Aviation is a highly specialized and complex area of law that requires a deep understanding of the industry.
We have extensive experience in the area of aviation law and have, for decades, helped clients with liability claims, TSB investigations, and business law matters.
Aviation disputes are complex. Our clients rely on us to assist them in navigating the unique challenges they face drawing on our solid understanding of the sensitive issues that may be in play, our in-depth knowledge of regional considerations and our ability to access the right experts.
We have significant experience advising insurers and their insureds on a variety of issues including liability and coverage disputes. We work closely with local adjusters and respected experts to assess the legal risks faced by underwriters and operators and provide them with strategic options and solutions that best meet their needs.
We have also advised municipalities and other public bodies with respect to federal aviation regulations and governmental compliance.
We are counsel to:
- Aviation insurers and brokers
- Aviation syndicates
- Aircraft owners and operators
- Aircraft maintenance and repair facilities
- Charter operators
- Flying clubs and flight schools
Our aviation lawyers are active members of the following organizations:
- Air Transportation Association of Canada – ATAC
- Aviation Insurance Association – AIA
- Canadian Bar Association – BC Branch, Air Law Subection
- Helicopter Association of Canada – HAC
- Helicopter Association International – HAI
- Passenger claims including loss of life, loss of property and bodily injury.
- Major claims such as total loss of aircraft, hull damage and fire damage.
- Equipment damage claims.
- Lease negotiations.
- Product liability for parts and equipment such as propellers, rotors, tires, and finely-engineered instruments.
- Enforcement of foreign letters rogatory.
- Regulatory and administrative proceedings including: Transportation Safety Board of Canada hearings, representation before the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada, representation at Coroners' Inquests.
- A helicopter filled with tourists crashes on a sunny summer day, landing in a residential area. Lives are lost, passengers are permanently hurt and a business goes bankrupt.
- A small regional airport is sued by the owner of a private jet, whose plane tires are damaged by poor runway conditions.
- An airline loses track of a passenger’s dog for six hours. The pet finally arrives, but is severely dehydrated and in need of veterinary help. The story hits the media, and the passenger sues the airline.
- Provided counsel for a defendant at the mediations of several bodily injury and wrongful death actions that resulted from a tragic hot air balloon disaster. This was the first case in Canada to arise out of a propane explosion in a hot air balloon.
- Provided counsel in several actions that arose after an aircraft crashed upon takeoff from one of British Columbia’s Gulf Islands.
- Provided counsel for a third party supplier in a products liability action that resulted from a heli-logging accident and involved metallurgical analysis.
- Successfully defended an operator in a lease dispute with an aircraft owner.
- On behalf of a creditor, negotiated the return of a helicopter that was flown across the US-Canada border and allegedly used in criminal activity. Harper Grey worked with a TAGLaw affiliate firm in Dallas, Texas in the negotiations.
- Currently providing opinions regarding coverage and or discharge matters for aviation underwriters.
- Currently negotiating various claims on behalf of major airport operators in British Columbia.
- Currently negotiating various claims for minor injury and property damage on behalf of airlines and their insurers.
25 Lawyers Recognized as Leaders in their field by Benchmark Canada® 2022
Harper Grey lawyers receive 58 rankings from Best Lawyers® in Canada 2022
24 Harper Grey lawyers recognized for litigation expertise by Benchmark Canada®, 2021
19 Harper Grey lawyers recognized as “Leading Practitioners” by Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory®, 2021
Harper Grey receives 51 rankings from Best Lawyers® in Canada 2021
Harper Grey receives highest firm ranking as a “Highly Recommended” local litigation law firm in British Columbia from Benchmark Canada® 2014-2021
29 Harper Grey lawyers recognized across 15 specialty areas by Best Lawyers® in Canada, 2020
Harper Grey recognized as a "Leading Law Firm" regionally in the area of Dispute Resolution by Chambers Canada®, 2017-2020
Martindale Hubbell® recognizes 13 Harper Grey lawyers across 27 practice areas
Harper Grey receives the TAGLaw Membership Award of Distinction acknowledging 15 years of outstanding service
Harper Grey recognized as a Top 10 Regional Firm in British Columbia, Alberta and the Territories by Canadian Lawyer Magazine, 2012 and 2014
Harper Grey Rated as a "Leading Practitioner" in the area of Aviation by Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory®, 2023
“Harper Grey has a 100-year-old profile in this market,” testifies one senior-level peer, adding, “but the talent there now is mostly all younger than me!”
