Wotton + Kearney, Australasia’s leading insurance and risk law firm, has launched an aviation practice with the hire of special counsel James Cooper. James joins the firm from Clyde & Co and is based in the firm’s Melbourne office.

James specialises in aviation, maritime and energy law and brings a wealth of international sector knowledge and experience in both contentious and non-contentious matters. He is a highly accomplished aviation lawyer, frequently representing airlines, insurers, and other industry participants in contested disputes.

James’ arrival will expand the firm’s existing marine and transport practice, which spans shipping, road, rail, logistics, mining and trading commodities.

Adam Chylek, Head of Property, Energy & Infrastructure, Wotton + Kearney said:

“James brings a unique skillset to the firm and is an exciting addition to our existing transport practice. He has a wealth of experience across the sector, and is highly regarded in Australia and New Zealand and across the Asia-Pacific and London markets.”

James Cooper, Special Counsel, Wotton + Kearney said:

“I’m really excited to have joined Wotton + Kearney where my specialised aviation practice fits neatly alongside the firm’s insurance and risk focus. I’m looking forward to working with the firm to grow the regional aviation practice.”

James’ experience includes acting for airlines and their insurers in some of the most significant airline incidents impacting our region in recent times, including the loss of Malaysia Airlines flights MH370 and MH17, and the major in-flight events involving Qantas flights QF30 and QF72.

He has litigation experience across airline major losses, leasing disputes, general aviation, and personal injury, hull, cargo and baggage claims. He also gives regulatory, commercial and compliance advice on aviation-specific problems, including the emerging challenges around drone technology.

Founded in 2002, Wotton + Kearney now has 76 partners and over 360 lawyers across offices in in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.