find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Aviation law flying high

Aviation law flying high

It's a niche specialisation which doesn't make the headlines every day, but with increasing regulation, and economic pressures emerging from the GFC, aviation law is making its mark on the legal…

It's a niche specialisation which doesn't make the headlines every day, but with increasing regulation, and economic pressures emerging from the GFC, aviation law is making its mark on the legal landscape.

At Queensland firm Carter Newell Lawyers, the aviation law practice extends back 20 years, but senior partner Paul Hopkins explains that it's a narrow field that has attracted few players.

"It's a very, very narrow industry - either you're in it or you're not. I go to the Australian Aviation Insurance Law conference each year and it's largely the same people," he said.

The firm's four-lawyer team advises underwriters and brokers, as well as those involved in the general aviation industry, such as aircraft operators and airlines, ground handlers, aircraft maintenance engineers, flight schools and product manufacturers.

Another significant client base for the firm is airports - an area Hopkins describes as "its own world of law". It was the complexity - and sheer volume - of regulation impacting on these airport clients that prompted the firm to develop and recently launch the Australian Airport's Liability and Compliance Guide (Guide).

The aim of the Guide, which is the first of its kind in Australia, is to assist airports with compliance obligations, by outlining the relevant case law and penalties that relate to their operations.

"It came out of the fact that we've been working closely with airports for a long time now - not just in Qld, but various airports around Australia - and we could see that there were particular areas of concern that kept coming up," Hopkins said. "They were: design and development, operation services and pricing, safety and security, and environment and culture. So we put a lot of thought into what the market would really value, then we put the hard yards in and [produced the guide]."

In particular, he said, higher environmental regulation is of increasing significance for airport clients. "I think the airports are developing a greater awareness of the challenges. With airports, they're really looking to grow cities, so there are tensions between complying with the planning legislation and ensuring they're keeping up with community concerns - there are a lot of issues there," he said.

The release of the guide was also timely, he said, given the increasing pressures airports are facing as a result of the GFC.

"Certainly airports ... are not immune from the effects of the global financial crisis - you only need to read the papers to see the pressure some of the carriers are under. And that then impacts on airlines around the world, because the carriers are trying to get their routes correct - so they're avoiding landing where they don't have to because that cuts down on landing fees - so the impact is there," he said.

He added that, as in other fields of law, the GFC has resulted in a spike in litigation in the aviation space. "We're seeing companies that would bear a loss a few years ago, because they were trading much better, now have to seek recompense," he says.

Carter Newell's Australian Airport's Liability and Compliance Guide was launched at a recent ceremony in Brisbane by the newly appointed CEO and managing director of Brisbane Airport, Julianne Alore.

- Zoe Lyon

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Aviation law flying high
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microphone
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
protest
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Blocked
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...