“They were amazing to work with! They were incredibly competent and resolution based. They kept me centered in the midst of the storm and got me a great result in very short time frame.”
"The Harper Grey team is a well-oiled machine. All the lawyers I deal with are well-trained and hardworking. They communicate well and are always available for questions."
“Incredibly strong skill set, knowledge of litigation and strategic, and keen ability to solve problems.”
“These lawyers are all subject matter experts, and leaders in their field, whose knowledge and skill are matched by their excellent client service.”
“They dominate the medical practice, insurance, and product liability and even have more specialties like bankruptcy, aviation, defamation, securities, even environmental.”
“Excellent response time, good talent from junior and intermediate to senior levels and reasonable service costs.”
"Harper Grey is primarily championed for its insurance capacity, which is said to ‘rival that of anyone else’s in Vancouver’ as well as its aviation niche."
“Bryan Baynham exemplifies the ways in which this firm has set itself apart. He attends to a variety of practice areas that he has really cornered a market on, like aviation and also defamation and media law.”
"Harper Grey lawyers are ‘dedicated to their clients and focused on finding and implementing practical solutions for them. The lawyers are prompt, intelligent and insightful, and provide a high level of customer service’."
“Peers vouch for Bryan Baynham’s acumen, addressing him as “a worthy opponent, good on his feet, very skilled and seasoned.”
“Harper Grey is one of the best firms in Vancouver. They have excellent service, knowledge and their cost structure is excellent.”
“Bryan Baynham has a strong presence and remains active and upbeat. I always seem to have something going with him, confirms one peer.”
“A Vancouver staple, Harper Grey is perhaps the most BC-centric of the “highly recommended” firms, owing largely to the firm’s bench strength in several key areas.”
“They are historically known more for insurance but there’s a lot more there than meets the eye.”
“Recognition remains vibrant for firm figurehead Bryan Baynham, a veteran of commercial law as well as niche areas such as real estate, defamation, media and privacy.”
"They exceeded all my expectations. I am very satisfied with their work and very happy to recommend them."
“Every day it seems like I am dealing with someone at Harper Grey, and I always find them professional, courteous and effective.”
"A lawyer who refers work to Harper Grey wrote it has ‘great service, a breadth of practice and I have never received a negative comment from referrals to the firm’."
"Harper has niches, and in those niches they are the best of the best."
"The firm has real quality people, and they’ve put three people on the bench there in six years."
"Harper Grey is a trial lawyer’s firm, and they’ve got a big deep bench of well-trained litigators."
"Harper Grey has a stellar pedigree as a litigation firm, and they’ve put a ton of people on the bench, observes one peer."
"Clients are comforted by the firm’s long history in BC. We’re steeped in the region. Our connection is such that we have knowledge of not only the issue itself, but the history of the issue in the province." - Richard Bereti
“The firm’s lawyers are principled and have deep integrity. Their work is thorough and of consistent high quality.”
“The firm is top notch. They have many lawyers specialized in medical defense work who are highly skilled in their legal acumen and practice management, but who also recognize the importance of carrying out their work in a practical, results-oriented manner. They actively look for ways to more efficiently partner with their clients for effective management of the work, while at the same time not weakening their excellent service delivery, their responsiveness, or their effectiveness in the work.”
“This team has provided outstanding legal service. They are prompt, responsive, and communicative. They are strong strategists and provide well researched, experienced legal advice. We work with many firms, and Harper Grey stands out. One member of the team remembers every interaction, memo, pleading and document. They understand a very complicated file and address it with ease and candor. We very much appreciate their strong advocacy.”