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The 13th Annual McGill University / PEOPIL Conference on

International Aviation:
Liability, Insurance & Finance

Les Salons Hoche, 9 Av. Hoche, 75008 Paris
21 – 22 April 2023

10.25 CPD hours

Early bird discount on the registration fee until 31 January 2023!

we are very grateful to our Sponsors
Diamond Sponsor
Platinum Sponsors
Gold Sponsors
Air Canada
Podhurst Orseck
Silver Sponsors
Bronze Sponsors
Arena Alvarez Advogados
Hugh James Logo

Interested in sponsoring this conference? Please contact our Sponsorship Liaison

Ms. Maria D’Amico
McGill University Institute of Air & Space Law

telephone: +1 514 398 5095/fax: +1 514 398 8197

Please click here for the sponsor opportunities.

Les Salons Hoche
9 Av Hoche
75008 Paris

This event brings together world-leading aviation liability, insurance and finance experts to address, inter alia, the following topics:

  • Recent Developments in Aviation Liability
  • Air Carrier Passenger Liability and Comparative Jurisprudence Under the Warsaw System and the Montreal Convention of 1999
  • Products Liability of Manufacturers of Aircraft, Engines and Component Parts
  • Liability of Airports and ANSPs
  • Air Cargo Liability
  • Governmental Liability for Aviation Accidents and Acts of Terrorism
  • Litigation Strategy: Procedural Tools
  • Damages: Economic and Non-Economic
  • Consumer Protection Regulation and Litigation
  • Aircraft Leasing and Finance
  • The Challenges of Settlement and Emerging Insurance Issues
  • The Impact of Communicable Diseases on the Airline and Hospitality Industries
  • Drones – Safety, Security and Liability
  • French Language Breakout Session on Contemporary Issues in EU Law

In addition, the conference will host two luncheons and a reception/dinner-dance to facilitate networking among attorneys, insurers, air carriers, manufacturers and government representatives.

This is the thirteenth annual McGill/PEOPIL Conference on International Aviation Liability, Insurance & Finance

Prior conferences have been held in:

  • Amsterdam
  • Dublin
  • Edinburgh
  • London
  • Montreal
  • Toulouse


Thursday 20 April 2023

Arrival Day


Welcoming Reception

Sponsored by: tba

Friday 21 April 2023

Day 1

07:30 – 08:45


08:45 – 09:00

Welcoming Remarks

Ana Romero

Ana Romero
PEOPIL President

Prof. Dr. Donal Hanley
McGill University, Montreal

09:00 – 10:00

Recent Developments in Aviation Liability

  • Comparative analysis of recent Warsaw and Montreal Convention jurisprudence
  • Recent aviation disaster litigation
  • Impact of COVID and other communicable diseases on aviation and related travel industries
  • Conflicts between U.S. and European courts
  • The challenges of achieving a desirable level of global uniformity


Prof. Emeritus Dr. Paul Stephen Dempsey – McGill University


  • Vonnick Le Guillou – DLA Piper, Paris
  • Robert Clifford – Clifford Law Firm, Chicago
  • Andrew Harakas – Clyde & Co, New York
  • David Short – Balfour+Manson, Edinburgh

10:00 – 11:30

Liability of Manufacturers of Aircraft, Engines and Component Parts

  • The Boeing MAX litigation
  • Assessing the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accidents
  • TCAS, autopilot and automation
  • Does/should government certification preempt tort claims and criminal liability?
  • International reciprocity of certification
  • Will we see more use of the Hague Convention on Products Liability?
  • Is there liability exposure for toxic fumes and radiation in commercial aircraft?
  • What is the liability for the use of counterfeit parts?


Mark Harvey – Hugh James, Cardiff/London


  • Karl Hennessee – Airbus, Toulouse
  • Christopher M. Odell – Arnold & Porter, Houston
  • Steven Marks – Podhurst Orseck, Miami
  • Carlos Villacorta Salís – BCV Lex, Madrid

11:30 – 11:50

Refreshment Break

Sponsored by: tba

11:50 – 12:50

Liability of Governments for Aviation Accidents and Acts of Terrorism

  • Sovereign Immunity
  • The U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and the Federal Tort Claims Act
  • The U.S. Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act
  • What will be the liability exposure of the U.S. should other nations enact reciprocal legislation?
  • A look at KAL 007, Pan Am 103, the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, MH 17, Cuban Brothers to the Rescue, Iran Air 655, Ukraine Airlines 752
  • Approach of different jurisdictions to the applicability of criminal prosecutions in the context of aviation disasters
  • Criminal prosecution for the destruction of MH-17
  • Will Saudi Arabia accept responsibility for September 11 the way Libya did for Pan Am 103?
  • Military accidents and State aircraft issues


