Simon Phippard

Simon is Of Counsel in the Aviation & Aerospace practice of Bird and Bird in London. He brings more than 25 years' commercial and litigation experience to a diverse array of aerospace issues.

Having learned to fly before he could drive a car Simon has been lucky to have worked for most of his career in aviation law. He advises leading businesses in all parts of the aerospace sector, including airlines, manufacturers, MROs, airports, ATC operators, regulators and travel businesses. He helps clients to navigate and comply with international, European and domestic technical and economic regulation affecting the aviation sector, including the use of innovative technology, such as drones.

Recently, he advised a major South East Asian regulator on potential liability arising from the malicious use of drones at airports or in controlled airspace, on the implications for airports, ATC agencies and regulators of implementing counter-drone strategies to minimise those threats, and on appropriate regulatory structures.

More broadly, his commercial experience includes advising and negotiating complex long term contracts between manufacturers or repair and overhaul businesses, and their airline customers for equipment support. Frequently this involves the engines which are among the most expensive systems on the aircraft and increasingly employ innovative data-based methods of performance management and predictive maintenance.

He has worldwide litigation and arbitration experience in commercial, regulatory and insurance disputes in the industry and arising from air accidents. A recent example involved representation of an aircraft lessor in a successful recovery action for over $80m against a defaulting lessee.

Before joining Bird & Bird in 2013, he worked in anti-bribery and corruption compliance, and continues to advise clients on the establishment and operation of compliance programmes and on investigations into suspected misconduct.

He is a Fellow and Council Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a Freeman of, and Honorary Solicitor to, the Honourable Company of Air Pilots.

He speaks regularly at industry events and contributes to debate on a wide range of timely topics, including airline passenger protection, drones and aftermarket service solutions. He recently chaired a panel on the impact of Brexit on the airline industry.

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