National law firm Weightmans has launched a specialist aviation practice, to advise the industry and its insurers on contentious, regulatory and commercial matters.

Partner Andrew Krausz, who joined Weightmans from Clyde & Co in July, is head of aviation and leads the new team which is based in the firms’ London office on Fenchurch Street.

The firm has recruited Hayley Kiely, a former claims manager with Monarch, who has 17 years’ client-side experience in the aviation and tour operation sectors. Hayley joined the firm as an Assistant in October from Consumer Dispute Resolution Limited, the Civil Aviation Authority-approved alternative dispute resolution provider, where she was head of aviation.

She joins solicitors Harriet Edwards and Oyin Ogunkanmi, paralegal Camelia Nesari, Glasgow-based partners Douglas Keir and Seonaid Busby – both seasoned in assisting with Scottish Law aviation matters – and Peter Forshaw, a partner and insurance expert who specialises in advising insurers on the legal and regulatory implications of increased drone usage.

The team has already secured 11 key aviation panel positions with leading insurers and write-ins for prestige aviation clients. Weightmans plans to continue its growth of the department by aiming its services at airlines, those in the general aviation space, business jet operators, manufacturers and maintenance providers and airports.

Andrew Krausz said: ’The legal sector hasn’t always kept pace with some significant changes and challenges facing aviation businesses and their insurers, particularly in the current climate. We have assembled a team with the skills and industry and legal expertise to provide a first-rate product at a value that changes all of that.’

’With Weightmans’ pedigree in the insurance sector, our presence in the London market, and the backing of a 1,400-strong multidisciplinary team, we are well placed to support the aviation industry, in all levels of claims through to non-contentious strategic support.’