Prof. Dr. Ulrich Jeinsen – Göhmann Lawyers, Hannover


  • Megan Wolfe Benett – Kreindler & Kreindler, New York
  • Thea Capone – Baumeister & Samuels, New York
  • P. Nikolai Ehlers – Ehlers, Ehlers & Partner, Munich
  • Anthony T. Laleye – Tayo Laleye & Co., Lagos

12:50 – 14:10


Keynote Address
John Harrison – Airbus, Toulouse

Sponsored by: tba

14:10 – 15:10

Liability of Airports and ANSPs

  • Airport operation risks, liability and insurance programs
  • Challenges facing the modern airport, airport services and air navigation providers
  • A new form of liability for airport operators: ethics and compliance 
  • Ground-handling liability and insurance
  • Safety and security issues posed by drones


Isabelle Lelieur – Lelieur Avocat, Paris


  • Isabelle Chiesa – Aéroport de Paris, Paris
  • Milán Kohlrusz – Bittera Kohlrusz & Tóth, Budapest
  • Laura Pierallini – Studio Pierallini, Rome
  • Sébastien Saillard – Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, Paris 

15:10 – 16:30

Litigation Strategy: Procedural Tools

  • Strategy in choosing venue, including choice of law, available damages and
    access to witnesses and evidence
  • Strategic use of potential challenges to jurisdiction, including forum non
    conveniens, removal to Federal Court and Montreal Convention restrictions
  • Discovery and evidentiary issues, including admissibility of government
    investigations and criminal proceedings
  • Advantages, disadvantages and special issues in class action suits and
    multidistrict litigation
  • Trial considerations: time to trial, cost, strategy and judge or jury trials
  • Appeals
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution


Michael P. Carbone, JetBlue Airways Corporation, New York


  • Stephan Eriksson – Astra Advokater, Stockholm
  • Peng Lim – Liberty Specialty Markets, London
  • Judy R. Nemsick – Holland & Knight LLP, New York
  • Sarah Stewart – Stewarts, London


Gala Reception

Sponsored by: tba

Followed by Dinner / Dance

Sponsored by: tba

Dance to the classic rock music performed by The Flying Outlaws, comprised of the following international aviation lawyers:

Paul Stephen Dempsey – Golden, Colorado, U.S.
Steven Marks – Miami, U.S.
Urban Olson – Stockholm, Sweden
Alan Reitzfeld – New York, U.S.
Louise-Hélène Sénécal – Montreal, Canada

Saturday 22 April 2023

Day 2

09:30 – 10:30

Air Carrier Passenger Liability

  • Review of recent court decisions on what constitutes accident and bodily injury
  • Recovery for emotional and mental injuries
  • Liability of passengers for incidents involving items/baggage falling out of overhead bins
  • Medical emergencies in flight
  • Review of recent court decisions on the scope of embarkation and disembarkation
  • Liability for passenger-to-passenger assaults?
  • Liability for occurrences that are not related to the operation of the aircraft
  • Liability exposure of crew and/or air marshals who subdue an unruly passenger
  • Impact of Montreal Protocol of 2014, which amends the Tokyo Convention of 1963, on liability issues surrounding unruly and disruptive passengers


Axelle Cartier – Aviation Consultant, Amsterdam


  • Jean-Michel Fobe – Eutralex Srl, Brussels
  • Sharon Holahan – Global Aerospace Inc., Morris Plains
  • Urban Olson – Advokatfirman Urban Olson, Stockholm
  • Darryl G. Pankratz – Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP, Vancouver

10:30 – 11:30

Cargo Logistics and Liability in a Multimodal Environment

  • From aircraft to road and sea: the changing nature of multimodal cargo logistics
  • Contractual issues in the supply chain particularly with indemnities, litigation support, document availability and investigations involving several service partners and modal operators
  • The drive to data and transparency in a multimodal logistical supply chain: what does the future look like?
  • Key international and domestic cargo cases


