Resolving high-stakes, complex aviation disputes. That's how Hinshaw helps.

With decades of proven experience in the aviation and aerospace sector, we are the go-to legal team for high-profile and contentious aviation disputes. Our clients include stakeholders across the industry, such as domestic and international airline carriers, manufacturers, airports, helicopter companies, and insurers, just to name a few.

Our counsel encompasses the full range of aviation issues, including major loss, serious incidents, wrongful death disputes, putative class actions, and general commercial disputes, as well as non-contentious work, including regulation and corporate and finance matters.

Armed with a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges of this highly regulated sector, we provide more effective advice and counsel to our clients and their insurers.

We also understand the technical side of aviation matters, in large part because our legal team—which includes pilots, a flight instructor, and other aviators—is active and engaged in the aviation industry. We speak your language and are ready to help you navigate any turbulence you encounter.

Primary Areas of Focus Include:

Sophisticated Defense Litigation

In the high-stakes and complex world of aviation and aerospace litigation, clients need advisors who understand the intricacies of sophisticated technology, the fundamentals of flight, and the nuances of multi-jurisdictional law. While negotiated settlements may be preferable under certain circumstances, businesses also need legal counsel capable of advancing defenses that significantly reduce liability exposure.

Our attorneys have tried cases across the country and served as lead and/or national defense counsel in jurisdictions around the world. We regularly handle contentious and complex issues that result from aviation accidents, including:

  • Wrongful death, property damage, personal injury, and negligence. We defend clients against claims stemming from mishaps at and near airports and facilities across the United States, Europe, and South America.
  • Product liability. We represent manufacturers in connection with alleged product defect litigation, FAA enforcement matters, and accident liability in individual suits and class actions.
  • Insurance coverage disputes: We have significant experience defending insurers in coverage and liability disputes at every step, from declaratory judgment actions through trials and appeals.

Our counsel also extends to providing guidance on risk management and litigation prevention. This includes educational seminars and programs on legal updates and liability defense strategies, and best practices.

Regulatory and Compliance

Safety is a top priority for regulators — and for our clients. We advise businesses on pilot and aircraft certification, hazardous materials, environmental enforcement, and other regulatory issues heard before the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Together with experienced attorneys from across the firm, we also provide comprehensive counsel on international, federal, state, and local labor and employment, occupational health and safety, disability accommodation, and related laws and regulations.

Corporate and Finance

Aircraft and aviation facilities often involve highly sophisticated financing, purchase, sale and lease terms, as well as complex economic development and other tax incentives. We deliver effective guidance on a wide range of transactions, leases, and contracts, helping negotiate favorable deal terms and minimizing short- and long-term risk. We counsel clients on matters involving through-the-fence operations, hangar condominium developments, and airport access. We also help banks and financial institutions recover distressed aviation assets and obtain deficiency judgments, assist commercial operators in the implementation and enforcement of liens, and counsel aircraft owners and operators in the resolution of title liens.

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