Global, sector-focussed law firm HFW has boosted its flight delay and cancellation claims practice with the hire of former Thomas Cook Airlines customer claims team leader Gareth Miller-Reedman as its first dedicated claims manager.
Gareth has more than 14 years of operational airline experience, including crew planning and flight operations, and at HFW will assist airlines with compensation claims brought by passengers under EC Regulation 261/2004 in relation to delayed or cancelled flights.
This will include day-to-day management of EU 261 claims – both pre-action and litigated; assessment of liability for flight delays; compiling defence evidence; delivering training to operational and customer service staff on minimising exposure to EU 261 liability and responding to claims; and helping airlines implement new processes and systems to support flight delay claims.
Gareth also has experience attending court hearings as an operations witness, supported by engineering teams; and serving as liaison with various European National Enforcement Bodies, including the UK Civil Aviation Authority.
Giles Kavanagh, Global Head of Aerospace, HFW:
"This is a very welcome and significant development for our global aerospace practice. We pride ourselves on being the industry's go-to advisors for complex and high-value claims, transactional and regulatory advice; having Gareth on board will allow us to offer an even more comprehensive service to our airline clients.
"EU 261 claims can have a significant financial impact on an airline's bottom line, totalling as much as US$150,000 for a single long-haul flight. Gareth's vast industry experience, combined with our continued investment in technology and innovation, will enable us to handle these claims efficiently and at the best possible value to our existing and future airline clients."
Gareth Miller-Reedman, Claims Manager, HFW:
"This is an exciting opportunity to really ramp up HFW's EU 261 claims practice as part of its market-leading aerospace offering. I look forward to working with the team to leverage the firm's strong relationships with major airlines around the world and to grow our client base."
Gareth's arrival follows that of former Elix Aviation Capital Head of Legal Asheesh Das, who joined HFW's London office as a partner in October as the firm continues to expand its global aviation finance practice.
HFW is widely recognised as the world's leading aerospace law firm and has been at the forefront of developments in the sector for over three decades. The firm has more than 90 specialist aerospace lawyers across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, providing expert advice on complex claims, aviation safety, economic regulation, finance and leasing, competition and antitrust. The team act for airlines, insurers, banks, manufacturers, support providers, owners, operators, freight forwarders, governments, logistics operators, lessors, and MROs.
HFW is the reigning Aviation Law Firm of the Year at The Legal 500 Awards, the China Business Law Awards and the ALB SE Asia Law Awards, and also won awards at other major industry events in 2019, including the Aviation 100 European Awards.