Prof. Dr. George Leloudas – Swansea University, Swansea


  • Nina Heinz – A.P.Moller-Maersk, Paris 
  • Sigrid Preissl – Bourayne & Preissl, Paris
  • Dan Soffin – Solicitor, Senior Courts of England and Wales; Attorney, New York

11:30 – 11:50

Refreshment Break

Sponsored by: tba

11:50 – 12:50

Government Regulation: Health, Safety and Consumer Protection

  • COVID and its mutations
  • Mandated vaccines for employees and passengers
  • Applicability of EU regulation 261/2004 to non-EU carriers
  • Update on the “extraordinary circumstances” defense under EU law
  • Regulation of UAVs
  • The conflict between privacy and technology


Prof. Dr. Brian Havel – McGill University, Montreal


  • Katja H. Brecke – Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein, Frankfurt
  • Martine De Serres – Air Canada, Montreal
  • Stephanie Rostren – European Union Aviation Safety Agency, Köln
  • Prof. Dr. Steven Truxal – Leiden University, Leiden

12:50 – 14:00


Keynote Address
Alexandre Boissy – Secrétaire Général AFKLM, Paris

Sponsored by: tba

14:00 – 15:00

Aircraft Leasing and Finance

  • Monitoring the Cape Town Convention – scoring compliance by member States
  • The future of export credit and finance
  • Expunging clogs in the title and other interventions: how the Irish High Court keeps watch on the Cape Town international registry
  • Is the global aircraft trading system making a difference for aircraft lessees?
  • A review of recent cases of enforcement of lessors’ and financiers’ rights and how lessors and financiers can draft provisions to help protect themselves
  • Seizure and nationalization of foreign aircraft
  • Sanctions


Prof. dr. Donal Hanley – McGill University, Montreal


  • David Bartlett – Apollo | PK AirFinance, Luxembourg
  • Séamus O Cróinín – A&L Goodbody, Dublin
  • Nitin Sarin – Sarin & Co., Chandigarh
  • Serap Zuvin – Cakmak Law, Istanbul

15:00 – 16:00

Damages: Economic and Non-Economic

  • Damage limitations under International Conventions and National law
  • Economic damages: medical expenses, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, etc.
  • Non-Economic damages: pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of love and affection, loss of consortium and guidance, etc.
  • Punitive damages
  • Present value and interest issues
  • Comparative fault and joint liability
  • Use of experts


Prof. Dr. Anna Konert – Lazarski University, Warsaw


  • Luiz Eduardo Arena Alvarez – Arena Alvarez Advogados, Sao Paulo
  • Anna Anatolitou – Ince Gordon Dadds, London
  • Stuart R. Fraenkel – Nelson & Fraenkel, Los Angeles
  • Ulla Norrhall – Munich Re, Munich

16:00 – 17:00

Settlement Negotiation and Emerging Insurance Issues

  • Multi-jurisdictional settlements in complex international aviation litigation against multiple tortfeasors
  • Thinking outside the settlement box: timing, discovery, mediation and choice of law
  • Settlement/Payment difficulties due to sanctions and international trade controls
  • Use of “Structured Settlements”
  • Emerging insurance issues (e.g. acts of terrorism, conflict zones, missing commercial aircraft, cyber security, coronavirus)


Alan Reitzfeld – Retired Senior Partner, Holland & Knight LLP, New York


  • Catherine Chaput – Gasco Goodhue St.-Germain, Montreal
  • Robert Hedrick – Aviation Law Group, Seattle
  • Sophie Moysan – La Réunion Aérienne/La Réunion Spatiale, Paris
  • Louise-Hélène Sénécal – Air Canada, Montreal

17:00 – 18:00

Contemporary Issues in EU Law 

French Language Session


Lionel Bros – Air France, Paris


  • Prof. Philippe Delebecque – Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris
  • Solenn Le Tutour – Le Tutour Avocats, Paris
  • Dr. Arlette Tanga – Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris
General Conference Information

Passport/Visa Information:
If you are visiting France, a valid passport is generally required. It is the responsibility of the visitor, before entering France, to ensure possession of the necessary documents, including those required to enter France or re-enter his/her own country.
Also, registrants may need to show proof of COVID vaccination or testing prior to travel to or from France.

PEOPIL members and McGill Graduates:
For PEOPIL members and McGill graduates, a discount of 10% on the registration fee is applicable. Please email the PEOPIL administrator for the coupon code.

Hotel Information:
For a list of hotels in the vicinity of the conference venue, please click here.