty Ltd [2024] FWC 979

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Australian Carriers’ Liability Guide

1 November 2022
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