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Members of 7KBW have considerable experience of a range of aviation disputes. They have acted in disputes ranging from aviation insurance and reinsurance disputes to a variety of types of commercial disputes relating to aviation including aircraft sale and purchase disputes.

Our aviation clients have included aircraft owners, operators and a number of insurers and reinsurers. Members have acted in cases involving a number of well-known major airlines and aviation companies.

Members have been instructed in aviation disputes to appear both in court and in confidential arbitration and have also have been instructed to advise on aviation issues.

Areas covered include (but are not limited to)

  • Aviation insurance and reinsurance;
  • Aircraft sale and purchase;
  • Leasing;
  • Repair and maintenance issues;
  • Ownership and company law issues;
  • Contracts of carriage;
  • Aircraft finance and mortgages.

Members have been involved in aviation disputes relating to events, such as:

  • MH370
  • 9/11;
  • the Air France Concorde 100 crash; and
  • Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

Leading cases

  • Aircraft Purchase Fleet Limited v Compagnia Aerea Italiana SPA [2018] EWHC 3315 (Comm) Gavin Kealey QC, Andrew Wales QC, Anna Gotts and Harry Wright successfully defended a $260m claim for damages by Aircraft Purchase Fleet Limited (“APFL”) on behalf of Compagnia Aerea Italiana SPA (“CAI”), the former operator of the Alitalia airline.
  • PK AirFinance US Inc v Chartis & Ors; and Blue Sky One Limited & Ors v Chartis & Ors Gavin Kealey QC, Stephen Kenny QC and Emma Hilliard were instructed to appear in a 3 month Commercial Court trial representing 18 major aviation insurers in a $150 million aviation insurance dispute in the Commercial Court (the case settled prior to trial). It was claimed by the alleged owners and mortgagees of three Boeing 747 aircraft that the aircraft were lost when misappropriated by an Iranian airline.
  • Grecoair v Tilling (2005) Lloyd’s Rep. IR 151. Gavin Kealey QC acted for reinsurers in successfully resisting the attempt by U.S. insured to cut through insurance provided by Angolan insurers to claim direct against reinsurers.
  • Daad Sharab v Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal (2013) EWHC 2324 (Ch).
  • Kuwait Airways Corporation v Kuwait Insurance Co S.A.K. [1999] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 803 (Jonathan Gaisman QC and Stephen Phillips QC). Seminal aggregation decision.
  • Scott v Copenhagen Reinsurance Co (UK) Ltd [2003] 1 Lloyd’s Rep IR 696 (Dominic Kendrick QC and Adam Fenton QC). Seminal aggregation decision.
  • Members of chambers have also been involved in a number of confidential aviation arbitrations.


Gavin Kealey QC – Chambers & Partners 2019

“He has a formidable reputation as a man who is utterly charming and has the ear of the court.” Gavin led a team defending Alitalia in claim for USD270 million following the allegation that it had thrown up a long-term leasing contract for over 60 new Airbus A319s and A320s.