Aircraft lessees, airlines and air operators

Examples of our experience in aircraft leasing and financing disputes

Acting for aircraft lessees, airlines and air operators

English Court actions

  • Goshawk Aviation Ltd & Ors v Terra Aviation Network S.A.S & Ors - Acted for the Lion Air group of companies in defending proceedings brought by Goshawk in the English Commercial Court in relation to rent defaults caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, including the first successful application under the UK Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations (CBIR) 2006 for recognition of French conciliation proceedings.
  • Pindell Ltd & Anor v AirAsia Berhad - Acted for AirAsia in the landmark English Commercial Court case brought by a lessor in which the English Court considered whether claims for lost profit from an onward sale of c.US$10 million arising out of a late redelivery could be claimed by the lessor.
  • Laudamotion v Lufthansa - Acted for Laudamotion (the Austrian airline founded by Formula One driving legend Niki Lauda) in a highly publicised aircraft leasing dispute in the English Commercial Court concerning the termination of nine aircraft leases in circumstances alleged to be an abuse of a dominant position.


  • Acted for a Middle Eastern airline in commencing arbitral proceedings under the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) Rules against an Asian wet-lease operator concerning the breach of wet-lease agreements in which force majeure and frustration were raised. 
  • Acted for a Chinese airline in defending arbitral proceedings brought by a lessor under the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Rules concerning the delay in returning aircraft and engines in redelivery condition, and the alleged operation, modification, and repair of engines in breach of contractual requirements.

Redelivery and maintenance disputes

  • Acted for numerous airlines in redelivery disputes litigated in the English High Court and in international arbitrations involving compliance with return conditions of both airframe and engines, C-Checks, airframe structural repairs, engine shop visits, engine thrust increases, APUs, landing gears, and whether maintenance events qualify for release from accrued maintenance reserves.
  • Advised numerous airlines on negotiations with lessors on the terms of the early return of aircraft, buy-out of return condition, and calculation of end-of lease maintenance adjustment (true-up) payments.

Impact of Covid-19 pandemic and Boeing 737 MAX groundings

  • Advised airlines during the Covid-19 pandemic on requests to lessors for deferral of rent, lease extensions, power-by-hour arrangements, and the efficacy of force majeure and frustration defences.
  • Advised a leading airline in relation to various issues arising out of the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft type, including with reference to the air accident investigation process and aircraft leases (including sale and leaseback and pre-delivery payment (PDP) financing arrangements).

"An outstanding team who demonstrate exceptional specialist knowledge of the aviation sector.  The team invariably achieves the best outcomes for its clients."

Legal 500 UK, Aviation

"The team are adept in all aspects of the aviation sector and provide a holistic approach to any case.  The legal skills are provided with great efficiency and in a highly cost-effective way."

Legal 500 UK, Aviation


Chloe Challinor
Chloe Challinor Of counsel Aviation Litigation & Regulation T: +44 20 7809 2142 M: +44 7702 141 049
Email Chloe Challinor | Vcard Office London
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Johnny Champion
Johnny Champion Managing associate Aviation Litigation & Regulation T: +44 20 7809 2358
Email Johnny Champion | Vcard Office London
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Paul Phillips
Paul Phillips Partner Aviation Litigation & Regulation T: +44 20 7809 2302 M: +44 7734 135 401
Email Paul Phillips | Vcard Office London
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All team members