Our clients in the aviation sector include airlines, airports, aircraft and component manufacturers, debt and equity funders, service providers, governments and regulators.

We advise on a wide range of transactions and regulatory matters including mergers and acquisitions, financing, disputes, commercial agreements (in relation to airport operations, manufacturing supply chains and maintenance), simulator and training projects, pensions issues and satellite projects.

We understand the key issues facing our clients – regulation, safety, security, competition – and are able to apply our legal expertise in a commercial and pragmatic manner, focusing on the client's key drivers.

Our aviation lawyers are committed to supporting the sector through our membership of leading industry organisations and the provision of pro bono support for the Bristol Aerospace Centre.

Areas of focus

Our expertise in aviation includes the following:

  • Aircraft financing.
  • Competition and subsidy control.
  • Regulatory.
  • Commercial agreements.
  • Corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions.
  • Construction.
  • Dispute resolution and litigation.
  • Insurance.
  • Employment and pensions. 

Advising the Competition & Markets Authority on the corporate aspects of the £1.5 billion sale of Stansted Airport and the £807.2 million sale of Edinburgh Airport and advising on the corporate, financing and separation aspects of the £1.5 billion sale of Gatwick Airport.

Advising Airbus Group on procurement issues, disputes and a project for radar safeguarding and upgrade at Broughton airfield, including integration with neighbouring Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Advising RBS on the financing and leasing arrangements on a portfolio of corporate jets.

Advising Emirates on treasury work and providing environmental advice related to aircraft emissions.

Advising Bristol Airport on its provision of airport services to easyJet, Ryanair and other operators, on property matters such as occupational arrangements and land assembly/acquisition and on disputes.

Advising London Southend Airport on the opening of a new rail station, creating a new transport hub.

Advising a number of aerospace businesses such as AmSafe Bridport on commercial agreements for supply and development of aviation materials.

Advising Babcock Airports on contracts for the production design, enabling work, manufacture and assembly stages of the baggage handling transition project at Heathrow Airport and a similar project at Gatwick Airport.

Advising on the agreement with Heathrow Airport Limited to develop and provide the ULTra Personal Rapid Transport on-demand, driverless travel system between Terminal 5 Heathrow and Terminal 5 business car park.

Advising the trustees of the numerous aviation related pensions funds, including those in respect of the employees of Alitalia, Middle East Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, London Luton Airport and Japan Airlines.

Advising Ascent (a Babcock/Lockheed Martin JV) on the Fixed Wing, Rotary Wing and Rear Crew packages of the UK Military Flying Training System project.

Advising Ministry of Defence on the A400M training service project and the Skynet 5 satellite project.

Advising United Arab Emirates Armed Forces on the YahSat satellite project.

Meet the team
Keith Beattie

Keith Beattie Partner

  • Projects
  • Aviation
  • Defence
Nick Graves

Nick Graves Partner

  • Head of Corporate
  • Corporate Advice
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
Racheal Ruane

Rachael Ruane Partner

  • Corporate Banking
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Asset Finance and Asset Backed Lending
Philip Beer

Philip Beer Partner

  • Real Estate
  • Transport
  • Energy and Utilities
Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson Partner

  • Infrastructure
  • Procurement and State Aid
  • Transport
David Hall

David Hall Partner

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Banking Disputes
  • Business Crime and Regulatory Investigations
Richard Pettit

Richard Pettit Partner

  • Pensions Regulatory
  • Pensions Services
  • Pensions in Northern Ireland
Steven James

Steven James Partner

  • Construction and Engineering 
  • Energy and Utilities
  • Construction Disputes

What others say...

Clear and responsive, excellent depth and specific specialisms within the department. Excellent communicators and diligent in their work.

Legal 500 2024

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