The Adams and Reese Aviation and Aerospace Team has decades of experience handling complex, high-stakes investigations, enforcement actions, and disputes for aviation and aerospace companies. Our team is immersed in the legal, regulatory, operational, technical, and commercial issues that drive the industry. As a result of our professionals’ command of these issues, they know what questions to ask and how to develop and implement effective strategies in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
Investigations and Enforcement
Our lawyers have built reputations for excellence in conducting sensitive independent investigations of aviation and aerospace companies facing significant risk. Fortune 500 companies, boards of directors, and corporate executives rely on our team to perform internal reviews and counsel them through government investigations in matters arising under a variety of legal and regulatory regimes, ranging from product difficulties and quality escapes to whistleblower complaints, disclosure matters, compliance reviews, code-of-conduct, and ethical issues. Our team’s deep industry knowledge, first-hand experience responding to government inquiries, and judgment allows it to comprehensively address the most complex regulatory challenges and help clients minimize potential exposure, protect their reputations, and avoid future risk.
We successfully defend clients in government investigations and major enforcement actions, with substantial experience in matters brought by the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation, Department of Justice, Department of Defense, and other agencies. Our team has longstanding relationships – built on reputations of trust and credibility – with the regulators that oversee our clients’ businesses, enabling us to effectively advocate, resolve matters with discretion, preserve future relationships with government agencies, and restore confidence and trust among key constituents.
Our lawyers apply their industry experience and judgment to scope activities appropriately and minimize disruptions that investigations may cause. We coordinate closely with our clients’ internal teams and are highly sensitive to organizational and collateral considerations. Our team has a track record of excellence in handling investigations and enforcement cases in a manner that is proper, successful, and cost-effective.
Aviation and aerospace companies depend on our lawyers to handle all kinds of disputes. Our team has experience that includes:
- Representing clients in commercial arbitrations arising in connection with contract disputes, product difficulties, or mishaps;
- Defending tort actions ranging from international multi-jurisdictional litigation to state cases involving single aircraft accidents; and
- Acting as national counsel to develop strategy, manage local counsel and experts, draft pleadings and briefs, and coordinate discovery.
Our attorneys have extensive experience in efficiently managing discovery-intensive cases. Depending on the needs of each client, we are capable of executing an aggressive litigation strategy encompassing discovery, motions practice, and trial, or managing a dispute to obtain an early, cost effective resolution.
We have also engaged extensively in airport access, rates, charges, and revenue diversion litigation, as well as appellate work over a variety of administrative agency decisions, including DOT and FAA enforcement cases against airlines, manufacturers, and other certificated entities and persons, appeals to the NTSB, and challenges to agency rulemaking.
Our team’s industry focus combines with real-world experience as advocates on the front lines and in high-stakes settlement negotiations. The result is a value-added formula that helps our clients achieve their goals.
Investigations and Enforcement
- Advised and represented international commercial operators, aerospace manufacturers, and maintenance and repair organizations in the defense of FAA investigations, compliance actions, and enforcement actions.
- Successfully defended aerospace manufacturer in DOT and DOD grand jury investigation of alleged fraud; conducted investigation and advised on risk, resolution of commercial claims, corporate disclosures and corrective actions; obtained reasonable civil settlement with no admission of liability.
- Conducted investigation on behalf of the board of directors of a global parts manufacturer regarding allegations of misconduct in product testing and conformity determinations;
- Successfully defended FAA and OSHA investigations of whistleblower claims against aerospace manufacturer, achieving closure of investigations with no adverse action taken.
- Conducted internal investigations of complaints of allegations of record falsification in connection with maintenance activities for an international aviation company.
- Persuaded the U.S. government not to pursue litigation in a qui tam whistleblower action alleging False Claims Act violations by a major airline.
- Advised avionics manufacturer in response to investigations arising from fatal air accident in Europe.
- Conducted independent investigation on behalf of a global aerospace company into allegations of fraudulent testing practices to obtain product certification under regulations in multiple international jurisdictions.
- Conducted investigation on behalf of global avionics manufacturer of alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in Asian countries.
- Represented European airline in an international commercial arbitration arising under contract for completions of multiple airliners; advised with respect to certification and conformity issues in order to facilitate settlement on favorable terms.
- Represented the Cargo Airline Association in federal court challenge to an FAA airworthiness directive that was the result of arbitrary and irrational decision making.
- Served as national coordinating counsel for commercial operator in connection with fatal accidents; managed defense of personal injury litigation and worked with FAA, NTSB, and OSHA during investigations.
- Defended Caribbean airline against personal injury claims arising out of an off-airport emergency landing.
- Represented major U.S. airline in FAA Part 16 litigation over unlawful revenue diversion and grant assurance violations.
- Represented international airline in commercial litigation with maintenance providers.
- Represented repair station in defense of wrongful-death claim arising from sudden in-flight engine
- Represented manufacturer of ground support equipment in defense of product liability claims.
- Defended charter operator in suit brought under management
- Defended fixed base operator against claims arising from ground handling.