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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:

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

Leading cases

  • 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 is A hugely respected figure who is best known for his insurance work, but who undertakes a wide spread of aviation-related work including leasing disputes and cases concerning helicopter crashes. He is a brilliant advocate who is extremely intelligent and great to work with.”  (Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2016) and is “Strong in person and on paper.” (Legal 500, 2015).

Emma Hilliard is: “An aviation insurance and reinsurance specialist with a growing practice in the area. She is very bright and has a strong reputation.” (Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2016) and is “Very determined and user-friendly.” (Legal 500 2015).


Latest Aviation News

Chambers and Partners 2018 has listed 7KBW as a leading set. Our client service has been particularly noted as the following: Instructing solicitors flock to 7KBW because of its winning “combination of excellent barristers and a first-rate clerking team.” Senior clerk Bernie Hyatt is highlighted for his “very engaging” manner and facility for forging and […]

November 2, 2017

The latest Legal 500 2017 edition describes 7 King’s Bench Walk as ‘always the first port of call for any insurance or reinsurance dispute’ as well as being ‘a solid choice’ for commercial and shipping work, both litigation and arbitration. It is a set that ‘delivers excellent results’, ‘knows its clients well’ and is ‘quick […]

October 12, 2017

Chambers and Partners 2017, has listed 7KBW as a leading set.  Our client service has been especially noted with recommendations from clients saying “the clerks at 7KBW make such a difference: they provide a committed and excellent service and are a credit to the chambers”, and instructing solicitors flock to 7KBW because of its winning “combination […]

November 8, 2016