Sarah was invited to give a talk on air accident claims during the Rowland Brothers Air Accidents Seminar.

The seminar was organised by Rowland Brothers International, repatriation specialists, to help consular staff develop their understanding of air traffic accidents and consular emergency procedures.

The seminar consisted of presentations led by Nicholas Dann, Head of International Development at the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) and Sarah Stewart, a partner in our Aviation team. It focused on giving an overview of the official investigation process, the international cooperation regime, safety recommendations, and determining liability and obtaining compensation for victims and their families.

Sarah explained the part that law firms such as Stewarts play in helping victims and their families navigate the air accident investigation, coroner’s inquest, civil claim, and potential criminal proceedings. She highlighted the difficulty for families who are not a party to the official investigation and the need to carry out their own inquiries ahead of the two-year cut off period for claims to be made.

Sarah also discussed the role of lawyers in advising families on where to bring their claim, as most countries attribute different values to loss of life. The consulate members were surprised to hear that the same claim brought in the US could obtain more than 2.5 times the amount it would be awarded in the UK.

A spokesperson from the Consular Corps of London praised the quality of the presentations and commented: “The seminar was very informative and gave consuls a really good idea of air accident investigations and what legal routes are available to the victims.”


Photo used with permission of Embassy Magazine.

This article was written by our paralegal Sean Nolan



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