The Transport team, headed by partner Richard Ghueldre, comprises lawyers specialising in the handling of aviation and aerospace legal issues, and who have, as well as their legal skills, excellent technical knowledge of the field and can work in an international environment.
We offer a full range of services to the sector’s operators on all aviation insurance legal topics and the specific liability of aircraft manufacturers and airlines. Such services may also be provided to traditional sector players (such as insurers, insurance intermediaries, reinsurers), freight forwarders and airports, as well as to players in the financial sector, such as fund donors, credit and financial institutions.
This cross-disciplinary team can cover all legal fields likely to affect the aviation and aerospace sector, and is active from the implementation of operational structures, sale and financing contracts through to seizing aircraft. We are thus in a position to support our clients from the implementation of their aviation and aerospace projects and throughout their period of operation, whether regarding the construction, refuelling, running of air fields or airports, freight or ground-handling assistance, etc.
Beyond its wealth of experience, our Transport team also benefits from excellent organisation and logistical structure that enable it to react quickly and efficiently organise the defence of its clients, in terms of compensating for damages suffered or to prepare potential administrative and legal dispute procedures.
Gide boasts a large and very diverse client base, comprising airlines, aircraft manufacturers and their insurers, chambers of commerce and industry, airport operators, parts manufacturers, government authorities, as well as companies active in the aviation financial sector. Our Transport team is also highly competent in the aerospace sector, and has in particular been instructed, by a group of leading aviation insurers, to conduct arbitration against a satellite manufacturer following the total loss of a spacecraft. Our lawyers have also acquired considerable experience in the maintenance of spacecraft and their engines. Gide is ranked among the leading law firms in the field of aviation and aerospace law by the legal directories.
Main areas of expertise
Liability and insurance
- Managing all types of disputes relating to aviation accidents: assistance in defending compensation claims, actions relating to the loss of aircraft and subrogation actions, assistance in managing the consequences of major aviation accidents, particularly in accident investigations, coordination of multi-jurisdictional litigation
- Advising on disputes relating to ground-handling and damage caused to aircraft by third parties
- Providing recommendation and assistance in the drafting of insurance contracts and the management of disputes relating to the implementation of guarantees
- Assisting in the implementation of aviation insurance policies and audits
- Advising on liability for faulty products on behalf of a number of aircraft manufacturers and suppliers
- Advising and managing pre-litigation cases and disputes following the questioning of French airport operators’ third-party liability
- Advising airlines wishing to establish dedicated airport terminals, and on issues of public contract law and of status of airport areas. Assistance in the context of relations with airport authorities
- Advising on compliance with environmental regulations (noise, night operations and pollution of watercourses adjacent to airport areas etc.)
- Assisting in the development of aviation regulations (safety and security measures in particular)
- Assisting in the development of bilateral and multilateral interstate agreements on takeoff/landing rights and embarkation/disembarkation rights of passengers in third countries
- Advising on compliance with French and European regulations on air transport (flight/airport slots, slots transfer, AOC, operating licence, authorisation to operate scheduled services on international routes)
- Assisting civil and ministry aviation authorities in adapting and restructuring the code of civil aviation in their countries
Corporate and financing
- Acquisition, sale, merger, restructuring and refinancing of airlines, joint ventures
- Assisting in selecting the best privatisation structure and in preparing the privatisation process
- Advising on the application of competition law to restructuring and concentration operations of airlines
- Assisting in the financing of aircraft, leasing operations, sales, lease-back operations, sale of leasing portfolios and securitisation of lease portfolios
- Advising on financing for the purchase of aircraft on behalf of both lenders and borrowers, financing of export credits, financing of guaranteed receivables, domestic and cross-border financing and sale of aircraft-backed loans portfolios
- Advising in safeguard and insolvency proceedings
- Assisting in the seizure and repossession of aircraft and engines
- Registration of mortgages and other liens on aircraft
Commercial agreements and contracts
- Registration of aircraft with the civil aviation authorities
- Drafting of general conditions for transport, advising on General Conditions of Carriage and on tickets and air waybills
- Management and monitoring of cases with the air transport police
- Advising on alliance contracts between airlines and code sharing agreements
- Assistance in the context of selling an aviation subsidiary
- Negotiation of pooling agreements relative to engines and equipment, negotiation of maintenance contracts
- Implementation of actions between airports and airlines relating to the use of airport facilities and the recovery of airport charges
- Drafting and negotiation of operation, aircraft maintenance and lease contracts
Advises airlines and manufacturers on product liability and regulatory matters in addition to assisting with litigation following major aircraft accidents. Offers further experience in insurance and reinsurance issues and aircraft and engine maintenance. Also acts on finance and competition matters within the aviation industry. Further expertise lies in drafting and negotiating a variety of commercial contracts, including code sharing, operation, maintenance and lease agreements. Clients appreciate the team's 'high-quality service' and describe the lawyers as 'responsive and available.' Advised La Réunion Aérienne as insurer of the manufacturer on issues arising from the crash of an EC145 helicopter. Advised Global Aerospace on a large number of claims following incidents on airport premises across France. Richard Ghueldre and Capucine Bernier are heads of the practice and key contacts for queries.
Chambers Europe 2018