The current editions of Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners both recommend Steven in this area, Legal 500 describing him as “a team player with an aggressive tactical side and an instinctive feel for the other side’s weak spots in commercial cases”. Chambers and Partners quote clients as saying that Steven “gets on really well with the clients”, and “when he is dealing with something for you as he goes out of his way to help you”. He also comes across really well in court – he has such a good manner that the judges respect him and will listen to him. Right up there as a top choice for difficult contractual issues – I really rate him highly.” His relaxed manner and easy style belie his incisive approach. He performs excellently in court.”
Steven has a well-established practice in aviation law and is recognised as an experienced practitioner in this field. He has acted in many pieces of high-value litigation both for and against major operators, maintenance organisations, owners, airports and air traffic control system engineers. He has developed a particular reputation for his understanding of technical maintenance issues in cases which hinge on the condition of aircraft and the nature of maintenance and repair work.
He has experience in dealing with disputes concerning the sale of aircraft, aircraft leasing, return conditions and repossession. He has also appeared in contractual disputes, product liability cases and negligence actions against maintenance organisations, often following catastrophic failures in flight. Steven’s first degree in science means that he is comfortable dealing with the complex technical expert issues which often arise in this field.
Steven’s experience in insolvency means he is regularly instructed to advise and act in aviation industry insolvency cases and he has developed a reputation for dealing with the aviation industry’s financial problems on behalf of creditors and debtors.
His recent cases include:
Eagle Aircraft Leasing v Air France (2009-2010) Steven was instructed by Air France in a dispute involving the sale by Air France of 6 Boeing 747s, which involved the detailed analysis of the state of the aircraft and documentation within an expedited trial timetable.
Jet Finance v Hawker Beechcraft (2009-2010): Dispute as to ownership of aircraft. Steven was instructed by the MRO with actual possession of the aircraft in dispute.
Re MK Airlines (2010). Steven appeared for creditors, including an aircraft lessor, of this cargo airline and successfully challenged a Company Voluntary Arrangement which, the Court found, had been approved after material irregularities at a creditor’s meeting. The airline had been insolvent for some time and Steven’s understanding of insolvency law enabled him to assist the clients when considering their options.
UB Air v Raytheon (2009 – 2011): Dispute concerning the discovery of corrosion in a corporate jet. Steven was instructed by the MRO.
Close Brothers v Pearce  EWHC 298 (QB): Bank claim on a guarantee following the repossession and sale of aircraft.
In an inquest (2012): Steven was instructed by the airline to appear at the inquest after the loss of flight KQ507.
Jet2.com v Tarom  EWHC 622 (QB)  EWCA Civ 87: Dispute involving the rights under a long-term maintenance contract for a low-cost airline. Steven acted for the airline at the trial and in the Court of Appeal.