Legal Advisory Panel
The work of AWG is enhanced by an external legal advisory panel, that comprises leading practitioners of international aviation finance law. The main purposes of the Legal Advisory Panel (Panel) are:

  • To provide thoughts, support and interpretation on the implementation of and compliance with the Cape Town Convention, and support to AWG on the institutionalisation of the Cape Town Convention, and

  • To discuss, critique and provide advice to AWG on other possible law reform activities consistent with its purpose.


The Panel is chaired by Carlos Sierra (Abogados Sierra y Vàzquez). The vice chair is William Piels (Holland & Knight). Former chairs are Dean Gerber (Vedder Price), Catherine Duffy (A&L Goodbody), John Pritchard (Holland Knight), Donald Gray (Blake, Cassels & Graydon), and Stephen McGairl (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer).

The members of the Panel are:

Abogados Sierra
Carlos Sierra

A&L Goodbody
Catherine Duffy

Basch & Rameh Consultores
Ken Basch (vice-chair)

Blake, Cassels & Graydon
Donald Gray

Clifford Chance
David Lloyd

Dikici Law Office
Fulya Dikici

Fornesa Abogados
Sergi Giménez

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Robert Murphy
Iñaki Gabilondo

Ganado Advocates
Max Ganado

Gorrissen Federspiel
Morten L. Jakobsen

Holland & Knight
John Pritchard
William Piels (Chair)

Al Jallaf and Co.
Amna Al Jallaf

Kaye Scholer
Michael Mulitz

King & Wood Mallesons
Wang Ling
John Canning

McCarthy Tetrault
Michel Deschamps
Paul Ng

Helfried Schwarz

Motta, Fernandes Rocha - Advogados
Maria Regina Mangabeira Albernaz Lynch

Norton Rose Fulbright
James Tussing
Kenneth Gray

Pillsbury Winthrop
Mark Lessard

Rajinder Narain & Co
Ravinder Nath

Serap Zuvin Law Offices
Serap Zuvin

Maria Chambers

Vedder Price
Dean Gerber

Webber Wentzel
Scott Edmundson

White & Case
Natalia Nikitina

Watson Farley & Williams LLP
Dominic Pearson

Association of Aircraft Title Lawyers represented by:

Daugherty, Fowler, Peregrin & Haught
Robert Peregrin

McAfee & Taft
Frank Polk


AWG supervises the work of its Legal Advisory Panel on the relationship between Cape Town Convention and contractual practices. By contractual practices, we mean contractual provisions, registration of interests, and legal opinion practice. The work of the Panel seeks to promote informed and efficient contracting under the Cape Town Convention.

Originally published in 2011, and updated in 2012, the September 2015 version of the Practitioner�s Guide to the Cape Town Convention is current, comprehensive and intended to be a practical tool for practitioners dealing with issues pertaining to the CTC. This new version specifically aims to provide thoughtful guidance from the Legal Advisory Panel of the AWG and others on implementation and institutionalizing the Cape Town Convention :

� Supplementing, consolidating and updating previous volumes of the Cape Town Paper Series (both previously prepared by the Legal Advisory Panel)
� Summarizing key aspects of previously published Official Commentary
� Integrating the shared experiences of Legal Advisory Panel members
� Including the Legal Advisory Panel�s body of �best practices� under the Cape Town Convention at this point in time.

Comments on the Practitioner's Guide � or on legal developments in any country relating, directly or indirectly, to the Cape Town Convention � should be sent to the AWG secretary general:


The following are the Legal Advisory Panel current work streams and projects:

1. Practitioner�s Guide, a document published by the Panel to provide practical assistance to practitioner�s in working with the Cape Town Convention.

The working group on the Guide is currently headed by Dean Gerber (Vedder Price).

2. Annotations to Official Commentary on the Cape Town Convention and its Protocols, which, with Professor Sir Roy Goode�s personal endorsement, are issued by the Cape Town Convention Academic Project from time to time. The objective of these annotations is to address questions that the Official Commentary does not, or does not fully address.

Annotations are issued pursuant to procedures established by the University of Oxford Faculty of Law and the University of Washington School of Law, under whose auspices and supervision the Academic Project operates.

The working group on annotations is currently headed by Donald Gray(Blakes, Cassels, and Graydon), proposes annotations for consideration in the absolute discretion of the Academic Project.

3. Analysis of Cape Town Convention Legal Activity, namely cases and reports on administrative and non-judicial activity (RANJA) published by the Cape Town Convention Academic Project. Such analysis is posted in conjunction with underlying reported case of RANJA.

The working group on Cape Town Convention analysis is jointly headed by John Pritchard (Holland & Knight) and Catherine Duffy (A&L Goodbody).

4. Cape Town Convention Educational Materials, which include self-instructional materials for individuals needing information about CTC. These materials are currently being translated into additional languages. Additional materials are being created.

The working group on educational materials is currently headed by Mark Lessard (Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman, LLP)

5. Assessing the work of the National Contact Groups (NCGs), which are groups established by AWG made up of leading local lawyers in ratifying countries that serve as forum for the discussion and assessment of practical aspects of the treaty at a national level. The main function of the NCGs is to collect information relating to, and to seek, compliance by such countries with the Cape Town Convention. AWG has established twelve contact groups (national and regional), covering twenty four countries around the world. Others are contemplated.

The working group assessing information from NCGs is currently headed by William Piels (Holland & Knight).

The Panel also participates in projects relating to the International Registry.


AWG has established, and continues to strengthen, a network of Cape Town Convention National Contact Groups (including select regional groups, NCG). NCGs, made up of leading local lawyers in ratifying countries, are a forum for the discussion and assessment practical aspects of the treaty at the national level. A main function of the NCGs is to collect information relating to, and to seek, compliance by such countries with the Cape Town Convention. That is done, with local expertise, under an AWG framework. The NCGs also share information with, and receive information from, other NCGs around the world, thus benefiting from global developments related to the Convention. That flow of information runs through the AWG�s legal advisory panel, ensuring the highest level of Cape Town Convention expertise.

The following National Contact Groups (Cape Town Convention) have been established by the AWG:

� Argentina
� Australia and New Zealand
� Brazil
� Canada
� China
� Colombia
� India
� Ireland
� Middle East [covering Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and UAE]
� Mexico
� Nigeria
� Nordic [covering Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland]
� Republic of South Africa
� Russia
� South East Asia [covering Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Vietnam]
� Spain
� United Kingdom
� United States