Aviation - DAC Beachcroft
Click to view more


Who we are

We draw on the expertise of experienced aviation practitioners to provide commercially focussed and sector-specific legal advice to the aviation industry across multiple jurisdictions. We use our own offices and trusted networks around the world to deliver global reach and can offer tailored solutions spanning both contentious and non-contentious issues.

What we do

We provide advice to airlines, general aviation operators, airports, MROs, ground handling companies, aviation security companies and product manufacturers in both the civilian and defence spheres. Our work has featured drones, gyrocopters, gliders, hot air balloons, rotor and fixed-wing aircraft, executive jets and wide-body airline operations. We are particularly focused upon providing aviation advice to the insurance industry, acting for insurers, reinsurers and assisting brokers where needed – including claims defence and coverage work and a successful subrogation offering.

What we are known for

  • Our team members have a strong track record of acting on major losses including the Shoreham Airshow loss in 2015 (one of the largest UK general aviation losses in over a decade), the 2016 LaMia accident in Colombia and the loss of Spanair Flight 5022.
  • We take pride in offering high quality advice on a cost-effective basis, seeking creative solutions to resolve disputes at an early stage whenever possible.
  • Ours is a truly global practice, with experience across Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Far East, Australasia and North America.
  • We are supported by a strong and cohesive network of regional offices, uniquely positioning us to respond efficiently to clients needing legal input in the UK and beyond.

Our team can assist with


Team members have a rich seam of experience handling a wide variety of airline claims – volume passenger, baggage and cargo claims, third party damage, ground collisions, runway incursions, bird-strikes, aircraft detention. We have a track record of handling major loss work across a variety of airlines and aircraft, in jurisdictions across the world. This has included all-risk and war-risk advice to the aviation insurance market, backed up by pre-loss risk management advice direct to airlines.

General Aviation

Our team has significant global expertise in the GA arena – we have handled claims involving fixed and rotor-wing aircraft, from smaller airline style operations, business and executive jets, to gliders, balloons, paragliders, and even gyrocopters. Handling GA losses necessitates a true understanding of the operator and their business or pastime (often both concurrently). We work closely with brokers, local adjusters, accident investigators and relevant authorities to strive for the strategic protection and defence of our client. We have wide experience of the multi-jurisdictional aspects which increasingly arise, adopting a hands-on approach from the outset.

Airport + MRO

We see our expertise as “full service” – we have advised a range of airport operators around the world and defended claims against them – be they relatively simple “slip and trips” or complex airline-focused commercial litigation. This includes a strong background in MRO advice, including ground handling losses and maintenance exposures and shortcomings. We have also provided guidance on security related issues to both airports and security-providers.

Product Liability

Our track record handling product liability claims is both from a claimant (subrogation) and defence perspective. We couple specialised aviation expertise with some of the brightest product liability lawyers in the regions where we practice. This enables us to adopt a pro-active approach, exploring product liability angles and protection from an early stage, often in multi-party litigation where strategic thought is vital and focused local knowledge can be key.


A particular team strength is our coverage work – we understand the nuances, history and interpretation of aviation insurance clauses and policy wordings. We are also sensitive to and respect the relationships which underpin these contracts; between insurer and insured, reinsurer and reinsured. Our team members have been asked for input on market-led wording revision. We have handled coverage matters involving both all risk and war risk cover and are adept at advising upon primary and reinsurance issues from both an English law perspective or, as is more often than not the case, upon the impact of the law of the insured’s domicile upon the insurance contract.


In the space sector we are familiar with the usual contracting principles, regulation of the industry and ITAR. We provide risk management advice on satellite procurement, launch services and related contracts. In the field of coverage, we have solid familiarity with the key lines of space insurance (pre-launch, launch and in-orbit). Incidents involving commercial satellite launch and/or in-orbit operation typically give rise to highly technical, high-value claims. We provide a steady hand to steer claims to successful resolution through mediation, arbitration or litigation.


Where many have identified UAVs as the glamorous new world of aviation, the reality is that claims activity has to date been relatively low. We have a proven track record of advising upon the liability and defence issues arising from actual drone-related losses, backed up by our broader general aviation expertise.


We are passionate advocates for the benefit of subrogation to ensure liability rests in the appropriate place. However, this is always backed by an understanding of the need for commercial, cost-effective and proportionate advice. We won’t recommend pursuing a claim if it is not in your best interests. We provide strategic ongoing advice as to a claim’s merits but we also ensure we listen to our insurer clients as to their intentions, wishes, concerns and limitations in respect of each individual claim.

Related Articles